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Cymone Lashae 0:00 I know that God was the one who saved me. When I was on the hospital bed after I attempted to take my life He was the one who saved me when I couldn’t save myself when I didn’t want to live. Amy Watson 0:12 Hey, everybody, and welcome back to the Wednesday’s with Watson podcast. I am so glad you are here. It is May of 2022. And we are observing mental health awareness month here at the Wednesday’s with Watson podcast. As many of you know, this is a podcast dedicated to mental health year round. We’ve been doing that for about two and a half years now. And we’ve done that through lots of hope and education stories, therapists, and really, really excited to be able to help people year round, but we are focusing on some other mental health diagnosis is in this podcast in this episode today. This is a podcast that is supported by listeners like you, and we are so grateful. Not only do your contributions really help us continue this podcast, but it helps us with our mission of providing pro bono counseling for those who can’t afford it. If you’re by any chance, are interested in joining that mission, just click that contact me button in the show notes. There are several ways you can contact me or visit our Patreon page. I would also be honored and would love it if you would hit that subscribe button right there in your podcast app so that when we drop a new podcast, it shows up on your device. We are so grateful for all of our listeners all over the world, and hope that many of you are also finding hope and Jesus, the star of the story. Guys Today, I am so excited. This is episode 64 or 65. And this is one of the most exciting interviews that I’ve been looking forward to. Today I have another mental health advocate here with me. But more than that she is a survivor of a lot of things. And she’s going to talk to us about that a little bit today. She is another person who is going to give you hope. And I am so so honored to welcome today. Simone Lashae welcome Cymone to the Wednesday’s with Watson podcast. Cymone Lashae 2:01 Thank you so much for having me. This has been a long time coming. So I’m excited as well. Amy Watson 2:05 It has been a long time coming and has been so so excited. Well, we’re just gonna jump right in here. This is season three of the Wednesdays with Watson podcasts. And as I sent you in the pre interview notes, this first question I’m going to ask you has been one of the most difficult to answer. And I didn’t really realize that when I crafted it, I crafted it as a question to be an icebreaker. But it turned into this cathartic well thought out answers that I’m getting from people. And so I’m asking everybody this first question. And so my first question to you, Cymone is, what is your favorite thing about how God made you what is what’s your favorite thing of your image bearer status? Cymone Lashae 2:44 Honestly, creativity, I always say creativity that God has given me, I’m able to do so many things, even what I have gone through, I’m able to channel that in so many different ways, and help so many different people, because of the creativity that God has blessed me with. So that I would simply say, is creativity. Without a doubt. Amy Watson 3:05 I got chills a little bit because that is so true. And we are going to provide all the ways for people to find you. But guys, Cymone is another Instagram hero of mine, and so creative and just really trying to find ways to get that message. And you know, Cymone, my doctor says one of my favorite statements is “that shouldn’t be able to happen” and with the with the things that you’re going to possibly share with us today. Creativity is one of the very first things that goes you’re absolutely one of the most creative people that I know. And gorgeous. I might add, you guys need to look at her picture and the promos. Well, Cymone, as you know, I asked you here today for a very specific reason. Besides the fact that I just adore you. We I just want to tell the backstory really quickly. So I guess it was I don’t even know it was it was somewhere after the pandemic started maybe the summer of 2020 when we all discovered this clubhouse app, and there are a bunch of us we call ourselves mental health avengers and began to do these rooms and began to really be advocates on that clubhouse app and burned ourselves out I might add and but but that is that is how I got to know you and how I got to know the beauty that that is you in terms of how you show up in this world and what you bring to the mental health world you are an advocate. I call this episode advocating for sound minds and people will understand that a little bit more as we get through the episode. But you know, I asked you here today because you are a mental health warrior. You’re a survivor, some things that you’re going to share with us. You are a Christian, you live with a few mental health diagnoses. And additionally this season though, we are focusing on childhood trauma, and I want to get into that a little bit with you not only as a survivor But as an advocate, we talked a lot in this season about adverse childhood experiences a term that I know is not unfamiliar to you. We’re doing that to educate parents that are going to listen to this, especially this episode highlighting mental health awareness month, I want parents to understand what adverse childhood