We had the good fortune of connecting with Bailey Reber and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bailey, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
I’d have to say that the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make was choosing to move forward with starting my podcast. Distressed to Joyful; Bailey’s Way is focused on mental health awareness, my journey with accepting my bipolar 2 disorder and all of the struggles I’ve faced over the years. While mental health is starting to grow in awareness, it is still highly stigmatized, so it took a lot of courage for me to decide to share my journey on a public platform. Ultimately, choosing to create the show was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Not only have others reached out to me to tell me how my podcast has been beneficial to them, but simultaneously it also helps me. It is incredibly freeing to be fully open about my mental health disorder and to no longer feel like I have to hide this part of my life from anyone. Was it scary to announce the podcast about my mental health disorder to the world? Absolutely! Would I do it again in a heartbeat? Without a doubt!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am so proud of myself for creating Distressed to Joyful; Bailey’s Way podcast and I’m especially proud that I’ve continued the show into a second season with a third season in the making! The most difficult part of this pursuit was announcing the topic of my podcast. Before it’s debut, very few people knew that I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder or that I struggled with it for years before learning how to successfully manage it. For the longest time, I chose to keep this information private for fear of judgement or mistreatment. Bipolar disorder is classified as one of the most misunderstood mental health disorders and due to this, many people choose to struggle in silence like I did. Once I got the help that I needed and began to see a transformation within myself, I knew that I needed to share what’s helped me in order to encourage others to seek the help that they may need. Coming up with the content was the easy part; learning how to create a podcast from the ground up and learning to use many new software programs and platforms was a new challenge that I overcame. I purchased an online course that taught me how to get started – how to come up with a name, what software is recommended, what platforms to join, how to start a website to go alongside the show – all of which was brand new to me! Before creating the show, I wasn’t the best with technology so I had to practice patience while learning many new skills. I’ve learned that it takes a lot more work to start a podcast than people may realize and that it takes a lot of self motivation to keep it going! My hope and ultimate goal of my show is to provide a safe space for people to hear that they are not alone in their struggles, that seeking help is a sign of strength and to encourage everyone to be kinder to those around them. You never know what’s going on in the mind of the person next to you and choosing kindness above all is always the answer.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh wow, where to start?! There are so many fun, interesting and exciting things to do in Houston! For meals, I would take out-of-town-ers to Local Foods, Govinda’s Vegetarian Cuisine, Houston Sauce Pit and Jus’ Mac for some delicious local eats. We’d hang out at Active Passion, Tea + Victory or Common Bond for coffee and catching up. Checking out Hermann Park, playing a few rounds at Top Golf, sweatin’ while stretchin’ at Black Swan Yoga and (of course) moving our bodies at Camp Gladiator would definitely be on the list when looking to stay active while in town. I’d definitely take my friends shopping at local, charitable thrift stores such as Out of the Closet and The Cottage Shop – both of which always seem to have an incredible selection of items where I feel good about my purchases. Lastly, we’d hit up Kung Fu Saloon, Truck Yard or Axelrad to end an adventurous day with a drink.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to Renee Rivellini and my Camp Gladiator family! While Camp Gladiator is centered around exercise and group workouts, it’s so much more than that. It’s a community of diverse individuals who all come together to workout without judgement while also encouraging each other along the way. I’ve been part of this community for 3 years now and it quickly became my safe haven where I have grown both physically and mentally stronger while having fun alongside my new friends. Renee was one of the first Camp Gladiator trainers that I truly connected with on a deep, emotional level who really inspired me to fully embrace myself for the woman that I am. When I decided that I wanted to start a podcast and have it centered on my mental health journey, I went to Renee for support and encouragement. I figured that the best way to find out whether or not my idea was worth pursuing was to go to her for a trusted, honest opinion. Without her love, compassion and motivation, I’m not sure I would have pushed myself to create my show. I owe a huge thank you to Renee and my entire CG family for accepting me, loving me and constantly encouraging me to show up for myself and for others!
Other: Additional Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whatisheybailsdoing/
Most of the photos uploaded were taken by either Monish Thakore or Darrell Williams