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Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Trigger Warming: Self-harm. Please be aware that this episode covers a mental health discussion that references self-harm. We advise listener discretion. 


Alteryx Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager Charita McClellan joins us as our guest host for a discussion on the importance of neuro-acceptance in the workplace. Featuring Alteryx ACE Treyson Marks, Alteryx Distinguished Software Engineer Stephen Ahlgren and Alteryx Principal Evangelist Joshua Burkhow, they discuss what it means to be neurodivergent, the importance of breaking stigma, and how you can create a safe space at work that’s accepting of everyone. 







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Episode Transcription

MADDIE 00:01

[music] Welcome to Alter Everything, a podcast about data science and analytics culture. At Alteryx, we've taken a lot of steps to create safe spaces for everyone, including neurodivergent folks. And in this episode, we're driving awareness to mental health. Charita McClellan is the DEI manager at Alteryx. And she sat down with Alteryx ACE, Treyson Marks; Alteryx principal evangelist, Joshua Burkhow; and Steve Ahlgren, distinguished software engineer, also at Alteryx. Before we jump into it, please be advised that there is mention of self harm in this episode, along with descriptions of mental illness, and listener discretion is advised. Please also note that the Suicide Prevention hotline number in the US is 1-800-273-8255, or you can dial 988. Let's get started. [music]


My name is Charita McClellan, and I'm the diversity, equity, and inclusion manager here at Alteryx. I'm here today with three individuals to talk about a very interesting topic that sometimes gets voided. It's personally important to me. As a bio, foster, and adoptive parent, I've had children who have had bipolar disorder, ADHD, suicidal ideation, and I've just had issues working through their trauma. So I'm very excited to be with the three individuals I have today to talk about this topic. Let's introduce them.


Hi, my name is Treyson Marks. I am an Alteryx ACE and principal associate for data meeting. I've been using Alteryx for a long time, seven years. Really love it. Really love this community. I think my journey with mental health kind of parallels a lot of my journey with Alteryx. So I'm excited to be here and talk about it.

JOSHUA 01:47

Hi, everybody. My name is Joshua Burkhow. I'm a principal evangelist here at Alteryx, and it's kind of the same as Treyson. I've been using Alteryx a long time, going on 11 years. And mental health is kind of becoming a more prominent topic, especially for me, in the sense that I've been able to open up much more about it in the last year, two years, than ever before.

STEVE 02:10

Hey, all. I'm Steve Ahlgren. I am a distinguished software engineer at Alteryx, and I'm going on 10 years in July. I live in North Carolina and have way too many chickens and other dependents to talk about. I was diagnosed about three years ago with significant mental illness, and it means a lot to me, which is why I'm here today to talk about it with you all.


Awesome. Awesome. Well, I'm very excited to have this conversation. So let's get started. It is quite difficult or can be quite difficult to be transparent when it comes to mental health. So can you each take a moment and let me know why you're willing to be transparent in this moment? W/hy this is important to you?

JOSHUA 02:46

Yes, this is Joshua. I have to think about this a little bit because mental health really is this idea around your emotional, psychological, and social well being and the state of being comfortable, right, in your own skin. And being diagnosed with ADHD, I have to start to think about what that really means in the grand scheme of things. And then being transparent and more so authentic is really kind of important to me. I don't like not being authentic. So being transparent when I come into situations where I just can't do that thing. There are things that my brain is not going to work the way that everybody else is. So some of you will hear the term neurodiversity, which is that acceptance and that idea that it's normal behavior that we all have brains that work differently.

STEVE 03:35

Yeah, I feel like for me, it's been a real journey the last couple of years. And part of my journey is realizing I have a real opportunity to make a difference in the community because of my diagnosis with bipolar disorder. There's a lot of people out there who are having a more difficult time than I do. And I feel like it's a chance for me to try to make a difference not only in the company at Alteryx with our new ERGs that you run, Charita, but also, in the community at large by having discussions like this. And hopefully, other people will come forward and realize that, "Hey, I am actually present, and I'm part of this neuro diverse community, and we can all work together toward neuro acceptance," which is just believing who we all are and what we can do.