experiences are, and if their children are going through them, and they don’t know. Or I want people who have adverse childhood experiences to understand and be validated. And so I’m asking everyone these questions, and you can decline to answer and if so we’ll move on, but that’s okay. But the description is in the name, there are adverse childhood experiences, and there are 10 of them. And if we have experienced three or four of these adverse childhood experiences, there are 10 of them. Experts define that as we are living under toxic stress unless we get help. And so I’m just going to ask you a yes or no questions. First, let me ask you, are you okay with answering the adverse childhood experience questions? Cymone Lashae 5:58 For sure. Amy Watson 5:58 Okay, perfect. I know that there can be some shame in some of these things. And so I always like to ask that, you know, and, and I also know that family members are going to listen and all of that, and so, okay, so just yes and no, because I want my listeners to get an idea of who was on the other side of this microphone. So at any time and your childhood, so let’s say from zero to 18. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in your home, though. We are focusing on childhood trauma in the home, but but your answer doesn’t have to be in your home. I’m just going to ask yes or no questions. The first one is, as a child zero to 18. Did you experience physical abuse? Cymone Lashae 6:34 No. Well, yes. Amy Watson 6:37 Yes. Okay. Sexual abuse? Cymone Lashae 6:40 No. Amy Watson 6:40 Okay. Emotional abuse. Cymone Lashae 6:43 Yes. Amy Watson 6:44 physical neglect. Cymone Lashae 6:47 No. Amy Watson 6:48 How about emotional neglect? Cymone Lashae 6:50 Yes. Amy Watson 6:51 Mental illness in the home? Cymone Lashae 6:53 Yes. Amy Watson 6:54 Divorce in the home? Cymone Lashae 6:55 No. Amy Watson 6:56 Substance abuse? Cymone Lashae 6:58 No. Amy Watson 6:59 Domestic violence? Yes. And this is particularly true against your mother. So any sort of domestic violence verbal? Cymone Lashae 7:12 No. Amy Watson 7:08 Okay, that’s a big one. And then did you have a relative in prison? Okay. So yours is a four, almost a five. Like it depended on how you answered that one question. I Cymone Lashae 7:20 When I did it the first time it was like a border. Yeah. It was like a border line. Yes. I think it was like a four or five. Yeah, so it makes sense. Amy Watson 7:27 Like many people I interview that you lived under a bunch of toxic stress as a child. And so I do that for my guests to to validate. If you were to have a bad day, I was like, You know what all the experts are saying that I have a four I’ll have a 10. It’s 40% of the 10 adverse experiences, and you live under toxic stress. And we’re gonna get to that a little bit more. And I want your opinion on how you think that affected your mental health diagnoses. But as I mentioned, you are an amazing mental health advocate. And towards the end of the show, I’m going to have you tell everyone about your 501 C three organization and its mission. But we just heard your answer to those questions. But can you articulate for me why mental health advocacy is so important to you? Because it really does. I believe that some only Shay works a real job, and then does the rest of her life and mental health advocacy and has to remind yourself to have fun sometimes. Why is mental health? Why is it so important to you? Cymone Lashae 8:26 Um, because I see the need for mental health advocacy. When I first came out about the truth of my story, I got so much feedback about how many people were struggling. And after I had heard that, I said, there, there has to be some work done, I have to keep going, I have to keep sharing my story, I have to keep being open, because it’s helping the next person also feel comfortable with what or more comfortable, it’s not a comfortable feeling, but more comfortable with a diagnosis per se, or taking medication, and things like that it helps the next person. So that’s why I feel like it’s so important to advocate and share my story. There’s still a stigma on mental illness as we know. So working towards breaking that stigma, and all the things to definitely move us forward in the name of mental health. Amy Watson 9:24 Yeah, and we’re gonna get to this a little bit later, but I do want to introduce it here. It was also important to you as a Christian, to be a mental health advocate. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? Cymone Lashae 9:34 One of the reasons I will say it was so important in regards to Christianity, and promoting Christianity my organization is faith based, is because I know that God was the one who saved me. When I was on the hospital bed after I attempted to save my life. God was the one who saved me when I couldn’t save myself when I didn’t want to live when I have depressive episodes. Now even now, I know that God is my hope my trust in Christ is my hope I know that God is not going to leave me where I am, I’m not going to die in a depressive state because there’s light at the end of the tunnel, because of the Goddess, Unknown Speaker 10:13 or Amy Watson 10:14 what a beautiful, articulate answer. And there, so there are quite a few years between you and me. And one of the reasons why I’m so excited about what you’re doing, and particularly in the faith space, and obviously, so am I is because when I was