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A ravenous pandemic, a ruinous recession, protest, riots, racial strife, police brutality and yes, Donald Trump America in 2020 feels like Apocalypse Now. Again, I'm John Heilemann and in hell and high water.


I'll explore this moment in a series of raw and real conversations with the people who shape our culture. Helen Highwater is a podcast from the recount.


Listen to Hell and High Water on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts.


Remember the good old days when we were just normal college students and then 20, 20 hit? So that's where the secret syllabus comes in.


Hi, I'm Hannah Ashton. And I'm Katie Tracy. We're here to fill in everything they missed in our college curriculum, just like you were confronting the unknown.


And if we're being honest, we need all the advice we can get.


Listen to the Secret Service every Wednesday starting September 9th on the I Heart Radio Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts, pay Färm.


Jada Pinkett Smith. And this is the Red Tablecloth podcast. All your favorite episodes from the Facebook Watch show in audio produced by Westbrooke Audio and I Heart Radio. Please don't forget to write and review on Apple podcasts.


Mental health and mental wellbeing was a top requests from our Red Table Talk Family.


Joining us at the table today is Kate Curry.


When I heard that Curry had been struggling with mental health issues, I relate it deeply because of having to deal with my own suicidal thoughts, my own depression.


Kid Curry is an award winning hip hop icon and an inspiration to millions.


She is one of the main dudes I listen to all the time. He saved my life. He saved my life. I want to kill myself. I don't have that in me any. If you're twenty five and under have I truly believe that Kukali saved your life.


This usually very private star shocked his fans with a Facebook post revealing his struggle with anxiety, depression and suicidal urges.


Cuddy shared. This time I fix me. Being that he's this hip hop icon, a lot of people would think that he would be exempt from that kind of suffering, but he's not.


None of us are. Here we are at the table. Ladies, once again, today's subject matter is mental illness. I think there's such a stigma and no, absolutely.


You know, and I think also how we define it, I call it emotional illness.


Oh, I know. Because mental illness can be a little extreme sometimes.


Do you think that emotional illness can cause mental disturbances? Yes, 100 percent.


Sometimes the chemicals are just, you know, miles off, just off that that's a lot of what mental illness is the root of.


It could be emotional instability.


The root of it could be the imbalance imbalance.


I would say for me, I had an emotional breakdown, but definitely I feel like affected my mental stability. I had gotten to L.A. and gotten a certain amount of success and realized that that wasn't the answer, that that wasn't what was going to make everything OK. Actually made things worse and.


I became extremely suicidal and I had a complete. Emotional collapse. Right. How old was that then, 20? I guess I called GAM in a panic. It's like when you just don't have control over your emotions or your thoughts, you feel completely and utterly out of control. And I don't even think at that particular point in time I understood what I was going through. Now I know that it was what people would consider a nervous breakdown right now.


I absolutely understood. I didn't know what was going on. I understood it. But it was also a time where I really felt really powerless. Right. You know, like I didn't know. Right. And I didn't know what to do to help her. I know we needed professional help, but yeah, you cannot manage yourself every moment of the day.


You're talking to yourself, trying to keep yourself on track.


Like, don't do that, you know, trying to keep yourself sane, trying to keep trying to keep yourself from hurting yourself, trying to keep yourself from other people, realizing that something's wrong. But they know something is wrong because every minute I was just bursting into tears.


I didn't know why, you know, and just trying to figure out how to deal with the the pain that you're feeling inside.


I don't know why I felt like for some reason once I became successful, that I would be kind of like exempt except from you not to be thinking, oh, all of my problems are going to go away now that, you know, success because I had any money.


You know, I was in an environment for such a long time, I got stuck in a mentality that even with success, it was very hard for me to get out of me, meaning like not really being able to embrace the opportunity that I had.


I was still holding on to the idea of deprivation and loss and having a lot of guilt and shame that came with my success.


Like, you have to leave so many people behind and that was depressed. I how do you guys feel about because, you know, this is always a big controversy too, is adding medication for some people. It does help. Yeah, they put me on Prozac for was like five milligrams. But once it disrupted my sex drive, I said, look, that's the only thing I got in my life. I was like, is one thing at that particular.


I wish that was the thing that got me off approach, that they had put me on it to just get me to a place where I could talk about what was right and where you could function, where I could function up in the morning exactly where you were.


You couldn't get up like you. I was severely depressed severely.


And that was something that I battled with for years.


Waking up in the morning was like the worst part of the day is just like my mother would take me.


It would take me hours to just get into it, and so by the time, like the evening time came, I was like I was at least like, OK, I'm good.


