Panic Attack or Heart Attack? with Colin Grist

We close mental health awareness month with Colin Grist and a story about making a change in your life for your mental health and physical health. Colin’s going to share about feeling like he was having a heart attack and going to the doctor to find out he had a different diagnosis.

Panic attacks are seriously scary. Many people feel like they are having a heart attack when they actually are experiencing a panic attack. Colin took it seriously and made some immediate changes. Listen in to find out the rest of the story.

Questions for Colin

  1. Colin, can you give everybody a little background about where you were back in 2014? What you were doing and how you were feeling about life and work?
  2. Had you dealt with depression before?
  3. Do you know why it came to a head in 2014? Work? Stress?
  4. Were you regularly exercising before the panic attacks?
  5. Often I find it hard, especially as an entrepreneur, to turn off work and truly take a break. How did you spend your time during the time off (2 weeks) after being diagnosed with depression?
  6. How hard was it to find a counselor? What difference did speaking to a professional make?
  7. Does creative block ever show up for you?
  8. What things did you try to get you out of your creative funk?
  9. How have you continued to keep a balance on your mental health while growing your company?
  10. Had you ever tried this type of exercise?
  11. how long have you been teaching it?
  12. Any advice for someone who has recently been diagnosed with anxiety or depression?

Episode 459 LIVE on Thursday, Feb 1, 2024 at 7:30pm GMT / 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT / 9:30am in Hawaii.

I hope you will join us this THURSDAY. We wrap up our focus on mental health. We will be LIVE on Thursday, Feb 1, 2024 at 7:30pm GMT / 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT / 9:30am in Hawaii. Sign up to get the link at

You can always join us for the live taping experience and be part of the community. Come a little early and introduce yourself in the chat, tell us where you are located in the world and say hey!  

Connect with Colin
Business website:



[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Creatives Ignite. You may recognize Col Grist. Um, he was back on in the fall sometime. I can’t remember exactly when. Brandy, I see you here straight from Canada. We got 4, 5, 5 countries, Denmark, Ireland, England, America, and Canada. Five represented [00:00:30] here in the chat and with me, and me and Colin.

[00:00:33] So Colin, at the end of his talk last time, he just slipped in this thing about, um, mental health. And I was like, what? Why did Shell you share this with me before? Because I was like, oh my gosh, this, I was so, I was like, oh my gosh. I wish I had known this, I would’ve asked you some more questions. Anyway, so I always look for, [00:01:00] and I know today’s officially February 1st, so it’s really not Mental Health Month, but it’s still the week of.

[00:01:06] If we, he could have done it on Wednesday, it would’ve been the last one. So it is still the last one for Mental Health Month. During the month of January, we focus here on the podcast on mental health and talking to, um, entrepreneurs, designers, writers, any anybody in the creative field that has dealt or is dealing, could be an artist.

[00:01:28] We’ve done all kinds of [00:01:30] people on, um, for many years we’ve done this. And so at the end of his talk, whenever it was, I can’t remember, but I’ll have a link, um, in, on, on the page. Um, it, he talked about, I. This, uh, mental health and what, how it was became important to him. So Col can’t do it on Wednesdays because on Wednesdays he teaches an exercise class and I, or, and it was like a [00:02:00] dance class, right?

[00:02:00] It’s um, yeah, it is dance, it’s exercise. But, um, you said, and I remember when we were scheduling the last time, you were like, well, I can’t do it on Wednesday at that exact time. And I was like, well, okay. You know, like some people just, I. Have something I actually thought at first you were just attending a dance class with your wife, you know, or something.

[00:02:22] I was like, well, I’m not gonna in the middle. But then it came out that you were teaching the class, not just attending, and that [00:02:30] it had to do with a bigger story. And today we’re gonna talk about that bigger story, but just in case somebody didn’t know you from before, can you give them just a little bit of a, a background about who you are as a entrepreneur and as a designer?

[00:02:47] Colin Grist: Yeah, sure. Yeah. So I’m Cole, everybody. Nice to meet you again. Um, and I’m a creative director and co-founder of a creative studio in Leeds in England called F and Far. Um, and we work [00:03:00] specifically with charities or uh, nonprofits for those in the us. Um, and we do branding, website design, um, and all of that kind of stuff that you would expect from a creative agency, but we do it for good causes.

[00:03:12] Um, I’m a self-taught designer. I’ve done design for 20 years now, maybe longer, 20, 25 years. Um, and we started the agency in 2018, so we’re going into our sixth year now. [00:03:30] Um, and things are going well. We have a team of four, so we’re quite a small, small agency, a boutique agency if you like. Um, but yeah, we also, um, I also speak quite openly about mental health, mental wellbeing, and always have done, and now that’s part and parcel of our actual offering as an agency.

[00:03:49] So our niche, if you like, our ideal client is actually a mental health charities, um, or mental wellbeing support charities. Um, because we have that like lived [00:04:00] experience. So not only can we bring our creative FLA to projects, but also a bit of actual experience as well. And 

[00:04:08] diane: just in case anybody knows, I will share this again, and if you’re watching on YouTube or if you’re getting it wherever you get your podcast, there is a link right at the top of this.

[00:04:18] But I’m gonna put it in the chat for the people who are here. You had a big thing today with few and far. Tell ’em what that was. ’cause I just put the link in the, in the chat. 

[00:04:28] Colin Grist: Yeah. So, um, [00:04:30] it, well we, we uh, and um, we launched our new website today, so we’ve been working on this for a long time. Uh, how long?

[00:04:38] T Two years. Wow. So, yeah. Um, it’s taken a while. Uh, and for any creative on the call knows doing your own website, your own brand is the most impossible thing. It’s always the thing that you do last as well. It’s always at the, uh, uh, on the back burner. Uh, so yeah, we finally launched that. And the whole point of the new site is because [00:05:00] we speak specifically with charities and the work that we do in that space.

[00:05:04] Um, that that is a home for them to, to be part of and, and get resources and, and see our case studies and all of that kind of stuff. So we launched that today. Um, and it’s interesting because, um, Diane, even though you’re saying your mental health kind of month is almost coming to a close in the uk, it’s actually time to talk day, which is a national day of, um, highlighting mental health and that it’s, it’s safe and that it’s okay to speak on mental [00:05:30] health.

[00:05:30] So, uh, not only did our website go live, but an article, um, an interview I did with a charity, uh, in the mental health space went live today on their website as well. So a lot going on today. Um, a podcast. Did you share with 

[00:05:44] diane: that? Did you share that link with me? 

[00:05:46] Colin Grist: No, I didn’t because it only, it only went live today.

[00:05:49] Well, you’ll have to, you’ll 

[00:05:51] diane: have to get it and when I’m rambling on about something, you can get it. Yeah. And okay. So, so for me, mental health is really important, um, because it, [00:06:00] I think, and now, because sometimes after. The new year, we have a lot of goals. And then maybe it’s just all the stuff with our families and just the pressure of the holidays and then it’s the new year and we put a lot of pressures on ourselves, especially for people who are running their own business.

[00:06:19] And you have these goals and you wanna get ’em done. And so that’s why January is the, the time that I’ve set aside for this. I actually feel like we need to do it all the time. Well, in [00:06:30] America Mental Health Month is May, which I think is silly. Oh wow. I think it’s spring and pretty and e everybody’s happy.

