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03: Shining a light on mental health with Lt. Corrin Perry

To begin shining a light on mental health we must allow for vulnerability. 

By sharing our stories and listening respectfully we can begin to uncover that we are not alone in our struggles. 

Whether you or your loved one struggle with mental health, know that there is hope. 

Lt. Corrin Perry, Corps Officer of The Salvation Army Anaheim Corps in Anaheim, California, is on the show to share her own story and encourage you, too.

Show highlights include:

  • The biggest misconception about mental health.
  • Why it’s important for women to talk about mental health.
  • The barriers for women, women in ministry, moms, etc. to seeking help with mental health issues.
  • Why it’s important for churches to have these conversations.
  • Boundaries to protect your mental health.
  • How relationships are impacted by not getting help or getting help.
  • What’s at stake by not taking care of your mental health.
  • What you can do today.

Listen and subscribe to The Commons Podcast now. Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for readability. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post.

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Cassandra Amezquita: Okay. So I was trying to think back to the first time when I really heard the term mental health, and I think it came up when I was about 17. I went through a really tough thing as a kid and around 17 I told my family about it. And I had an aunt that, thankfully, was very aware about mental health topics. So she saw that I needed help and she saw that I was a challenged 17-year-old girl and she’s like, you know what? You need to come with me. And she took me to a counseling agency and she’s like, I’m right here for you, I’m going to be waiting for you in the lobby, but you’re going to meet with this counselor and just, you can talk or you don’t have to, but they’re here for you to help. And I think that was literally one of the most helpful things somebody did for me.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah, I bet.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yeah, they saw me in a dark time and they didn’t just sit around and say, Oh, I’m here for you if you need me, or Hey, I hope you get better, she basically intervened. So that was a big wake up call for me. And I know not everybody that experiences mental health challenges will have someone in their life like that, but I think it’s a necessary conversation for people to have in general, for women, for men, for people in the Church, for parents, basically we all need to be talking about it.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah, definitely, especially too if you’re in ministry in any sort of capacity where people may be coming to you with any kind of struggles, not just mental health, but especially mental health. You want to have the right tools and the right ideas of what to do and how to really help people without just kind of those, not as helpful sayings like, I’m here for you, let me know if you need me. But actually having the tools like your aunt had, that’s such a perfect example.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yeah, yeah, definitely. A lot of people are well-meaning, but I think the more we take away the stigma and just the awkwardness talking about these things, I think the better we’ll get at knowing how to help in a genuine way, right?

Meagan Ruff: Yes.

Cassandra Amezquita: So I was looking at some statistics by [the National Institute of Mental Health] and one that I found that was a little shocking was that one in five US adults live with a form of mental illness. So, that’s pretty crazy, and I don’t think that excludes the Church, because people sitting in our congregations on Sunday morning, I think they’re also included in that range, so this is something that is very important and relevant these days.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah. And I don’t mean to call out the article, but does it say a date? Because I would guess that that might actually be even higher now after a year of being in a pandemic with being worried about your health, being concerned about that and having just so many changes with being more at home, all of those types of things. I would guess that that number may be even higher.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yes. I think it definitely is, and the article’s from 2019.

Meagan Ruff: So it’s recent, but not since COVID?

Cassandra Amezquita: Yes, definitely. I think if people did more recent research, they would… I’m sure people are struggling even more through the pandemic, I’m sure people have experienced loss of family members, I’m sure people have experienced some type of anxiety, I know for me my anxiety was really bad in the beginning of the pandemic, depression, there’s so many things that people could be going through and it’s important to be talking about it. So I wanted to ask, what are you doing these days to normalize these conversations in your own life or in your ministry?

Meagan Ruff: Yeah, I think for me, especially with the pandemic, kind of, I don’t know, I guess it was probably mid-summer, I was definitely feeling like I am not myself, there’s something not right with how I’m feeling. And for a while, definitely a few weeks and I may have even told you through texts, I just kind of felt like I didn’t really know how to explain it or describe it and I didn’t really know how to talk about it. And I was even kind of nervous to talk to Aaron, my husband, about it because I didn’t know how he would think.

