Judith Lucy didn’t conceive her new podcast Overwhelmed & Dying in the age of coronavirus, but it’s a welcome salve at a time when people are literally fighting each other for packs of toilet paper.
Overwhelmed & Dying is a sort of follow-on from Judith Lucy Spiritual Journey and Judith Lucy All Woman and is a witty take on dating, wellness, ageing and dealing with trauma. It starts with Lucy’s account of a recent break-up with a guy who seemed perfect in every way until it turned out he’d been gaslighting her for some time. Oh, and her brother died – the last member of her adopted family, long a topic of her stand-up shows, to pass on. And her menopause started. And she’s concerned about the state of the world.
So, understandably, Lucy started to feel a bit depressed about things. But unlike previously, when she’d coped with her problems by partying hard – drink, drugs, sex, that kind of thing – this time she was older and wiser and had learned to cope in better ways: through exercise, mental self-care and spending time with true friends and decent people.
Overwhelmed & Dying explores wellbeing and related themes in Judith Lucy’s usual sardonic style. And two episodes in we’ve heard from old friend and colleague Denise Scott, an Uber driver who’s helping to build a school in Sudan and Paralympic athlete Shae Graham, who’s been unable to walk since being in a car accident at the age of 18 but now plays wheelchair rugby at elite level.
Lucy also explores various ways to look after herself; some of these verge on the ridiculous – such as a sort of colonic irrigation with ghee – but others, like taking a dip in freezing cold seawater with some elderly women, seem a far better idea (sort of). They also give Lucy some perspective: what does it matter if you’re getting wrinkles when you have so many other things going well in your life?
Overwhelmed & Dying is a thoughtful, mature and funny take, from a more balanced but still hilarious Judith Lucy. In future episodes (there are six more to come), we’ll hear Judith’s take on how segregated society seems right now and how to make the most of the time you have left.
But while themes like segregation and death seem very of-the-moment right now, this is actually a program about the future – about the life we’ll lead after we’ve all come out of self-isolation and don’t have to worry about how we’ll wipe our arses. And about how we can have a better, happier future.