[00:06:38] Like I don’t understand. Like, I don’t know. But um, so that’s good to know that, um, let’s talk day. Is that what you Uh, time to talk. Time to talk. Time to talk, yes. Okay. Okay, so, um, and Maya’s here, so now we got another country, Norway in the house. She said there were lots of hurricanes, so I’m glad you’re safe and I’m [00:07:00] glad the power’s on Maya.

[00:07:00] Yes. Okay. So why I’ve told, uh, and I’ve had history of, uh, depression and anxiety and lots of other things that have impacted me as well as just, uh, having a DHD and other things that have always made me different. How has mental health, how did it come kind of tell the beginning of your story, I guess, what were, as a kid or in high school, did you ever [00:07:30] struggle with depression or anxiety or 

[00:07:32] Colin Grist: anything like that?

[00:07:33] Yes. So grow growing up? No, I didn’t, not that I’m aware of anyway. Um, it, it, it actually was something I started with as a designer in a creative job. Um, I was working as a designer at an agency and I’d worked there a few years and it was really good. I really enjoyed it. Um, but I started, um, I was given an opportunity to work on a really big important project, uh, which was actually for a [00:08:00] nonprofit.

[00:08:00] And I was super excited. Obviously the opportunity to not only, um, kind of lead on the creative of a project, but doing it for a great cause was really, really exciting for me. Um, but after working on the project for a little while, I, I started feeling really anxious about it and feeling that, um, I maybe couldn’t deliver on the promise.

[00:08:23] And I started feeling, um, a bit of imposter syndrome. Um, and I started then having [00:08:30] creative block. So I went through all of those. Those questions that we’ve all had in the past about like, can I do this? Am I good at what I’m doing? And really starting to question, um, my abilities as a, as a creative person.

[00:08:43] Um, and that was what was going on in the daytime. And then on at home when I was with my, um, with my partner, I started feeling physically unwell and starting to feel very [00:09:00] lethargic, um, almost in pain and aching and things like that. Um, and then one night I woke up in the middle of the, the night and I felt like I was having a heart attack.

[00:09:12] Basically. I, I woke up, I couldn’t breathe. My chest was pounding, and, um, I was just in a, in a bad way basically. Um, and my partner, she, she, uh, she calmed me down. She got me to actually slow down my breathing and just, you know, I woke up in this kind of shock and [00:09:30] this panic. And so we quickly booked in with the doctors, and I was, I was adamant, I’ve got, you know, physically something wrong with me.

[00:09:38] That was not a good episode. And when I went to see the doctor, and when I went to see the doctor, he said, um, after some checks, obviously, he said, there’s actually nothing physically wrong with you. Um, I think it might be you are struggling with your mental health and your body is actually telling you to seek help, which is, it’s really good that you’re here.

[00:09:59] And, [00:10:00] and that was the first time really I’d ever even considered mental health, mental illness, mental, uh, you know, mental wellbeing, um, as a thing. Um, and at, at that time, how old were you? Can I ask? So that was in 20, uh, 2014. So that was what, 10 years ago? So I was 29. Yeah. 29. Then I was, um, so, you know, I’d had, I’d never had any problems up until that point.

[00:10:29] And [00:10:30] you’d 

[00:10:30] diane: been in stressful situations before. This isn’t, I mean, very much so. You’ve been working for a long time. For over 10 years. Yeah. So it wasn’t like, um, I don’t know if it was just that one client or you put, you were putting the pressure on yourself, 

[00:10:44] Colin Grist: I believe. I don’t think it was the, I don’t think it was the client.

[00:10:46] It wasn’t like the client was a bad client. I think it was the pressure I was putting myself under to be a better creative and trying to do the be we always strive right to be the best designer we can and the next project’s gonna be better than the last one. And I [00:11:00] think it just culminated in this, this incredible pressure that I put myself under.

[00:11:06] Um, and it obviously. It came out in strange ways, such as my body aching and my chest hurting and, and, and basically crumbling at that point. Um, and yeah, I remember when the doctor said that to me and I was like, no, no, that, you know, that’s not me. Like almost, um, you know, refusing to accept [00:11:30] that that was what you couldn’t believe 

[00:11:33] diane: that was the re that you thought something was wrong because it was a physical ache and 

[00:11:38] Colin Grist: Yeah.

[00:11:39] Yeah. And, and it was just obviously when someone says to you, I think you are depressed, or I think you are this, or you are that, there’s obviously that instant shock that you get. But yeah, I, I struggled to comprehend almost what was being told to me at the time. Um, but yeah, that’s really where my journey started with mental health.

[00:11:57] So yeah. 29. So I’d lived [00:12:00] quite a bit of my life at that point. 

[00:12:01] diane: Absolutely. Okay. So this is what I think, and you and I had talked about this a little bit. Mm-Hmm. Sometimes I think that, so with panic attacks, and I don’t know if that’s officially what you had, but um, I think 

[00:12:13] Colin Grist: it was, yeah. I think it was a panic attack.

[00:12:15] Yeah. And 

[00:12:15] diane: I have had many people who have had panic attacks and it does feel like a heart attack. Yeah. Um, and it tends, or the people that I know that have had this, that it has shocked them. It [00:12:30] is, it is men. And I think that sometimes mental health can be, that’s why I love that we’re ending it with you on this is it can be very hard to accept.

[00:12:40] Because you, you have, you’re taught that you have to keep it together. I mean, we’re all kind of taught no matter if we’re men or women, but, um, we have to keep it together. And then I think, um, you know, a stereotype of the British is that, you know, the stiff upper lip, they keep on going. They’re definitely, they’re not definitely, um, [00:13:00] um, they’re, they’re able to.

[00:13:05] Buck up a little bit more than other people, you know? Yeah. Yeah. So taking that as somebody who, you’re not super young and you’ve, you have an idea of what mental health or mental illness is, and you’re like, that’s not me. Was it at first like a super defensive, like you’re an, I remember when I was diagnosed with acid reflux, I was like, buddy, I don’t have [00:13:30] acid reflux, because yeah, you got it wrong.

[00:13:32] Who cares? I’m like, it’s not in my throat. That’s all I had ever been explained. People were like, oh man, I’ve got this acid. Oh, it hurt. I’m like, I don’t have that. I have never experienced that ever. Mm-Hmm. In my whole life. So when the guy was like, oh, I think you have massive reflux, I was like. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

[00:13:50] Yeah. And I didn’t take the medicine, so, Mm-Hmm. It was that, like the, I mean, acid reflux can result in other kind of pains, just so you know. It’s not always in your throat people, but this is an [00:14:00] acid reflux day. So, but mental health, health, health, wellness, whatever. You think that it’s one thing. Yeah. And you thought this wa this was so real.

[00:14:12] You, did you think 

[00:14:14] Colin Grist: that to the doctor? Yeah, I wa yeah, it wa it was, it was such a physical reaction that when you think of mental, you don’t think of any physical aspects to that. And for it to come out in a physical form, I [00:14:30] was just, yeah, I was of the impression, no, ain’t no way. That was just, um, me struggling with being a designer, for example.

