Telling My Story

Telling my story

When I started the road to mental wellness a year ago this month, I had a grander plan. This grander plan was to put me out there and help as many people as I could by telling my story. And, I have, but, not quite in the way, I was going for.

Although I had technically achieved what I had set out to do; I did so following the typical behaviour pattern that had landed me in front of my computer in the first place. Find the first blog post I have ever written below.

The Road To Mental Wellness

What was this pattern you ask? Well, it’s the templated behaviour that comes with being mentally ill. It is born out of the up and down symptoms that occur naturally as a result of, depression for example. Sometimes, I am unashamed to say, I have caved to its powers of heavy, energy-zapping powers.

This means, that I can barely find the energy to look at my phone little lone sit in front of my computer and write. There is so much to blogging behind the scenes; it’s time-consuming and each step can be met with any number of technical disasters. All of this work is an impossible mountain to climb when one is in the mists of a depressive episode.

So, my grand plan to write all the time, guest blog and go on as many mental health-related podcasts as possible has kinda been dashed. Like when I was working, I am unable to be the constant force I had originally planned to be.

Telling my story

Hear the real life stories of people just like you at A New Dawn Podcast

I mean, when your dealing with PTSD and this depression illness, and can’t work; how can you expect to go full tilt on a regular basis with something like a mental health blog? Basically, it was an unreal expectation on my part; you know, I’m ok with that.

Helping others by telling my story.”

The content I have produced has, by other people’s accounts, been impactful and that’s the intent of the road to mental wellness. Helping others by telling my story. I want to thank each and every one of you who have provided me with feedback, it’s very healing for me.

I also want to thank the regular readers for coming back; you’re all amazing. Last but not least, I’d like to thank those of you whom I have gotten to know over the last year of this adventure. Your friendship and support has been immeasurable, something that has helped pull me through some of my darkest days…. Thank you!

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness


Where To Draw The Line

Where to draw the line

It’s the damndest thing, isn’t it? How a mental health condition can take you on a wild ride of feeling worthless to feeling super productive. Feeling like a one on the wellness meter is by no means where I aspire to be. No, I love the moments in time when I feel well. It’s where we all strive to be but, I have to be honest, it’s hard to know where to draw the line.

Take last week for example, what a wonderful period of time. I took the opportunity to spend time with some good friends and even attended a community outing. A gathering that was full of strangers no less.

Sadly, I still fell victim to the powers of mental illness

While being social and getting out to public places is crucial, I sometimes forget that I am still fighting for the resilience required to handle it all. When I am at the top of my game; I stop paying attention to the fact that mental illness is all an ebb and flow.

Self care tips on maintaining mental wellness.

And, like radiation, if exposed to triggers for too long, I slowly start to become symptomatic. The best way to avoid a crash is knowing your tolerances, a skill that I don’t always adhere to. Trust me, it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just feeling good makes me forget.

The trouble with forgetting is, is sooner or later, PTSD will remind me that it was only taking a nap. A sad reality I was reminded of the other day when I was so mentally drained, I slept all day. Oops. As a consequence, I am still feeling its effect two days later.

I have learned to embrace them and see them as my new normal.

Where to draw the line
Where to draw the line

Sadly, I still fall victim to the powers of mental illness and because of that, I am not ready for the real world; not for eight hours a day, five days a week. While that fact is a crystal clear one, I nonetheless do what I can in these situations to measure any semblance of success. This time, however, I failed to see where to draw the line.

You know what? That’s ok. One of the areas of mass improvement for me is that I have learned not to beat myself up over it. It’s not a regression, it’s a mistake that leads to a temporary setback; one in I will recover from with a little downtime and some good self-care.

Like what you are reading? Check out Why You Shouldn’t Quit

Along my road to mental wellness, I have learned a lot along the way. One of them is that I must accept that there are going to be setbacks. In fact, I have learned to embrace them and see them as my new normal.

So, where does this leave me this week? Well, I have purposefully kept my schedule light and have my to-do list short. My recovery is contingent on a low key, low stimulus environment; loosely translated, I’m gonna stay home.