even your age, we didn’t talk about this in the church. If you tried to take your life, which both of us tried to do, then we were looked down upon at the church. And some people would even say, it goes so far as to say that that was that that would immediately send us to Hell, if we if we tried to take our lives. Or if we were depressed, or we were anxious, you know, I call it you got a problem. I got a Bible verse. And so I think it’s, you know what I’m saying? I think it’s like, you know, yeah, it’s like I’m having I’m having a panic attack, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, Let Your request be known. Listen, I believe I love the Bible. I love the Word of God. But there’s a time and place for it when somebody’s having a panic attack. That’s not the place to do it. And so one of the things that’s always been so endearing to me about you is that you’ve not been ashamed that you are a Christian. And we’re going to talk about as you mentioned, your your your, your 501 C 3 and your faith based organization. But to me looking at it from the outside, and you and our friend Marlena, who’s going to be on in June, we just kind of all three bonded together, and and it was so endearing to me. Because for us, for those of us who have attempted to take our lives and are living with mental health, diagnosis it is very easy to just forget God and listen to the naysayers in the church and say, Well, you might not be praying for you, you might be sinning. Can you talk to me a little bit about that? Because I know that’s a bit of a soapbox of yours. Cymone Lashae 11:55 For sure. Like you said that one of the first things that I was told by the first visitor that I had received, when I was in the facility was, you know, if you tell yourself that you’re going to hell. And I was like, okay, that’s very welcoming. Thank you appreciate you. Not I wanted to hear, right. That’s not necessarily what I wanted to hear. It was less than comforting is, I feel like, Christians can be so dismissive. Like when they say, Oh, I’ll pray for you. I always that’s something I talked about a lot. And it, it can appear dismissive. I believe that prayer works 1,000%. But just saying that you’re going to pray for somebody is just not necessarily be end, all right. I believe faith without works is dead. The Bible says that. And if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and taking care of yourself, and going to get the help that you need, and things like that, then you might still be suffering, you know, you can have God in your life and still suffer from a mental illness. I know from personal experience. Yeah, I have faith in God. But I see the little comments like on Facebook about just just have a little bit more faith to be stronger, and, and all these things. And that is just I, in my opinion, it just perpetuates the shame associated with mental illness in the church. Amy Watson 13:20 I agree with you. And I think that there’s something that you do really well, and and I hope that I do well, but because you use an example there that I thought was so powerful, when we say to somebody that we’re gonna pray for them, that that’s all well and good, but to them, we’re gonna pray to a god that has harmed them, right. And there’s something so precious about the ministry of your presence, right? Like my DMs are open, if you just need to talk. I have a young lady in England who I jump in a clubhouse room every now and then she is so agnostic, so far from believing in God, but the practice of the presence of somebody who does love God, and has shown her a little bit differently that, hey, mental illnesses, like a broken arm or anything else is definitely as a result of the fall of man, then then the practice of presence, we can pray for them. But I do think and I do want listeners to hear Simone, when she said that when somebody is in crisis, it’s okay to say I’ll pray for you. But it’s also okay to say and I get that that might not mean anything to you right now. But I am going to be here for you I am. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus because that is who I want to do. And I love that that scripture reference faith without works is dead. We have got to walk alongside of these people. And that’s why I asked you that question as why mental health advocacy was so important to you because you are a shining example of that. And so you’ve already talked to us a little bit about your, the attempt to take your own life, and we’re all really struggling with the vernacular of that and I’m really in a place right now. It is it is May of 2022 and the completed, completed loss of life, self inflicted loss of life of Naomi Judd hit me really hard. And I actually got in a conversation on Facebook about what you just talked about. If you if you take your own life, you’re gonna go to hell. And the girl said to me, Well, the Bible says that I said, where? And she said, Well, it’s murder. I said, Well, okay, well, if that’s true, then it’s still covered by the completed work of Jesus on the cross. And so I think that that was really important for us to talk about, for those of you who are out there listening, who and this lady came back at me, and she said, people just always told me it was in the Bible that if you killed yourself, you’re gonna go to hell. And when you asked me where that scripture was, I couldn’t tell you. She said, Maybe I should listen