How to Stop Numbing Your Emotions With Bestselling Author Mallory Ervin

Mallory Ervin

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Mallory Ervin

Mallory Ervin held the title of Miss Kentucky in 2009. In 2010, she was fourth runner-up to Miss America. She also competed on the reality show, "The Amazing Race," three separate times. 

Despite all the success she had on the outside, she didn’t feel worthy on the inside. 

Now, she’s written a bestselling book called "Living Fully," in which she writes about how she finally learned to live a bigger, better life that didn’t depend on achievements to be happy.

Why Mallory Ervin Is Mentally Strong

Mallory shares how her prescriptions became a way to numb her emotions. She is open about the fact that she didn’t think she needed rehab either. At her mother’s insistence, she agreed to treatment while fully expecting the mental health professionals to tell her mother that she was fine.

Now, she realizes that the large amounts of pills she was taking clouded her judgment. And she talks openly about how difficult it was for her to come to terms with the fact that she had a problem.

Mallory shares what she learned in therapy, the changes she is making in her life, and the ongoing steps she is taking to manage her mental health now. 

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • How Mallory developed a problem with prescription drugs
  • How her parents’ recognized she had a problem
  • How her mother and her father differed in their response to her problem
  • How Mallory stayed in denial even while in rehab
  • What she learned about herself from treatment
  • How the medication numbed her emotions
  • What made her stay in treatment
  • How she held herself accountable after inpatient treatment ended
  • How to recognize the things you might reach for to numb your emotions in your life
  • How to access mental health resources if you can’t afford a therapist
  • How journaling helps Mallory recognize unhealthy patterns in her life
  • The difference between living a full life and a busy life

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

Sometimes, there’s an assumption that if someone is achieving a lot of things in life, they must be happy. And if they’re not happy, they must not be grateful. But anyone can develop a mental health issue no matter what’s going on in their lives.

There’s also an assumption that prescribed medication is OK to take. But just because a physician (or multiple physicians) prescribes a medication doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always a good idea to take it.

Mallory talks about both of those myths. On the outside, she looked like she had a great life. But she felt miserable on the inside.

And she believed that the medications she was taking were OK. Even though she got multiple doctors to prescribe medicine, she convinced herself she was fine. She now realizes the addiction had affected her judgment.

Quotes From Mallory

Mallory Ervin

They think that the absence of bad is a qualifier for good. That is no way to live. Life is meant to be so much bigger and brighter and fuller and more vibrant than that.

— Mallory Ervin
  • "Journaling has shown me a lot of my patterns in just my everyday recovery and in my healthy life. I can just get the thoughts out of my head instead of sitting in my bed and scrolling through Instagram or whatever it is that I'm mindlessly reading."
  • "I can promise you on the other side of that is a brighter, more full existence."
  • "Numbing things out will give you a drastically different life than if you can face what's going on."
  • "Addiction is so hand-in-hand with delusion, especially toward the middle and end and your thinking. You are so far removed from yourself that you can't even remember how it used to be."

More About the Podcast

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Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.