Well, with that said, get out there and test your boundaries to see where you are at. If for whatever reason you can’t find where to draw the line, no worries; It simply means that you may have to do a reset with a lighter schedule and some “me” time. You know what? It really is ok. No self-blame needed.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

The Great Power of Assumption

The great power of assumption

If you’ve driven for any length of time, you’ve likely encountered a situation that left you shaking your head; perhaps it’s invoked enough anger to shake a fist or worse. My personal favourites are when someone darts out in front of you and the Sunday driver who slows down traffic for miles. But are they really the evil arse hole we think they are? Can our assessment of these scenarios be flawed and or inaccurate? Ah, the great power or assumption, it can sure be wrong, no matter how right we think it is.

Is what I am seeing in front of me really what’s going on?

The answer to this question is likely yes. Or at least, that’s the case a lot of the time. In fact, Its not limited to our experiences on the road, we are constantly making judgements about every encounter we have; the roots of this phenomenon can be found in our neurology.

Why do you always judge everything?

It would seem as though we are hardwired to judge the actions of others. Now, is this an excuse to run amuck and assume that those assessments you are making are ok or right? Of course not.

If we go back to the driving example, we as humans may assume that the person who sped out in front of us was in too much of a hurry; or, that he or she has no regard for our safety. With that said, is this really what took place?

Are my assumptions about people with mental illness actually correct? Beware of the great power of assumption.

The beauty of our brains is that they come with the wonderful ability to re-evaluate a given scenario and therefore, provide us with alternate possibilities. So, was the person cutting you off intentionally? What are the other possibilities that could be true?

For example, could the other driver see you or did you happen to be in their blind spot? If this is the case, then their actions were not malicious, your reaction to them, however, may have been.

Imagine if the blindspot story was true and just imagine if the incident turned into road rage; all because you were convinced that the driver’s intentions were because they were being aggressive.

This example demonstrates how flawed our innate ability to make judgements based on what we are seeing in real-time is. So, how does this flaw transfer to other aspects of our lives? Moreover, how damaging can it be in other aspects of our lives?

Phew! this is still a mental health blog and here’s how we tie it all together.

Is what I’m seeing, actually what’s gonig on?

Stigma, simply put is nothing more than a judgement based on what people are seeing. Sad right? Despite that, it’s also natural. However, with that said, we can flick our brains off autopilot and ask ourselves; is what I am seeing in front of me really what’s going on? Is that person with depression really lazy because they can’t clean up their house? And, is that co-worker with PTSD really calling in sick because they hate to work?

The great power of assumption

The real question that one should be asking here is; are my assumptions about people with mental illness actually correct? It has done me well to remember that behaviour always happens for a reason, this is especially true when evaluating people with mental health conditions. Chances are the judgements you are making are inaccurate and therefore require you to educate yourself.

Want to read more Great The Road To Mental Wellness content? Go here

Remember, judging others is natural but is oftentimes grossly inaccurate. However, the power of critical thinking and by stopping to ask the right questions, you can uncover what you can’t see until you look under the hood of illness. In doing so you can effectively beat the great power of assumption.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Fighting For My Life

Fighting for my life

Today, I write this blog post from the comfort of my couch. I am stricken with dizzy spells and exhaustion; an inconvenience that prevents me from standing. Sadly, this has become all too familiar. However, despite what you are thinking, this inflection is not an illness; rather, it is the direct result of fighting for my life.

More specifically, I am currently coming off a drug, Sertraline and slowly introducing another antidepressant. This change is yet another attempt of many to get me running down the road to mental wellness. The Irony here is that I am too sedated to get out of my own way.

I fight on because when I look up, I see all those I love and all those I hold near and dear.

I know that many may not agree with me when I say I am fighting for my life; that’s fine. However, there’s more than one way to look at the long battle to live. for example, fighting to get back on track after having your life come flying off the track due to, in my case mental illness; while others are going toe to toe with a serious physical ailment.

In crisis? Crisis Servces Canada Can Help.

One thing that physical and mental illnesses have in common is that both can sometimes have dire consequences, especially if left untreated. In fact, one of the main reasons I have survived is that I sought out a multitude of treatment options.

Like what your reading? try Face To Face With My Mental Illness.

Of course, I can’t speak for others, I can only speculate that their struggle is similar to my own. For me, I’ve been at war since I was a boy. And, If I had to be honest with myself, I’m tired.

Fighting for my Life.

Exhausted from what is essentially a lifetime in the trenches; a lifetime therapist after therapist and trying one medication after another. Now, at forty-four, I sometimes have doubts as to whether or not I will emerge the victor. It’s a thought that I’m sure many people struggle with.