more Cymone Lashae 15:40 than I would think that would change. So much if people would be open to listening, as opposed to just speaking. I believe that so many times people just want to come with advice, or come with some type of quick solution. And it’s not always a quick solution with mental illness. Right? And yeah, for some people, especially when you have like when you’re a preacher, or you’re part of the clergy is tough. Amy Watson 16:06 Yeah. And you know, our friend Marlena and I will link her episode because I interviewed her last season. But our friend Marlena also attempted to to end her life. And she has, she’s, I would, I would say she searching Marlena is. But it was interesting when she was telling me the story after she sent multiple text messages to people saying that she was going to end her life that the one person that came, climb through her window, climbed in bed with her and just held her was her best friend, and the only Christian that she knows. And so the ministry of presence is so important. We want to fix it. We know that Jesus is the answer to everything. That’s the Sunday School answer. But there’s a time in place and doing life with people is so important. And so you and I could talk about that forever. We could do a whole other podcast on Faith and Faith and mental mental illness, but it is Mental Health Awareness Month, and you have some diagnosis C’s that I want my people to learn a little bit about. And so can you briefly tell us as comfortable as you are? What are your your mental health diagnosis, and what are they? i Cymone Lashae 17:12 Well, I was diagnosed 10 years ago, I have to get another I talked to my psychiatrist about getting another like updated one, but I just kind of treat symptoms like with any other illness. I was diagnosed at first, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, alcoholism eating disorder, which is anorexia nervosa. And I think there might be. Amy Watson 17:41 So let’s briefly go through a couple of those ones that a lot of people hear a lot because people get confused, like, I have PTSD. And so talk to me talk to us first about PTSD. That was, well, that’s a given. But Cymone Lashae 17:54 so let’s start, I want to cover a couple of those. Let’s talk about bipolar disorder, briefly. I have a limited understanding of it, my listeners probably have an even more limited understanding of bipolar disorder, what’s it like to live with? So first of all, I want to just kind of explain what bipolar actually is. I know there’s a lot of misconception, especially in the media about bipolar disorder. And it’s somewhat depicted as just emotional instability. And it is mood swings to an extent but it consists of manic episodes, or hypo manic episodes and depressive episodes. So depressive episodes, obviously, that’s more common, we understood is when you feeling like you are depressed, you’re having a you’re in a state of depression. And that’s the typical state of depression, but also with them. manic or hypomanic episodes, depending on if you have Bipolar type one or bipolar type two is it’s like a high it’s a it’s a time period, when you’re having a high, you are feel like for example, speaking, fast or I’m eating a lot, you’re eating changes. Those are some things for me over shopping, high sexual appetites, there is just I tend to have to write everything down. That’s one of the ways I know that I’m having a hypomanic episode, I was diagnosed with bipolar type two, so my I have my I have hypomanic episodes as opposed to manage, they’re a little less severe. But sometimes when you are manic, from what I have read up, you can be in a state of psychosis, like it will take you to a state of psychosis and you just, you lose kind of lose control, I would say, but those are the opposites. that’s those are the highs and the lows that are associated with bipolar disorder. And I think that substance abuse, this is where and I don’t think this is true for you, although you did mention alcoholism, but that bipolar disorder I would imagine that a lot of people self medicate. So if you’re depressed you know you’re you’re you’re you’re trying to get Amy Watson 20:00 Get something for an upper. And if and if you’re manic, you probably don’t know what you’re doing. I do know a little bit more about that manic side than then than I thought I did. But, but but I know that substance abuse comes in bipolar disorder world treated by medication, is that correct? Yes, gotcha. So let’s talk about one I really don’t understand. And I know my listeners don’t, which is borderline personality disorder. Cymone Lashae 20:24 So borderline personality disorder, honestly, I believe was a misdiagnosis. I don’t believe that I believe it’s mostly the bipolar disorder. And a lot of times the borderline personality disorder and the bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed, like between each other because they have a lot of commonalities. with borderline personality, I can’t speak too much on it. But it seems like it’s a little bit more extreme and a aggression. I will say where I believe the diagnosis came in at for me, was a lot of people who have borderline disorder, personality suffer from abandonment issues. So I have like, if some if I feel like somebody’s going to abandon me, my adult a little differently, my behavior might change and things like that. But other than that, like there’s a lot of