The Natural Evolution Podcast

Season 1

Episode 8

S1E8 – I’m Still Here with Dr. Christina Bjorndal

Today we get into a deep discussion about living with addiction, mental health and disorders, and suicide attempts with Dr. Christina Bjorndal.  I have a lot in common with Dr. Chris and it was healing for both of us to have this talk.

Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND is considered an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders using a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual approach. Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is a gifted speaker and best selling author who has shared her wellness philosophy with platforms such as the Jenny McCarthy show, the International Bipolar Foundation, and many health summits and docuseries. She is recognized as a top ND to follow by two independent organizations. Her book “Beyond the Label” is a comprehensive guide to naturopathic mental health. 

Connect with Dr. Chris and learn more about her work:

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About our Guest

Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND is considered an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders using a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual approach.  

Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is a gifted speaker and best selling author who has shared her wellness philosophy with platforms such as the Jenny McCarthy show, the International Bipolar Foundation, and many health summits and docuseries. She is recognized as a top ND to follow by two independent organizations. Her book “Beyond the Label” is a comprehensive guide to naturopathic mental health.

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S01E08 I'm Still Here with Dr. Christina Bjorndal

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Podcast Transcript

Hello and welcome to The Natural Evolution, produced by Rebel Health Tribe, a radio show focused on providing you with inspiration, education, and tools for true healing and transformation. I’m Michael and I’ll be your guide on this adventure as together we explore the very nature of the healing journey. We are live. I’m with Dr. Chris Bjorndal. Thank you for joining us here for the podcast today. 

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, it’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Michael:

This is going to be fun. I mentioned before we went live that this is going to be the episode that I relate the most with because we have kind of similar challenges as far as our healing journeys and what we’ve been through. So this will be an interesting conversation for sure. I’ve known of your work for a while and we’ve had a few chats, but we haven’t quote done anything professionally together yet so I’m excited to make this happen, and if you aren’t familiar with Dr. Christina Bjorndal’s work, I’ll read you a little short bio and then we’re just going to jump into getting started.

She is an expert and authority in the treatment of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders using a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual approach. Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is a gifted speaker and best selling author who’s shared her wellness philosophy with platforms such as The Jenny McCarthy Show, the International Bipolar Foundation, and many health summits and doctors series. That’s where I first saw you. And then she is recognized as a top MD to follow by two independent organizations, and her book Beyond the Label is a comprehensive guide to naturopathic mental health. It is on the shelf behind you, I believe. Yep.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

Right there.

Christina Bjorndal:

On the desk in front of me.

Michael:

As I’ve slowly transitioned, right there, myself from kind of one side of the healing world of the nutrition and functional health and functional medicine, over to the other of the mental, emotional, spiritual side, I’ve become more and more intrigued with professionals on one side or the other who merge the two together, because as we were also saying before you came on that there are no sides to healing, and there seems to be these silos that things operate in, so you’re somebody that I’m really happy to have on that can speak to just the interrelatedness of all of it and I’m sure that this was discovered out of necessity during your own journey. So I usually ask other doctors, did you want to be a doctor when you grew up?

Christina Bjorndal:

No.

Michael:

No. Not a single one has said yes, to be honest.

Christina Bjorndal:

No.

Michael:

So I guess where should we start? Depression and bipolar and anxiety, these are, I’m guessing, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but are these things you’ve encountered your whole life from childhood?

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes. Not well.

Michael:

Did you realize it as a kid?

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. So this is the thing, you know that question when did it start for you, or what was going on in your life when you were first experiencing anxiety or depression?

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

So for me that was really in university, however, when we back up the bus a little bit, I developed an eating disorder in high school, and if we back up the bus even further, I am adopted. And so I never viewed adoption really on a conscious level as a trauma, per se, but I formed some beliefs about myself upon learning that I was adopted, such as-

Michael:

When did you learn?

Christina Bjorndal:

About age five, kindergarten ish.

Michael:

That’s interesting. I’m also adopted, I think we’ve chatted about that but then I forgot that we shared that.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes.

Michael:

So you learned around age five?

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes. Yes. And so the theory in this, I’m born in ’67, so the theory at the time in the late ’60s, ’70s, the social workers told my parents to tell me the truth. When I asked, just tell me the truth. But what happened was I didn’t understand what the word meant 100% in my five year old brain, so I processed it to mean that I was with them temporarily.

Michael:

Oh, that they were going to get rid of you.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. That I was just there temporarily, and eventually somebody was going to come.

Michael:

Wow.

Christina Bjorndal:

But nobody ever came. I think I was in grade eight when I said to my mom one day, “Is anybody coming?” And she’s like, “What are you talking about?”

Michael:

Coming to get you?

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. And we had a conversation, so every time the doorbell rang or there was a knock on the door or I was like okay this is it, right?

Michael:

This is going to be my new mom.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes. They’re coming to get me. So here’s the thing, I processed it also to mean I’m not worthy, I’m not wanted, I’m not lovable, and again, not on a conscious, this is more this implicit piece-

Michael:

I know.

Christina Bjorndal:

You get this, right? And then if we take it, so I had a conversation with our teacher, Gabor Mate, and he asked me about that in utero experience for me, and I opened my book with a discussion about that which is from his book, how the mental emotional imprinting happens in utero, so when we talk about when did this happen for you, in some cases we have to go all the way back there, and I want to also mention here, this isn’t about blaming others at all, the environment, whether it’s the father that’s having mental emotional issues, or the mother that’s carrying you biologically, can impact that developing fetus. It’s not just the mother. So anyway, this has been really interesting for me to really go back and look at life all the way from that conception time.

Michael:

Yeah, I’ve been down the same road with exploring it. I was told from when I was like the earliest memories I have. It was never a secret, it was never anything, and they were very clear about it, I didn’t have any misconceptions, when I was really little it was that I didn’t come from my mom’s belly.

Christina Bjorndal:

Right.

Michael:

I came from some other mom’s belly, and they are taking care of me and I’m their child, and they were very meticulous to make sure that I understood it and then my first friend who lived across the street from me when I was really little, Nick, Nick and Mike, he was adopted too. So I didn’t know, and then when I was in grade school, one of my friends was adopted. So it was never a thing to me that I was consciously worried about or thinking anything about or whatever. And then there was probably an entire literally, people don’t believe me when I say this because people are like, “Weren’t you so intrigued to find you family?” There were entire decades of my life where I didn’t think about it one time.