When one has a mental illness, winning one battle, one moment at a time is a victory.

I am fighting for my life because this PTSD thing has latched on and uses me as its host to survive, the depression, it reaches from within to ensure there is no way I can shake either one. With a firm grip and a resolve to conquer my life, I fight on because when I look up, I see all those I love and all those I hold near and dear.

So, I will press on, continue to take on my internal conflict with all the strength I can muster. Because life isn’t all about me, it’s filled with people who love me. This is all I need to get up and fight on! Fight on my friends, fight on.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

How to Affect Change

How To Affect Change

Warning, this post contains material that may be triggering to others; reader discretion is advised. The options expressed In this article; How To Affect Change are those of the writer.

Empathy, it’s a term that is tossed around often in conversation. But what does it mean? Well, simply put, its the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. While in college, the need to be empathic was drilled into our heads. When you are a counsellor, being able to sense other’s emotions is essential. This is how we affect change in the lives of the ill.

Once you learn how to empathize with others, a whole new world opens up. This new world is amazing because it can help to minimize any judgments you may have towards, not only those who sit across from you seeking your help; it can help you to look at all people’s in a more equal light. Ultimately, it bolstered my belief that everyone has value.

Want to Read more from The Road To Mental Wellness? Chick here

Similarly, my counselling education taught me so much about helping those with mental illness. Having a mental health condition is serious and should be treated as such, always!

I am grateful for having learned to take mental health as seriously as any other medical condition. Not only has it made me a better helper but it’s also helped me to be kinder to myself; understanding the core principles that make mental illness tick allows me to see that John the person and John’s PTSD Or John’s depression are two different things.

Ways to be kinder to yourself when you’re mentally ill

Sadly, Not everyone is able to sperate themselves from their illness. There are many factors that make one feel like their disorder is part of their identity. They include:

  • The symptoms themselves. Many mental disorders produce irritability, for example, this can cause conflict with others, making one feel like a bad person.
  • Stigma. Not everyone understands or cares to quite frankly; Having an encounter with sigma can re-enforce one’s symptoms, making them want to retreat from the world and making then feel less than they are.

Of course, there are many other things that can impact people who are ill. But the one I want to focus on is the resistance from the physical health side of things. I am speaking of some doctors, nurses and other professionals charged with the care of sick people. Now, it has to be said, that most health care professionals are awesome! What I am talking about here is the enormous burden on them; its no easy task and the majority of the ones I have encountered are kind, compassionate and do what they can.

How To Affect Change

However, I have the impression that many health care professionals have two separate views on illness; the physical disease model is of the utmost priority whilst mental health treatment is considered a low priority, if its on the radar at all. This is likely due to the amount of physical health training they have compared to mental health training.

The health care crisis

Moreover, the notion that a mental health emergency is somehow not as worthy indicates to me, a lack of understanding. When someone walks into an ER and bravely tells a doctor or nurse that they want to kill themselves, that should be seen in the same light as someone in the ER who has coded from a heart attack. Both can be life or death.

Those who come in a mental health crisis can and indeed, should be treated accordingly. They require a different set of skills; those of active listening, a calm voice and you guessed it, empathy. Additionally, suicide intervention training and protocols must be followed.

How to talk to someone in a mental health emergancy.

In other words, if a person presents with suicidal ideation, they should be kept for observation. And, if they tell you they have a plan, this should not only be taken seriously; it’s imperative that its seen as an emergency. Find them a bed until they can access the mental health services they need.

We need to do better, mental illness is a growing epidemic(1) and our ER’s like that of any medical emergency are our first line of defence. Of course, it would be irresponsible to rest the entire blame on the medical and mental health establishments, after all, their respective fields have been butchered by government cuts. To Lean more, how we can bolster the system, click the link below. Please, take care of yourself, hang in there and most importantly, keep fighting. Let’s learn how we can affect change.

Making the Case for Investing
in Mental Health in Canada

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Those Ironic Moments

Our lives are full of those ironic moments, Some funny, while others not so much. One aspect of my life that is full of irony is my never-ending battle with PTSD and depression; the two of the three mental illnesses that wreak the most havoc.

Because I have made it my mission to fight like hell for my health; with the primary goal being to live the best life with those I love. Admittedly, this process can have some ironic consequences.