things with borderline personality disorder that doesn’t fit don’t fit with you. Amy Watson 21:21 Yeah, and a lot of times when they do those tests, if it’s, like, for example, clearly, we both were in psych wards, at one point in our lives, they give you those tests at the worst possible time ever right in your life. And so, you know, I got a bunch of died. When I was in the hospital, I got a bunch of labels attached to me that weren’t true, because they were CMM a very worst. And so the bipolar is the one that I know that you suffer with probably the most that I watch, you thrived through it. And I’m so proud of you for that. I’m proud of you for continuing to go back to the doctor and say, hey, you know what, because it’s not, you know, mental health is the totality of our of our lives, right. And so when we’re making good choices, to surround ourselves with people like you and like me, and like, we’ve talked about Marlena and people that that understand mental health issues and will keep us on our toes, then then we can live with life, and we can get better. And maybe we can change medications. Maybe we can even I don’t know about bipolar, but I know for PTSD, I’ve been able to come in on and off medications, depending on how activated I was. And so bipolar disorder, Darren, Mental Health Awareness Month is really important because there’s a genetic component to that we’re talking a lot in this season about generational trauma, there’s certainly a genetic component to it. Now, I’m going to ask you this question. And this is just going to be an educated opinion on your part. You know, if I were 25 years old, I go back to school and study all of this. But you had trauma as a child. You have bipolar disorder, and many other things that you mentioned, including PTSD, alcoholism, anorexia nervosa, you had childhood trauma. do you what do you think came first, the the trauma or the illnesses? Do you think the trauma called the illnesses? Yeah, yes. 1,000%? Yeah. Yeah, I think I think so too, because I think especially as I am in the episode that dropped before you would with Jeremy Fox, who is an EMDR, consultant, talk to me a little bit about brain chemistry. And even I know that my brain was physically affected by trauma, because the MRI scan showed that. And so I was curious as to whether you felt like, hey, if I would have had a decent or more normal childhood without four or five adverse childhood experiences, would you still be living with bipolar disorder? And that’s only a question that maybe can be answered way down the road. But I do think that it’s something that we should investigate. I really do. And so I was curious about your answer to that. Cymone Lashae 23:50 So yes, I do believe that it’s genetics. It’s a mix, I would say of genetics and trauma. But the trauma, I would say, perpetuates the mental illness. I know, I remember suffering from depression from a really early age. And because nobody understood my behavior, there was trauma on top of trauma, because nobody knew what to do with me. And then, like I said, it just exasperated the mental illness, it just continued to snowball until it was treated because there was nothing being done to treat the mental illness. I don’t think anybody even knew that it was mental illness or what it was they just knew that I was acting out. And from there, you know, it just got worse until it all came to a head and Amy Watson 24:33 I think that’s something really important for parents listeners to hear is and I’m going to drop a blog tomorrow all week this week. I’ve been doing a blog on childhood depression, but if your child is acting out, like crazy acting out, like sounds like maybe you were this has to be investigated. You have to get that child in front of a doctor because trauma is genetic. We’ve talked about it a couple episodes back it generational tree I’m epigenetics. There’s even a graphic that a pregnant mom with a baby girl with eggs and her uterus in utero, that has three generations of people being affected by a traumatic event. It. And so it is really important for parents out there if your child is acting out to investigate whether there is something else going on, because there may not have been any actual trauma, they may not have been abused or any of those adverse childhood experiences that we talked about. But because trauma is embedded in our DNA, it’s there. And just like I have celiac disease, I went through a divorce about 14 years ago, and the stress of that divorce turned on that genetic celiacs gene. And I believe strongly that that happens in mental illness when we have trauma. And so I was, yeah, I was really interested in your answer to that question. Cymone Lashae 25:51 Because it’s something else that we have in common. I remember we used to do the auto immune motor room, and I was diagnosed with lupus 2020. And I truly believe that that was kind of triggered by stress. Analyzing things, yeah, internalizing things instead of taking care of things. And that the graphic that you were talking about, that sounds really powerful. And that’s so true. Because it goes from generation to generation, it’s important for us to start acknowledging the trauma that we have different the different traumas that we have encountered, and taking care of it, because it has to be dealt with in order to stop it from the future generation. But also you spoke to the alcohol, alcoholism, and