Christina Bjorndal:

Wow.

Michael:

Where it never occurred to me even from teens, 20s, I never thought about it, it never mattered to me, I never whatever. When I started doing some work around patterns and depression and anxiety and addiction things, somebody said well you need to talk about your adoption, I’m like why? It doesn’t matter. And then I’ve learned about it through Gabor and others too that this imprinting happens in utero, and what he didn’t, because I was like well I don’t know the situation that there was when I was in utero, and you obviously don’t have recall of these things, and he also shares that it’s implicit-

Christina Bjorndal:

Implicit memory.

Michael:

It’s memory that lives in the body and the neuro development. But then I thought well I don’t know, maybe it wasn’t a stressful environment, and in his book and I think it’s Dan Siegel’s Neurobiology of We or one of those others too, they talk about how in an adoption situation there’s almost no way that the mother isn’t going to be stressed.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right. Absolutely.

Michael:

Because there’s a reason she’s not keeping the child, [crosstalk 00:08:23], and whatever it is, there’s going to be stressful things around it, there’s going to be stress happening, there’s shame, there’s guilt, there’s all these things that are going to be, and the child obviously picks up, they’ve proven that the neuro development picks up on the situation. So we both kind of started behind the eight ball a little bit.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, we came out of the womb that way. We came out of the womb wired somewhat. Now the thing is, it’s a matter of what are you going to do with that information? How are you going to go forward in the world? And how did that imprinting effect you? Because the minute that you’re born, all the neurons aren’t wired and firing together. You have a chance to rewire, which is one of the areas that I love talking about is this neuro plastic piece of the puzzle.

So for me, I have had a lot of struggles in the mental health side, and the party line when I was struggling was take basically pharmaceutical medication, and one of the reasons why I wanted to write this book and do the work that I do is I think there’s more to health than just the physical level. So whether you take a pharmaceutical or a nutraceutical, you’re simply on that physical level. And that got me so far. It honestly did, for sure. However, I ended up bumping up against my thoughts and my emotions and my core beliefs and my shadow beliefs and my unconscious commitments and my inability to set boundaries and my people pleasing problems, right? So there’s so much more to this than just the physical. You as a human being, it’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. And that’s really the holistic approach we need to be having when we’re working with people. And I think one of my frustrations, and with Gabor Mate, he interviewed me for this new book he’s coming out with, The Myths of Mental Illness I think it’s called, something like that.

Michael:

Something about how messed up society is pretty much.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. The subtitle is finding sanity in an insane culture.

Michael:

Yeah, yeah. It’ll be good.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, it’ll be great. And he asked me did anybody ever ask you about trauma?

Michael:

When you were going through being medicated for depression and everything else, yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

No. Right. And it’s not about blaming things either, I want to be clear about that as well, it’s really just about you can’t get to a place of quote unquote healing if you don’t first seek to understand and bring some curiosity to yeah, why do I react like that? Why do I respond in that situation? Why does my nervous system go whoa when someone screams or raises their voice?

Michael:

You’d never find the answer unless you ask the question.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes, right? Yeah. Brilliant. You’ll never find the answer if you aren’t willing to, yeah.

Michael:

It’s funny, because I figured since we’re both, she’s completed Gabor’s training and I’m in it, Compassionate Inquiry, the training he has, and I’m actually listening to an audiobook right now by someone else I know through Facebook actually, his name is Chris Grosso, and he’s a Buddhist recovery, recovered addict, writes books type of guy, covered in tattoos head to face, really unorthodox type of spiritual approach, but in his book, he goes and he talks to and he interviews a lot of teachers of various types, from neuroscience to spirituality, whatever, and I’m reading this section right now where he interviewed Gabor, so it’s kind of ironic. And then it’s funny because I’ve watched so many videos with Gabor now that I know the answers Gabor’s going to give to his questions almost word to word.

But he said something I had never thought of, in all the years I’ve been doing recovery work and I’ve been training in these Buddhist schools and all these things is Gabor asked me when you relapse, because Chris has had many relapses and he’s very open with it, and that’s what most of his writing is about, the process of relapse and recovery and relapse and recovery and what is it like from a spiritual standpoint. What does alcohol do for you? What benefit does it have? What does alcohol do, because it’s mainly his drug of choice is alcohol. He said in the 20 years I’ve been doing this work nobody’s ever asked me that question.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

And he said it opened a new door for me, and so that’s a level that’s beyond the physical. It’s not like oh what it does is it kills my brain cells. No, it takes away the pain. So-

Christina Bjorndal:

It takes away the pain, it’s serving a purpose. And what’s the pain you’re running away from and what’s the pain you feel is too hard for you to [crosstalk 00:13:08]-

Michael:

And if you don’t ask that first question you’re never going to find the thing that’s the thing you’re running away from.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right.

Michael:

And approach that thing.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes.

Michael:

And see where that goes and see if your desire to use changes, or if the pain lessens.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes.

Michael:

I have a lot of friends who are recovered addicts. I spent a lot of years drinking and using various things to not feel things and to feel differently, and I don’t use the word addict for myself because I was able to stop anything really when I wanted to and now if I have a glass of wine it’s not like I’m going to go drink six bottles of wine and a bottle of vodka, so I feel it cheapens the experience of people I would consider true addicts and alcoholics if I lump myself in with that.

Christina Bjorndal:

Right.

Michael:

But that was my circle.

Christina Bjorndal:

Right.

Michael:

That’s where I was running. So I have a lot of recovered friends.

Christina Bjorndal:

That whole addict thing, I was just going to say though, that’s just another label.

Michael:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

I think we should just, the DSM manual with all the labels really should be two words in there, human being.

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s it. They’re all labels, and it’s an identity we form around being an addict, right? I mean I’m an addict. Any person with an eating disorder, it’s an addiction.

Michael:

For sure. Yeah, yeah. People don’t consider that either. They don’t lump that in. And that’s what I was saying, what I’ve noticed in those circles is like in AA for example, and AA saved my best friend’s life, he’s been in it for seven years, he’s been clean seven years, he goes to meetings. It’s not my favorite thing.