And one night I was just kind of at the end of my feelings there and I was just kind of crying and we started talking and I was telling Aaron everything, how I was feeling and I was saying I feel anxious on one hand, but I also feel kind of depressed and sad about the loss of a lot of things I saw would happen this year.

And even just having that conversation with him and realizing that he was feeling the same way made it a less stigmatized and a more normal conversation in our own home. So now we’ve had that conversation, we’ve kind of gathered some tools of how we can check in on each other in that way. And also even with our kids just checking in on them because there are days where Isla, our oldest, would just be like, I’m just tired of not being able to go anywhere, I miss my friends, I miss seeing my friends at church and just kind of normalizing that it’s normal to feel that way and we’ll do what we can to help you feel better. And for me, that was kind of seeking out someone to talk to beyond just my friends and for Isla, kind of at this point it’s just talking to us and normalizing those conversations at home.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yeah exactly, that’s really helpful.  

Meagan Ruff: What about you?

Cassandra Amezquita: I think what we’re going to start to realize is that for some of us, mental health challenges are going to be something that we can address almost immediately and get the help we need immediately by either reaching out to friends or loved ones. Your mind is interesting because if you injure your leg or your arm you can see the injury, right? Or possibly you can see the wound, but in your head, in your mind and in your soul you can’t really see that.

So that’s why you have to be even more attuned to yourself and know when to reach out. So I think there’s some of us that might be okay by just talking it out with somebody and some of us might need to reach out to more professional services, maybe pastoral care or therapy, counseling, psychiatry, all of that. Those are all things that I think God does equip people around us to help when we need it in a more advanced way, and there is no shame to that.

So I hope that today our listeners, they can feel that we are advocating for this topic, for mental health and that they can see that we care much about it, and I mean, almost in a sense that whoever is listening today can be reminded that they are not alone and that the people around them care about them, or if anybody feels like they don’t have friends in their life, they can reach out to, please inbox us, I mean, DM us in our inbox and we will reach out to you.

Meagan Ruff: Yes, for sure. That is part of what we’ve wanted to create community for, not specifically for mental health, but most certainly including it, right? We want to be able to be there if you need someone to talk to, and especially if you don’t know us personally, that’s even better, we don’t have any preconceived ideas about who you are. And so you can reach out and let us know, Hey, I’m kind of struggling with this and we would love to be there for you and kind of help send you in the right direction, whatever that may be.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yes, I agree. So hopefully some of the conversations we have today will touch on some of the ways that people have been feeling. Or if you can’t identify with this, maybe somebody in your own life has felt a similar way, or you might be thinking of that one person in your life who you’re like, they’re not acting themselves, I think I need to reach out to them. So maybe it’s not for you, but maybe it’s for somebody else.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah, definitely. So when we were first kind of putting feelers out about this episode, I just said some of the topics that we’re going to be covering on our podcast are these and I included mental health and we actually had one woman reach out and she said, Hey, I love your podcast idea, I think this is great. And just to let you know, I’m super passionate about mental health, I’d love to help in whatever capacity I can. And so Cassandra and I were like, Oh, this is great, can we interview you for this episode? And she totally agreed.

So today on the show we’re going to have Lieutenant Corrin Perry, she is currently serving with The Salvation Army at the Anaheim Red Shield Center, her and her family actually just moved there recently. She has one little boy, he’s a toddler and she’s also married and she has a really powerful testimony about mental health. She definitely considers herself an advocate for mental health. Her story is just, it’s really powerful, I don’t really have another word for it. And we’re so happy to have her on the show, so with that, please welcome Lt. Corrin Perry.

Meagan Ruff: All right, so today we have Lt. Corrin Perry coming on our podcast from Anaheim, California, the Anaheim Red Shield. It’s great to have you.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Hello. Thanks for having me.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yeah. Thanks for being here. So we have some questions for you and we know that this is a topic that you mentioned to us that you’re interested in. So I’m going to go ahead and start, what do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions about mental health?