But then you go to sleep again and then you just restart. Yeah, you got to restart. And so then once I got off the Prozac, I went on a long, long, long journey.


I learned how to manage it to a certain degree, but it was a struggle finding your own path.


And that is difficult, too, because like we went through a couple of therapists, just therapy just didn't work.


And that's not to say that that's not exactly for some people. Medication does work. Absolutely. Therapy does work. Right. So not only does it work, but it's yes, it's necessary medication. So I just had to find my path, which is why it probably took as long as it did. And now, thankfully. I don't get depressed, you know, I also think that I had to uproot some false beliefs and I had to just let go.


Yeah. You know, and just come to terms with just what life is and what your life. Right. What my life and was at the time.


Right. We have one of the most influential artists, one of my favorite artists.


Every time this particular artist, he has been a superstar icon, voice of the children of this generation, my kids. He has been their inspiration and their motivation.


And as a mom, I'm so grateful for him because he's been so good to to my children.


And his kid, cutie and Chickadee, he he's had. Good was good. This is the nursing home, the grandmother. Have a seat.


Now I have to have just a mom fan moment. Can I do that for a second? Sure. It's very rare that people get to meet their idols.


Right? Right. And not only get to meet their idols, but their idols live up to who they have imagined them to be. And you have been just such a huge inspiration to every child in this house.


And then for them that the opportunity to hang with you, work with you, work with you, you know, to have your support.


As a mom, I just want to thank you.


Oh, that's no problem in the world around you. And, well, they are amazing.


I have to be honest, I'm 65. I'm not familiar with your music. But do you understand the effect that you have on your fan base, like Willow and Jayden and Trey?


Even just so crazy about it seems like the whole generation. The whole generation. Do you understand that about yourself? It's kind of crazy.


I can tell me if I'm wrong, but I feel like at a certain point, like when you hear it so much and when it's so apparent, you're like, I get it and I want to I want to live up to that, you know?


And that's where most of the bad stuff came in, because I was like, I have to live up to be this person and I can't feel like that.


Yeah, and it's pressure. Yeah.


It's like doing a comedy, but you're miserable. Yeah. It's like my life was like this show and I was always supposed to be on. Yeah. But like when the show was over I was completely miserable. Remember the good old days when we were just normal college students and then 20, 20 hit? So that's where the secret syllabus comes in. Hi, I'm Hannah Ashton. And I'm Katie Tracy. We're here to fill in everything they missed in our college curriculum, just like you were confronting the unknown.


And if we're being honest, we need all the advice we can get.


Listen to the Secret Service every Wednesday, starting September 9th on the I Heart radio, our podcast, or wherever you get your podcast arriving.


Ravenous pandemic, a ruinous recession, protest, riots, racial strife, police brutality and yes, Donald Trump. America in 2020 feels like Apocalypse Now again. I'm John Heilemann and in hell on high water.


I'll explore this moment in a series of raw and real conversations with the people who shape our culture. Helen Highwater is a podcast from the recount.


Listened to Hell and High Water on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts.


For a long time. I was not happy when I woke up in the morning. It started off with something as simple as that, just being like, why don't I feel OK? Yeah.


You know, and not really knowing what that was. I thought maybe it was stress at that point. I was doing an album every year, so I thought maybe I was just overdoing it.


And I need to take a break. It took me a minute to realize there was something going wrong with me. I thought I was past this in my life, you know.


So you had experienced it before? Yeah, I did.


OK, 2010, I was dealing with drugs at that time. I kind of got to that place of like, you know what? I'm going to party a little bit to try to, like, doctor this up.


I know about that. Maybe maybe that'll be OK.


You know, that was before I kind of dealt with being famous and being successful and all that, because that was weird for me early on. It happened really fast for me. And like, nobody coached me. No, no mentorship. Like, I just was kind of like, yeah, yeah, yeah.


I was a kid. Twenty three, twenty four is still the kid that's, you know, and it was a shock for me and it was drugs that helped me find my footing.


Well you know, I'm saying it was like, oh, maybe if I tried drugs maybe I'd be OK. We're in a studio to late night, like the wee hours. And that was the first time I tried cocaine. And from there it was just like I was on it.


So I got arrested and I got off of it, quit cold turkey. I thought that was behind me. Fast forward to this album coming out. Twenty sixteen.


I was editing the videos after after we did the video, which was really one of the best experiences recorded video as it was like that smile in the video, you know, that that was a happy moment before I really got back, like I was happy with my work, but when I wasn't at work, it was a nightmare.


Got it.


You know, I'm just trying to keep it together because everybody's like hero and this person that you look up to.


So I didn't want to let anybody down.