Christina Bjorndal:

Right.

Michael:

But for some people it’s amazing. So I don’t want anyone to take this as I’m throwing it under the bus. But if you go to an AA meeting, and I’ve been to them with friends and such, there’s no booze there and there’s no drugs there, but there’s a ton of smoking and a ton of coffee-

Christina Bjorndal:

Coffee and drinking.

Michael:

-and a ton of doughnuts and a ton of sugar and a ton of everything else.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

And unless you ask the questions and get to the thing that you eventually get led to of what you’re trying to numb, you’re just going to find another way.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right.

Michael:

And so the booze goes away and cigarettes go up.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right.

Michael:

Or the booze goes away and the doughnuts go up.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right. It’s very common. That’s so common.

Michael:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And there’s an argument there like well doughnuts aren’t heroin.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, well-

Michael:

It’s like okay.

Christina Bjorndal:

They’re close to cocaine.

Michael:

Hey, if you’re enjoying this show make sure you head over to rebelhealthtribe.com/kit, that’s K-I-T, and grab the RHT starter kit which includes a sampler of four free videos from our professional masterclasses and webinars, the RHT healthy sleep guide, the wellness vault coupon book which will save you money on all of our favorite health related tools and resources, a professional products guide, and a coupon for 15% off your first order in our shop. That’s rebelhealthtribe.com/kit, K-I-T, and you’ll get all that delivered right away. Also, if you’re on Facebook, we’ve got a fun, engaging, and supportive group over there as well with thousands of health seekers just like yourself. Just search for Rebel Health Tribe and you’ll find us. Thanks for listening, and now back to the show.

In your childhood, you’re starting to experience, what age were you medicated? When did these things really [crosstalk 00:16:23] something’s going on here.

Christina Bjorndal:

Something’s going on. You know what, it wasn’t really until university.

Michael:

Okay. So you went through high school-

Christina Bjorndal:

Went through high school-

Michael:

Dealing with those things, or was it not very prominent yet?

Christina Bjorndal:

Not very prominent yet. High school was mostly just the eating disorder. Which I shouldn’t say just. So the eating disorder was happening in high school. I’m an overachiever to the nth degree, so I was that kid. Top student, top athlete, top winning all the scholarships, I was that person. And this overachieving ness, this pushing and pushing myself, what was underneath all that was a sense of lack. I was covering up this sense of insecurity I felt, this proving my worth to the world because I didn’t think that I was worthy. But again, not all on a conscious level.

So when I get to university, I find myself in a place I had never really been hugely before, which is in depression. Now my parents had divorced when I was in grade 11. It was a big upset. I don’t usually get emotional when I talk about my parents getting divorced, but it was a super huge upset in my life, because again, what’s the most important thing to any child, as we learn, is attachment, right? And authenticity, and attunement, and all of these things. So my foundation which was a little bit had some cracks in it now was really cracked wide open. So that was a major, major event in my life, but I just continued marching through the world that you know what, nobody’s got my back, I’ve got to overachieve to be the best.

And by third year university I was debilitated with depression, riddled with suicidal ideation, and paralyzed by anxiety, so bad that eventually one of my best friends went to get help for me at the student health clinic, was told to make an appointment for me, so she did, I went with an indifferent willingness, took the medication. Three months after that, find myself in this other place I had never been before which is having delusional psychotic event, it took six people to wrestle me into a straight jacket, I was thrown in a rubber room until I came, injected with a powerful antipsychotic until I came back to reality. And then I’m given the diagnosis of bipolar disorder type one, and I just basically said what’s that? I never heard of that. I never heard of depression except for in the economics of the word.

Michael:

I didn’t realize I was chronically depressed for 30 years.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. I think that there were glimpses of depression and anxiety before the big crash in university, but I think I was a very active child, so I think the exercise and that competitiveness-

Michael:

Kind of gave it an outlet, gave a distraction, gave it something to do.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And so anyway, but given this diagnosis and basically wearing the mask, that’s not happening to me and just marching through the world.

Michael:

That was your third year of college?

Christina Bjorndal:

That was my third year.

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

I’ve actually spent probably a little over a whole year of my life in psychiatric care, if I add up all the hospital stays. But the big spiritual turning point for me was actually the anniversary is tomorrow, June 9, 1994, so many years ago now, I had a suicide attempt that left me in a coma with kidney failure, and I was on dialysis and told I would need a kidney transplant, and that same girlfriend brought me a book to read while I was recovering in the hospital, and there’s a quote in this book, it’s by Marianne Williamson called The Return to Love, and the quote about surrender, and a key word in that quote which goes along these lines that surrender is not about breaking out of anything, it’s a gentle melting into who you really are. So you let down the armor, and you discover that all god needs is just one sincere surrendered moment where love matters more than anything, and nothing else really matters at all.

So the key word for me in that whole quote was the word love, because I was like what is that exactly? And anybody who’s at war with themselves and wants to end their life, I can tell you, there’s not a lot of love happening within that human soul. That soul is suffering, and the ego-

Michael:

The story, yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

The story, yeah, you’re stuck in the story of I’m not, again, the whole story, the inner critic for me, Michael, was so harsh. So harsh. Even when it came down to a line of the suicide piece it was like you can’t even do that. It was almost like a challenge.

Michael:

Because you were alive?

Christina Bjorndal:

No, before I did it.

Michael:

Oh.

Christina Bjorndal:

Afterwards I had to then reconcile why did that not work? That should have worked. The nephrologist said I don’t know why you’re sitting here, you’re a miracle. I said yesterday to my friend, I said you know my mind wanted to leave but my soul wanted to stay. And that’s the first of three attempts. That was not my first or last suicide attempt. I’ve had three. Ironically enough all of them in the month of May or June, which interesting enough is, which I didn’t realize, but is actually the month were suicide rates are the highest is the month of June. It’s not January.

Michael:

Really?

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. Yeah.

Michael:

That’s interesting. I would think it would be in the winter.

Christina Bjorndal:

You’d think so but it’s actually not. It’s June.

Michael:

Has anybody explored why that is?

Christina Bjorndal:

I did a little exploration of that, I can send you the link.

Michael:

Sure. I’m curious.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

Traditionally June was always when I was the happiest. My birthday is in June, school got out in June, the summer came in June, the pool opened in June.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, it’s the same. My birthday’s in June as well.

