On this week's episode of The Quest for New Inspiration, I chat with Dionne Sanchez, Host of Words of Heart Podcast. We discuss how to be a warrior, no matter your circumstance, and the importance of understanding your true self.
Warning: Discussion of Suicide and Suicidal Urges.
Dionne Sanchez considers herself a “Warrior for Change” As she had overcome a lot in her life.For the first two years of her life she couldn’t hear or talk so as result she struggled with mental health as early as 3 years old. Mental Health Struggles can occur at any age.
Dionne Sanchez: [00:00:00] W well, hello. My name is Dan Sanchez. I'm the host of the words of our podcast, which is about in-depth conversations of inspiration with an emphasis on mental health, and one of the key formulas to, um, What I advocate is mental health.
Um, through my own personal journey in, through the journeys of my guests is stories that appear on my podcast. Um, and as far as my story in regards to mental health, um, it really started when I was born or yeah, pretty much when I was born. And that is for the first two years of my life. I couldn't hear her talk about.
So as, as a result of that, Hey, I'm talking. So I did last, but as a result of that, that just caused. Mon montage, a myriad of issues. I can have issues that I had no [00:01:00] control over. And, um, as a result, my cognitive and mental and just developing in general was slow, um, compared to people who would learn. articulate and mature at a specific rate at that age, it was different for me.
Like people want to have Tyler. Five I learned at seven. Like that's just how my brain was wired. And, um, that began to take a toll, um, pretty quickly because, um, I was playing a specialized classroom, um, with other kids who had disabilities and, or issues. And, um, it was be like play time or block time or however that would be categorized and the kids would be playing with.
Together in a group. And I would be by myself playing by myself so that dynamic began to be implemented or incorporated into my brain and became [00:02:00] an ongoing issue throughout my childhood and adolescence really up until I went into at school when I finally got out of that mentality. But. Issue at hand is I didn't have any socialization.
I lacked it. I tried to get acceptance from my peers and it seemed impossible. And as a result of that, I began to really have insecurities and just, I didn't ask to be different. I mean, everyone gets picked on for a variety of things, glasses boogers in your nose or something I'm probably really minimal or simplistic.
Right. They have no reason to be making fun of, but for me, I took being different, a lot harder. Because I knew already that I was different than everybody else because of how I was born. And I just, I just wanted to be accepted. I wanted that friendship, those fellowships, I mean, that was [00:03:00] normal interactions that.
Both to be a part of you evolving and developing into your own and your personality. And I just didn't have that. And I mean, I would cry myself to sleep probably every night. Um, I didn't discuss my mental health issues with anyone in my, I had a good dad and mom, dad, sisters. Um, so my childhood wasn't horrible, but it just, without that.
Key component of friendship. It was just hard for me to handle that. So it was, it was an ongoing issue. Probably the only person I really confided in is God, I am a Christian. So that was part of my, what I believe in. And it's really important to me. Um, so that became an ongoing issue. The whole course of my life up until I got into high school.
Um, give you a more modern example. I did end up going into a regular classroom, um, with regular kids my own age, like, oh, this girl is smart. Let's get her out of this [00:04:00] classroom. So I was put into a regular classroom with regular kids yet that same dynamic kept occurring. Nobody wants to be my friend. I would probably say hi.
And they probably wouldn't even acknowledge me even with a simple hi or what. I would participate in class. I would raise my hand to answer a question. I would get it wrong and everybody will start laughing. If someone else answered it wrong, nobody would laugh. So, um, I was just, it was saddening and disheartening as a kid.
Like what's wrong with me? And. Mentality began to get even more deeper and perhaps possibly life altering if you will, because I did consider, and I hope this is okay for me to mention on your podcasts. Um, I did consider suicide. As a result of me having no socialization basically [00:05:00] rejected from my peers for, and is that like for something I had any control over this, this being needed, I was rejected for being mean and.
That was just, it was saddening. Like what's the point of me being here. I have no friends, no community, no anything. So, um, that became a real serious issue. And, um, to give you another modern example as to how that dynamic continued, um, This experience occurred in my church. And again, no disrespect to any church or demographic or congregation.
Of course. Um, my faith is important to me. Um, but this was just so happened to be the experience I encountered at the time. And, um, So there were these small groups, um, with a bunch of kids my age, it could be a girl or boy, um, and the leader would facilitate the group. It would usually start with the person or kid [00:06:00] sharing something vulnerable or what's going on with them.
And then the small group leader would pertain some type of spiritual. The principle or questions pertaining to that particular scenario, you may have just shared and figuring out ways to help you with that. So for me, um, I decided to try to be vulnerable and participate and, um, and this was really common, unfortunately for me, I don't know why, but, um, Without fail.