I was diagnosed five years ago. Individually, it's super easy to talk about with people because you read the room and you understand how people accept things, I guess. And I'm not a super serious guy most of the time, and it's a super serious topic. So Josh and Steve asking me to do this, it's like, "Okay, it's finally time to do it." So we're here to talk about it, I guess.


Well, we're glad you're here. Follow-up question for you all. How do you deal with the labeling? How do you deal with accepting that diagnosis once you've received it and some of the negative stigma that might come with it?


For me, the diagnosis was a relief, actually, because I struggled with it for years, and it was like a 15-minute conversation with a psychiatrist. And he was like, "Oh, well, you're probably bipolar." And I was like, "Oh, okay, cool." And then he's like, "We're going to try you on some meds." And it just worked out. It was the easiest thing. Once I actually was able to get in and talk to somebody, it was the easiest thing to do. Yeah. So I don't know. Like I said before, I'm not really a serious guy. And I think that stems from my family, and it's fun because I was in a mental hospital, and a week after I got out, my mom bought me this pin that says, "I hate being bipolar. It's awesome." [laughter] And it's still on the top of my car because it's really funny. I don't know. I'm pretty confident in most of my life, and I feel like it's just part of who I am. So it's easy to kind of walk with it. Yeah.

STEVE 05:32

I just appreciate that word you use around relief. I've hit a point where I realized I needed help, and I never asked for help before. So I made that appointment, and it was a six-hour session with somebody who likes people like me and asking all these questions and this moment of clarity where suddenly, so much of my life just became clear, and it all started to make sense. And the stigma around it is what's really interesting. Because being in the software industry for 20 years, we've never had these conversations before. And I think now is a chance for me to break that mold and the stigma like we're doing here and talk about it and embrace it and accept it because we all have problems.

JOSHUA 06:06

The one word that comes to mind is liberation for me because I can remember like it was yesterday. I was working as a contractor and I was an adult. I was in my 30s. I knew better, but I wouldn't show up to work on time or I'd give a half-ass effort throughout the day. And it wasn't because-- and this was kind of only realized later. It wasn't lack of effort. It was just like I couldn't do it. I literally couldn't do it. And I got to a point where I was basically getting fired. I was on my last string. And luckily, my wife was like, "Something's not right." And the quintessential metaphor is I'm the duck on the water, right? I'm gliding on top, and everybody sees this moving duck that's gracefully going through the water, but underneath, I'm whacking my legs like crazy. So once I went in, I remember sitting with the doctor and saying, "Hey, I got a laundry list of things." And they're like, "You ever heard of ADHD?" And kind of laughs? He's like, "Yeah, you check all the boxes." So it was this moment of liberation because now the moment that you have something that you can charge after, I think like Treyson and I and Steve as well, it's like we're pretty driven individuals. We want to get shit done and do stuff. It's just from that moment, it was that pivot point where I could say, "Okay, now I can work on this thing and hopefully, improve it in certain areas and forgive myself for the rest."


Yeah. Yeah. I love everything you all said. It bothers me that there's such a negative stigma about it. If I go to someone and say, "Hey, I have cancer. I had cervical cancer," and nobody had this negative stigma so, "How can we help you? What can we do?" And so I think it's really important. I think conversations like this will help people stop having these assumptions, stop having this negative stigma so we can move forward. And no one's going to treat you different if you have strep throat. We've just gone through a pandemic and people aren't just outcasting everyone because of COVID. So I don't think we should treat this any different. So I want to kind of shift and talk about mental health when it comes to work and the importance of finding a safe space while you are at work. And one thing I used to tell people prior to us all being at home is you spend more awake hours with the people you work with than you do with your loved ones at home. And so with that thought process, can you talk about how you have found safe places at work, if you found those safe places, and what it's been like, and how you've been able to navigate those spaces?