Michael:

You mentioned, I hope this is okay to bring up, before we went on air, that you’ve had malignant melanoma, and you always forget to bring it up because they just cut it off, it was pretty easy, you didn’t go through radiation, you didn’t go through chemo. I feel like that about a suicide attempt that I had. Like when I was 17, I took a bunch of muscle relaxers and a couple other things that I found in a cabinet, but I kind of knew it wasn’t enough that it would kill me probably maybe, I slept for like two days, I was super messed up. I woke up and didn’t know where I was or what was going on or whatever, but I hesitate to say I have a suicide attempt because I took what was there.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. It’s an attempt, call a spade a spade.

Michael:

It didn’t get the attention that I wanted.

Christina Bjorndal:

I don’t know that every suicide attempt is an attention.

Michael:

I don’t think so-

Christina Bjorndal:

They say that.

Michael:

I’m not categorizing all suicide attempts as attention, I know mine was, and then it scared me because I’m like man I don’t feel good at all and I was just asleep for two days. Going to sleep and waking up multiple days later and not knowing what happened in between is not a comfortable feeling.

Christina Bjorndal:

Mm-mm (negative).

Michael:

It’s very bizarre and very strange and very scary.

Christina Bjorndal:

I’d say it was a call for love, it’s a call for love.

Michael:

Yeah. I wouldn’t have been able to use that language at the time, but I just wanted somebody to see how much I was in pain.

Christina Bjorndal:

Suffering, yeah. Suffering.

Michael:

What was your undergrad? What were you going to school for?

Christina Bjorndal:

Commerce.

Michael:

Oh, not this.

Christina Bjorndal:

No, no.

Michael:

Did you finish school?

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, I graduated valedictorian, surprise surprise.

Michael:

From university? Of course you did because you’re type A overachiever.

Christina Bjorndal:

You bet.

Michael:

That’s interesting. I’m not. I’m like the slacker that was able to pass things just because I was smart but I didn’t have to try.

Christina Bjorndal:

Oh yeah.

Michael:

So I wouldn’t do my homework but I would get As on all the tests-

Christina Bjorndal:

You’re like my son.

Michael:

And then [crosstalk 00:24:31] teachers. Yeah, yeah, the frustrating ones for the teachers.

Christina Bjorndal:

And the parents.

Michael:

There was the teachers pet, and I was the opposite of the teachers pet, and I actually had teachers say like this would be easier for me if you weren’t so capable. It makes me so angry because I know you can be doing this and you’re choosing not to and I actually became a teacher for a little bit and that was very ironic.

Christina Bjorndal:

But that comment though to me is they’re projecting themselves onto you, right?

Michael:

Probably. Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

Because another response would be like wow Michael this is amazing. You put in zero effort and look at you fly man, this is awesome.

Michael:

I’ve never heard that one time. It was always why don’t you apply yourself, you’re a slacker, if you tried you could do this and you could do this thing. I didn’t want to do the thing. The thing they would hold out there and be like you could do this thing, I’m like why would I want to do that? I’m totally fine like I am. You can do that. I’m going to just do this. In high school I found out I could get into college purely based on my ACT score. I could go to a university if I scored high enough on my ACT, I just mentally dropped out of high school. So we were kind of opposites. So depression doesn’t always have to look the same, and over achieving and self critic aren’t always the culprit, there’s so many different flavors. Mine was just an overwhelming constant shame.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes.

Michael:

And that was from being told I was lazy and slacker and bad and all these things.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. And what saddens me is that’s the message that every child is getting pretty much still to this day.

Michael:

Yeah, 100%.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. And I think I said as you were telling your story, I said yeah you sound like my son, right?

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

And I as a parent have had to really not project my stuff onto him.

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

Like you asked me did I want to be a doctor when I was little, no. What I wanted to be was an Olympic athlete. That was my dream. That was my dream. That was what I wanted to grow up to be, Olympic athlete.

Michael:

What sport?

Christina Bjorndal:

Track and field. Running, surprise surprise, running. Always running away from something, right?

Michael:

Type A, running, most of my running clients in the past when I was a trainer were all type A.

Christina Bjorndal:

Oh sure. It’s a very yang and it’s a very rah.

Michael:

When I would take it away from them when they were adrenal crashed and exhausted and had thyroid problems they were furious, and what even do I have to live for?

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. Well that’s what we were talking about earlier too as well is that exercise piece, and I don’t want to diminish it, but there was a call I was on recently with, we were talking about hockey too, so Hayley Wickenheiser, I don’t know if I’m saying her last name exactly correctly, she’s a really famous female hockey player for Canada’s Olympic team, there was a call she was doing, she’s now studying to be a medical doctor and she was saying how important exercise, exercise, exercise, and I piped up and I said yeah but you know, yes it is, but you can’t out exercise a crappy diet. Right?

Michael:

No.

Christina Bjorndal:

And what happened to me a decade ago and two months ago, blowing out my knee, a decade ago when I blew out my knee I fell into a very severe depression because that was the only egg I had in my basket.

Michael:

It took away your thing.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, it took away my thing. And I was like Chris, are you that fragile? Are you seriously that fragile that because you can’t run, bike, swim, hike, jump, whatever, you’re going to commit suicide? Seriously, Chris.

Michael:

That’s taking away the thing. When you take away the thing and the underlying reason for the thing isn’t addressed, I moved out west to live with my now wife and I stopped drinking, I stopped smoking weed, I stopped eating comfort trash foods, I stopped binging shows and movies, I literally stopped all my things at once. I broke out in hives, couldn’t figure that out. Was like what is it about this place I’m allergic to? Probably not allergic to anything. My anxiety and panic, I developed panic attacks which was new, I didn’t know what those were and then all of the sudden I’m like why can’t I breathe right now? Am I having a heart attack? All these things just exploded and at the time I didn’t even put that together. I thought it was about moving to across country to a new place that triggered all these things, and it was no, it was because I took away all my things.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

How many years, that was like 10 years when you were 21 ish and then you blew out your knee the first time? The college suicide attempt, you finish valedictorian in commerce.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, so it was depression and then medication psychosis, hospitalization, graduation, working, climb the corporate ladder, report to a CEO, then-

Michael:

Probably loved that, go getter loved the corporate.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, actually that suicide attempt they had to hire three people to run my portfolio.

