When you’ve been married for 17 years, you can certainly say that you’ve seen your share of struggles and triumphs, ups and downs, good times and rough times. Even more, through all of those experiences you can most definitely say that you are dedicated to each other and your relationship. It’s that kind of dedication that can help carry you through the challenges that come with mental illness, and also help you celebrate each and ever win in your relationship and advocacy work. That’s especially true with my guests on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, Beka and Joe Lombardo.
I first came to know Beka a few years back when I started Surviving My Past, and she offered to be a guest blogger, and share some insight in the area of body image and bullying. Since then we’ve kept in touch and supported each other’s work while building a friendship and mutual respect for the struggles of living with mental health challenges.
Beka is a blogger for The Mighty, and an author of her own book, It’s Not Your Journey, the true story of one woman who fights a battle inside her mind every single day and attempts to document what she is feeling to help others while she helps herself. Her ongoing battle is not fought alone, her incredible husband Joe is there with her every step of the way as they navigate daily life in the wake of a troubled past. Their never-ending desire to help others is forged not only in blogging and her book, but also with their podcast, Voices for Change 2.0, which I had the pleasure of being a guest on previously.
During my recent chat with Beka and Joe, we talk primarily about their relationship and the unique challenges that come with being a suicide attempt survivor and having a mental illness:
- Did Rebecca explain her mental health struggles before you started a relationship?
- You’ve been married for nearly 17 years despite the difficulties mental illness brings.
- What advice do you have for someone entering a relationship with someone with mental illness?
- The effect that Beka’s suicide attempt had on Joe and how he’s been able to support her as well as making sure to take care of himself.
- How and why they started the #KeepTalkingMH hashtag and what it’s meant for them and so many who use it on social media.
Thanks so much to both Beka and Joe for joining me on the show, and being so open about their struggles so that others can benefit and realize that no matter what they endure, there is hope and that they are surely not alone. Be sure and check out RebeccaLombardo.com for information about their advocacy work, her book, and the podcast. Oh, and if you are looking for a guitar teacher, Joe teaches on the weekends and just might be looking for some new students!
-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP
All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.