meet jade iovine
The Tell Me About It podcast host who believes in talking kindly to herself and not give that shaming voice so much power.
When you shame spiral, how do you try and control it?
Sometimes I’ll be shame-spiraling and also scrolling on my phone. It’s like feeling nauseous and then eating nachos at the same time. It’s so counterproductive. The first step for me is putting my phone down, putting on my favorite show, and checking out mentally. But sometimes I can’t stop the train. If I’m PMSing, that spiral is 2 hours long versus an hour and sometimes it lasts for 4 days.
You know when you shame spiral about how stupid you are and that thing that you said or did? My negative self-talk is so sophisticated and articulate. Most of the time, when I’m having a shame spiral, it’s a one-man mission. No one can pull me out of it. My boyfriend will say, it’s really hard to watch you do this.
How do you stay grounded?
I go in and out of rituals, but I have to take an antidepressant every day. When you’re on an antidepressant, a lot of the time, because they’re working, you feel like you don’t need it anymore. I’ve been known to do that in the past too. I’ve gone off antidepressants cold turkey and done really dangerous things with antidepressants because I’m convinced that my life is going well. But I feel grateful that I have antidepressants not to make the lows so low.
“They sometimes suck and I don’t want to take a pill every day, but I need it.”
Also, honestly, Real Housewives and I smoke weed, which sometimes helps, but other times makes it much worse. I try to talk kindly to myself as I’m tearing myself apart. My therapist had me do it all the time and I hated it. But it makes me talk back to that voice and not give it such power.
What ritual is important for you to start your day?
I usually go outside and stretch for 10 minutes because my boyfriend wakes up a little later than me. So I’ll sneak out with my dog Taco, I’ll go in the backyard, and stretch for 10 to 10 minutes. And if I feel like working out or doing yoga, I’ll do that then. But as far as rituals, I feel like I know what makes me happy, like home videos or old episodes of certain reality shows that I love. I surround myself with certain songs that cheer me up.
“And being with Taco, I get so much oxytocin from that.”
I cushion and build my life around my mental health. When I’m feeling depressed, my rituals are a little more important because I hold myself accountable and keep those promises to myself, which helps me when my self-esteem is low. My therapist always tells me self-esteem is built by doing esteemable acts.
How does intimacy and relationships impact your mental health?
When I started dating my boyfriend, he really filled a lot of boxes that I felt maybe I lacked in childhood and really wanted in my life. It made me appreciate my family more and he’s the most understanding. Obviously, I drive him fucking crazy, we fight, and all of that good stuff, but he is a soft place for me to go. I don’t think I’ve ever trusted anyone that much.
As far as intimacy emotionally, he allows me to have a full spectrum of emotions. He saw me through a lot of mental health crises. When I first started dating him, I didn’t have depression and now it’s a huge part of my identity. Being fully vulnerable with one person makes me feel free to show up in my other relationships better.
“As far as sex, sex is wonderful. But antidepressants can make sex really hard.”
I’m lucky that my boyfriend knows that I’m on antidepressants. It definitely changes your sex life and takes you a little longer to get there. But you have to have open communication with your partner and be like, it’s not you, it’s me. That can be frustrating and can be part of the reason you want to stop antidepressants. For me, it takes 10 more minutes to orgasm, but if I don’t feel shitty every day, then it’s worth it.
What’s your take on medication, like antidepressants, and supplements?
When I first went on antidepressants I was so scared that I would have to be on them for the rest of my life. That I’d never feel good again without them. What would it be like if I wanted to have kids? Would I have to be on antidepressants while I was pregnant? I had all these thoughts. But it made everything less sticky. I was so ruminative and it was so hard in my head and some days, it’s still hard being in my head.
It was hard for me to reconcile for a long time that I needed help. I didn’t want to be on antidepressants and sometimes it sucks. It affects me when I drink, but it makes every day easier. It’s a gift you’re giving to yourself and it’s not a life sentence. You can share it with as many people as you want or not. Find what works for you. And for me, that is what works.
What makes you stressed or anxious and therefore impacts your mood and mental health?
How much time do you have? My anxiety manifests itself around negative self-talk. It’s self-critical. And I get anxiety about a lot of my past self and that’s something that I’m working on and something that I’ve come really far with. I get impatient with myself and perfectionism is something that I struggle with a lot. So it’s hard to unlearn that.
When do you feel most at peace?
I feel most at peace at home with my boyfriend and my dog watching Real Housewives.
When do you feel your body tense up?
I stop breathing sometimes. I’ll see it in videos on the podcast often. I’ll even hold my breath when I’m entering a party and I don’t have tremendous social anxiety. But when I’m entering a new place, I can feel my body start to tense up and I have to tell it to relax.
What gives you serotonin?
My dog, working out theoretically, would, but I don’t do it enough. I try to surround myself with serotonin-inducing things whether it’s a picture of my grandma who I loved or flowers or colors. Also, accomplishing something that I was really afraid of, proving to myself I can do something, boosts my serotonin a lot.
What does your body language say about you?
I’m really good at faking it to a fault. Because I’m such a perfectionist, I’m good at pretending. I’ll say, I was so nervous, I could barely breathe. And people will respond, but you looked so calm, cool, and collected. So there’s sometimes a disconnect between how I feel and how I look. I am comfortable in my skin. I’m starting to really love who I am and I think that shows. But I don’t love myself too much. I have a lot of humility in that way. I’m starting to feel a lot more peace in myself.
When do you speak your mind?
Too much. All the time. Probably to a fault. Except for when I’m with my boyfriend’s family. Well, not even then because I know them so well. I probably speak without thinking too much. But luckily, I have always been in environments where my voice was valued or where my opinion mattered. I think people would say I probably have too many opinions, those close to me at least.
next story — michael ahmad