[00:14:39] And, and it actually was, it actually was that, um, and I was, I was asked basically. You, it would be really good if you could speak to someone or you can go on antidepressants. What would you like to do? And I was given the options there and I thought, I’ve never been, I’ve, I dunno why, but I’m, I’ve never been big on [00:15:00] taking, um, um, tablets and pills anyway for, for anything.

[00:15:05] Uh, I just seem to, I’d rather struggle through. So I just said, well, I would rather speak to someone. And when I did, um, I, I think I only had, um, I had quite a few sessions lined up, but I think within two, I was, it was like eye-opening. It was the, the pressures that I put myself under. It was things that had happened in my life that I’d never [00:15:30] addressed, maybe.

[00:15:31] Um, and they call it a snowball effect where it can be a very small thing and it builds up and builds up because you never addressed it at the time. It just, it can come out in many, many different ways. And if you think of that building up with alongside other things like stresses at work or pressures you’re putting yourself under or things going on at home.

[00:15:50] This all just bundles up into this, just this, basically this explosion. And my body was telling me, you need to take a break. You need to sort yourself out. Um, [00:16:00] yeah, I hit them snowballs as well. Um, and yeah, it was, um, incredibly eyeopening obviously at the time to be told, um, that I think you’re depressed.

[00:16:11] Uh, but it’s also probably one of the most important things I ever did going to the doctor and being told that ’cause it’s, it’s fundamentally changed who I am as a person and for the better really. Because even though I do suffer with depression and, and anxiety, I think that I know that now. And there are many people [00:16:30] who never get to that part.

[00:16:30] They just struggle and don’t speak up or don’t know to speak up as well. Um, and. I think me understanding and knowing who I am has made me a better person basically. ’cause it allows me to do things like this and talk openly about my experiences and with the hope that if that helps a single person.

[00:16:50] Mm-Hmm. Um, it was worth doing. It was well worth doing. So, yeah. Uh, I fundamentally believe that it really was a good thing to, [00:17:00] to go and to, well, and 

[00:17:01] diane: it’s also changed the, the trajectory of where even what your business does. I mean Yeah. You worked for nonprofits or charities, which is the same thing. Um Mm-Hmm.

[00:17:12] And. But now you’re even niching down even more because that is something that is so, so you get this diagnosis, which I’m sure that doctors don’t love giving this, they, in some ways you kind of are like, I want something to be [00:17:30] wrong physically, because you’ve avoided dealing with this thing in your past that snowball Mm-hmm.

[00:17:35] That Maya says. Right. Um, you’ve avoided it in the past and now you have to go down and you have to deal with it. It in a way would people say, oh, well you just need to do blank, or you need to get more sleep. Mm-Hmm. Or get this pillow, or whatever it is. Yeah. You know, like it’s an easier thing than having to do some of this hard work, right?

[00:17:56] Yeah. Yeah. Because it is hard work. It’s not, um. [00:18:00] It’s not easy. It’s not, and it sometimes it’s not as accepted. So when you get this diagnosis, I didn’t have this as the question, so remember, our safe word is always rooster. Okay? Mm-Hmm. I remember that. Okay. So if, if you, you get this, did you tell your family?

[00:18:18] ’cause sometimes family can, I know that. Now I can say this. I guess my mom always said when I was diagnosed with depression, she’s like, you’re not depressed. I’m like, [00:18:30] oh, you know, you just, you just want to, uh, some people to believe you. And some of those people can be your, your partner or your close family members.

[00:18:41] Yeah. Yeah. How did your family react? 

[00:18:44] Colin Grist: Well, my wife was actually with me when I went to the doctors, she, she actually went with me. So she was there when the doctor gave me the same news. And I think she knew that. I think she actually knew. But, um. So, yeah, she was always super supportive. So I obviously didn’t have to tell her.

[00:18:59] [00:19:00] Um, my family, I guess they took it, um, they took it well, certainly. Um, they’ve always been super supportive of me and everything that I’ve ever done in my career, but I think when I told them it was just like, oh, right. Um, and, you know, what do you do? And I think that comes from it. That actually does probably come from that classic stiff, upper lip British culture of obviously they’re, they’re older, they’re in their, uh, late sixties now.

[00:19:29] And [00:19:30] that obviously when they were my age at that time, that that would, that was just not something that ever gets discussed. Mental health, men mental illness that you were, um, you know, it, it, it was definitely not something they were used to speaking about. So I remember just a little bit of kind of, I.

[00:19:50] Uncertainty I guess, from them and in, in what their reaction was. But they’ve always been super supportive and um, I think, I think with how the stigma has changed [00:20:00] a little bit over the last maybe 10 plus years with mental health, that they’re a lot more aware of it and maybe have even thought to themselves, they’ve actually gone through some of those experiences themselves.

[00:20:11] And I think that’s really important that by having the discussion and making it more open to everybody, people can reflect and go, you know what, maybe I had that at some point or I went through that and I never maybe knew what it was as well. So, so yeah, I really supportive overall. 

[00:20:28] diane: Definitely. That’s good.

[00:20:29] That’s [00:20:30] interesting that your wife thought that this probably was it, but it’s better coming from. A professional then coming from her because 

[00:20:40] Colin Grist: Yeah. I was never gonna listen to her. Only I need, I needed the professional, I need the professional to tell me otherwise, but Well, 

[00:20:45] diane: and also you needed to know the, the doctor to tell you that Yeah.

[00:20:51] Um, that something wasn’t physically wrong. Yeah. You know? 

[00:20:56] Colin Grist: Yeah. And she couldn’t, yeah. That was almost like the best news ever. Like [00:21:00] that you are not having a heart attack. Like that’s obviously incredible news to hear, but to be told you are probably suffering with something that is probably now gonna affect you forever really.

[00:21:10] And, and, and certainly does with me is, is kind of hard to take as well. So, um, but yes, it obviously, um. It was a bit of a double-edged sword, I guess, at the time. Well, 

[00:21:23] diane: and Adam says over in the chat, he says, when he went down with stress and depression in 2016, his wife [00:21:30] took him to the doctor and she spoke on his behalf.

[00:21:32] Um, 

[00:21:33] Colin Grist: she knew that. Yeah, Adam, I, I, I would say that was definitely how I was feeling. Like I, I don’t think I would’ve even rung the doctor. Uh, men are very stubborn. Um, and as you said earlier, Diane, when you go to the doctors, you almost want, you want that, like, I need, you need to tell me exactly what is wrong.

[00:21:51] I, I don’t wanna leave you until I’m being diagnosed or you tell me I was having a heart attack or, or whatever. Um, but my wife [00:22:00] Fern was super supportive and I, I, I probably almost forgot that Adam in a way ’cause it’s so long ago now. But I definitely feel like she will have certainly mentioned things on my behalf or things I’d not, not fully addressed at the time, or brushed over certain things.

[00:22:14] So having someone who can go with you and. Kind of back you up if you are almost not, you are almost afraid to say certain things, um, is really important. And especially as, as men, I think men struggle even more so to kind of open up [00:22:30] and speak on that. Um, yeah. And that’s only through years and years of me talking about my mental health that I’m comfortable enough to do that now, but I, I certainly wasn’t when I was diagnosed.