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah, mental health, a lot of times people feel like it’s a weakness, or when you struggle with mental health, then it’s a weakness that a person has or they’re not strong enough to like get through something that’s a struggle mental wise. But it’s really sometimes opportunity, not opportunities, excuse me, but let me say that again.

Experiences in your life happen and sometimes we can’t control them, and that causes your brain to kind of do things that you don’t even know are happening inside you. And sometimes it’s just the chemicals in your brain, they’re misfiring and it’s not anything a person is because they’re weak or strong, it’s circumstances and biology, and it’s not based on your willpower. You know what I mean?

Meagan Ruff: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So why do you think it’s important then, with those misconceptions in place with people maybe considering that it may be because you’re not strong or that you’re weak, if you’re struggling with some sort of mental illness, why do you think it’s important then for us as women and believers to talk about mental health?

Lt. Corrin Perry: Well, you know that, especially not relating this to sin but kind of, in a way where the more you put light on it, the more it loses its control, right? And so the more we’re able to talk about mental health, the more we’re able to listen to people who are struggling with mental health, it loses its control and it brings us together, right? And there, I mean, just, I’ve only been in my appointment for a little under a month, and I’ve already had two really beautiful conversations with women, because I was willing to be vulnerable about my story.

And you’re seeing this trend about women. I mean, men too, but like my journey is in postpartum stuff and that it’s more common than you think. And you’re willing to come alongside and go through that journey together, instead of feeling alone and shameful when that’s not what it is, and we can come alongside each other.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah. Would you be willing to share a little bit of your story?

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah. So I have a little boy, he is amazing, his name is Ezra, he’s almost two. And I suffered with really the roughest postpartum that you can have, so, it’s called postpartum psychosis, and it’s a combination of depression, anxiety and not having your stuff together and things are a little bit unrealistic, I guess is the nicer version to say it.

I was very fortunate with having a more positive experience in my psychosis where I wanted to save the world, that was what I wanted to do with my life, and usually it tends to go a little on the darker side, one in 100,000 women have psychosis, so it’s not very common. And it usually, it’s very dark. And my, I mean, it just shows how I’m ingrained to really serve others and help people. And I was willing to help people that just wasn’t really realistic, it was things that were not in my control and I kind of was very focused on that, and I needed—I was hospitalized for a little bit and was able to get the help that I needed and medication that I needed.

But my recovery time was really quick because we were willing to just, let’s nip it in the bud, let’s get this taken care of, this is not Corrin. Yes, you are a visionary, yes, you know how to get things done, but maybe not tomorrow, you’re going to go save the world; it’s a process, right? Corrin knows it, it’s a process. We’re in The Salvation Army to do good things, but it takes time, right?

Cassandra Amezquita: Right, right.

Lt. Corrin Perry: So, I had an amazing support system around me. And unfortunately it was because of lack of sleep; man, that lack of sleep will do a doozy on you. And I didn’t sleep for seven days and that really just, it accumulated to my brain not functioning properly. God has created us to sleep, and so when it’s adding up, you start to not think clearly.

Meagan Ruff: Thank you for sharing that. I have three small kids, my youngest is about to be one and she still doesn’t sleep well, so I can see some of those times where I’m up night or it’s another evening of her just continually waking up, where I start to not think clearly and that’s… hearing that other people go through that and even to different extremes that the brain does things like that, not that it’s like, Oh, good another person, but it is encouraging that, Oh, it’s not just me. It’s not just me that is crying all night or I don’t know, just not thinking clearly about things in that way.

Lt. Corrin Perry: But it’s about shining the light, right? Once you have that understanding that there’s other moms that can kind of go through this and relate to me, that’s when we can come together and encourage each other. There’s no shame anymore, it’s okay that you’re experiencing crying, because you haven’t slept.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah.