mania. And I think that is something else that I want to mention before we move on, is that it sounds like a laundry list of diagnosis. But it all kind of falls under the bipolar. Like it all goes hand in hand with a generalized anxiety disorder. I get really anxious when I’m having a manic episode, the depression, the depression, obviously, when I’m having a depressive episode, the alcoholism mania, eating disorder. Yeah, I mean, I guess it can all go hand in hand. But it all just kind of falls, it all kind of falls under the bipolar for sure. So I didn’t want to say that was something else because it sounds like a lot. But it really is just compiled trauma and under the same mental, and just so Amy Watson 27:21 you know, it is a lot even if it were just one diagnosis that it is, it is a lot you need to hear me say that you are a warrior. You really are because I don’t have bipolar or, and I don’t know how I do have, obviously complex post traumatic stress disorder, but I don’t understand major depression. I don’t understand mania. I don’t understand I do have an eating disorder. But yeah, I think that I will include that graphic in the show notes because it is a powerful graphic on on generational trauma. And that’s exactly what happened to Naomi Judd is there’s just trauma after trauma after trauma and that family murder, abuse of all sorts. And absolutely, if we are predisposed to some of these mental illnesses, these things are going to get turned on by trauma. So thank you for clarifying that. Well, this obviously, is a podcast that highlights trauma. And we and as you know, you know me well enough to know that all I want to do is help people. I think some people think sometimes when you have a podcast that you get rich like Joe Rogan, not me. But we really like to help people in several ways, all of my social media and I know yours was way better than mine, but is geared to help people get educated and hope with mental illness. I don’t put all of that there to get people to listen to podcasts. But mainly however, I can get this information that we’re trying to disseminate to people today. Out there I am doing that. We believe that though that that help and hope is accomplished through three we call it the three C’s on this podcast, counseling church, and community. And most of all, who I call the star of the story, the star of my story. And I know the star of many of my listeners stories is Jesus, you have a nonprofit organization called a sound mind. And we’re going to get there in a minute. But can you share with us how? I’ll ask them individually? But first, can you share with us how community plays a role and helping you live with your mental health status and your trauma? Cymone Lashae 29:15 For sure, I’ll say two ways. And specific, I want to say and we’ll talk more about my organization. But one of the first things that I did when I started was pure rousse support groups. And I think it’s so important to have you therapists are super important, vital, but also having people around you that understand you that you can lean on that can relate to because everybody, like you said doesn’t understand bipolar disorder. So I think that was really really important and a game changer. And also I want to say my circle, not just having a circle, but making sure that your circle is what you need. What is wants to keep you healthy is a positive impact on your life. So I would also say that in regards to community, because a lot of times we think just having people around is going to be helpful. But if you don’t have the right people around you, it can actually be detrimental to your mental health. So those are the two things I wanted to say in specific about community. Amy Watson 30:18 Yeah, definitely pick pick your circle, pick your 2am. Friends, pick the people, we’re going to call you higher. Pick all of that. You mentioned this briefly a little bit the church have any positive does church have any positive impact on how you manage your life now? Cymone Lashae 30:33 Definitely, in more ways than one one way I would obviously go into church getting the word and me encouragement as constant encouragement. And it also I would say, in regards to keeping my routine, getting up on Sunday, going to church, having a routine is so important. So being in that positive atmosphere, I believe is also extremely helpful. In regards to my mental health. Amy Watson 30:56 This question is going to be captain obvious, but as Jesus story, your story? Cymone Lashae 31:00 Absolutely, absolutely. I just, again, if he had saved me, I wouldn’t be here right now. If it was up to me, I would probably, again, I lost control. I didn’t want to be here. I owe it all to him. He knew, you know, I was here. I’m here for a purpose. And he created me with the purpose. And he had all of this in mind when he was writing my story. And I definitely definitely give All Glory to him. I couldn’t do nothing. Without him. I could not help the next person. I couldn’t help myself. Nothing. I can do nothing about him. So he’s definitely the star of my story. Amy Watson 31:41 Do you know what verses came to my mind when I think of you? There’s a verse that says, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Where is the power of God into the G force and also to the Greek and you are not ashamed? Cymone Lashae 31:54 Of the power of Christ? salutely Absolutely not. I you have