STEVE 08:21

I'll just start off and say that in the past, I've never felt like I've had a safe place. Like I said earlier, in 20-plus years, we've never talked about this. I've had two lives and there's this piece of work that people see, which is the motivation and getting things done and getting software across the line. And there's the other piece, which is the low after the highs. And what I love about Alteryx and what I'm seeing now in the industry as a whole is over the last couple of years, we've got a lot of opportunity now to create these safe spaces. And ERGs that we're creating, Josh, as part of the veterans group - I'm starting something called alter.self - is to celebrate in the workplace who we are and talk about and have these conversations and bring in speakers and give people places to meditate or places to pray during the day, whatever they need. And I think that's a real symbol that as a culture, not just at work but globally, I think we're becoming more accepting that we all have challenges. And we need to talk about that, and we need to be accepting of everyone else because we all have these things that are not seen, but they're there.


I love how you point out that we have things that aren't seen. So as the DEI Manager, one of the things I always point out is the majority of diverse characteristics are not visible. I like to use the iceberg analogy. You see the top of the iceberg, which are your visible characteristics, maybe your gender, your race, but everything underneath the waterline is the biggest part of ourselves. And so not making those assumptions based on what's visible is very important and kind of leads me to another question of how do you think people act or respond to visible versus nonvisible symptoms? Or how do you think people respond differently towards that?

JOSHUA 09:56

Yeah, it's funny because the hyperactive part of my diagnosis is right on my sleeve and everybody in the world can see it. So there is a little bit of that outward thing that once you're clued into some behaviors, it's visible, but 99% of it is not. And especially, I would say, the struggles like Steve hit on it a little bit. There's so much happening behind the scenes that nobody catches and is aware of until something bad happens. "Oh, they got fired," or, "they did something they aren't supposed to do," or any of those sorts of things. So it's really quite interesting to go through the world with your interactions with people knowing that you know maybe 5% of them, right? Yeah. You can see that they're wearing a T-shirt, but you don't know all the stuff that went into putting on that T-shirt, right? I find it fascinating because that's opening up a whole bunch of doors for me, at least.


So let's talk about coping. My daughter, I adopted her now, but when she first came to our home-- and she was a cutter. I didn't know what was going on. So I had to research and doctor's visits and all the things. And so we learned about coping mechanisms and coping skills and what triggered her. And so just wondering how you all are coping. What skills you are utilizing in the workplace or in your personal lives to deal with any challenges or obstacles that you may interact with or that you may come up against? And if you have any tips for others when it comes to building their own safe spaces and identifying their coping mechanisms and being able to utilize those in a way that helps them succeed.


For my diagnosis, so when I was in the hospital, it was actually a really cool experience. We had on-site therapists, and they were talking about just a lot of things that people go through. One of the things they talked about was rumination, which is where you focus on something and you just can't stop. And so I'd have days where I'd have a meeting and I didn't like how it went or something like that. And I spent like four hours just thinking about it and be like, "I did nothing this afternoon." I don't know if it's creating a safe space or not necessarily, but just kind of understanding how I work, and I can identify those things quickly when I find myself snowballing, it's easy to yank myself out of it. I guess just the understanding of what's happening in my head was super important for me.

JOSHUA 12:11

So for me, it was really interesting because on the surface, I drink copious amounts of coffee, which is a very well-known coping mechanism for ADHD. But one of the things that I've just recently realized in the last six months since I really joined Alteryx was the more that I find that I'm open and clear in talking about it, I get into conversations and it slides in. I'll say, "Hey, we need to coordinate this," or, "I need someone to manage all this." And my brain is going, "Yeah, no, nice try. That's not your thing." So that's going on in my head, but now I'm starting to verbalize those things and letting those people know, "Hey, my brain doesn't work that way. We got to do something differently." And that's actually another code of liberation per se because now the people that I'm talking to don't have to think they can take me for what I am good at and not try to force me into a box that I'm not going to do well with.