Cassandra Amezquita: So I used to hear in my classes and when I was studying social work, you’re reacting normal to an abnormal situation. So you’re doing what you need to do in this situation to survive. And sadly it is really hard and it’s really bad, but I think, and I commend you for sharing those really personal stories, because that’s how others will feel safe to do so too and to ask for help when they need it.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah. And like you said, you can’t help that your kid doesn’t sleep. For me, it was, we were having a hard time with feedings, and it came to the point where there was some problems, my son couldn’t digest milk, and so he was getting sick all the time and he would take an hour to eat when I had to feed him every hour and a half, so I had that 25 minutes to sleep really. I’m going to go sleep for 25 minutes? It was out of my control and I was doing whatever I could to be the best mom that I could be, because I knew he needed to get fed, but it accumulated and I eventually just needed some help and it’s okay to have help.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yes. I mean, that brings us to our next question, which is, why do you think it’s important for churches to have these conversations, as you’re mentioning. Like it’s okay to ask for help, right? But how can you make this a… for… sorry, let me say this again. Why would you say that churches need to be talking about these things?

Lt. Corrin Perry: Well, one, I think there needs to be a lot of healing in conversations in the past, it’s not based on a faith mentality, how strong your faith is, it’s not based on your relationship with God, it’s not about if you pray harder it will be… obviously God can help you, but can God help you through medication, through therapy, through talking to other women?

Cassandra Amezquita: Yes.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Most definitely. So these conversations are more about, A, getting rid of the stigma, B, healing of the past and C, knowing that you’re not alone. Our churches are about being and walking through your journey in Christ together. And that we’re all on different journeys, but we’re doing it together or walking those paths together.

Meagan Ruff: Even just having this conversation here, I can see the importance in just sharing stories and again being, wow, we’re not alone, even if the different things that we struggle with are totally different, I have friends who struggle more with anxiety, other friends who struggle more with depression and all these different things. They’re very different, but knowing that hey, she is willing to open up and be vulnerable with me like you said before, that kind of gives me a little bit more strength to be vulnerable with others.

And I can see how within the Church, that’s in the greater Church, that’s so important, that’s what we should be doing to help carry one another’s burdens and take care of each other, right?

Lt. Corrin Perry: All goes back to testimonies; how powerful are testimonies to people when you have that time during church, and then someone walks up to them and like, I can totally relate to you, I needed to hear that that day. It’s jus,t it’s another word for a testimony, right? And if we can, I mean, obviously my story is a little intense, so it’s kind of got all of that packaged into it, the depression, the anxiety, the PTSD, I mean, the hospital did not treat me the best it probably could have, but whatever, and like things happened, but I can take those little pieces and relate and have that empathy and get down deep to relating for sure.

Cassandra Amezquita: Exactly. And I think, I mean, there’s a misconception that officers or church leaders have it all together or need to have it all together, and even just in the outward appearance of having a clean uniform, so immediately organized and there’s little rituals here and there that take place that does make it seem like somebody could confuse it as having it together, but we do need to let people know that we’re human and we have permission to go through life, make mistakes and show people that we can be brave enough to get help with the stuff though we have a hard time with.

Lt. Corrin Perry: But I also want to challenge the word “Put all together,” the phrase being put all together. That could also be, I’m going to therapy, I know my triggers, I know I need a Sabbath. That is why I’m put all together, is because I have these things in my arsenal so that I can take care of myself to be the best leader I can be. And that’s why I’m put all together, it’s not a façade, it’s, I’ve got all these things in my tool belt.

Cassandra Amezquita: Redefining what that means for people.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah.

Cassandra Amezquita: That makes sense.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah, I really liked that.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yeah.

Meagan Ruff: So what do you think are some of… we talked a little bit about it, but what are some of the barriers for women, for women in ministry, moms, to seeking help with mental health issues?

Lt. Corrin Perry: I think some of it is the stigma, right? And when I have these conversations with people, because I’m passionate about mental health, I relate it to how people don’t like to talk about something with someone that they… Okay, they struggle with the brain, and so I’m using my brain to communicate with you, I can talk about my broken leg and it has nothing to do with my words that I’m communicating with you, but now I’m using something that I’m struggling with, I’m using my brain that’s having a struggle right now.