[00:22:40] I struck with that at the time. But 

[00:22:41] diane: we, we need people just like you to be able, who are men that are, uh, respected. You’re creative. Um, you’re running a business and mm-Hmm. That you Mm-hmm. You know, that we look up to that [00:23:00] it’s okay that you have this as well and everything, you know, everything isn’t super tidy for everybody, but you’re Yeah.

[00:23:09] Still moving forward, and this is one of the biggest parts, and now you have some coping mechanisms. So let’s take it back to 2014 when this happened. Mm-Hmm. Um, you, this is one of the things that, when I read this on, um, the perspectives, uh, or pressures and perspectives, um, uh, website, which I’ll share with y’all in a [00:23:30] minute.

[00:23:30] Um, you said you took that, you went in the next day and you took two weeks off. Yes. Correct. I mean, I’m, I was blown away. I, I, I honestly was like, oh my gosh, I would’ve never, if I had cancer, maybe, you know. Mm-Hmm. Like, or if I had. But I, I, this really impacted me and I loved that you took it this seriously.

[00:23:58] Mm-Hmm. Because then he writes [00:24:00] later, he’s like, after two weeks, I mean, obviously this is a long, lifelong thing. It’s not like, oh, I was healed in two months. Two weeks. Right. Mm-Hmm. But, um, you felt like yourself again, you had you really deep dove into what you needed to do for your mental health. Yeah.

[00:24:16] Instead of just chipping away week by week or something. Yeah. So can you tell me about how you made that decision and Yeah. Because this seemed ama is this typical over there or is 

[00:24:28] Colin Grist: this like, well, I, I, I, I, I [00:24:30] actually was given a doctor’s note, so I dunno how it works in the us but we were given, when I was diagnosed, I was given, um, obviously the options of antidepressants or counseling.

[00:24:40] And I chose counseling, but I was also given by the doctor a sick note effectively, where it was like, I, I advise Colin takes. X amount of time away from work. Two weeks. Two weeks. Yeah. Two weeks. 

[00:24:57] diane: Wow. Yeah. So this was doctor orders. No, this does [00:25:00] not happen over 

[00:25:00] Colin Grist: here. Yeah. Right. Well, um, yeah, and that two weeks was really, really important in, in me kind of just stepping away from, from the work environment.

[00:25:14] And my work environment wasn’t toxic, but obviously how I was feeling in a way almost was, and being able to step away from that. And, um, and the place that I worked actually was incredibly supportive at the time. Like they were, they accepted that they never [00:25:30] contacted me, they left me alone basically. And that was massively important.

[00:25:35] Um, that, that also 

[00:25:36] diane: wouldn’t happen for year. I’d be like, we’d be like, well, we can’t find that file. Can you just go ahead 

[00:25:42] Colin Grist: and just tell, tell us where it’s I get it. I get it, I get it. Um, but yeah, I did every, I went out, I went, um, my wife and my brother-in-law took me out. We went to like museums, went to the park.

[00:25:54] We, we did everything that you would think of now of doing, when you are in a stressful [00:26:00] environment, you get out of that stressful environment. You go outside, you get some fresh air, you go out for food, you spend some time with your loved ones. You do all of the things that make you feel normal again, basically.

[00:26:12] And yeah, that was incredibly important because when I went back to work, um, I obviously, I felt a little bit uncomfortable about doing that. Ob you know, it’s the first day back and all of that kind of stuff. Um, and one thing [00:26:30] that really. Opened my eyes and I’ve never forgot, is that when I went back after a few weeks, we had an opportunity to do, we used to do these things called 360 reviews, where it’s, um, reviews from every single person in the team, not just the line manager about uh, your performance and how people are doing.

[00:26:48] Um, and what came out of mine was e ev. Every review I’d ever had at anywhere I worked was incredibly positive, but this review was positive. [00:27:00] But some of the comments were like, he’s not been himself and he’s been a little bit short and he’s been a little bit different to normal. And it was these kind of comments where it was like people had noticed that I was struggling but didn’t even know how to approach it, didn’t mention it.

[00:27:18] And just so obviously with the opportunity to give a review, they were kind of giving me that feedback then. And I felt really, I. Um, I guess sad about that, that like no one had [00:27:30] spoken to me about it, but it was really eyeopening because at the time when I was at work, I felt like I was completely normal, but I was just in myself, like the pressures and I’m struggling.

[00:27:40] But it was actually outwardly as well, like people could physically see it, that I was not the same, I was not quite as bubbly or as chatty or as positive as I normally are. Uh, but no one had approached it or, you know, broached a subject with me at the time. Um, and I think that’s, that’s really [00:28:00] important to be aware of that, that there are people, if you think someone’s not quite right or they’re a little bit different to the norm, then, then maybe more going on than you realize.

[00:28:10] And that was a real eye-opener for me when I heard those comments. ’cause I was like, I thought it was fine. You know, I, I didn’t think anyone would know that anything was going on. Um, so yeah, that was, that was quite a, quite a moment. 

[00:28:23] diane: So what would you have? ’cause so I think that is a really, really eyeopening, what would you have [00:28:30] done had somebody, because sometimes we don’t have words to say, would it, would somebody have said, Hey, you know, I just don’t feel like you’re acting like yourself.

[00:28:39] Like, what would you have said to that? Or would it have started cluing in like, oh man, this is, I thought I was keeping it together. 

[00:28:48] Colin Grist: Yeah, I, I, I suppose in a way I don’t know how I would’ve reacted to that. Right. For example, if you’d have, if you’d have said that to me at the time, would I have been really short with you about it?

[00:28:57] I, I don’t, I genuinely don’t know. [00:29:00] Um, and that’s difficult. That’s, that is a tricky situation. I, I completely understand that. Um, but I’ve, I feel that like something could have been done just to try and highlight it to me. And maybe I’d have realized and gone I. I’d have come home and gone, you know, people have sort of mentioned to me that I’m not quite right.

[00:29:24] I’m not, I’m not myself. Maybe I should do something about that. Um, but because [00:29:30] they didn’t, it, it, it, it only came out when I had like almost a physical panic attack where I was like, I’ll have to go do something about it. So yeah, it, it can be difficult. I get that. 

[00:29:40] diane: Okay. So I’m also trying to paint the picture prior to the, um, the episode, the panic attack and getting diagnosed.

[00:29:49] Yeah. Were you exercising regularly? Did you have, what was your work? Did you go in at eight and you leave at five? Like were you Yeah. Doing stuff at home? Like what was [00:30:00] 

[00:30:00] Colin Grist: No, I was, um, physically in very bad shape to be honest. Um, I, uh, definitely, um, put my physical health on the, the back burner to be basically a better designer.

[00:30:12] I was, I. I’m a, I’m a self-taught designer and developer, so I’d had a career where I used to do both. But years ago in, in this industry, um, people started getting pigeonholed as like, we want you to be a developer, or We want you to be a designer and you’re only one [00:30:30] or the other. Nowadays everyone’s super hybrid and if you don’t do everything, we’re not gonna give you a job.

[00:30:34] So it’s, it’s gone full circle. But I’d done really well as a developer and I’d gone quite high up the ladder. I used to, um, lead a, a natural team of developers. Um, but I felt unfulfilled in that job and I decided to change and go, I actually want to be a designer now. So I, I got a job where, where this panic attack happened, where they gave me the opportunity to come in as a developer, but be given creative [00:31:00] opportunities.

