Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews

An open letter to Paul Gilmartin.

I showed up late to the podcast party.

If there was ever a job reviewing movies that were relevant five to ten years ago, I’d be your girl. Same thing goes for recapping TV episodes. I discover things later than most. This holds particularly true for podcasts.

Maybe six months ago, I decided on a whim to download Podcast Addict. It seemed like listening to podcasts would be a better choice than streaming countless seasons of NCIS. I didn’t know the first thing about podcasts. I didn’t know what was good and what wasn’t. I had no idea how to search for the ones I liked. I got lucky, though, when I stumbled upon the Mental Illness Happy Hour.

This is a giant picture of Paul I blatantly stole from his webpage.

I’m this far into my blog post and only just realized I’d titled this an open letter to Paul, but I haven’t addressed anything to him yet. Good job, me. Way to completely ignore your own theme.

Let’s try this again:

Dear Paul,

I love your show. I’ve listened to at least 150 of your episodes. And yes, while I love your guests, and I love the surveys you share from fellow listeners, my favorite part of the show is you. Earlier today, I was driving back to Denver from Castle Rock, listening to your most recent episode (Sarah was fantastic, by the way). The conversations you have with yourself always make me smile, because you are so smart, and so witty, and so unabashedly honest. You went on a tangent about Ivy’s breath and America’s Got Talent, and I loved it. Coincidentally, has anyone else pointed out the vague resemblance between you and Simon Cowell? Just me? Never mind. You said you were doing better after last week’s bout of depression, and I was relieved. You went all in on the Quad Cities DJ, and I found myself trying to figure out what kind of voice I could assign to the asshole critic in my head. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m weirdly excited to discover it and immediately start hating it. You inspire me to do more work on myself. I do wish I could better figure out where to find support groups, or which ones I should try to find, because you have made it clear to me how valuable they are for one’s health. There’s a community there that I envy. You do so much good work, and while I assume you hear this a lot, I want you to know that I’m proud of you. It’s got to be hard, showing up week after week, doing your show, especially on the bad days. You do it, though, and that in itself is inspiring.

I’m totally berating myself for not having any kind of order or structure to this letter. I only put this paragraph in here to point out that I’m aware I’m jumping all over the place. Let’s get back to you.

You are a really cool guy, and someday I hope our paths cross and I can give you a hug and tell you how much you’re appreciated. I might even sign up for Squarespace because of you. You wield that much power.

Thanks for being awesome.




A Lost Art