So there’s this disconnect, there’s that doesn’t make sense, that doesn’t compute to people when you’re struggling with something that’s happening inside my brain. And so if we get over that, I am a completely capable human being to have a conversation with you, but still have those times where anxiety is high and it might be debilitating and I can’t focus, not in this moment right here right now, but I do… do you get what I’m saying?

Meagan Ruff: Yeah.

Lt. Corrin Perry: It’s not like… so I think just knowing that it’s okay to talk about it and get rid of that shame. It’s like shame is … Satan uses it all the time, right? But I think it’s, again, when we continue to have these conversations, that light keeps on pouring in and the shame gets diminished, right?

And then just being educated I think is also helpful, I think that was a downfall for me, is I actually wasn’t aware that some of these things could happen in postpartum. It just didn’t happen where I felt like I had a good sense of what could happen. And so if you’re pregnant or if you have a child, just be aware that these things could happen and that you have your support system to be like, Hey, you’re not really acting yourself are you okay?

Because then you’re able to really do what you need to do to feel more like yourself, because it can really kind of blindside you if you’re not informed. You know what I mean?

Cassandra Amezquita: Exactly.

Lt. Corrin Perry: So I think it’s, it’s always good to be educated, but not get all, Oh my gosh, that’s so me, it’s just like, okay, maybe there are some warning signs, but just be educated for yourself and for others, maybe you’re the advocate for somebody to say, Hey, have you thought about maybe there’s some things going on that I could support you in?

Meagan Ruff: Yeah. Even just having some of those friends that you can check up on and they can check up on you, how are you really doing? How is your mental health doing? How is your heart doing? Those types of things that really, rather than just skimming over the surface and saying, Oh, I’m good, I’m fine. I have a baby, but it’s okay, everyone has a baby, it’s not a big deal, the people that really ask those questions.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Be intentional.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yeah.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Definitely, yeah.

Cassandra Amezquita: Along with that in reference to relationships, how have your relationships been impacted by not getting help or by getting help?

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah, relationships obviously when you’re not your best, relationships can kind of struggle, but at the same time, again, if you have a really good support system, those people are going to come into the gaps for you. My husband, he’s my champion, my hospital was an hour and a half away and he drove every single day to see me; that means everything to me, and it made us stronger, but obviously it was rough. I mean, he saw his wife that wasn’t the best that she can be and she was struggling. And so obviously it causes some tension, but it’s also… that’s how it shows how important it is to be taking care of yourself, so you can really have those really deep relationships, and be the best that you can be for others as well for yourself, if that makes sense. So it kind of goes both ways.

And everybody’s situation is different, some people don’t have that support system, and that’s, I mean, that’s where we have to really kind of, where could we find that support system? I get it, not every person maybe has that best friend or a marriage that is super strong, but where could we find that in other places? I feel like the Lord will guide us to a support system that we need.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah, and as leaders, some of us being leaders in whatever workplace or ministry you’re in, you also can be looking out for the opportunity to be that safe person for others too, if you see someone that you know … I can think of people that I’ve come across my ministry that it’s very clear they don’t have someone like that in their lives. And so I can look out for those opportunities just to check in intentionally like you said. And if they let me know, Hey, I have my sister or my mom or my other friend that really checks in on me in this way, then that’s good, but if not, then we as leaders can kind of be that link for them that helps them realize they do need someone like that to check in and help be intentional with that.

Cassandra Amezquita: … I tell people after I asked them, I try to ask, who do you have that you can be fully vulnerable with? And sometimes people just say, no one. And it’s really sad, but I try to leave that door open until people like, if you need to come and share I’m here to listen, no judgment whatsoever. And I think just having that door open has opened so many opportunities for conversations that I’m afraid would never have happened.

And I think it helps people feel a little bit more courageous that they can have them with people around them without that fear of oh, I’m not going to be accepted if I talk about these dark things, so it has helped.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah. Definitely. One of the other things that we kind of bring into a lot of our episodes and think is really important is boundaries in general. And so what are some boundaries that you’ve learned to set up in order to protect your mental health? Does that make sense?