Michael:

And that was probably very validating.

Christina Bjorndal:

Well and infuriating. And infuriating. Because you weren’t paying me for three people.

Michael:

They weren’t paying you three salaries.

Christina Bjorndal:

No way. And they weren’t even paying me the same they were paying the same guy to do the same job as me.

Michael:

Of course not.

Christina Bjorndal:

Of course not, right? Affirmative action.

Michael:

Why would they do that?

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right.

Michael:

Did you come back to that job?

Christina Bjorndal:

I did, through a different lens though. I realized oh the hours aren’t 7 AM to 11 PM at night seven days a week? Okay, great. I only have to be here from-

Michael:

How much were you paying those three people?

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, exactly. That was the first suicide attempt. And then that’s when I realized okay I want out of this corporate rat race I’m in. I really want out of it. But I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to turn. And it was funny, it took me, so that was ’94. I left my job in 2000 and I went back to high school, because I didn’t do the science the first time around, I didn’t have the prerequisites. So I went back to high school at 33. But the turning point really for me was when I went to see Dr. Abram Hoffer, so he was a nutritionally oriented psychiatrist. I saw him in 1999.

So that decade or more, the 15 years really from 1983 to 1999, 16 years, I was really in and out of depression a lot, and anxiety. The psychosis piece I had two back to back, and then I never had another one for over a decade. So it made me even question the diagnosis. So when I started with Dr. Hoffer’s nutritional program, you might notice I’m a bit red right now, part of the reason is because I’m taking something that causes flush reaction, it’s called vitamin D3. So I was taking five psychotropic medications to manage my mind at that time, and Dr. Hoffer started me on this nutritional side which I started and I took and I had my first year where I felt free from depression and anxiety, which I had not had in the 15 years prior. So I thought there was really something to this.

And one of the reasons why I never left my job despite the fact it was sucking the life out of me and I was letting it because of the over achieving people pleaser side of me, I didn’t know how to manage boundaries or say no, was it felt more threatening to me to leave the comfort and security of that environment than risk rejection looking for another job. Because that’s my core wound, which is a perception as we know now, that rejection is a perception, it’s not a true emotion, but it was my reality. This is why relationships, I had a hard time in relationships. It shows up in many ways, these beliefs that get imprinted or that you form consciously or not. And this is why I’m really emphasizing to people I work with that it’s all of it. Yeah, sure, you can take Prozac or you can take St. Johns Wort, but we really need to think about how you truly feel about you.

What are your thoughts, how do you feel, what are these feelings? When we’ve done this studying with Gabor Mate, one of the questions he asks me is okay depression, what emotion are you pushing down? And I’m like I didn’t have an answer for him. He asked me, what about anger? I said well I don’t do anger. What does that tell you right there, right? Why don’t you do anger? I’m not comfortable with it. Because I personally am not comfortable with losing my mind, I associate anger and rage and those high energy emotions like-

Michael:

With a loss of control.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes, and bipolar disorder, for me there’s a lot of stigma and shame around that. My psychiatrist told me when I went to work in the corporate world, I know I’m going all over the place, but he said to me, “Chris, don’t tell anybody you’ve got this.” So what did that leave me with? That left me feeling like shame, I’m wrong, again feeding those core beliefs. I’m bad, I’m not lovable-

Michael:

If these other people knew the truth about me then …

Christina Bjorndal:

They wouldn’t hire me, I’d lose my job, then I lose my security, then I’m on the street because nobody’s got my back. Right?

Michael:

Yeah. It’s amazing, and my mind does the same thing. It goes to the same place immediately. This will happen then that will happen then that will happen then I’ll be on the street. But all it is is I didn’t make a green light or something. What I’ve also learned through studying through Gabor is the trauma response of black and white and this and that, this or that. It’s always either or not yes and.

Christina Bjorndal:

Right. Not the gray.

Michael:

So I had to learn that someone can hold an opinion of me that is one way, and be upset with me about something, but their overall opinion is still one of caring, but if they’re upset, because my mind goes straight to oh that person hates me. Or I harmed that person, this is over, this thing is done. And immediately whatever it is is done. And the same thing with any criticism, this person thinks I’m stupid, this person thinks this or whatever. And I love how Gabor teaches in front of large audiences often so the training videos involve that and someone will say a story, someone said something in a meeting and it made me feel dumb, or whatever it is, because they think I’m dumb. And he’ll be like are you sure? And then he asks the audience, can anybody think of a reason why that person might have said the thing they said in the meeting? It could be they’re short on sleep, they have toddlers, there’s this or that or whatever other thing and all of those things seem just as feasible if not more so than the story the person created, but we always come up with the one that’s like the worst thing.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

It’s always worst case scenario, it’s always this is going to lead to this, which is going to be a doom, it’s always this thing. And when I found out that there’s people that don’t think like that, I was like what? How does your brain work? If this situation happens, what do you think? And they would tell me and I’m like what? Really? You’re not bullshitting yourself? That’s really how you process the thing is oh that person loves me but right now they’re just a little upset with me. I’m like what? Because I’ve been wired differently.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. For me it’s over.

Michael:

Done. That’s it.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. That’s right. Yeah.

Michael:

So the people pleasing becomes almost a level that’s obsessive.

Christina Bjorndal:

It’s a disease.

Michael:

Because yeah, if somebody doesn’t like one thing that I did, they hate me, I’m worthless, shame pit, let’s go get some beer. And that was an entire, I was in the service industry for 10 years and people are pissed at you all the time.

Christina Bjorndal:

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. [crosstalk 00:36:35]. Oh gosh, you’re hitting on the main theme. I had a real traumatizing experience with my mother-in-law, who only spent 10 hours with me, and this is over about 10 years of marriage. 10 hours, so not a lot of time. Not a lot of time. One thing she said was, “I’m sick and tired of dealing with you and your mental illness.”

Michael:

Wow.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. Talk about straight to the heart, right? At which point my lid flipped, because this is a primary relationship, right? I want everybody to like me.

Michael:

Especially ones like that.