STEVE 13:05

For me, my whole life, for as long as I remember, I've always had a song playing in my head. I mean, this sounds crazy, but I'll get a random Coldplay song stuck in my head for a week or a Rush lyric just going over and over and over again. And so the coping mechanisms for me have been really beneficial. And starting my diagnosis, the recommendation from the psychiatrist was to go take what's called an MBSR class, which is mindfulness based stress reduction. And you can think of it as distilled meditation best practices condensed into a short form. And it came out of UMass, medical. And it took me a month or two to meditate for a minute, which was such an amazing achievement in my life. It was really the first time I felt like my mind was clear for a minute. It was absolutely mind blowing. And so that's been my biggest coping strategy is just learning to try to be present, and when my mind does drift, just to accept it and let it come back to center and just doing really simple practices. I started eating exclusively with chopsticks. And then I learned that, I switched to my left hand so I can now focus more on eating more slowly. So just really simple techniques that have helped me to rein in the chaos in my mind.

JOSHUA 14:13

With a lot of ADHDs, many of us, not everybody in the same bucket, but we work on channels. This idea that we're sitting in a room. It's fairly quiet. Nobody's screaming, but I can hear and feel and see 10 different things going on all at the same time. And I think of them as channels because they're all coming in different modes, sound, and all this. But I'm hyper aware of all those things every moment throughout the day. And that can both cause stress when I'm not willfully letting channels go. Or if I get in a highly stimulated environment, that can go overboard. And I can go into a zone where I'm just wired up and not really productive, not really focused, not really good but.

STEVE 14:53

I know we've talked about this before. I mean, the place I could get tons of work done is a place like an airport or an airplane or I used to go to the rock climbing gym. There's random noise, but if you're in a room with 5 or 10 people, I track every conversation. I can't go to a-- historically, I couldn't go to a restaurant with a TV in it because all I could hear was the television. And going back to MBSR, I don't want to trivialize how easy it is. Obviously, there's also been a lot of, basically, weekly or biweekly therapy since just learning other coping mechanisms and strategies. But what I really like is I see benefit from these tiny little exercises. Instead of eating for three minutes, eat for nine minutes or left-handed chopstick eating. The basics seem to be helping me a lot.


It seems each of you all have put in some work to learn yourselves, learn how your mind works, and how you can individually function, process, and still be successful. The question I have is, and if you do, how do you then almost teach or train those around you how then to understand that and how to work with you and how to communicate with you? So as the DEI manager, I always talk about how everyone's different. We all have diverse characteristics. So how my brain works is not the same as someone else's, same with my children, etc. We have to teach each other how to talk to one another. The way I may receive something isn't the same that you'll receive it. So I'm really big on communication, knowing my audience, making sure it lands correctly, right? So in a situation where you have a mental health diagnosis and there may be some symptoms of that and you may work differently and function differently, do you find yourself in a place of feeling like you need to communicate that and teach others how to work with you and how your brain works? And if so, how has that gone for you?

JOSHUA 16:31

Yeah, I'll jump in here just because this is probably the crux of being able to open up more so about ADHD is there are certain things that I need to have happen for me to be successful. And so a part of it, mentally you're thinking, "Oh, it's my problem. I don't need any of you to help me with my problem." But that's actually kind of false. If Steve comes to me or you Charita come to me or my man here come to me and say, "Hey, can you do 11 o'clock?" or, "can you do a meeting at 12 o'clock?" or, "hey, I need you to be here at this moment in time. Can you do that?" The first answer is like, "Hey, if you just tell me, I'm going to lose it. I'm not going to remember. I need you to get it on my calendar. So send me an invite." That's me telling someone else how to help me. The other way that I do it is, and if it's a task, if my boss or somebody comes in and says, "Hey, I need you to get this done by 12 o'clock," it has to go on my to-do list. And I use to-do list-- that's my to-do list manager. But those two things are non-negotiable with me. If I can keep those, which I work very hard to, then I know I have a really high chance of being successful. If I don't, I absolutely, 100% know I'll fail without a doubt.