No. But the same old thing, to find my footing, I chose to use drugs, right? So, like, I'm editing these videos, I'm sneaking off, I'm doing cocaine in the bathroom, getting loaded. Right.


Drinking every day, like back to, like, how I used to do it all day long and just going into the bathroom and just like doing a couple of bombs.


So did you feel like your depression was a result of the. The U.S. using did you feel like you were depressed already and you were using to try to manage your depression that you were using to try to manage the depression that was there? Right. Right.


Anybody tried to reach out to you and be like, hey, what's up?


Like, not really, because it was a very private thing. I was dealing with my mom.


I never did drugs, went on a bunch of people, like, there's nobody in this industry that can say, oh, yeah, I was with Cuddy and we did some talk like I was really good at keeping my troubles hidden.


Even from your friends, even from my friends. I understand. Like, I really like good. With that, you can become a master.


Yeah, I know all about that. And it's like, scary because it's when you hear people say, like, wow, I had no clue.


And then they feel like I want to be your friend. Like I want to be there for you. And it's like, dang, you're going through all of this. And I was so unaware, like, yeah, that kind of makes them feel like damn like I'm not really doing my job as a friend, trying to, you know, is sometimes.


But I let them know that it's not their fault. That's right. It was me. You know, I really went on my way to keep what I was going through hidden because I was ashamed. Wow, that's interesting.


I think that's why I quit the first time, because I got arrested and everybody knew about it.


But it wasn't like I quit for the right reasons. I didn't quit because it wasn't good for me. Yeah, but I was really worried and.


I kind of like had that moment when I was just like, do I really want to get back on drugs and do cocaine again? Right. Like, do I really want to take this journey right at 30 thirty two. Right. You know, I woke up one morning and I was just thinking like. Man, this isn't healthy. Yeah. And I don't know what else to do. But get some help and find some place I can go.


Exactly. And I found a place. My buddy Dennis comes over and I'm like, I think I need to go to rehab. And he's like, yes, he's just like he's just like, wow, with you unsupported, you know? So then I was like, OK, the only way I'm going to go to rehab is if I get loaded.


That's that's the only way. And I found out that that's a lot of people go to rehab loaded.


So that's your last opportunity if you're serious about it.


Yes. Be so you were loaded on your last shot. OK. OK. And liquor. How long were you there for?


I was there for a month. Yeah. Yeah, you did your full time.


I mean so what help do you think you receive from the treatment.


What does it have for you? It had to have been more than just not using. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


It was a lot of. Talking one thing that I didn't have in my life, you know, like I don't like working through your emotions about the core of it. Yeah. And I don't think I ever really did that in my life, like I never really thought about, well, why am I depressed?


Were you able to reach that core of sadness? Yeah, because, you know, I found out that it was stuff from years ago when I was a kid, my life when my father died, when I was 11 and, you know, and then my cousin dying and my favorite uncle died like two years in a row. It was just like realizing these things and being OK with it, finding peace with it, you know, because I don't think I ever really found peace with my father's death.


Yeah. There was nobody that came to me and asked me if I was all right with that.


It just happened. So what happened to your dad?


He passed away from cancer.


OK, so my mom and dad divorced when I was three, but my dad was very much in my life and I'm the youngest of four. So I was a baby. So, yeah, that was really tough for me.


What tools were you given in order to deal with your feelings whenever those feelings of depression come up? I know for me personally, that's been a big part of my journey just along the way, just constantly grabbing, OK, this tool works, you know, even sometimes at night. I'll go to the beach. Yeah. And just sit with the ocean. You know, as simple as that might be, it brings me happiness, you know.


Right. Well, that's what some of the things would be like, you know, finding the things that make you happy, doing those things right.


So even something as simple as just like getting outside, seeing things, you know, and and then talking like I'm me and my mom have an excellent relationship.


So, like talking to her more because I didn't really talk to her about what was going on. Why did you not talk to her?


Because you felt like you were burdening her or I just didn't want to worry you, you know?


So understand that I was so good that you think in your mind I got this.


I don't need to bring anybody else into this until eventually you're in the hole so deep.


You like somebody better come help me call my mommy. Mommy, come get me this bad. It's bad if you don't come now. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


You know, I'm blessed to just have that with my mom and have that connection with my family and my siblings. Right. You know, and that they were there for me was really awesome. Yeah. That's that's so important. Yeah.


That brings up a big point is like we have to have trust. Yeah. That people can help. Yeah.


How long have you been clean now. It's been two years. Two and a half years. Yeah. Yeah that's good.


It's a beautiful thing. I think just getting back out into the world, doing what I love again has really been big for me, you know. But then also spending time with my daughter.