Christina Bjorndal:

Ones like that. My husband’s mother. My husband looked and he was like okay this is not cool. Anyway, the point that I’m making about why I’m saying that is I made it mean that I’m again, horrible, worthless, all of that kind of stuff, and I must be so bad because his mother, she’s sick and tired of me, and she doesn’t even know me.

Michael:

Yeah. It’s like I accomplished that very quickly.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. I got counseling from my naturopathic doctor and he said this quote to me which I could not hear nor learn and I have a hard time with this, but I’m getting it, which is exactly what I think you were teaching, and it is other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.

Michael:

I’ve seen that one, and there’s a part of me that’s really resistant to it.

Christina Bjorndal:

Wayne Dyer, yeah. It’s a tough one, right? It’s tough.

Michael:

I’ve taken it on, but I took on the other extreme to balance it. I’ve gone through a lot of my life being the one that I don’t give a shit what anybody thinks about me, doing all these brash, unacceptable things-

Christina Bjorndal:

Well it’s pushing. It’s pushing people away.

Michael:

Yeah, yeah. It pushes anybody who I felt might judge me, the type of person who might judge me, if I’m just extreme then they’ll for sure want nothing to do with me and then I never have to deal with that thing.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right.

Michael:

It self identifies the people that I project wouldn’t approve of me. And then just preemptively gets them away.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right.

Michael:

So that’s why I started have all kinds of loud tattoos, that’s why I did a lot of certain things that I used to do is because there’s people who if they see somebody with an arm full of tattoos, well not so much anymore, it’s way less taboo now, but when I started it was very taboo to have that, and they’d be scared of you or nervous around you or whatever, perfect. Great. Stay the hell away from me.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

Then the criticism is silent, then I don’t hear it. That’s so interesting. So that was number two was the job.

Christina Bjorndal:

The second one was in 1997, so three years after the first. I won’t go into the story just because I don’t want to trigger everybody, this was a Friday, over the weekend, that was the whole theme of the weekend was an attempt. Monday morning I happened to have an appointment with my psychiatrist, 9 AM before I was going off to work, and he asked me, “How was your weekend?” I said not good. “What happened?” I told him. So he admitted me right then and there. I said you can’t admit me, I have to go to work. I didn’t do it, obviously, I’m sitting right here in your chair. And I think the reason he did that was because my mother after the first one in 1994, she was I think on him, like are you doing enough?

Michael:

Isn’t it legally their obligation to do that?

Christina Bjorndal:

I think so, but he marched me down the hall. So that was a bit inconvenient.

Michael:

I’m curious, so you’re battling, I don’t want to use the word battling, you are existing in a state of bipolar and depression and anxiety and ups and downs and all of this, during that window of time, which never really goes away, so I don’t want to make it seem like this was then, now is now, and everything is perfect now, but was there a point where like this is my life, this is what it’s going to be, and this is what I have to deal with forever? Or I’m going to get better, or this is going to be fixed?

Christina Bjorndal:

No. So what happened was in ’94 I was like okay I’ve got to figure out another way to navigate this because this is not working, and I’m still here. And so I had to really reconcile that. I had to reconcile why am I still here and other people aren’t, and I wasn’t happy that I’m still here and other people aren’t. Nothing much improved from ’94 to ’97 for me except for realizing that I’ve got to figure out another way to navigate this. So I did group therapy, I started group therapy, I was doing therapy. Hadn’t been doing that prior. Started seeing a naturopathic doctor as well in 1996, and then in ’98 I was dating somebody and as I told you earlier, his cousin committed suicide.

Michael:

Yeah, the same day you found out you had cancer, right?

Christina Bjorndal:

Same day I found out, yeah. His death opened my eyes because, and I’ll start to cry, because I sat across the dinner table from him every Sunday night for pretty much a year and I never reached my hand across to tell him that the year before and three years before that I tried to kill myself.

Michael:

So he didn’t know?

Christina Bjorndal:

He didn’t know. I could see he was struggling, I knew he was struggling. I was so stuck in my stigma and my shame that I couldn’t even reach my hand across the table.

Michael:

Because you didn’t want him to know.

Christina Bjorndal:

Didn’t want him to know. Didn’t want anybody to know, because you can’t tell anybody, Chris, that you have bipolar disorder, because nobody is going to love you with that black mark on you. So I went to his funeral and really opened my eyes to the other side of suicide.

Michael:

Yeah. You got to see what’s left over.

Christina Bjorndal:

I got to see what’s left behind. My view on suicide is it’s not your decision. There is a spiritual element to all of us, and it’s not really up to you. It’s not really up to you. This gets into more spiritual stuff like the idea of soul contracts and stuff like that, but anyway, my last suicide attempt was actually not that long ago, 2009, when my son was three. And I’ve never been public about, ugh, this is like a healing session, I’ve got to pay you for therapy.

Michael:

I’ll send you an invoice.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes. Please do. I’ve only been public about the first attempt, which was that one in ’94 which I write an in the book. The second one I don’t talk much about.

Michael:

I have been to several funerals. There was a point where I wanted that.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

It wasn’t that I wanted to be dead, I wanted people to feel that way. I wanted to hurt people. I wanted to hurt people that were in my life and be like oh shit we shouldn’t have been like that to him. Or acknowledgement that it was hard, or my life was hard. Whatever it was, when I was in high school, my English partner, the teacher was really big on doing partner exercises and things, reading stuff and talking about it, he died. He got hit by a car.

Christina Bjorndal:

Oh my gosh.

Michael:

And I went to his funeral. I saw the devastation.

Christina Bjorndal:

Devastation.

Michael:

And also how everybody else looked at him then, you know when people die, especially famous people, but when people die it’s like oh my god this person, blah, blah, blah, blah, I wanted a combination of the pain that I saw certain people in, and he didn’t kill himself, but the pain that I saw certain people in, I projected certain people into those roles and was like yes, that. And then I saw all of these people who never gave a shit about him, who barely knew who he was, being like I talked to him one time at lunch and he’s such a good kid, or some nonsense. I wanted that too. And I saw it. It was really powerful, but then when I was, it was 2014 I think, I have his card right here, one of my best childhood friends died. And it was suicide, addiction, fuzzy gray area.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

And I had to fly back home for that and that was hard to see. That was hard to be at. But the thing is, this approach, I see a lot with suicide, we’re going way off what the normal arc would be here and I don’t really care, I think this is really important stuff to talk about. The whole, there’s a thing that I think that people who aren’t suicidal don’t understand and so I see these campaigns to prevent suicide, if you’re feeling suicidal call this number, or whatever. You’re mistakenly thinking that the individual wants to survive.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right.