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah. Sleep, so I know that that’s a trigger for me. And so, my husband knows that, he knows when I’m probably I need a nap, right? And so he’s like I’ll take Ezra to go play outside, why don’t you go take a nap or something. So sleep is very important for me. And I know this is very hard for a lot of officers, but literally the Sabbath, take your day off, take your vacation. We are given those tools to be able to rest so we can do the best that we can during those other days of the week. The work will always be there, take your stupid day off. It’s common sense. Mondays, in Newport, everybody knew Nathan and Corrin were at home with their family on Mondays.

And here we’re gathering on Thursdays. Thursdays are going to be our day and it’s blocked off on the calendar and people know that we’re off the grid and it’s a hard boundary that I’m not willing to compromise on. So super important for us.

Cassandra Amezquita:

It’s good role modeling. I think people who are learning from you are going to see that and be like, Hey, this is something I can do too, but it’s a good example.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah. And just I think I like reflection, I think it’s really important to kind of just take a step back and say, what do you need? What does Megan need? What does Cassandra need? What does Corrin need and take a step back and say, okay, if I’m not doing well, what will bring me back to a good place? It’s self care is kind of starting to turn into a trend, which is kind of super annoying, but if you need an hour to go away and read a good book and that’s what’s going to bring you back, do it, but you have to know what works for you, because it’s not going to be what’s for me.

Meagan Ruff: Right, yeah, definitely. We just recorded an episode on self care and last month our corps went through a series on Sabbath, so it’s fun to see all these things kind of… I knew they all kind of played together, but it’s really fun to see it actually coming together without me-

Lt. Corrin Perry: Facilitating.

Meagan Ruff: Initiating it, yeah, facilitating it, yeah. So, that’s all so important, those are great examples of boundaries and I think that’s a super key thing that listeners can take away is setting up those boundaries and they might not be the same for everyone, although I do think that some of those rules should be general rules: take your Sabbath, take your day off to rest and relax and make sure that you’re caring for your health, but, yeah, I think that’s awesome.

Lt. Corrin Perry: And I think boundary… I mean, you would have asked me these questions even 10 years ago and I would be a whole different person answering these questions. I mean, life has really taught me a lot, but I mean, no is okay. No is okay. And I said yes a lot even just 10 years ago, and I’ve learned that I have to protect my family and myself, my brain, my mental health and myself and sometimes no is okay. Or not right now, can we find a different time? I’m all about can we schedule a time like a month from now? It’s a no right now, but it’s-

Meagan Ruff: Yeah.

Lt. Corrin Perry: … I will totally hang out with you, but can we schedule it in a couple of weeks when I have my stuff together? Everybody wants to hang out, we just moved here three weeks ago and they’re like, we want to come over to your house. And I’m like, my house is just a bunch of boxes right now, I wouldn’t want you here, but can we schedule something out in like a month? And they’re like, Oh yeah, sure. So.

Cassandra Amezquita: Yeah, I just saw a post on Instagram that said, stop saying maybe when you really mean no. And that one hit me hard, I was like, fine, I’ll do it. So, this next question, I mean, it’s a little more serious but, what do you think is at stake by not taking care of your mental health?

Lt. Corrin Perry: Well, being in probably the lowest place and having to be in a hospital. I mean, I’m testimony of that it can get really, really dark and just in a, where you really need that help. And so, I mean, just taking care of your mental health where having those reflection times and having that support system and just even therapy, they’re not, I love therapy and I mean, what a safe place for you just be able to just pour out whatever, if you don’t have that support system, I mean, and I know that, gosh, I wish counseling was as available financially as other resources. And that makes me really sad when people are like, well, I can’t afford it, and I’m just like that really makes my heart sad.

