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Mental Note

Jan 10, 2022

Picture this: a warm July breeze stirs my hair as I sit on the back porch. My toddler, illuminated by moonlight and the twinkle of fireflies, gently spins in circles, hands waving in the air as she moves to the strumming of a guitar mixed with the call of cicadas in the trees. It’s the sort of moment that feels infinitely removed from the typical noise of daily life. Here, there are no email alerts, traffic jams, or checklists. Only laughter and contentment.

So, at the start of this new year, I’m asking, “how do I get more of these moments and less of the hamster wheel? How can I stop living on other people’s terms and tune in to my inner voice?” To explore these questions, I can think of no one better than the strummer of the guitar from that moonlit summer night - my friend and 71-year-old neighbor - Vollie McKenzie.

Vollie is a man of many outlets. He spent over 40 years as a mental health professional, plays tennis daily, and is a known performer in the Southeast. He also has a recovery journey of his own that includes life-long struggles with anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphia.

I invited him on the podcast to talk about the process of finding his own voice and how that intersects with his mental health journey. Along the way, Vollie will sing and play pivotal songs to guide the narrative.


Mental Note Podcast is brought to you by Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center and Eating Recovery Center. If you’d like to talk to a trained therapist or learn more about their programs and free support groups, please call them at (877) 850-7199 or visit our website