Michael:

There’s a mistake there. That they feel that something would be better if they stayed. In my most recent period of being suicidal was only three years ago, I felt like everyone in my life would be better off if I killed myself, and that by staying I was screwing up everybody else’s situation and I was a burden on everybody else and so it wasn’t even that I wanted to kill myself for me, it was like I thought I was doing the world a favor.

Christina Bjorndal:

A favor, yes.

Michael:

Like I thought I was removing a burden from everyone else, which is a people pleasing thing.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right. And a faulty belief, right?

Michael:

Oh yeah for sure. But it was part that I was in tons of pain, and for me it’s shame. And shame is a bitch of an emotion.

Christina Bjorndal:

Shame’s a big one.

Michael:

That’s a tough one. And it was shame mixed with I went down the line of every person in my life and I was like this is how this will be better for this person. So that’s a mistake that I think a lot of people who have never been suicidal, that they don’t understand. That it’s so selfish to kill yourself, maybe in some instances, possibly. But in mine, no. I was making a sacrifice for other people. That’s how I viewed it. I was going to sacrifice myself to pull me out of their life, to make their life better. And that’s an angle I never see addressed in any of the suicidal things because if you’re not suicidal that’s really difficult to understand.

Christina Bjorndal:

It is. It is, and the other piece for me is that I’m wanting to end the suffering. I’m wanting to end my suffering, and through ending my suffering you will no longer have to suffer because you’re suffering along with me through my suffering.

Michael:

Yeah, it will suck for a little bit at first and then you’ll move on and then you don’t have to deal with me.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right.

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

And I feel that, like my dad, that first suicide attempt obviously was quite shocking to some of my family, and I remember having a conversation with my dad and I said well don’t you think about suicide? He’s like no. I’m like what? He’s like, “Chris, it’s not actually, no I don’t actually.” And I was like I can’t believe you don’t think about it. And he’s like I can’t believe you think about it. So it’s like okay, and I don’t want to say anything about normalcy around that, it’s just extremes. One person is thinking about it all day, all the time, the other person is not thinking about it at all, and it’s about meeting partly in the middle for you to help understand, because I think that if you’re not thinking about death then what is life?

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

I think death is, and I was having this conversation with my husband the other day, I’m a little bit surprised when I ask people what are your fears and they say death and I think why is that a fear? Isn’t that … you know you’re not getting out of here alive, right?

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

That should not be a newsflash for you.

Michael:

It’s like I’m scared of Thursday.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right, yeah. So I don’t want to make light of suicide, it’s a very heavy, weighty topic. I’ve spent a lot of my life living there in that space, in that energy, but what I want people to understand is ultimately suicidal thoughts are simply just that. They are just thoughts. And when you learn to navigate and manage your mind so then you’re no longer at the mercy of it, it will help you, and part of managing the mind involves leaning into the body and tuning into the emotions that are rising within you and riding those waves. The depths of darkness leads you to the beauty of the dawn. The thoughts themselves do not hurt you. I mean they can hurt you, they can move you to tears and they can-

Michael:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

They can stir you up, but it’s taking action on the thought that’s going to hurt you ultimately, right? And words hurt. If you string words together, write words out 20 times, it spells swords. So the words we use hurt. And the words you’re thinking about you hurt you. And I think for me, it’s been this journey into this really into the seat of my soul to figure out how the hell do I learn to love and accept myself? Not only this diagnosis, but also this belief, rewire this belief that I am not wanted. Right?

Michael:

When you figure it out let me know because I’m on the same path.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. And you know that’s the journey in the book that I really think is helpful, and I think it is about it’s not a destination, it’s a process. I don’t struggle like I used to. A lot of people ask me are you healed? And I’m like, I think the thing for me was when I asked a question why is this happening to me? Why? And the answer I always got was it’s genetic, I was like well that’s a bullshit answer. Sorry for swearing, but I’m adopted, so how do I know that that’s true?

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

So I didn’t accept it as the truth. And to answer a question that you asked earlier-

Michael:

I had the same reaction to that suggestion to that myself.

Christina Bjorndal:

That it’s the genetic one?

Michael:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. It’s a piece of the puzzle, and genes load the gun, but lifestyle pulls that trigger, and environment is a big part of that. They’ve done studies on adopted identical twins separated at birth, they don’t get the same health diseases. Why is that? So the environment matters. I think for me, it’s really been about figuring out, looking at myself as something to, and I guess this partly ties into the achieving, but how do I move into this place of healing? And I think Jeff Foster said it beautifully, he said anxiety, depression, insert whatever word you want to use, sadness, anger, whatever, doesn’t actually want to be healed. It wants to be held. So when I learn to embrace and stopped haring bipolar disorder, stopped hating depression, stopped hating psychosis, I leaned into compassion for myself and love. That’s when the healing, holding these, does that make sense?

Michael:

It shifted everything for me too, yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. You’re not trying to fix anything, there’s nothing wrong with you.

Michael:

And even down to something not quite as, I don’t want to say serious or significant, but I’ve learned the last couple years too that I have really severe ADD.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes. I probably have it too.

Michael:

And learning that though, like figuring that out and learning that, in Gabor’s book, he has a book on ADD as well, and there like this, this, this, this, this, this, all these different things how it manifests, and I was like check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check. And I was like wow that really explains a lot of things, and this really makes sense. It allowed me to have so much more compassion for myself where that was a big area where I would get criticized a lot and develop this story that I’m lazy, that I’m a procrastinator, that I can’t pay attention, insert [crosstalk 00:53:39] you want to throw in there.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

And I realized my brain is wired that way.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes.

Michael:

And it’s for a reason that that happened, and that wasn’t under my control. I didn’t choose. I didn’t choose to not be able to pay attention to things. I didn’t choose to have all these things wired in my brain a certain way, instead adoptees are, I think it said eight times more likely to have ADD, they’re over 10 times more likely to have addiction-

Christina Bjorndal:

Mental illness.