[00:31:01] Um, and this was one of those creative opportunities you see. So you can see how that pressure of like, I really want to deliver a really great creative piece. Mm-Hmm. Great, great website, um, was just stacking up on top of me. Um, and it just made it completely overwhelming, I think. Um, what was your question, Diane?

[00:31:25] Sorry 

[00:31:26] diane: on that. Oh Lord. I don’t know. Um, I, oh, I said, were [00:31:30] you exercising? I was asking. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So was it like a normal place that they wanted you to come in at eight and leave at five? Or were they like asking you to stay till three in the morning? No. 

[00:31:39] Colin Grist: No. So a again, they were good with that.

[00:31:42] So yeah, I would, I would be in, I mean, I would travel from eight and probably finish at five, but be home by six. So, mm-hmm. Long days, but not, not insane. Mm-Hmm. Um, but I think I was so honed in on I want this to work that my physically, I was out of shape. I [00:32:00] used to eat terribly. I still do eat terribly to be perfectly honest.

[00:32:04] Um. I try, I do try. Um, but yeah, I was definitely not, you know, I never really went out. I didn’t really do much at the weekends. I didn’t go for walks. Um, we didn’t have any pets then, so I didn’t ever, you know, go out with the dog or anything. Um, and so it was almost like the only thing I did was design effectively and work.

[00:32:24] Um, and the, the physical activity stuff came kind of a little bit [00:32:30] later for me. Um, 

[00:32:33] diane: like, what year did you start? Because that sometimes can be, um, when you’re changing things up. And, and, and fighting, depression, moving, getting outside more sunlight, but also just moving is one of the things that has been an effective and anxiety.

[00:32:53] It starts, um, taking the cortisol down and yeah, I mean, I was reading something this week. I was [00:33:00] like, oh, I gotta get, you know, something else to teach me to go outside because it is fight, it’s pushing the cortisol, the stress hormone down. Yeah. What, like, so if you weren’t exercising before, when then in this, uh, healing or continue, uh, health, uh mm-hmm.

[00:33:23] Status. When did you start exercising and doing this particular type of exercise? [00:33:30] 

[00:33:30] Colin Grist: I think it was probably about, um, about two years later. So I remember. Two, two years after my, uh, panic attack and diagnosis, I went to a, it was an, it was like an IT event, so like a, a tech event if you like, but someone on stage actually spoke about mental health in the workplace, and I think that was probably the first time I’d ever heard anyone [00:34:00] speak publicly on the, on the matter.

[00:34:02] Um, and that day I went back to the office and I worked somewhere different At this point, I’d, I’d moved on from the previous job and I worked somewhere 

[00:34:10] diane: else. And now you were full-time designer. 

[00:34:12] Colin Grist: Right. And now I’m a full, I was actually a, a senior designer at that point, one of only two in a, uh, 300 plus agency.

[00:34:20] So a big, big place. And um, obviously like anyone who’s ever worked in agency knows you always get harassed to be like, can you write a blog post on the website? Or [00:34:30] all that kind of stuff. And, and so they’d ask me to write about the event and how great the event was. And I actually. Wrote about my mental health.

[00:34:38] I wrote a long article about that I’d been at this event and that someone spoke and that it had inspired me to tell my own story. And, um, I wrote this article and the agency said, that’s not really right for us, which is quite interesting. So I put it on my own personal blog. Um, and the amount of [00:35:00] feedback and, and positive reception I received off the back of that from people I worked with both at, at the time and previously was, is, was incredible.

[00:35:08] And it was, again, one of those times where I felt like it was the first time I’d heard about friends I’d known for years, past colleagues, current colleagues who had said, can’t believe you’ve mentioned that. That’s so interesting. Like, I’ve gone through that or like, I, I never knew you’d gone through that, or whatever it was.

[00:35:26] And that was a really, really. Uh, important [00:35:30] moment for me. Mm-Hmm. And feeling more positive about like, I can talk positively about this experience and it can help other people. And then a year, a a year probably went past from there and I started, you know, I was in a better place. I was in a, um, a job that I enjoyed and I was, you know, feeling confident about how I spoke, about how I feel and, and all that kind of stuff.

[00:35:53] Um, and I started going to physical exercise classes with my wife. My wife actually started going first. She, um, she [00:36:00] wanted to get fit herself and, and, and met a personal trainer. And then I started going with her to the personal trainer. So we did like couples personal training, which is really fun. Um, and the personal trainer actually invited my wife Fern to a dance class.

[00:36:15] Um, and I was like, oh no, I’m not interested in any of that stuff. And, um, but the personal trainer to, to her credit said, I want you to come with her for moral support. And, you know, as a husband, you, you, you’re a bit stuck, then you’re a bit kinda like, well, [00:36:30] I can’t not go. Um, so I went along extremely reluctantly and I absolutely loved it.

[00:36:39] I, I, I did the class, um, and it’s called club Size for anyone who knows it. It’s basically you dance in the dark with neon lights on and uh, disco balls, and you have glow sticks and you just fling your arms around and look like an idiot. And it’s really, really good fun and. Um, I just [00:37:00] absolutely adored it.

[00:37:01] And me and my wife started going to that very, very regularly. We used to go like three times a week for about two years, and we got in very, very good shape. I, I, I lost loads and loads of weight and I was feeling really good. Um, and it got to a point where I was enjoying it so much that I was like, I’d like to do this myself, and I’d like to help more people who were in that place I was in where they, they felt uncomfortable exercising.

[00:37:28] They didn’t [00:37:30] really want to go into a gym, which can be quite a hostile environment. Lots of bravado and all that kind of stuff. And that was really not, well, just intimidating. Right. Especially, yeah. It’s intense. Yeah. Yeah. It can be intense. And I thought if I could help anyone in a group setting, like I feel like it’s helped me, I, I’d love to do that.

[00:37:49] So I decided in 2018, which was about the time I was starting few and far as well, I must’ve been having a bit of a. A crossroads moment here where I was like gonna start a [00:38:00] company but also gonna do something completely different. Um, I went and trained to be a gym instructor, um, which was like a six month intensive course.

[00:38:10] Both, um, written exams and physical exams and all that kind of stuff. Um, and starting on that journey was, uh, well it was insane really. It was completely out of my comfort zone. I, I was going to go and train to be a gym instructor and I’d never been in a gym myself ’cause I didn’t like the gym. [00:38:30] So I had a lot to learn.

[00:38:33] But coming out of the back of that, that allowed me to actually then like legally do the dance classes, you know, with a proper qualification myself. And then I’ve done them ever since. So I do them every Wednesday night as, you know, 

[00:38:45] diane: seven 

[00:38:46] Colin Grist: 30. That’s when you’re doing it? Seven 30 for my local community.

[00:38:49] Yeah. 

[00:38:49] diane: Did I make this up that where your local one was closing and you, you were like, I’m gonna bring this closer. Was did I make that up in my head? 

[00:38:59] Colin Grist: [00:39:00] Well, the, not really. No. The, the, the, the, the lady who ran them, the PT who we started with, she moved away. And so Okay. Um, I thought, well, I’d like to run them in my local area, which didn’t have the class actually, so I started them there.

