Welcome back to another edition of the Monthly Round Up blog from Uninvisible Pod! Thank you to all who have joined us on our journey of building this wellness podcast community for individuals living with invisible illness. We’re here #oversharing so you don’t have to struggle with invisibility anymore. Whether you’ve just listened to your first episode, or have joined us for all 37 (and counting!), we are grateful for your support — sharing and listening to these stories helps to empower this community through conversation.
So, who did we talk to in August? We talked to Vincent Sabella on living with OCD, depression, anxiety, and schizoaffective disorder; Michelle Roberts on ERISA and disability insurance; Tonya Butts on toxic mold and Sweet Apricity (her company that makes elimination-diet-compliant sweets and treats); and Karyn Buxman on the healing power of humor.
For those who are not aware, we encourage you to listen to the Michelle Roberts episode and do your research on ERISA. This government policy applies to the disability community in a number of ways and you may be able to seek assistance.
Episode 34: Living with Schizoaffective Disorder, OCD, Depression, & Anxiety – and Surviving Cancer with Vincent Sabella
Writer and filmmaker Vincent Sabella lives with OCD, depression, anxiety, and schizoaffective disorder. In 2013, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; he has been in remission for six years. Vinny’s film Elizabeth Blue was written after a harrowing year during which many of his medications, with which he is diligent, failed. He sits down with Lauren to discuss his life, his work, and the positive mental attitude he brings to all he does.
Michelle Roberts is a recognized “Super Lawyer” in her field and is a partner at the California law firm of Kantor & Kantor, LLP. She has spent her entire legal career helping individuals with disabilities obtain income replacement benefits from their employer’s group disability plans, and works from the heart after watching her father, a disabled veteran, struggle to work and support his family while dealing with the consequences of debilitating medical conditions. She has worked with hundreds of clients with invisible illnesses and understands the unique challenges of proving disability to an insurance company. Her focus is in handling claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Tonya Butts is the founder of Sweet Apricity, a company that makes elimination-diet-compliant sweets. They are grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free, made only with simple ingredients allowed on the AIP and Paleo diets. Tonya knew what most of us who have tried a strict diet understand: sometimes the greatest gift is a sweet treat that won’t wreck our progress. In addition to starting her company, Tonya has discovered a shocking truth: that she’s been living with toxic mold symptoms for years. She tells Lauren about how this has affected her identity and her work-life balance, and how grateful she is to be connected to the caring community of Spoonies (and their loved ones) that Sweet Apricity has brought into her life.
Karyn Buxman is a neurohumorist (living at the intersection of the brain and humor), author, researcher, keynoter, coach, and TEDx speaker. For the last 30 years, she has worked with clients like NASA, the Mayo Clinic, Cigna, and 800+ others to empower with healthy humor. She runs custom retreats at her HumorLab in San Diego, and focuses on high performers in the ROI of laughter. She is quick to distinguish that humor ≠ comedy. Her next book, Funny Means Money: Strategic Humor for Influence & World Domination is due to be published by Forbes Books in winter 2020.