Choose Your Struggle – with Jay Shifman

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In this episode, Jay Shifman shares his struggle with a misdiagnosed mental health disorder, two suicide attempts, addiction to prescription pills, and, his long journey to recovery. 

Jay is a vulnerable storyteller, stigma-destroying speaker, podcaster, and event host. He hosts a wildly popular podcast Choose Your Struggle that has been downloaded over 35 countries. Jay’s personal story of struggle is familiar to the millions of people all over the world who also struggle with issues of mental health, substance misuse, and addiction. Now in long-term recovery, it is Jay’s mission to encourage difficult conversations and honest education. Jay uses his voice, and his platforms to educate, entertain, and empower. 

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Lauren, and their dog, Nell.

Content warning: This episode discusses topics of suicide and suicidal ideation. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Both programs provide free, confidential support 24/7.

Connect with Jay: 

What we discussed during the show: 

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:56 Jay’s favorite quote: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche.” 
  • 06:33 Jay’s background and struggles
  • 10:50 Why Jay prefers the term ‘substance misuse’ (instead of ‘substance abuse’)
  • 13:07 Examples of Jay’s favorite practices for mental health care and how we can implement them in our everyday lives
  • 16:51 Substance misuse red flags
  • 20:54 The key to finding long term success in recovery
  • 24:05 Why Jay considers himself in recovery without being sober
  • 29:05 About Jay’s podcast ‘Choose Your Struggle’ and his narrative series ‘Rock Bottom Storytellers’
  • 33:15 Jay’s lowest point in life
  • 37:00 Happiest moment of life
  • 39:12 What do people often get wrong about her
  • 41:19 Rapid Fire round – 5 Questions
    1. What’s on his nightstand
    2. Favorite meal
    3. Hours of sleep he gets every night
    4. Favorite TV show
    5. One thing he’s grateful for today: 
  • 42:57 Jay’s advice to anyone struggling with addiction

Connect with @SoberSideChat

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Episode Transcript

Coming soon…

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