[00:39:17] And I’m the only one in this sort of whole area that, that does some now. So, uh, yeah, it’s pretty good. And we’ve, we’ve, it, it, it’s, it’s really interesting how it’s kind of crossed over with my professional career as well, [00:39:30] because. I do it purely for the enjoyment and for the physical activity itself, and because I like to bring people together.

[00:39:36] But by doing it, the charities that we work with professionally have asked like, oh, that’s really great. Would you like to do a fundraiser for us? Or things like that. So we’ve done fundraisers where I, we’ve raised loads of money for the charities that we work with through my fundraiser, and I even managed to persuade my business partner Tom to come along and dance along to that, uh, which he hated, [00:40:00] but, you know, it was all for a good cause.

[00:40:02] So, yeah, it’s been, it’s quite an interesting journey and how we’ve kind of gone, I’ve kind of almost gone full circle with, with, with that. 

[00:40:09] diane: So I’m going back a little bit. So, yeah. Um, in, so I think it’s great. I’m glad that you have this, that you’re doing on Wednesdays and that you’re so committed. Yeah.

[00:40:19] And that you’re, you are always thinking you’re such a good empath where you’re always thinking about, this was really hard for me. I, I bet there’s some other people that it would be [00:40:30] really hard for. I wanna be, Hey, you could be here just like me. Like, if I can do it, you can do it. Right. Mm-Hmm. I love, I love that.

[00:40:37] Um, part of how you are, how hard was it to find a counselor and how, how did you, you said you went a couple times. Was this something that you continued, did you just do some of this deep work on your own? Or what was that like? 

[00:40:55] Colin Grist: So counseling is something I have gone back to over the [00:41:00] years. Um, mental health unfortunately doesn’t just come and, and, and end and go.

[00:41:06] Um, I am, I’m on antidepressants actually right now, um, because I’m going through some hard times. We’ve had quite a, we’ve just had a newborn baby and it was all quite a lot and quite stressful and, um, difficult in parts. So I’ve been struggling. So I’m on antidepressants, uh, and counseling is something I’ve gone back to many times on both a single level, but also me and my wife [00:41:30] have gone for counseling to help with our relationship.

[00:41:32] And I don’t mind talking about that because it’s super important to talk to people. And sometimes we need, just like we mentioned earlier on, where I wouldn’t have listened to Fern, but the doctor I’ll definitely listen to sometimes me and Fern argue and you need someone to come in like as an intermediary and help out with that.

[00:41:50] So, um. Yeah, like counseling is something that, um, obviously started way back when I was diagnosed and that was something that, um, the doctor [00:42:00] actually, um, arranged for me. So NHS Hooray. Yeah, we have that. Yeah. So, um, and National health System is the s Service. Service, yeah. National Health Service. Yeah. Um, and I’ve also done paid, uh, counseling over the years as well.

[00:42:20] Um, I just think it’s incredibly important to when you feel how you can sometimes feel to go and speak to a [00:42:30] professional where they do not judge you. They just wanna help you and they can understand you like that. It’s incredible. You can be there 20 minutes and you, they already know more about you than you know yourself.

[00:42:40] Imagine what it can be like when you have 3, 4, 5 sessions like that as well. It can be incredibly eye-opening and incredibly insightful to see. Where the things are that have affected you to be where you’re at right now and how you can address those and move forward. So counseling is incredibly, [00:43:00] incredibly helpful for that.

[00:43:02] diane: Some, sometimes I have found that it can be hard to find a counselor that it’s a good fit with fit. Yeah. And, and it’s not like the same counselor is going to be your counselor for the rest of your life. Like No, sometimes it’s like, this person is really good for this, this person is really good for this.

[00:43:19] Just like you would with a, a regular like knee doctor and then a Mm-Hmm. Neck doctor or whatever. Right. Yeah. But do you have any advice on someone finding the [00:43:30] right counselor for what they were going through? 

[00:43:33] Colin Grist: Well, I, I think I’ve always been quite lucky in that the ones that I have worked with or spoken with have always just, I’ve always resonated quite well with them.

[00:43:45] I think it’s. Finding a counselor though, like a marriage counselor for example, is, um, it’s like, it’s like when you wanna buy a product and you look at the reviews. Mm-Hmm. Like, it is literally, you can go [00:44:00] online and find a counselor and you can see what people think, what people say, how much the counselor is, uh, the type of specialties and topics.

[00:44:09] They are really, really good at their, um, their credentials, their accreditations, um, and it’s like, it’s like doing anything else. You want to get the right thing for you. Right? So, um, and even if you, even if you feel exactly like you’ve got exactly the right council of you and you go meet them, and the first session is just difficult and hard, that doesn’t mean that [00:44:30] that’s over for you.

[00:44:30] Just go find another one. They, they are right. You know, if they don’t feel like they can help you, like then they’re failing at their role as well. So you can always just stop and go with someone else. Um, so, you know, it’s more important that you get healthy than that. You are trying to just get on with someone who, when it’s not working out right.

[00:44:48] Um, so yeah, just do your research and, you know, no one knows what you want more than yourself. So look into who they are, how long they’ve been doing it, where they are, [00:45:00] um, and make the right choice. And even if it doesn’t work out with that one, there’ll be another one that does. So just give up, keep going with it.

[00:45:08] Don’t, 

[00:45:08] diane: yeah, don’t give up. Don’t give up. Yeah. And also talk to somebody else who is maybe in your area that maybe has had, you know, yeah. Maybe they have somebody to recommend or their counselor could recommend a counselor or something. 

[00:45:22] Colin Grist: Um, yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, I would, I would, if someone ever came to me about a counselor or a manager, counselor, I’d be like, I would definitely recommend [00:45:30] X or Y because.

[00:45:32] There’s nothing better than a recommendation from someone you are friends with or you know, or a family member. So, yeah. 

[00:45:38] diane: Alright, so I’m gonna, um, rapid fire in these. Okay, cool. I, I told you I would, could do my best to end at the right time. So I, I don’t think this is the same thing, but I think, uh, creative block can feel stressful and it’s something maybe in addition to [00:46:00] depression or anxiety that sometimes we can have blockages and we just are, it feels like we’re just doing the same thing all the time.

[00:46:07] Mm-Hmm. Um, does creative Block ever show up for you? 

[00:46:12] Colin Grist: It does. Yeah. I think, I know, I know when I went through the initial phase with my panic attack, I, I felt like all of it was going wrong. Creative block. Mm. Um, you know, having a bit of an identity crisis, all of that imposter syndrome, but creative block can obviously having for people who [00:46:30] have no other type of mental health problems, you know, creative block isn’t a mental health Right.

[00:46:34] Actual issue. But I think all creatives have had points where they are staring at their screen, staring at their notebook, and they just cannot, they, it is just not happening on that day or that week. Um, and I’ve had it certainly at times where I, I, I feel like I, I don’t struggle with it a lot, but I always seem to struggle with it more when I feel like this is a big deal.

[00:46:58] And that can be through, it’s a [00:47:00] big client or it’s a big budget, or it’s like. I know that they’ve gone through a really bad thing in the past, and I don’t want that to happen with when they work with us, for example. So it’s, again, it’s those pressures that I put on myself. Mm-Hmm. But I think a lot of it is to do with now being able to manage the pressures and just being able to slow it down and to be able to go, this isn’t working right now.

