The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast Episode #14: Step 7: Connect – Our Stories

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Welcome to The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast Season 1! We’ve created this podcast as a free resource to accompany our upcoming book, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness.

Episode #14: Step 7: Connect – Our Stories is an episode all about an often unexplored, but vitally important, piece of the healing process, connection. In this episode we talk not only about connection with other people and its role in healing, but connection with the natural world. We start with a chat about how our illnesses initially impacted our support networks, how things changed after diagnosis and when realization that this was chronic set-in. We address the awkward, depressing, and often stressful truth behind trying to articulate the experience of autoimmune disease to those close to us, plus how the experience can expose weaknesses in our connections with others. We also talk about transitioning our social lives to support healing, finding new connections through online support, and avoiding the trap of adopting illness as an identity. Next we move on to exploring the role connection with nature had in our recoveries and wrap up with ways to experience the benefits of that connection even when you can’t get out in the woods regularly. This episode is a great match for listeners that are wondering if the strain illness has taken on their “people” connections is normal or what they can do to enhance their nature connections.

If you want to dig in check-out the ideas in the “Building a Support Network” section in Chapter 7. This is a good place to help you get the gears turning about forming or strengthening relationships, if it feels like this area could use some attention for you.

How to listen:

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Show Notes:

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 1:31 Introducing the Connect topic
  • 2:26 Angie shares about what her support network was like early in her journey
    • Strong, but confused
  • 5:26 Mickey shares about what her support network was like early in her journey
    • Strong, but tense
  • 7:50 Mickey talks about key relationships that were under stress due to her illness
  • 9:17 We don’t have rituals for acknowledging chronic illness in our society
  • 10:18 The awkward and depressing side of discussing your autoimmune disease
  • 11:18 The importance of adding people who “get it” on a personal level to your support network
  • 12:29 Mickey’s social life now
  • 13:26 Angie shares about transitioning her social life to support healing
    • Working to inspire others to support her choices by projecting confidence about her journey
  • 15:54 Mickey shares about avoiding long explanations with all but the most important people
  • 17:48 Mickey shares about connections she found online
    • She was looking for empowered people
  • 19:30 Angie shares about connections she found online
    • Her virtual relationships turned into real world connections
  • 21:25 How to avoid adopting illness as our identities
    • Consider ways autoimmune disease has expanded your life
    • Consider how it could actually shut you off from connection with others
    • Consider meeting new people and letting your illness take a backseat in how you define yourself to them
  • 25:00 The powerful role connection with nature can play in healing
  • 25:38 Angie shares about her experience with nature and healing
    • It gave her a renewed energy
  • 27:00 Mickey shares about her experience with nature and healing
    • She had a similar sense of drawing energy
  • 28:20 The inescapable connection we have to the natural world
  • 28:52 How Angie connects with nature now
  • 30:05 How Mickey connects with nature now
    • She moved to a farm
  • 31:30 Experiencing the elements of nature when we can’t get out
  • 34:14 Your homework for Step 7, Connect!
  • 34:34 Outro

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The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast is a complimentary resource to our forthcoming book, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness. Support us in our mission to revolutionize how autoimmune disease is viewed and treated by pre-ordering your copy today!

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Check out the previous episode, Episode #13: Noelle Tarr, NTP on Autoimmune-Friendly Movement, and the next episode, Episode #15: Angelo Coppola on Connecting with Humans and Nature. For the full podcast archive, click here.

About Grace Heerman

Grace Heerman is a writer and website designer based in New York City. Through her business Said with Grace, she helps coaches clarify their message and create authentic websites that actually bring in business. Here at Autoimmune Wellness, Grace writes book reviews, manages blog content, and organizes Facebook publishing. She is an avid traveler and loves spending winters in Asia. You can connect with Grace and learn more about her writing and design work on her website, Said with Grace.


  • Margaret Miller says

    I was wondering if there could be a consideration for a deaf person by offering a transcript of the podcasts? Or by having a sign language interpreter at your Tattered Cover event in Littleton on Nov. 3rd? I have been struggling greatly with having access to information in trying to heal a hyper-allergic condition that has developed with my Hashimotos. I am new to AIP, which was prescribed by my functional doctor, and wish that I could participate in this community by having equal access. I appreciate any consideration in this regard – I am quite impressed with what you all have shared. Respectfully, M.Miller

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Margaret! I am so sorry that we don’t have transcripts for these podcasts, they’ve already been a significant time investment for us and we don’t have the typing time right now (especially after spending nearly 2 years writing the book!). A lot of the information here is covered in detail in the book itself, which comes out Nov 1. I’d also like to look into getting you an interpreter for the Denver event, if you do make the commitment to come (if you have any connections for how to find someone, that would be lovely!). Would you reach out to us through the contact form on our “our story” page? Wishing you wellness!

      • Margaret Miller says

        Mickie – Thank you very much! I was unable to find where I could contact you – the Our Story page leads to a Contact page with specific topics, none of which match my request. I am not involved in any social media. PSLI is an organization that I’ve used to have interpreters at work, and I would commit to attending if there will be an interpreter! Thank you for your help!

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Margaret! Any of those forms go to our assistant, Grace, or you can reach out to her here team @

          I hope we can help out!

  • […] out the previous episode, Episode #14: Step 7: Connect – Our Stories, and the next episode, Episode #16: Putting Together All the Steps of The Autoimmune Wellness […]

  • Karen says

    Hi, guys! Have really been enjoying your podcast the past couple of weeks with its empowering yet tranquil tone. (Found my zen space listening to the interview with Jason while working out some kinks and sprawling out on a foam roller and some blocks in a darkened Mind Body studio the other day. He and Dr. Titus Chiu are awesome!) Your book awaits me as part of the new moderately sized section of my library — officially diagnosed with Hashimoto’s March 1st, other autoimmune diagnoses rolling out, but have struggled with health and misdiagnoses for over 20 years, since age 16 — since my brain can only focus adequately on one book at a time. But didn’t want to wait to delve into your podcast! That said, can you please share which apps you guys use for nature sounds and the like? Particularly the one mentioned where you can compile your own soundtrack? There’s only so much time for me to go down rabbit holes and would appreciate the benefit of your past research. Thanks so much!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Karen! I can’t speak to the others but maybe Angie will chime in here, but I LOVE the Calm app for both meditation and nature sounds. They have a library of 3-4 sounds in their free version, and even more (I feel like 10+) in their paid library (which is totally worth the cost for the meditations too!). There is also!

      • Angie Alt says

        I’m w/ Mickey, Karen. I loooove the Calm app.

        • Karen says

          Oh wow, loooove it. Just the ocean surf when loading their website transported me. Thanks so much for the response, guys! 🙂

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