to acknowledge I feel like it’s important to acknowledge your Savior. Amy Watson 32:02 Amen. Yeah, amen. And he knows and what I often quote on this podcast, Hebrews 4:15, we do not serve a high priest who does not understand our suffering, talking about abandonment issues. Jesus got abandoned by the Father on the cross. He said, My God, My God, why have why have you forsaken me? And so I just think I’m so proud of you. Because you those in when going back to community for a second, we were community for each other for a long time. And there’s clubhouse rooms. Now we were we were the advocates. And so we all burned out. And then we were there for each other. Cymone Lashae 32:37 And then we say, Hi. Yeah, I have to say we all disappeared at the same time. Amy Watson 32:41 Yeah. And I haven’t been on there in a minute. Because it is it is a very, it’s an interesting app. And some of my favorite people like you I met there. But but it can be dangerous. But it was a community there for a minute when we were all locked on our houses. And we would have people from all over the world come into those rooms, especially I was you were kind enough to allow me to kind of take the lead on the PTSD room. And all across the world. People were just in dark rooms. And I remember being in a dark room, two o’clock, every every I think it was Tuesday, two o’clock, every Tuesday we had that PTSD room and there was that community. And even there, you and I talked about our faith in Jesus. And so I am so reminded of you when I think of that verse, but but this is Simone. Let’s say I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It is the power of God into my salvation. And that is the verse that reminds me of you. Well, now’s the fun part. Now’s the time to talk about your own advocacy work. Tell us about your mission. Your your organization is called have a sound mind. And I have no doubt that that’s a play off of that Bible verse in first or second, Timothy. But I want to give the mic to you. Because I want people out there who support things like ours, my podcast, my podcast is funded for all of 2022. And so I love sending people to 501 C three organizations with similar mindsets and and with similar missions. And so talk to us about the genesis of starting a sound mind what’s coming up for you, I know you got a very, very I’m so excited about a series you have coming up on suicide prevention. And so I just want to give you two or three minutes here to tell people about have a sound mind how they can donate if they want to how they can be involved where they can find you on Instagram, Cymone Lashae 34:23 for sure. So like you said, but the name is of a son mine and it was derived from the Scripture. Second Timothy one seven For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. And it is the mission is to promote mental health awareness but also support people who live with mental health disorders. So like for me, for example, the peer support groups were super helpful support for me. I did I want to shout out Nami, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Yeah, started with them. They’re awesome. And they are a national organization. So definitely if you’re listening look into that they had peer support groups all over the country. But also, I wanted to start more faith based support groups, I didn’t see a lot of faith based mental health support. So that is one of the reasons that I started up a sound mind was to change things up a little bit, start creating some of the things that I hadn’t seen, and also continuing to open doors for like the for like things that aren’t that Nami are doing that people aren’t seeing. So that is something that we do promoting mental health awareness by these different events that I’m doing workshops so that people understand, like you said, suicide prevention is something that’s really near and dear to my heart. The two, three things that I talk about most are suicide prevention, bipolar disorder, and also adolescent depression. So those are that’s, that’s my heart. Those are my passions, but mental health awareness as a whole, I think is so important. And also going beyond the media talking about anxiety and depression and really getting into and getting support for people who live with PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, all these things that aren’t necessarily talked about as much. And they’re talked about, I feel like if there are spoken, it’s more in a negative manner. Like I see that you’re talking about mental illnesses on lifetime, but it’s in a negative, it’s in a negative way. It’s awful. So just promoting awareness so that people are educated. Also, making sure members of the clergy are better educated to deal with mental health crisis’s. But my most recent initiative that I’m working on, is getting together. I want to get together some meal prep people, some chefs and also some cleaning companies so that we can provide services for people who are struggling with depression at a discounted rate. Amy Watson 36:52 Wow, that’s so cool. Cymone Lashae 36:55 Yeah, I’m excited about that, because it’s something that you don’t see. Amy Watson 36:58 Yeah, I never even thought about that, like hire somebody to come clean your house, because we all know that a cluttered house is a cluttered mind and all of the things, Simone that is brilliant. Cymone Lashae 37:09 I’m excited about it. I’m