I don't know. I think I have an interesting opinion. It's my problem. It's for me. That's definitely how I feel where it's not everybody else's responsibility for me to walk into a room and be like, "I'm bipolar. You have to deal with me this way." I think a lot of the way we deal with other people is just a common courtesy things. Not knowing that you have ADHD and I just learned that I have to put you on the calendar, I don't think we have to put that in the Josh-is-a-person-with-ADHD box, which is like, "Oh, that's just how Josh works."

JOSHUA 18:14

But you identify with the idea that you don't want to emburden somebody else?


Yes, but this is probably a pretty unpopular opinion, but I just don't know how we can expect to operate where we have to understand everything about everybody, necessarily or--

JOSHUA 18:30

Yeah, of course. It's definitely a challenge. Yeah.


Yeah, or I go into clients all the time so I can't be like, "Hey, clients, these are how you have to work with me." But I don't think it's a bad thing necessarily. I'm totally fine with that. I'm an adult. I have to deal with me problems. And I think that's part of what got me to the hospital is that I was like, "I'm an adult. I got to deal with me problems."


To your point, the way we function with people in a lot of places is common courtesy. I am a strong believer that it costs you nothing to be nice, and so I function in common courtesy, and I actually struggle when others don't. And I'm a strong believer and that everyone should help other people. And so I think I agree with you on how we function as common courtesy. And the more I know about how you function like, "I need to put something on Joshua's calendar--" although, lately he's been declining my invites, but I'm not going to say anything about that right now.

JOSHUA 19:20

Totally not true. Totally not true. Maybe a little true.


But then common courtesy for me is instead of pinging him, I'll just throw it on his calendar, and he'll accept or decline and let me know. And so I agree with you with the common courtesy. I just want to know what that courtesy is for you. I just want to know what I can do because I like to be nice. It's free, and I think we can all just work better together if we're nice.

JOSHUA 19:43

With that concept. Yeah.

STEVE 19:46

And to that end, I mean, being nice, one of the things I picked up on is the language that people use. And one in particular that's got me is like, "Oh, it's just my OCD kicking in." I'm like, "Okay, well, over here OCD. It's not your OCD kicking in. That was you being cautious." But I've picked up more on discriminatory language. I think part of being nice is realizing that we're all supposed to be aware of this, but I think there are still phrases, especially around mental health, that we don't necessarily realize could be offensive to someone else.


And I am 100% guilty of that. Prior to my lovely new career, my background is in accounting, and I used to put in financial statements and hold them up to the lights to make sure all the lines would line up because we had to send them to investors. And my team was like, "Why are you--" because I'd make them reprint them if they were off? And they're like, "Why are you doing this?" And I would say, "It's just my OCD. I'm a little OCD about that." And then as I started to educate myself, I said, "Oh, that's offensive because there are some people who are truly OCD and cannot move forward. Let me not belittle that situation." And so I have then stopped doing that. And if I hear someone else say it, maybe pull them to the side and say, "Hey, I used to say that too. If you don't have OCD, this is how that may come across." And so trying to educate from my mistakes that I made. But I am 100% guilty-- or used to be guilty of that.

STEVE 20:59

Yeah, I think we all are. And that's really what neuro acceptance is, right? It's this idea that we can't see. And Treyson, to your point, right, you're not going to walk into a room with a poster saying, "Hey, guess what?" But if you walk into a room or any of us walk into a room and say, "I need a moment," or, "I'm going to step out," then neuro acceptance says, "Oh, okay, that's no problem."