A girl would interrupt me as I was beginning to speak probably was barely speaking for five seconds and then they would interrupt me and that leader, instead of telling that girl that interrupted to oh way, you'll have a chance to speak. Her and the girl that interrupted me, what started completely separate conversation and just cut me off basically.
So I'm like, wow, this is just never going to end. I'm just, I'm I'm invisible. [00:07:00] I'm see-through I'm glass. Like there's nobody. Cares. And it was just heartbreaking because I just wanted to be accepted. I just wanted that. And it seemed, I was in middle school. This has been going on throughout my whole childhood and it just seemed like it was never going to end.
Um, and I tried everything in my power for it to turn around. Um, I started volunteering. Had the church, like, okay, if I'm around, if they see my face, then they have to acknowledge me. They have to know I'm not a freak or something that I'm just as good as everybody else that I'm, I'm awesome. They have to, you know, like me or get to like me in some sense.
Um, so I just continue to try and it wasn't until I went to a youth camp. Um, with some of the older kids because, and I was getting ready to get into high school at this point, eighth grade, summer, getting ready to go into high school. Um, the older kids were like, oh, you should go to this camp. You should go to this camp.
I was really resistant on going to the camp [00:08:00] because, um, for those camps, which are really awesome, you get closer to God. Um, that's usually how it works. Um, you are cut off from technology. You don't have your cell phones, the. Collect the cell phones or any technology. And you're basically in a way forced to communicate with everybody you like and fellowship community, you have no choice, but to proxy people because like that's the whole point and to be in unity and fellowship and worship together and be closer to God.
Um, so as, as awesome as that is, and it is really a great experience, um, when I would come home from the experience. Everything would be the same. So I'm like, yay. I'm at camp. They have to talk to me. I had friends and then I would come home and it'd be like, nothing strange. So I'm older at this point. Well, In the camp experience and how it works.
So I'm like, why would I want to put myself through that again? [00:09:00] Like nothing strange at this point, you guys, my only friend, which I'm perfectly okay with, but it was really hard because you want that socialization. It's part of you evolving. And I just didn't have that. So they're like, no, no, no, you should go.
You should go. So I'm really hesitant about going, because I just, I didn't see it changing. Hey, I'll be closer to God, but I didn't see the outcome or the aftermath of the experience to be any different, but I was very wrong in that respect. Um, one of the final nights, the topic was the holy spirit. Which is a really biblical topic and it's very much discussed in the Bible.
Um, but I can only go off of my own interpretation and, um, analogy in regards to how that pertained to me at that precise moment. And I just felt an overwhelming surge of emotions of love and grace, and just felt like [00:10:00] at peace. And just, I do have a reason for being here and I was crying. I fell on my knees.
That's a really common thing to do. Um, when it comes to experiencing any love or grace from God in that precise moment, just feeling his overwhelming presence. Falling crime, your knees, which I did. So, and people were praying for me and hugging me like, oh, Dan, we love you. You are important. Like it was depth moment.
Pretty much changed the trajectory of my life. Right. Would say, because. I mean, it was at a point where I was really considering just ending my life. Like if I'm not going to have any friends from this destined to be alone, then once the point of me being here. So, um, after that, everything pretty much changed.
I had friends, I had fellowship. I basically my presence. I was a little, little kid, probably rarely could form any words at that point to finally have that prayer answered. [00:11:00] Um, was it real. Huge moment in my life. Um, and I began to see more value in myself at that moment. I went on to high school. I got involved in clubs, um, headed up, graduated high school with a 3.0 GPA.
Um, I know in life people have a tendency to put labels on you and put you in a box, which. It's messed up and no one should label you or categorized you. Cause you're perfectly fine. Just the way you are. It took me a while going into high school to understand my own worth invalid. Even the doctors told my family when I was born,
she will never amount to anything. Um, and of course my family I'm like, no, you're crazy. I mean, It wasn't easy for them either because I had many issues. Yeah, I can talk, but I had ADHD and [00:12:00] asthma at one point and I was just tornado that wouldn't stop moving pretty much is the best interpretation. As far as someone who has ADHD.
Younger. I mean, I still have it obviously, but I'm an adult. So I sorta know when to calm down at this point, but, um, for a doctor to tell you your child that, oh, they're retarded, I'll never amount to anything. It's pretty harsh. I'm sure there may have used a different terminology. I mean, I was a baby. I was a kid, so I really don't know what the term was.
Um, but, um, I proved them wrong and. Aside from getting that socialization, which I finally grasped. I still had to continue proving myself to pretty much everybody. so I have two. Gain acceptance from my peers, which I got. And I also had to prove that I was intelligent enough and had the capacity to be intelligent just as that as everybody else.
