Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

The Proust Questionnaire, with Bethany Butzer

Share |
Bethany Butzer (photo credit: The Last Forty Percent Photography)

Bethany Butzer is a Mental Health & Wellness Advisor who offers life coaching, workshops and yoga classes that help people manage their stress and mood. Bethany also inspires people to live their best life by sharing her personal struggles with anxiety, depression and antidepressants. Her book, The Antidepressant Antidote, in which she shares her experience and advice, has recently been published with Balboa Press.

Bethany received her Ph.D. in psychology in 2008 from the University of Western Ontario and worked as an IT Research Analyst for two years before taking the leap to start her own wellness business. She lives in London, Ontario with her husband and a lazy grey cat named Chloe. Visit her at her website.

In her answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Bethany tells us her greatest accomplishment, her motto, her idea of misery and more.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.


What is your dream of happiness?
Freedom in my schedule to do what I want, when I want. Having ample time to honor my self-care and to enjoy the adventure of life.

What is your idea of misery?
Lacking a sense of purpose. Being stuck in the day-to-day grind of life without any interest in the bigger picture.

Where would you like to live?
Home base in Canada with apartments in Europe (perhaps Spain, Greece and Prague) as well as a beach house in Grand Cayman to visit in the winter (I?m dreaming big!).

What qualities do you admire most in a man?
Integrity, kindness and a hunger for knowledge.

What qualities do you admire most in a woman?
Authenticity, honesty and a willingness to talk for hours.

What is your chief characteristic?
I?m very disciplined and organized?although I?d like to work on honoring my intuitive side.

What is your principal fault?
Sometimes I?m too disciplined and organized and I lose my sense of spontaneity.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Honestly, I don?t have a lot of extravagant things. I like to keep it simple!

What faults in others are you most tolerant of?
I?m tolerant of almost any fault as I believe that regardless of how they behave, most people mean well. If someone wrongs me, it?s often because they?re coming from an old place of hurt that has nothing to do with me.

What do you value most about your friends?
Their ability to have fun and enjoy life.

What characteristic do you dislike most in others?
It gets under my skin when people are disorganized and don?t follow through on what they say they will do. I guess I really value conscientiousness in others.

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself?
My tendency to ruminate about the future.

What is your favourite virtue?

What is your favourite occupation?
Writing and public speaking.

What would you like to be?
An author, speaker and researcher who inspires others to live their best life.

What is your favourite colour?
Dark red.

What is your favourite flower?
Peony, lilac or orchid.

What is your favourite bird?

What historical figure do you admire the most?
This is impossible to answer! If I had to choose, perhaps Gandhi and Che Guevara.

Who are your favourite poets?
Leonard Cohen and Billy Corgan (if he counts!)

Who are your heroes in real life?
Same as #19: Gandhi and Che Guevara (and my mom!).

Who is your favourite musician?
Billy Corgan and Thom Yorke.

What is your favourite food?
Nacho chips and salsa, and chocolate. I eat these three things every night before bed.

What is your favourite drink?
A warm cup of tea (or red wine, depending on my mood!).

What is it you most dislike?

What natural talent would you most like to possess?
I would love to be a ballet dancer.

How do you want to die?
In my sleep, while holding hands with my husband, who dies at the same time.

What is your current state of mind?
Peaceful and excited for the future.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Getting off antidepressants after taking the medication for six years, then going on to complete my Ph.D. in psychology.

What is your motto?
This changes all the time, but right now, in an effort to keep myself from worrying about the little things in life, my motto has become ?F**k It!? (Based on the book F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way by John C. Parkin).


For more information about The Antidepressant Antidote, please visit Bethany Butzer's website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo, Amazon, or Balboa Press.

Check back for more Proust Questionnaires with Canada's literati in this latest series of interviews on Open Book.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Advanced Search