So I have a question. And thank you all so much for that dialogue. There's more than likely someone who's going to listen to this podcast who may be afraid to have those appointments with the doctors that you all referenced, had those conversations. Treyson, you mentioned you had a 15-minute conversation, and the psychiatrist was like, "Hey, this is what you probably have." And you were like, "Oh, relief." Steven, you mentioned a six-hour conversation, and it was great because there was someone who understood you. You mentioned, Joshua, a doctor saying, "Hey, you, check all these boxes." And so for all of you, what sounded like having that conversation, getting that diagnosis gave you some relief because it was like, "Okay, now I know what to do. I know what's going on." What advice do you have or words of encouragement or wisdom to someone who probably needs to make that appointment? They probably need to put one foot in front of the other and make that happen.


Yeah. So I think, for me, it was, "There's nobody else who knows what's going on with me. I have this very unique problem, and no one else has the same brain as me," and all that stuff. And then it was a shock. I was like, "Yeah, so I go through-- I have these highs and these lows, and this is what this looks like." And he was like, "Oh, yeah, yeah, that's bipolar. Probably bipolar type two." And I would suggest that even if you aren't ready to have a conversation, try to get in now because a lot of places, they take forever to get into psychiatrists. I don't know if it's a shortage, but a lot of people need it nowadays. So the waiting list is months at a time, especially after the pandemic.

JOSHUA 22:47

Yeah. I think one of the other things that I like to point out, going through that diagnosis, it almost feels like they're able to reach inside your soul and try to-- they've got you figured out. And it's creepy because you're like-- to Treyson's point, you think that you're the only one on Earth that has all this crazy stuff going on in your head and going up a mile a minute and not able to sit still, and they start picking it apart. And then you're like, "Oh, yeah, and you probably have troubles with this too, and you probably struggle with this as well." So there's a little bit of realization that you're not all by yourself. The other thing that actually helped me was the moment I got on Ritalin, the sky opened up and the doves flew out, and I was on fire because it took away-- and by the way, let's be very clear. I'm not recommending medication. But for me, specifically, it was a moment where I was able to see the world from a view that I could comprehend.

STEVE 23:44

Just backing up a little bit before I get to the advice section, but I basically raced through my life as fast as I possibly could, and I feel like I've either lived in the future or lived in the past or lived just somewhere random. And what I didn't pay attention to is that things weren't okay. And so I think my biggest piece of advice is if you're waking up every morning asking yourself, "Could my life be better? Do I really want to spend my days thinking like this or wishing I was something different?" I ignored all those signs. And it was only really, especially with my family life, realizing that it could be a lot better that I finally picked up the phone and made the proverbial call. And it fundamentally changed my life. So make the call. Ask a friend. Ask your pastor. Talk to your sister. Talk to a coworker. Just make that moment of truth happen because if you don't, it's not going to change.

JOSHUA 24:34

Yeah. The one thing that you and I talked about, Steve, is the family situation and diagnosis and then just being open with them. My wife, it's taken her 20 years to try to really fundamentally understand what I can and can't do, what expectations she can have of me, and what she can. And she's now just such an amazing partner because she's able to know where I can succeed or not. [crosstalk].

STEVE 25:00

Well, I was going to say I'm just fortunate that she's still with me, quite truthfully. I hope she listens to this, but putting up with all my bullshit over the years has been brutal. And I recently, just a couple of weeks ago, had a conversation with the kids being fully, fully transparent like, "This is the diagnosis. These are the medications I take," and so forth. And that's been really powerful because I have nothing to hide from them. But if I hadn't made that first call, I'd probably be alone and working every day.


Awesome. I really, really appreciate you all sharing with us. I'm a big believer in that you have to have psychological safety in order for people to feel comfortable to share parts of themselves that aren't visible. And so what I'm hoping is you all felt that, which is why you all were open to having this conversation and this dialogue. I am certain that someone is going to hear this and it's going to be very powerful. In all actuality, I'm going to have my son listen to it as well. So I'm very appreciative of you all for this, and I just felt honored to be able to participate in the conversation with you all. I am not someone who has been diagnosed with any kind of mental health diagnosis, but I've had so many children in my home that have that my perspective has been a little different and being the supportive person. Almost like you mentioned your partners, being that person and trying to walk through them with that, and it's not always easy, but you do that for people that you like, you love, you care about. So I'm happy to know you all have support as well. In the next 30 seconds or to a minute, can you each share your final thoughts that you'd want to give to those who are listening to this podcast?