[00:47:24] I’m gonna go do something about that. So I’m gonna go outside, I’m gonna go put my headphones on and go for a walk. I’m [00:47:30] gonna, I work at home a lot, so I can go downstairs and just go, I’m just gonna go make a coffee. And like, you know, and I think one of the problems, and I know we spoke about this before, Diana, is that when people have got creative block, they are unwilling to step away from their monitor or their notebook.

[00:47:48] They, they, they just are gonna just sit and stare until something happens and it doesn’t happen. And then you can just imagine it gets worse and it gets worse and it gets worse. And I think [00:48:00] that, I think the easiest thing is just to stand up and go. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow or I’m just gonna go outside for 30 minutes.

[00:48:08] Um, and that’s it. It’s really interesting how ideas just can appear out of nowhere. Mm-Hmm. I can get in. I’ve had an awful day. I get into bed and then I go like, oh my God. That was like, what a great idea that is. So, yeah, it’s, um, I think we’ve all had it and I think it’s just being aware that you’re just, it’s just one of [00:48:30] those things and that you’re not suddenly gonna be a bad creative or struggle with ideas in the future.

[00:48:35] It’s just in that moment. And what can you do about that moment to kind of appease it? So is it, is it leaving the room? Is it leaving the, the office? Um, is it going and speaking with someone? Um, many things can help but don’t just sit and. Try and solve it. 

[00:48:51] diane: I, I also agree that proof, um, that you should go to sleep.

[00:48:55] Like just go to bed, don’t stay up. ’cause things will connect in your brain on [00:49:00] its own Yeah. As you do restorative sleep. But, um, a hundred percent I have an episode about that. Um, okay. Nice. So how, okay, this is a great day for this question for you as you’ve launched a website that has taken you two years to do, right?

[00:49:15] Huge. This is huge. I’m sure there’s been creative, uh, blocks or creative pitfalls or technical pitfalls or something. But, um, as you’ve committed to that and committed [00:49:30] to your business, how do you deal with, or how do you make sure that you continue to keep balance and walk away or create a culture in your company where mental health is, um, important?

[00:49:47] Colin Grist: Well, I, I, I, I think having a workplace and a culture where mental health is important and highlighted and people feel safe to speak about it, I [00:50:00] actually think comes because we as founders do that. So I know that not all businesses are in that position, but I think, you know, culture is, is it comes from the top down.

[00:50:12] So the fact that I, as a founder of a agency that has a team, speaks openly about my own mental health, I would like to think that the people in my team feel comfortable that they can do the same. And that I will always champion that and ensure that the space we work in is safe for people to do that. [00:50:30] So that’s definitely how I like to think of it and that, you know, by doing things like this, um, I’d like to think I’m never putting any barriers in front of anyone who works with it to, to do the same, um, and allow them to do that.

[00:50:44] Um. What was your other 

[00:50:46] diane: question? The last question is, yes. Any advice for someone who has recently been diagnosed with the anxiety or depression? Any advice? 

[00:50:58] Colin Grist: Any advice? [00:51:00] Yeah. It would be to speak to someone. Anyone? A professional. Oh, anybody. It can be anyone. I, I mean, I’ll speak to you. It, it really doesn’t matter.

[00:51:10] I think it’s, I think the biggest thing is it’s the weight that it puts on your shoulders. It’s that kind of burden of being like bottling it up, not knowing what to say. Feeling like you can’t tell a friend or a family member or a partner. Um, and just getting it out. [00:51:30] So me, me, I write a lot about mental health and I find it so cathartic to actually just write and just say how I feel.

[00:51:38] And I do that quite a lot. I do it a lot on LinkedIn. I do it a lot on our blog and also on my, on precious and perspective and. It’s it, you know, even if you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, writing about it or doing it in another way, like on a, a podcast or I, I don’t know what, whatever you want to do, but just getting it off your chest is, mm-hmm.

[00:51:58] Is probably the most important thing [00:52:00] because as I mentioned earlier, people didn’t even know there was something wrong with me until it came out. And I think it’s just so important to let people around, you know, what’s going on. And you don’t have to give ’em all the details, but just, I’m struggling or can you, can I, can I have a chat?

[00:52:20] Can we go for a coffee? Whatever it is. And just, just getting it off your chest is such a big deal because we see time and time again that people don’t do that. And it ends up, you know, [00:52:30] in a, in a worse place than before. Because it’s shedding 

[00:52:33] diane: light when you share it sheds light on it, and it actually isn’t probably as bad as what you think.

[00:52:38] Yeah. But when we keep it in, it does. It can be really, our imaginations, especially as creatives are our imaginations are really powerful and we think it’s Yeah. And run 

[00:52:50] Colin Grist: away with it. Yes. And, 

[00:52:51] diane: and that’s, I think important. So tell ’em real quick, um, pressures and Yep. [00:53:00] What is the purpose of this site and how did it start?

[00:53:04] Colin Grist: So it started in 2016 when I met, I obviously mentioned earlier that I wrote a blog post and, um, the, the sort of feedback on that was I, I’ve gone through that. I have gone through that, and it actually caused a little bit of a ripple effect where it brought myself and a few other colleagues who I was working with at the time, or the creatives together to go, we’d really like to highlight mental health.

[00:53:28] As creatives and, and [00:53:30] try and break the stigma in the creative industry because the creative industry in the grand scheme of things is quite a young, quite a new industry, right? Like it’s, it’s not like in, it’s not like the industrial industry, for example, where it’s, it’s been around for hundreds of years.

[00:53:44] Um, digital design is, it’s pretty modern and a lot of the things in office environments are not really, at the time, were not really catered for looking after people’s mental health. It was all just about deadlines and pitches and, Mm-Hmm, uh, the stresses and [00:54:00] strains of doing cool design. Um, and so we, we decided to create a platform, um, and a physical magazine where creators were allowed to express themselves and tell their own personal stories of mental health and their experiences and how they cope with that as a, as a, as a, as a designer, as a photographer, as chefs, as, as anything in the creative industry.

[00:54:22] Um, and so. That’s how it, how, how it kind of formed. Um, and the website’s been around for a number of years now, and [00:54:30] I think with me running few and far and, and everything else, it’s taken a little bit of a, um, a a bit of a sort. It’s on the being on the back burner a little bit, but I’d really like to do something with it, like do more with it.

[00:54:44] ’cause I think it’s really important. And I, I think that the creatives who’ve been on the platform or been in the magazine have found it really, really good. It’s, again, it’s that opportunity to speak outwardly and openly about how you felt and a lot of people have found that really good for them and good for their [00:55:00] health.

[00:55:00] Um, so yeah, I’m wanting to bring it back, but as I mentioned to you, Diane, I’ve been looking for some thoughts from the, from the chat and from anyone who watches this and like how they’d like to see that, um, how that, how they’d like to see that kind of come to fruition really. Is it, is it just updating the website?

[00:55:17] Is it doing something completely different? Open to any and all ideas, but I think. Speaking on mental health as creatives as we found today is like super important. And I know you and me, Diana, would like to continue that kind of conversation with many more [00:55:30] creatives if we could. Yeah, I think giving 

[00:55:31] diane: them a voice, um, I think part of what God put me on this earth to do is make a stage for people to shine.

