Today’s show is with Dr Elise Bailylew, founder of Mindful in May and you can find out about her work at Mindfulinmay.org (https://www.mindfulinmay.org)
It’s no mistake that Dr Bailylew is on the show today, as you know I’ve been trying to work a mindfulness-based meditation practice into my day as a way to help me deal with life now I’m off meds. It is certainly not enough in itself, but it’s one of the things that I use to help my brain work things out.
I wanted to get Dr Bailylew on to maybe help you understand a bit more about why mindfulness works and the science behind it.
And I should state my position pretty clearly here - I’ve done my time with people who are called “healers”. I’ve shown up to a granny flat out the back of a house near Byron Bay and made my way through the wind chimes to have someone lay hands on me while I inhale plumes of patchouli.
While that may have been ok for me in the past - now I’ve gone through what I’ve gone through, now I’ve had the experience through psychosis of having my ability to perceive reality correctly dissolve into a shimmering mess around me - nowadays I can’t just go with faith and placebo. That might have worked for me in the past - but now for the most part, I need to know that what I’m doing is backed by research.
And for me, Mindfulness Meditation has enough scientific clout behind it to warrant me using it as one of the tools that I have when it comes to living with the brain I’ve got.
It’s important to tell you that for a long time I wasn’t well enough for this meditation to help, or even work.
It was only after being on meds for a long time that my brain healed enough so that now I’m able to start to train my brain to use these techniques.
It’s hard work, not unlike training a puppy - but I am making progress.
When I was really sick - meditation didn’t make things better for me, in fact they made things worse because then I’d be trapped in this rumination spiral in a state of consciousness that I’d deliberately put myself into.
It was not ok.
So let me underline that - don’t just stop taking your meds and download an app and think you’ll be right.
Everything I do that I tell you about it something that I’ve talked with my doctors about first, and that’s what I must insist on. I am no better at treating my own mental health as I am fixing a mechanical fault with my car. I know nothing about psychology or psychiatry - so I leave those decisions to the people who have studied and practised for years.
Like I’ve said before - trying to make a decision about how you’re thinking using the thinking you’re thinking with is like trying to bite your own teeth.
If you want to find out more about Dr Elise Bailylew and the work she’s doing, Mindfulinmay.org is the website.
She’s a great human with a great story and she’s really helping a lot of people doing what she’s doing.
I hope you enjoy the show.