excited to get it. Get it going. I have my first in person event next week. And so after we do that, that’s going to just be my kind of it’s like a launch party, we’re going to have a panel discussion, and all those types of things. But after that, I want to get straight to this Initiative’s I know that you’re doing a pro bono therapy. I that’s something else that I am looking to do. But yeah, those are just some of the things that I’m working on. And I’m missing something you know, I’m always busy. Amy Watson 37:35 Well tell us tell them where they can find you. So I’m gonna put your link tree and the show notes. But is that what’s your website? Cymone Lashae 37:45 My website is www dots of Assam mine inc.org. Amy Watson 37:49 Okay, and it is a 501 C three organization guys, and so you can donate to it. And Simone, I would like to announce to you here live on this podcast that the second scholarship that we will be awarded in 2022 will be and Simone le Shea’s name. And you can either pick the person or the or the organization. And we can talk about that a little bit offline. But I wanted to surprise you with that, because I am so proud of what you are doing. I’m think I’m so grateful that you are here today. And I’m going to tell you something that I tell everybody. And you know what I’m going to say because you’ve heard me behind plenty of microphones, but not only by me, not only by the God of the universe, that you are seen, you are known, you are heard, you are loved, and you are valued. And I want you to go out and find somebody that can use the scholarship that Cymone Lashae, scholarship to 2022. And as soon as you find that person, you shoot me a text message. And that money will be and to have a sound mind so that you can continue your mission. Because I am awarding the scholarships in the name of people who are out there fighting for people who cannot fight for themselves, or for people who fought for me. And you fall into one of those two categories. And so congratulations on the awarding of that Wednesday’s with Watson pro bono counseling scholarship of 2022. And so guys, thank you. Well, you are welcome. You’re welcome. I am so proud of you. I want to thank you for being here today. Guys. We have talked about some pretty heavy topics here today. I do want to provide you with a little bit of information. I will also provide this in the show notes. But if you are somebody you know is struggling with mental illness, particularly suicidal ideations, please reach out for help, please know that you are seen and known and heard and loved and valued. There is a phone number that you can call it is 1-800-273-8255 and then beginning on July 16 2022, if you just simply text 988 Wherever you are in the world, that this is not effective until July 16 2022. But if you just text 988 Wherever you are in the world They will connect you with a suicide organization that will help you through your crisis. And so if you are somebody you know, please, please 1-800-273-8255 Simone mentioned Nami is a great organization, ma n i.org. That is a fantastic organization. As we are highlighting Mental Health Awareness Month, there is also the complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder foundation you can find on Twitter. I am a freelance writer for them, they’re doing some good work. There is lots of help and lots of hope for you guys out there. People like Simone are bringing that to you. So Simone, thank you so much for being here with us today. And I would just want and for having me, oh, it is my pleasure. And I just wanted to give you any parting words, before we let the listeners go, I just want to let everybody know that there is hope there is hope. No matter where you are, God is not going to let you die and depression. So if you still have breath, you still have purpose. There is somebody who loves you, I love you. And keep going, keep going. You’re not meant to die in depression. We are meant to live a life and we’re all meant to live that life more abundantly. Scripture tells us. And so again, thank you for being here today. I love you, I adore you. And I am so proud of you. And as soon as you get that person or that organization in your head, we will award the Cymone Lashae 2022 pro bono scholarship. And that is because of listeners like you out there guys who donated to our fundraiser at the end of last year. This will be the second of four of the scholarships that we are able to award this year. So thank you so much for being here. So thanks again for having me. This was a pleasure. Well, guys, I hope that you glean something from the beautiful, beautiful soul that is Samoa Shea. As we continue our mission here, please do not hesitate to reach out to either one of us and you can do that. Simply by right there on your show notes. I will have someones link tree. I’ll have my link tree right in the show notes. It is my hope that while we are highlighting this mental health awareness month that everybody will realize that every month we need to pay attention not just the month of May. We’ll be back here in two weeks and we are going to focus the entire month of June on racial trauma specifically to black and brown communities. Until then to the rest of my listeners I want you to know you know what I’m going to say? Just like I told someone you’re seeing, you’re known. You’re heard, you are loved and you are valued. See in two weeks guys.