[00:55:39] Mm-Hmm. And you can take a sip of your tea. Thank you. You have where, and you took, put it down. I, but I think that, um, I think sometimes it’s just that people, I. People need to see that they’re not alone. So when you say that is like a really, that like hits me in, [00:56:00] uh, a place where I feel called to help people not feel alone too, because I also have felt alone and I have had where there was a lot of stress that maybe I didn’t need to just, um, hold on my own.

[00:56:15] So it’s the, it’s the getting it off my chest or, or just sharing. And, you know, we don’t not have to have everything figured out and we don’t have to share everything on social media. But yeah, [00:56:30] you know, if there’s a platform where you can share your story and it helps you, but it also helps other people just not feel so alone.

[00:56:38] I think that that’s really powerful. I appreciate it when people put something in the chat and even if they put something in the chat, that’s it just to me or you know, to, um. Uh, yes, Adam says, I think we have, uh, I think we have a voice, but think that maybe we need an ear and absolutely nice. It’s sometimes [00:57:00] Adam, so that’s one reason I do this live is because if I was doing it and nobody was here, so I appreciate everybody’s here.

[00:57:08] Live it. It is how I always think. I just think y’all are here and I forget that other people are listening. I don’t forget about you other people, but I just, when you come live, it’s really real to me and it helps keep me going. And I think having that ear and that somebody did hear, but I also think that you say things and [00:57:30] you don’t know how many that, how far that ripple reaches.

[00:57:34] So I think it’s funny that you’re, you’re the 300 people company was like, oh, call. Hmm, I liked that what you wrote, but we need something else. You know? Yeah. And then instead of letting it die, you were like, no, this is important. You put it somewhere else, which I think is, whenever, that was 2016, or I don’t know when that fir Yeah.

[00:57:57] 2016. That is a, [00:58:00] to me, that’s courage one. You, you might not have felt comfortable telling those people anyway, but you were courageous in writing it. You’re like, Mm-Hmm. Hey, you know what? I really got a lot out of the mental health guy. Mm-Hmm. They were probably like, oh, we’re just going to do this to Yeah.

[00:58:13] You know, cross a note off of our, you know, we had something about mental health. We don’t have to do it again. You know, for a year. We’re good for a year, whatever. But that was the thing that hit. And instead of saying, Hey, we want you to write about this exact thing that you, they said write [00:58:30] about whatever.

[00:58:30] You wrote something that still was in the realm. Mm-Hmm. But, and I just think that, but instead of letting it die, I think that’s really important that you are like, Nope, this is super important. I wanna share this. Yeah. And, and you didn’t let it go. 

[00:58:46] Colin Grist: I didn’t No, no, thank you. I’ll take that. 

[00:58:49] diane: So, so, um, maybe do I keep, I do keep doing Hitting the wrong thing.

[00:58:56] So Few hyphen far. I’ve gotta change it in my 

[00:58:59] Colin Grist: thing. Okay, [00:59:00] thanks. Oh, they, they both work to be fair. It’s few and at UK and it, I think it redirects. Okay. 

[00:59:05] diane: Okay. I’m gonna, um, I’m going to paste it in though, because it was, that was in Host. I’m so sorry. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Um, all right. And then I’m gonna share one other thing.

[00:59:15] So, last year I took this class and mm-Hmm. It was before my mom died. And, um, it, I was doing this thing and it was, I was doing these illustrations and, um. Uh, I hadn’t really done any new [00:59:30] illustrations, but I ended up, as I was doing this class, it was just, uh, super healing for me or something really helpful.

[00:59:37] Yeah. This lady, her name’s Bonnie Christine. So she has this free class and if you think, oh, okay, cool. It’s one week or two weeks or something and you, she takes you through a little bit about licensing. So there’s free class. I shared the link. That is a, like a thing that’ll link back to me at some point.

[00:59:55] But this is a free class. If anybody, if you’re looking, that’ll be right below [01:00:00] calls. Uh mm. Nice links as well. But it’s fun and called. Do you wanna see the, the goose I made yesterday? I’ve 

[01:00:08] Colin Grist: seen the goose, but I’ll see it again. Nice. So it’s really good. 

[01:00:12] diane: I don’t know if, um, ’cause it’s, I don’t, I have stuff over my head, but you can sort of see.

[01:00:17] But he’s running, but he’s all different little pieces of paper. And I made the paper. I painted the paper and then I drew on top of it. But my little goose running, I’m excited. So he’s gonna be a [01:00:30] pattern. And I think he’s still telling it, Diane. I think it may be. He’s gonna be in a book and I’m gonna make a story with him in these ostriches I’ve been making.

[01:00:39] But I just brought the goose. 

[01:00:40] Colin Grist: I just, I wanna see you do a book series where it’s just all of your notebooks that I’ve seen before. They’re so good. 

[01:00:47] diane: Well, the notebooks are, um, a little messy 

[01:00:50] Colin Grist: sometimes. They’re so good though. Like I’d love Ka ka Kat’s in the chat who works with me. She’d love to see your notebooks.

[01:00:56] ’cause Kat has notebooks as well. But yours are. On another level of [01:01:00] creativity. 

[01:01:00] diane: So, well, I take ’em to church and my pastor’s like, Hey, you know, you can post that. And I’m like, buddy, I didn’t know. Just draw. I didn’t draw everything you were talking about. You know, last week I drew a ostrich and there was nothing about an ostrich at church.

[01:01:16] But anyway, I think it’s good. It’s a good, it’s a good part of healing for me. It’s just making something and creating and it, I have to do this earlier in the day because I get so excited that I can’t sleep. So when I’ve done this [01:01:30] late at night, late, like 9:00 PM mm-hmm. It’s like drug, it’s like a drug for me, so I can’t cut paper late at night.

[01:01:39] That’s fair. Anyway, Col, thank you so much for doing this. Welcome. I still You’re welcome. Wanna have, um, you and Tom on together. We’ll have Oh yeah. Have to figure that out. But just so everybody knows, so in America, this is Black History Month. I think it’s also Women’s Month or something, but we focus on black history here or, you know, in America.

[01:01:57] And then, but I’m focusing on [01:02:00] inspiration. So in the month of February, it isn’t gonna be, people are gonna bring their ins who has inspired them, and then they’re gonna show how it’s executed, how, how it’s come out in their work. And it’s a great way to, um, love on some designers who were before, or some creatives who were before.

[01:02:20] And that’s what I call February is Love on Designers. And we do giveaways. We, me and the mouse in my pocket, me and my friend, I don’t know what his name [01:02:30] is yet, but he’ll have a name. Um. We’re doing giveaways in, uh, and they’re art giveaways, so if you don’t like art materials, maybe don’t enter the giveaway.

[01:02:40] Yeah, yeah. But Col, thank you so much. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being courageous and I’m just glad you’re my friend and I can’t, oh, and the only reason I said about University of Alabama is ’cause University of Alabama is like way up here. Mm-Hmm. And South Alabama is like much smaller.

[01:02:56] Yeah. And I didn’t want anybody to think I was big for my britches, you know? Big 

[01:02:59] Colin Grist: shot. [01:03:00] Yeah. Yeah, that’s fine. Yeah, I amended that quite quickly. So thank you for that. I, 

[01:03:04] diane: oh yeah, for sure. Anyway, I will see y’all next week and call. Thank you so much.

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