Oh yes. How is your daughter. Eight and my daughter is my world. So that's really what helped me snap out of it and get some help because she's everything.


Now, that's my little homie.


We need those things. I know for my kids who although they they definitely kept me from doing some deep, destructive, self-destructive things, you know, and they just kept me on the path until I could find the answer for myself. It is important for those of us who have gone through a difficult time to find that thing that can just keep our head above water. Yeah, you know, and that's sometimes if that's all we have, that's OK, right?


Yeah. You know, it's OK.


What keeps on coming back is this emotional and mental illness. And I feel like I've been seeing so much of that recently, like with Macmillan passing.


And that means that just like took me for a loop because so many young people are just dying because of trying to satiate those emotions with drugs. I'm just seeing it more and I feel like it's becoming such a huge problem amongst the youth while New Mac and.


It was just one of those things that was devastating and I still have a hard time dealing with it. He was a sweet kid. You can see he had a big heart. He's really nice. He was he was awesome.


So his struggles with addiction was not a secret, right? Like yours was a secret.


Yeah, I think I think towards the end, people found out what he was doing. And it seems like to me that these mental issues that we have, whether it's depression, how it tends to cross over into drugs as a solution, but that is starts with with emotional.


Yeah. Some kind of mental necessity. I have anxiety or, you know, I'm depressed. So this is the thing that keeps me able to do my work, keeps me afloat. You know, you're anxious. You had a hard day when you do when you come home from work. You get a drink, right? You know, I didn't know Mac Miller, but once again. When I looked at his circumstances, I just felt for him because I just I knew I was like that could have been me easily, you know, because I was the same way in my depression using ecstasy, drinking a whole lot, you know, and smoking a bunch of weed and trying to.


Just find some peace in my mind, it's like I know it's Dumbledore's, I like to say I was doing ecstasy because I wanted to party.


I was doing ecstasy, we and a bottle of vodka because I wanted to get lit.


I wasn't making the connection and I knew I was like maybe it had to do with because of my history with you want to make the connection. But it's like I knew I was on my own, of course, to addiction. I was very clear about that. I was just like, all right, we don't keep walking this brown baby. We're going to see take you.


But just now, you know what I'm saying.


So maybe we just all in a whole lot of pain and we just get it.


It's just like bonked.


We all shut off. And this makes us feel good, period. Yeah. I don't know.


It's it's really interesting, though. It's something I have to keep I have to keep exploring and think about.


The one thing that I've learned about the red table is that testimony is so much more powerful than even advice, like just people to know they're not alone.


They're real.


Guys, thank you. Thank you. Yeah. This is off. This is a great read to definitely.


That was it. But I do want to introduce this somebody from my staff.


Cuddie, hello. How are you guys doing. So I'm like, hey, I got the end of ghost tattooed on my arm.


I hope you understand. I really understand that they don't understand. Wow.


So, yeah, I had to get it. Man meant a lot to me personally. I went through a lot when I was when I was younger, my brother was killed and when I was first grade I think we went to visit my grandmother. She was in the hospital and she ended up passing that day. Three or four years later, my cousin was murdered in a drive by in Southern California. All that happened. And I tried not to not to care about like people around me or things around me.


It just shut everything off, bottle everything. And and I started getting a lot of trouble, like finding trouble with police. Like I didn't have any friends at that moment. I just moved and then I moved to had just came out every single day. I think I listen to that album, the album like help did it like all out way more than I think.


Anything else in the world.


You can thank me, huh. Yes. Think is right on to join the red table, talk family and become a part of the conversation.


Follow us at Facebook. Dot com slash red tabletop. Thanks for listening to this episode of Red Tablecloth podcast produced by Facebook Watch Westbrooke Audio and I Heart Radio.


I'm John Hodgman, host of the podcast Hell and High Water from the Recount. America in Twenty Twenty feels like Apocalypse Now again. In this podcast, I'll explore the turmoil and upheaval roiling the country.


You've heard the phrase come hell or high water.


Well, right now we're facing both hell and high water and it's going to leave a mark to understand this moment better.


I'm calling on the people who shape our culture in politics, entertainment, business, tech and beyond.


Talk through what we've lost, what comes next and what needs to change, and how we can turn these overlapping crises into an opportunity to reimagine and rebuild everything that's broken, meaning pretty much everything.


So join me every Tuesday for a series of conversations, raw and real, unrehearsed and unpredictable, about this mess we're in and figuring out how to pull together and rise above it.


Helen Highwater is a podcast from the recount.


Listen to Hell and High Water on the Heart, Radiolab Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcasts.