John O'Leary

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Live Inspired Podcast: Ep. 99 Comic Adam Cayton-Holland on His Sister's Suicide

Comic + author Adam Cayton-Holland joins us in time for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2018.

Comic Adam Cayton-Holland’s Tragedy + Time book is a tragi-comic memoir about his sister’s death as a result of suicide.

Adam took pause in his favorite Denver park to join us for this personal conversation. Adam shares about life, family, comedy, anxiety and how his book helped him process losing his sister. Live inspired and bring mental health into the light:

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  • Adam’s Tragedy + Time book is a tragic story with moments of great joy, laughter, love + redemption. Warning, there are quite a few cuss words.
  • September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Join the conversation, get involved + support at Suicide Prevention Lifeline or National Alliance on Mental Health.
  • Goal of his book was to show that even in an idyllic family, mental illness can rear its head and take a family member.
  • “I felt stuff strongly.” Adam Cayton-Holland on growing up with anxiety.
  • Getting his start in comedy, Adam did stand up in secret for 6 months. When he finally invited his friends, he bombed + had to figure out how to get back up on stage after bombing.
  • It’s a a scary thing. Mental illness can come snatch a person away. When you have this one idea of life and then what truly matters is [taken from you] it is shocking, it is like the whole access of your being shifts.
  • “People work on their physical health and we pat them on the back. It should be the same for people working on their mental health. We should say, “Hey good for you! Going to a therapist… Bring it into the light. You don’t have to be ashamed of feeling it or your family member who is feeling it.”

Continue the Suicide Prevention Awareness conversation with Ep. #46. Guest Dennis Gillan share how he’s committed his life to reducing the number of completed suicides + removing the stigma around mental health after losing his own two brothers to suicide.

If you like this podcast, you will love Live Inspired IN STUDIO. It’s my membership community where like-minded friends join me via live webcast to live inspired together. Registration opens soon! Join the waitlist.


1. What is the best book you've ever read? Sometimes a Great Notion, by Ken Kesey who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s beautifully written.

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Empathy. I’ve put up walls. We need pure empathy for everyone, we button ourselves up in our world. I need to do better.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? Lydia. I’d say ‘I miss ya. I miss the hell out of you.’

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? A beloved family friend died when we were young and my Dad tried to explain to us how to deal with grief. He showed us pictures of comets and black holes and just turned the pages, sitting with us kids and said ‘Isn’t this amazing. We don’t know why any of this exists or what it means and we get to live in all of it.’ That is my religion right there. I am not an atheist, I am agnostic. I’m a seeker.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Don’t take yourself so seriously. You are going to be alright.

7. It's been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? He died as he lived, with humor.


If you enjoyed today's episode: Subscribe, rate & review wherever you get your podcasts. See you here next Thursday!

Live Inspired with John every day on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and get his Monday Motivation email:

If you like this podcast, you will love Live Inspired IN STUDIO. It’s my membership community where like-minded friends join me via live webcast to live inspired together. Registration opens soon! Join the waitlist.

The post Live Inspired Podcast: Ep. 99 Comic Adam Cayton-Holland on His Sister’s Suicide appeared first on John O'Leary.

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