Michael:

Yeah, mental illness, and suicide and all these things, and even learning that statistic helped me because people are like why does that matter? And it’s like because it means that there’s a reason. It means that nothing is wrong with me. It’s how I’ve experienced life has been a natural reaction to the circumstances that I was in and my brain developed a certain way. Those things allowed me to see myself less in a I am wrong, I am broken, I am this, and it’s more in the this happened and so this is how it went.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, it’s more just saying this is me, not this is what’s wrong with me, right?

Michael:

And understanding it allowed me to, because it doesn’t solve the problem. Figuring out the reason you have the things you have to do, like we were talking earlier, figuring it out doesn’t solve it. Just figuring out I have this pattern so I drink so I don’t feel this thing and the thing is this. That doesn’t solve it. But that’s the first step, because you can’t heal something you don’t know is there, and you can’t heal something if you don’t have compassion for yourself because you won’t.

Christina Bjorndal:

That’s right.

Michael:

You won’t. So the being held is really true. And I’m going to share this, I haven’t publicly, but I’m going to on an episode that I haven’t recorded yet that they will have heard by now, so might as well.

Christina Bjorndal:

Okay.

Michael:

For me, my last bout of suicidal depression was a few years ago, and I tried all these things, and it was a plant medicine, psychedelic ceremony that flipped it for me.

Christina Bjorndal:

Was it iowaska that you did?

Michael:

No. It was a combination of a few other things.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yes, that’s awesome.

Michael:

It was mainly a MDMA like substance that was made from sassafras, but it’s a heart opening type of thing, and for a year I thought it was the medicine that flipped my brain. It wasn’t, it was that night, on whatever I was on, I was able to allow myself to be held.

Christina Bjorndal:

Right.

Michael:

And usually I wouldn’t. I’m adverse to hugs and adverse to that kind of thing and adverse to being held or any of that. And I allowed that and absorbed it, not only allowed it but I didn’t just allow it and be like this in being held-

Christina Bjorndal:

Right, right, you received it.

Michael:

Allowing it. Yeah, I received it, and it shifted everything.

Christina Bjorndal:

Nice.

Michael:

That was from another person, but we can do that for ourselves.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

It was, it was being held, that’s what shifted the whole thing.

Christina Bjorndal:

We need to be held.

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

We need to not only be held by others, we need to hold ourselves too, because babies, if you just leave them, if you don’t hold them, you just leave them, they will die. Not because you didn’t give them some food. They have food. They will die because we are wired for connection.

Michael:

Yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

Connection.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, so when you hold yourself out of your heart, and you hold others out of your heart, then it’s an obstacle to cure.

Michael:

Yeah. And it hurts when you open that up, because all the things that you didn’t allow will be there, and it’s the only way through. So I’d love to have you back another time to chat more about how you went into naturopathic medicine.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, we didn’t even-

Michael:

How [crosstalk 00:57:52] we just kind of, it’s great, this was awesome. It’s really good. I think everyone will benefit from hearing it. And I’d love to record again in the future to talk about-

Christina Bjorndal:

There’s so much to talk about.

Michael:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

At least 10 steps.

Michael:

Yeah, how you found your way into naturopathic medicine and what the book is about and your approach and how you’ve turned your wound into medicine.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah. For sure. Absolutely. I love talking with you.

Michael:

Yeah. Let’s do that, we’ll schedule that.

Christina Bjorndal:

Do it, hook me up.

Michael:

So this will be part one.

Christina Bjorndal:

Okay.

Michael:

We didn’t know that when we started it, but this will be part one, we’ll do a part two.

Christina Bjorndal:

Part one, yeah. We might do part 10, who knows.

Michael:

Yeah, who knows. I knew we’d have a lot in common. I knew we had a similar, and I had forgotten about the adoption, that takes it to a whole other-

Christina Bjorndal:

A whole other level, and we’ve got basically the same birthdays.

Michael:

Same birthdays, same yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

A lot of similarities.

Michael:

There’s so much, I get so excited when I’m talking to somebody who can understand, because so many people can’t understand, and they can try and they can sort of say oh I get it, that sounds really hard. But there’s a difference.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

So I get really excited when somebody can see, like somebody understands. And I feel like when two people, like we can talk about this because we both see it and we both understand it, that there’s a transmission there that makes it very clear for people to see in a way that might not be. Or if there’s other people out there who understand.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah.

Michael:

I hope you feel seen, I hope that this, yeah. And she’s a much better resource for this stuff right now than I am, so go to her website and books and things are below in the show notes, so if you want to check out the book and her approach and her website and all of that, check that out. I’m not quite yet in the helping people in this department stage. I’m working my way there. I’m just a bunch of years behind you as far as training and experience and practice. So I’m on my way.

Christina Bjorndal:

You’re well on your way.

Michael:

So if you’re looking for resources along these lines and you struggle with a lot of these mental illness related, I don’t even like that term.

Christina Bjorndal:

No. It’s experiences in life.

Michael:

Yeah, mental illness to me just, it doesn’t land right. But challenges in the mental emotional arena, check out her website, her book is right below. There will be links to everything right down there. So is it drchristinabjorndal.com, is that your?

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, just D-R.

Michael:

D-R, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Christina Bjorndal:

Yeah, D-R christinabjorndal.com.

Michael:

So go there, check out the book, check out her work, you’ll see her speaking on all kinds of things. She’s joining us on my new platform [inaudible 01:00:36] which will be open now when you hear this.

Christina Bjorndal:

Check it out.

Michael:

So that is my thing that I’ve created out of my wound, and so things have come a long way since both of us were in where we were.

Christina Bjorndal:

Right.

Michael:

But thank you for sharing so openly and freely and I hope that everybody found this as powerful of a conversation as I have.

Christina Bjorndal:

Thank you. Lots of love to you.

Michael:

All right.

And this brings us to the end of today’s episode. Head on over to rebelhealthtribe.com/kit to access the RHT quick start bundle, which includes four full length presentations from our RHT masterclasses, two downloadable PDF guides, and a 15% off coupon which you can use in our retail shop. If you’re on Facebook, come join our Rebel Health Tribe group over there. And finally, if you like the show, please subscribe, leave a review, and share with your friends. Thanks for joining us, we’ll see you again soon.