Just so you know, if you are reading this and in the grips of a frightening mental illness, then you need to go to a doctor. If they don’t take you seriously, then go to another doctor.
Meditation is not going to work when your brain is being throttled by depression, or anxiety, or OCD, or whatever horrible mental disorder that you are suffering from.
I didn’t meditate when I was suffering from post-partum OCD. I was too unwell. I didn’t tell anyone either. I was too ashamed. I thought I was really weird. Honestly, I thought I might even get arrested. After ten months of intense suffering – the precious, unreturnable first ten months of my first son’s life – I found a website that explained what was wrong with my brain.
A tiny stream of relief started to flow through me, eventually becoming a river which carried me to a doctor who, when I told her, said: Why didn’t you tell me before? There is help for this.
What helped me move past my post-partum mental illness was:
2. CBT therapy
3. Reading stories from other mothers who had it too
My OCD has not fully gone away. It bubbles relentlessly in the back of my brain, but the volume is turned down very low and it is manageable.
Meditation helps me now in immeasurable ways. It has given me back joy in my life. It has allowed me to see past the violent noise of my thoughts. It has made me see that our minds are always moving swiftly through storms and that we are not our minds. We are behind all that, totally protected.
Nothing can break that part of us.