Here’s a story, and it’s true:
two men stood watching a third
the latter some distance away
grasping at something unseen
to his own social detriment
given the acceptable modes of behavior
at the time.
The first of the two men watching
was a Greek aristocrat,
with a strong sense of self-causality
for his effects.
The second of the two men watching was Horace –
Hellenic poet –
whose empathetic eye for the innocent weirdo
was a little too incongruent with his own celebrated status
for the Aristrocrat to bear in silence.
So the rich man used the stranger’s grasping at nothing
In an insult at the stranger’s expense, calling him
damned with unquenchable thirst
Eternally imprisoned neck-deep in salvational yet unreachable water.
Horace, master parabolist, replied:
“A good many people misled by foolish desire Say:
‘There’s never enough, you’re only what you own.’
What can one say to that?
Let such people be wretched, since that’s what they wish;
like the rich Athenian miser
who used to hold the voice of the crowd in contempt:
‘They hiss at me, but once I’m home
I applaud Myself as I contemplate all the riches in my chests.’”
The Aristocrat just stares
so Horace descends and explains:
“Tantalus, thirsty, strains towards water that flees his lips –
Quid rides? Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur.
Why do you laugh? Change but the name, and the story is yours.”
CHANGE BUT THE NAME is a podcast created and produced by Pennsylvania state-certified Peer Support Specialists John Ward and Randi Fellows. To qualify for training and employment as a CPS a person must have a mental health diagnosis/diagnoses. Both John and Randi are diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.
After completing their CPS certifications, John and Randi – along with a number of other freshly minted CPSs from their cohort – found that Peer Support in practice was much different than Peer Support in theory.
Following a months-long search to find companies through which each could make a meaningful and honest impact, John and Randi ultimately decided to experiment with an audio-only podcast that would evolve into three distinct Series: Interviews, which featured notable movers/shakers/attemped-life-takers from the MH universe; Disordered Personalities, where John and Randi research and review in detail noteworthy persons from past or present who would have, did have, or should have a MH diagnosis; and lastly Parabolas, featuring the hosts and guests one-on-one with nothing but a microphone, sharing true anecdotes-turned-parables relative to their lived experiences.
CBTN as a show, its related/derivative content and community on this site are being shared as a response to our experiences with training and employment as a CPS. The podcast, articles and other works are designed to address common and/or important questions and misconceptions relating to mental health – things like what it’s like to have a mental “illness” from the perspective of someone with lived experience; controversial topics like substance abuse versus substances as medication; suicide and suicidal ideation; mania and depression; auditory and visual hallucinations, navigating and escaping from delusions; familial and romantic relationships, and so on – any and all things we believe will facilitate the betterment of both the diagnosed and their undiagnosed family/friends’ understanding of, coping with, and recovering from mental health issues.
There is a reason we call CHANGE BUT THE NAME “a show for people with Mental Health diagnoses” as opposed to mental illnesses. This does not mean we believe you have some kind of solipsistic carte blanche to be a ridiculous maniac (and this is coming from two people who have at times been ridiculous maniacs). Likewise, in no way do we mean to imply you don’t have to take your meds, talk to a therapist, or see a psychiatrist.
It simply means there is nothing wrong with you.
There is no reason you can’t – with self-study, serious reflection, and honest effort – function at a level equal to, if not far exceeding, a quote unquote “normal” adult.
For more info about CBTN and the creators/hosts John Ward, CPS and Randi Fellows, CPS simply follow the linked words and phrases on this page – we will do our best to also link any concepts and terms we deem relevant or possibly complex relative to the layperson.
We both strongly encourage you to interact or engage with us through e-mail, this site, by commenting on content you find meaningful, or in the community forum. You can use the Contact page to submit specific questions or guest articles for the site.
CBTN is also in the process of considering funding options. As of now we are leaning towards a future Patreon campaign; while John already owns the equipment and has enough experience to produce audio and video podcasts, CBTN as an entity would like to add the capacity to do live broadcasts, take phone calls, and make more frequent episodes/content. Because the goal of this project has nothing to do with material gain, we have created a free forum and will produce original free content as often as possible.
CBTN welcomes any and all ideas/suggestions/contributions – follow this link for more info on submitting a guest article/artwork/original content.