Reboot Podcast Episode Extras #21 – Climbing Out of the Pits of Despair – with Mollie West Duffy & Liz Fosslien

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


Liz Fosslien

Liz Fosslien

author and illustrator

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Mollie West Duffy

Mollie West Duffy


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Episode Description

Content warning: This podcast contains conversations around self-harm and suicidal ideation. 

The pit of despair is a tough and tricky place. How can you find a way through when it feels like you’re fumbling around in the dark? Mollie West Duffy and Liz Fosslien, authors of Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay, return for another heartfelt conversation with Ali Schultz. 

In this episode, we define despair and describe how in all of its facets, it is not simply depression. Mollie shares honestly about some of her darkest days and Liz discusses her struggles with emotional suppression. As a group, they talk about ways to resource yourself if you find yourself there, and how to be with someone who is in despair in a supportive, empathetic way. They emphasize the power of small acts and the importance of seeking help by opening up to trusted friends and professionals. We hope you’ll find this raw and honest conversation on mental health and hope valuable.

Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“When I started having those thoughts, they were really scary, because I had never had those thoughts before, and I had never talked to anyone about having these kinds of thoughts. And so I immediately was ashamed of them.” – Mollie West Duffy

“Outside of therapy, and spaces of faith, support groups, there’s not a lot of spaces where we have to talk about these things.” – Mollie West Duffy

“The checking in on texting, I think is just such a nice thing to do. It’s a nice way to show up on an ongoing basis.” – Liz Fosslien

“Sometimes that is what you need. You just need a lifeline. You just need someone who you know will pick up the phone and who you can just say whatever to.” – Liz Fosslien

“I think for me it was finding places to be and people to be around that it was okay for me to be quote-unquote, off track and I think the more that, you know, you, you work up into the years of your life, if you are so lucky, like, you realize lots of people get off track at many different times, and, and the idea of being on track you know, is not very helpful.” – Mollie West Duffy

“You just never know, and I know that sounds very trite, but you just really don’t know what someone else is going through based on what they’re posting on social media.” – Mollie West Duffy

“Suffering is suffering, no matter where you are.” – Liz Fosslien

“Just to be with someone…with zero expectations, no guilt, no obligations, no shame, no blame. None of that. Sometimes that’s all you need.” – Ali Schultz