So [00:13:00] my whole span of my life has been really trying to prove people wrong. Twice as hard or five times as hard as anybody else. And that really paid off when I graduate high school with a 3.0 GPA a and probably got two scholarships. So my whole life has been nothing but easy. And as someone who struggled with finding themselves or finding who they are growing up, I can understand.
What people at that age are going through a lot more than they probably realize, because I mean, trying to come into your own, it's hard. Um, for me, I took it a lot harder, but the same principles and insecurities apply. Um, and I don't want anyone to feel the way I felt. And I think that's the joys about.
Podcast such as yours and mine is we want to be an advocate for those who [00:14:00] may felt lost or vulnerable or alone. And I don't want them to feel alone because there are people who care about you and you do have a purpose in this world. So. That was
KT Maschler: awesome. Well, from what I can tell you are definitely proving all those people wrong.
And, uh, that was an incredible story. Is there a certain way that you kind of in corporate all of that growth and experience into your podcasts? Like.
Dionne Sanchez: Sure. Um, how do I incorporate that? Never had that hat for me before? Um, well, I can only say the first season. Um, I was just weighing it, um, to be honest, just winging it.
I didn't really have any knowledge and podcasting per se. Um, as far as being vocal in any capacity, um, I did spoken word [00:15:00] videos that year and started uploading them to YouTube, um, because I am a poet. So I started getting out of my bubble as far as sharing that particular gift and being vulnerable and transparent and just bearing it all to the world.
Cause I feel words and poetry have the power to help people and resonate with people in a way. So. That particular idea initiated me launching my podcast. Um, but yeah, the first season I just share any topic I can think of as far as experiences that have occurred to. Um, and then, um, into the second season I started incorporating guest, um, I think the whole overall mission or what led me to start my podcast was.
Basically being a warrior for change and being more vocal and using the power of my voice for good and that Ines sheet, uh, and then idea [00:16:00] occurred through my diagnosis, which would be diabetes, which I had diagnosed with at the start of the pandemic, which would be two years, meaning we've been two years into this pandemic, unfortunately.
Um, Moment that diagnosis was a big blessing, more of a blessing than you probably didn't even realize because, um, I could have died before I got diagnosed. Um, it was probably the most depressing satiny, heartbreaking, probably the worst memory to this day that I could recall because I was suffering and my mental health was truly, truly shaken.
And. I you, nothing you would say to me would uplift my spirit. I'm used to uplifting people's spirits and being optimistic. I was not optimistic. I was just, I was gone. I was goats. I was skeleton, literally a skeleton. Like there are photos. Um, I still have that. It's [00:17:00] still a bit hard to look at or even see it because I had no idea I was even sick at that time.
So, um, it was really through my diagnosis that I felt my purpose. Well first I can continue to live my purpose because I could have died. Um, I felt called to be more vocal. Like there has to be more in my life that I can do now that I have another chance to live my life and I felt called to do more. And I wasn't quite sure how to do that.
Um, and it wasn't until I started speaking to this young adult ministry here in Florida. Through zoom because the pandemic eventually shut things down here in Florida. Um, um, so, um, and that when things did shut down, it was slightly harder for me because before. And it got shut down in March, at least over here.
Um, [00:18:00] before, when I got the news, which again was, um, a blessing, but it was a lot for me to process. So I took the news pretty alone. Um, I didn't really go out. I felt like if I go out, my blood sugar would get high, so I didn't go. I basically social distance before that was even a thing. And, um, I just stayed at home for a good two months.
Didn't go out March came. I finally am accustomed to this news and ready to be myself again and go out and be social, um, to go from being social. And this was like the first week of March. And then the next week, everything shut down and go from. Isolating to adjust to this news to now having no choice, but to isolate what was just, it was, it was a way of me.
I don't have Virgin as a word. It wasn't something I wanted because. I'm not used to any [00:19:00] isolation or being alone. I mean, I don't want to go back to that mentality. I mean, I went through it because it seemed like a right thing to do because it's being diabetic. It was new to me. I need to figure this out on my own.
So I figured that. I was, I was done figuring out I wanted to be with people beef with my friends. Hey, I'm me again? I got meat on my bones. Again, let's go out. But to go from that to instantly being shut down. Well, it was, it was messed up because though I've adjusted to this news, I still needed that community and support for those, any reason at all.
Um, and luckily through zoom, Um, that provided that community that I needed. And I wouldn't have to restore it to old patterns as I would have as a kid. So they were telling me that, Hey, Dan, what you say matters your voice. It's firing and they haven't even met me in a physical capacity. So I'm just blown [00:20:00] away at the fact that how can I be expiring through a computer screen?
Like, how's that even possible? And it was through that. And actually they launched a podcast as well. Um, I never heard of a podcast before, until they launched theirs and I took the heart to what they say. And then that summer, um, I asked God using your however you want to use me. And from that point forward, um, that August, which would be a year ago is when I launched my podcast towards a part.