So I know that there’s people out there trying to get more creative with how to make that work with anybody’s budget, but just making sure that you’re taking these small baby steps so that you don’t get to that really dark place, that really, you’re meant to be here, end game, you were meant to be on this world, you’re meant to be on this earth and you were created for a purpose. I was created for a purpose and heaven forbid we don’t want you to ever be at that place, that dark, dark place where you don’t think that you belong here, because you do, and we never want you to be at that place.

You have something to offer this world and probably impact some people to change their lives by who you are and what you offer and who God has created you to be. So we never want anybody to get to that place. And if you’re in that place right now, this is maybe your time to just reach out to somebody, and reach out to that support where you can get out of that place.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah. Our final question was going to be, what do you want to say to our listeners? And I think what you just said is perfect. I mean, is there anything you want to add, any sort of action step or thing you want people who are listening to this today to know about mental health for themselves or for others?

Lt. Corrin Perry: Just that our circumstances are not always what we want them to be, and how our bodies do what they do, maybe not what we want them to do, but you have the tools and the resources available to make those changes for a positive way through your mental health. And know, I can’t help what happened to me, I mean, it is what it is, but I can take the steps to be a better Corrin, and I know the people that I could talk to, I know the self care things I need to do for Corrin and to protect myself, to be the best mom that I can be, to be the best officer I can be, but that’s for Corrin. And so what is it going to be for you? Because it’s going to look different, because every journey is different, right?

And I know I need sleep, sleep is important and I love sleep too, so I have no problem with taking a nap. But just that self-awareness I think is really important, if we constantly are doing and rushing to the very next thing and never take the time to take a step back and say, what does my body need for my mental health? Then we can easily get caught up in a trigger that we didn’t really want to be in or a situation we didn’t want to be in, in our mental health journey, that’s a negative thing when if we just took a couple seconds to kind of evaluate ourselves, it could change the story. You know what I mean?

Cassandra Amezquita: Right.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah, definitely. Well, Cassandra, do you have anything else?

Cassandra Amezquita: No, I just wanted to say thank you again for being so vulnerable with your story, I know people are going to be touched by it and if anybody has experienced anything similar or maybe is going through right now, this was the message for you. And I encourage you to reach out and ask for help, because help is there, and especially if you have a church leaders or in your own ministry, we have to get this word across to others, right? People need to keep talking about it so that they know that it’s not something to be ashamed about.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah.

Meagan Ruff: Yeah.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Thank you for having me.

Meagan Ruff: Right. Yes, thank you so much for coming on, I really enjoyed this conversation and I’m really thankful, like Cassandra said, for your vulnerability and for sharing your story with us, it’s definitely given me some things to think about and also kind of bolstered me a little bit to be like, okay, there’s some things that sometimes I feel alone in, but I’m not alone. And I am definitely one who also needs sleep. So that is definitely encouraging; I got to schedule in some nap times I think.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah, coffee can’t replace the sleep, unfortunately, as much as the world wants you to believe it.

Cassandra Amezquita: No, it’s good, but it doesn’t.

Lt. Corrin Perry: Yeah. But thank you for you guys just hosting this and for it to be a platform for people to learn and grow in their own journey. It’s just, this is great. So thank you ladies.

Thank you for listening to The Comments Podcast from The Salvation Army’s Caring Magazine, a magazine for people who care. People like you. Get on the list today to get the Do Good Digest with weekly inspiration and each new episode of The Commons Podcast sent straight to your inbox.

Additional resources:

  • Read a Q&A with The Commons Podcast hosts, Cassandra and Meagan.  
  • Follow The Commons Podcast on Instagram.
  • Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline via 1-800-273-8255.
  • Listen to the Do Gooders Podcast, Episode 81 How to find hope in the darkness of depression with Sarah J. Robinson, author of the newly-released book, “I Love Jesus, But I Want to Die: Finding Hope in the Darkness of Depression.”
  • Get inside the Caring Magazine Scripture Study Collection and find a suite of free, downloadable Bible studies to guide you through topics from New Beginnings Through Forgiveness, to Understanding our Imago Dei or Life Hacks From David.

Listen and subscribe to The Commons Podcast now.

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