Getting help isn't as big of a risk as it might feel. I want to walk back to something I think Josh said was creepy kind of when someone was poking apart his brain, and I feel the difference, and I don't want that to scare anybody necessarily because it is a vulnerable moment. You're going to go in there. You're going to talk to them about real stuff. And if you're not being truthful and honest about what's going on in your head, they're not going to be able to help you. So, yeah, I would recommend it to all even people who maybe necessarily aren't going through things. Therapy is awesome.

JOSHUA 26:52

Yeah, I think that's the first one is remove the stigma or whatever you think about going to a psychiatrist or psychologist. That is frankly silly today for anybody to be like, "Oh, you're going to see a psychiatrist." It's freaking amazing. It's helpful and it's insightful. The other thing is to tie it all back to the beginning is I really start to challenge people in this whole idea of taking an honest look with your well being. Are you really present? Are you there? Are you clicking on all cylinders? Do you feel good about-- my guiding post is like, "If I wake up, I better be freaking absolutely meant for the day. I have to wake up and be ecstatic to be alive, be ecstatic to impact people positively." That's my guiding post. If you don't have it, search it. Figure that out, and try to get the help you need to feel that because you absolutely should. Everybody deserves to be happy, right?

STEVE 27:46

That's right. Yeah. Final thought, just pay attention to yourself and others. If you're feeling something that could be better, pay attention to that. If you have a friend who's talking about, "Hey, I'm not feeling well today," or you notice they've got droops under their eyes, they're not sleeping, or they're talking about suicide, pay attention to that. If you have kids who are acting strangely, pay attention to that. One thing I would like everyone to do is to open up your phone and go to your contacts and add the Suicide Prevention hotline number. It's 800-273-8255. And that's a number you can have on your phone. Share it with your friends. It could be something that saves your life or save someone else's life. And don't be afraid to talk about this stuff. Neurodiversity is real. We all exist. We're lurking amongst you, okay?

JOSHUA 28:27

We will find you.

STEVE 28:28

We will find you. No, but it's real, and we just need to talk about it like this and enjoy it and embrace it. That's what makes us all unique.

JOSHUA 28:36

Yeah, absolutely.


Awesome. Thank you all. I appreciate it.

STEVE 28:39

Thank you Charita.


This has been wonderful. And yeah, y'all have a great rest of the day.

JOSHUA 28:43

Thank you so much.

STEVE 28:43


MADDIE 28:46

Thanks for listening. If you have a success story of creating a safe space at work, share it with us by leaving a comment on this episode's page at where you can also find links to resources mentioned on this episode. Catch you next time. [music]

This episode was produced by Maddie Johannsen (@MaddieJ), Mike Cusic (@mikecusic) and Matt Rotundo (@AlteryxMatt). Special thanks to @andyuttley for the theme music track, and @mikecusic for our album artwork.

16 - Nebula
16 - Nebula

Great episode, everyone!

Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

Thanks @SteveA , @Treyson , and @JoshuaB for being vulnerable and having these conversations--it means a lot and made for a great episode!

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

What an amazing episode. I have been surrounded by neurodiverse folks all my life and even married one which comes with its own challenges but I learned to put kindness and understanding first along with encouraging not only her, but others in my life, to vocalize & share. It helps me understand and the other person knows I am a safe person - no judgement here. They can truly be themselves because after all, wouldn't it be super boring if our brains all worked the same way? Exactly.


Thank you for opening up and sharing @CMcClellan_DEI@SteveA@Treyson & @JoshuaB