And as I think about it, um, because it has been a year, um, initially my vision or the initial idea was to. Share my stories and be that support system for someone through my story and that vision though, it may contain it. That story still remains the same and that same vision isn't intact. It's not [00:21:00] just my story.
I want to amplify other people's stories. The world may have silenced them or judge them, or just for check, did them, oh, experiences and emotions. I'm very well equipped to, and I just want my podcast to be an open form of acceptance and comfort. Like the world may judge you, the world may silence you, but I'm not going to silence or judge you.
So, and I haven't completely forgot the whole premise of your question, but, um,
KT Maschler: no, you're good. You answered it. It was how you took, you know, your path in life and combined it with your podcast. So you answered it. You've answered all my questions. You just didn't. I just skipped over it. So it's okay.
Dionne Sanchez: Yeah, it's become, it's the same vision applies as it did when I initially started.
And that's sharing people's stories who they believe [00:22:00] can help others, um, which I'm really fortunate for the guests that have appeared on my podcast thus far, who share the same vision as I do. And that's uplifting people's spirits. Yeah. Knowing that their story has the power to help someone and quite possibly when you think about it and real depth and deep, that's not well.
Yeah. Yeah. I think I'm right with the words you think deep go in depth and deeply, um, into the mindscape of the human spirit. Um, it's quite possible. This one episode alone can save somebody's life. So.
KT Maschler: No, I love it. And I love that you have dedicated your life now or your podcast to mental health. That is a big passion of mine, of mine as well.
And I love that our podcasts are so similar. It just, it literally just makes my heart like happy. Um, just more inspiration for [00:23:00] everybody to listen to. I love it.
Dionne Sanchez: Yes. I love that we share the same vision and you're just such a bubbling light, which makes it so easy for me to tag you on Twitter all the time.
KT Maschler: Yes. I even have a shirt that says bubbly, but blunt because sometimes like I get a little bit of an RBF, like I have to admit it, or it's kind of a big RBF. Look a little pissed off sometimes, but when you're talking to me, I'm all like bubbly and fun. And so that makes sense.
Okay. Any last piece of advice you have to share with me today?
Dionne Sanchez: Sure. To all your listeners and this meat, this relates to them. It just as much as it did me and that is that you are a warrior in spite of your circumstances.
Point blank period. I've wondered a lot, a lot in my lifetime [00:24:00] in you couldn't hear a tone. For the first two years of my life, my life wasn't easy. Then I go into adulthood. It seems like things are finally at peace. And then bam, I get sick cause bad. Um, seemed like my life wasn't working out anymore at that point.
And then I got diagnosed with diabetes and I mean, life isn't easy. I don't think it's meant to be easy, unfortunately, but you can handle it like you could face it and conduct. I couldn't hear for the first years of my life. And I am formulating and advocating on a platform, which is pretty known for speaking pretty much.
So, um, I could have easily given up. I could easily not be here right now, but I am still here as are you. You do have a reason for being here. So you are awarded. Inspired your circumstances, which means there's nothing you can't do or handle[00:25:00]
KT Maschler: preach it. All right. If anybody wants to listen to your podcast, learn more about you or connect with.
Dionne Sanchez: Sure. Um, if you want to get in touch with me or listen to my podcasts, it is called words of heart. You can find us on Facebook called wards of our podcasts. That is the Facebook page. You can also find us on YouTube under the same name and wherever you listen to your podcasts, apple, Spotify, Google. Um, you can listen to any of the episodes.
I also do video interviews if you need a different dynamic for that. Um, and if you need to get in touch with me on a personal level, for any reason, I never sleep. Although rest is important, I'm just a weird person that way. Um, you can get in touch with me on Instagram at HeartWare 25 and on Twitter at HeartWare 24.
So, um, that's where you can listen to my podcasts. There is one other piece of [00:26:00] news I've been excited about all week that I do want to share. My podcast. Um, and myself has been recently featured in a magazine called women who podcast, which highlights and spotlights female podcasters and where they were and how they started and all that good stuff.
So if you do want to take out that magazine, featuring myself on my podcast, feel free to do that. So, but aside from that, you just want to listen to my podcast then please do. So I'm sure there's an episode that will resonate and relate to you on somewhere.
KT Maschler: Yes. There for sure is. I will make sure that all of those are listed in the show notes below.
So be sure to check that out and check out our podcast. It's amazing. Uh, thank you so much for joining me today. That was very inspiring.
Dionne Sanchez: Of course and much love to all of your listeners. You are a warrior only.[00:27:00]
And that is it for this week's episode. Thank you so much for tuning in it truly does mean the world to me. If you want to show your support for the quest for new inspiration, make sure you check out our merge store and get that bubbly. But blunt, sweatshirt.
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