On this episode of Sh!t We Don’t Talk About, Mia is joined by Joe Ryan, creator and host of the It’s Not You, It’s Your Trauma podcast.  Joe talks about how opening up about his past and his mental health struggles has been a bit part of his recovery and forward progress while also creating a healing space for others at the same time.

The Highlights

  • Joe started podcasting as a way get some things out of his head. Writing wasn’t cutting it any more and he needed an outlet. So he fired up a microphone, recorded some thoughts, and his podcast was born.
  • Joe’s podcast is pretty stream-of-consciousness and it works.  He’s able to effectively share his childhood trauma and his subsequent recovery journey by allowing feelings to flow naturally and organically.  There’s often no plan and no polish, but it’s working as the podcast has gotten quite popular.
  • Originally, Joe thought that he was the only one experiencing what he was experiencing and having the emotions and thoughts that he was having.  His podcast has spawned a community where these often shameful experiences can be shared openly in a supportive environment.
  • Especially for a man, admitting past trauma and speaking openly about emotions and struggles is lathered in disapproval and stigma. Part of his healing journey has been moving through that stigma and taking action to dismantle it, bringing his shame out into the open where it can no longer thrive.
  • Trauma is one thing.  Recovery is another.  It’s critically important to be able to talk about trauma and abuse, but once that dialogue is open, what are you going to do with it? Just talking isn’t the answer. Trauma recovery is hard work and requires an understanding that we must show up and face those old fears.
  • Moving through and past the blame means taking responsibility for your path to improvement and recovery. “Yes, this happened to me and was beyond my control, but unfortunately it’s my job to make my way past it.
  • The pandemic/lockdown gave Joe a chance to sit and really get in touch with his avoidance and maladaptive coping strategies. He was able to find the things he was doing “wrong” and started to replace those things with healthier more productive habits.
  • Podcasting and opening up on social media about his past forced Joe to face his fear of rejection and judgment.  That was NOT easy in any way, but there were lessons to learn from that experience too.
  • The experience of letting go of blame, resentment, and anger turned out to be quite freeing for Joe.  Taking responsibility for the result of digging in his heels for years wasn’t easy, but really helped him begin to move forward in ways he never experienced before.
  • Joe and Mia related the personal development and recovery journey to the context of break-ups and the end of long term relationships.
  • Sometimes social media can be detrimental to addressing trauma, abuse and recovery.  Blaming and taking shots at the abusers is easy online.  It gets clicks and likes and attention.  But in the end it does not actually lead to recovery. Abusers SHOULD be called it.  No doubt.  But we need to go beyond that to encourage the work of recovery and healing.

Episode Links

Joe’s Website: https://joeryan.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joeryan

About Joe Ryan

Joe Ryan has been on a lifelong journey of overcoming trauma, shame, and the demons that plague him from his childhood. He has turned his mission outward, helping other people to conquer their traumatic pasts through his podcast ‘It’s Not You; It’s Your Trauma’ and one on one coaching.


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Music Credits:

Inspiring Experience by Rafael Krux

Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/5670-inspiring-experience-

Inspirational Infinity Of Space by WinnieTheMoog

Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6593-inspirational-infinity-of-space

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/