Listener Chat with Louisa

Listener Chat with Louisa - Episode 173 of The Slow Home Podcast

It’s been a while since I’ve had a listener chat on the poggie and after getting the results of our recent listener survey, I realised that many of you were missing the insights of those conversations, so we thought it was time to bring them back. Enter: Louisa!

I met Lou briefly at the Simpler Way event in Perth at the end of 2016, and she was so warm and open and completely charming. I heard a bit of her story that day and learnt a lot more over the subsequent months, so when Lou sent me an email asking if I’d be keen to talk to her for the show, it was a no-brainer.

This conversation is very much a personal story of Lou’s journey to slow and I feel so privileged that she chose to share it with us.

In this poggie Lou talks about her feelings of overwhelm as a mum to a very young family and her experience of post-natal depression, anxiety, and eventual bipolar diagnosis. She also talks about how her experience in managing these issues and getting treatment for them lead her to a place of letting go. Not just letting go of stuff (that actually came later) but letting go of her plans, expectations, ideas and self-imposed obligations, and trusting that on the other side would be acceptance or peace or simplicity, or maybe even all three.

In the end it was an unexpected job loss and a few months spent living in a camper trailer on the remote coast of Western Australia that delivered Lou to stillness, and she and I explore what it looks like to pack up a big family house and go adventuring with no particular outcome in mind. (Sounds utterly delightful, truth be known!)

We also talk about Lou’s life now, after her family took a sea-change late last year. It’s interesting to hear her experience of the sea-change expectations vs reality, and how moving to a slower-paced community doesn’t necessarily mean that life gets slower by itself. I often think we’re sold the idea of sea-change (or tree-change or moving to a farm or insert your grass is greener solution here) as a one-size-fits-all fix for a busy modern life, and I enjoy Lou’s honesty here as well as throughout the entire conversation.

Lou: you’re a gem. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!


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3 Responses to Listener Chat with Louisa

  1. Oh wow! Loved this pogpast. So much of what you both talked about resonated with me, having journeyed through similar stuff eg mental health stuff, lessons from camping etc. etc. And living in Perth Dunsborough is one of our fave homes away from home. Your chats inspire me so much. Love it.

  2. Thank you for sharing Lou. This is just what we need more of. People to ‘normalise’ mental health and #removethestigma. I recently shared a snippet of my own journey on my website. I am open one-on-one with people about my diagnosis but felt very challenged after a local MP shared publicly that he was stepping out of public life to work on his mental health.

    Now I have a growing audience in my own region through a new creative project I felt it was time to be bold and share more publicly about my mental illness/health.

    Thanks to Brooke and Ben for bringing this issue into the light.

  3. I just listened to this pogpast and it’s always so lovely to hear stories from other listeners. It was really nice to hear Louisa talking so openly about the fact she was diagnosed with bipolar II. That whole idea of normalising mental health and reducing stigma is so incredibly important. Things like anxiety and depression are becoming gradually (read slowly, slowly, slowly) normalised but bipolar … well that’s another story. First of all people don’t realise that there are two types and secondly “but you don’t look like you’re bipolar”. I’m not bipolar, I have bipolar. Type II actually and the only reason people around me know I have it is because I’ll tell them. Like Louisa said, you don’t usually show your worst moments or days to the world. I was nodding as she was talking about all that. So thank you for chatting with Louisa. Please send some of my love her way. Peace x