Take this constant medication thing, I have had little success in administering any of them. It’s s quite something to put yourself through over and over, hoping for fewer side effects and more effectiveness.

Want to read more? check out: Path To Mental Healing

Sadly, this is not been my experience. As a matter of fact, the only help they have given me is a euphoric period when I first start a new regime. During the breaking in period, if you will, I feel great!

But, ironically, this great feeling is not real; and while it seems like its working, it’s merely my neurochemistry and the med getting acquainted. So far, that’s the only relief from the mental pain I have experienced.

Unfortunately, once they get to know one another, the feeling of freedom dwindles. As a consequence, my brain becomes complacent and the mental illness creeps in.

Want to hear about other’s mental health Journeys? Go to A New Dawn Podcast

What the ultimate form of irony is, is that the very act of trying new meds; to create a better life with family requires a temporary retreat. The euphoria I spoke of earlier also comes with a feeling of sedation. This manufactured exhaustion takes me out, puts me down and I miss a lot.

Those Ironic Moments

I am attempting to work off the theory of short term pain for long term gain but I have to say, it just seems long. Moreover, with this up and down motion, feeling good to severe depression and PTSD symptoms; is more of a torture than an improvement. It’s like being in tow different states of reality.

However, I remain undeterred and still up for the fight. My motivation for a mentally healthy mind will never be quelled. My loved ones are the guiding light through it all, the brain fog, the flashbacks and long sleepless nights. I know that one day, I will be able to hold my head up high with pride, knowing that I beat mental illness back to the degree that it can no longer rob me of time with my family. At the end of the day, it will be worth all those Ironic moments.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Success! You're on the list.

Fake News For the Brain.

Mental illness is a hell of a thing to be stricken with. When in darker times, it fools you into thinking all kinds of things. Essentially, it’s fake news for the brain. So, I bet you’re wondering how our very own brains can be the source of and interior misinformation campaign?

Well, you may find it helpful to reflect on days when this misinformation monster is sleeping and you are feeling more like yourself. Have you ever noticed that when you feel well, you are much kinder to yourself? This is because the better you feel, the more in touch you are with your authentic self. In other words, it’s you doing the talking.

However, when you are overcome with PTSD, depression, anxiety or something similar, The fake news reporter starts telling untruths. Lies like “You’re not worthy” and “you are nothing but a burden”.

What to read a mental health article I wrote for the paper? Subscribe below and I will send it to you.

Success! You're on the list.

What’s interesting to me is that we seem to be suspectable to its manipulation. Hearing, what is obviously its false claims long enough, we start to believe them as fact. Which no matter how many times our mental health conditions talk to us, it will always be wrong.

learn to differentiate the fake news that is propagated by your mental illness voice from that of your authentic self.

However, keeping this in mind does little to help one fight off the negative thoughts. What I suggest is that you make a list of all your authentic qualities when you are well; this way you can have some of your truth written in your own words, right in front of you when you need them most.

This pre-episode assessment is helpful because, despite what the inner demon says, you have actual facts to the contrary; all you have to do is accept them as just that, fact.

How to break yourself out of negative thinking.

learn to differentiate the fake news that is propagated.

As is true with most things, beating this fake news for the brain is easier said than done. Why? Well, I think it’s because it’s had to ditch that in which we have become accustomed. The good news? Is that we also have the power to take control of our guidance systems and make this lying voice smaller and smaller.

For example, mindfulness, once practiced enough can help bring you back to the here and now. Read about my experience with mindfulness here.

Other things including honest feedback. We are oftentimes unaware of our own behaviours, therefore, asking someone you trust can signal that you’re not yourself. Journalling can be a great way to get a sense of where you might be.

Overall, for me, the primary alarm bells for me come when I am spending more and more time in bed, low energy and isolation. It’s usually proceeded by this negative self talk. Often, I am able to fight it off simply because I know the signs. However, there are moments where all I can do is ride the wave until the storm passes.

Remember, at the end of the day, being in a darker place is what spawns these thoughts and are not a reflection of who you are. They are symptoms of your mental health condition. What defines you as a person is something that took years to shape. Are you really not a good person? Most of us who are ill are, in our hearts kind and caring, helpful and funny.

Feel like you’re all alone? A New Dawn Podcast has many real-life stories of people just like you.

So, learn to differentiate the fake news that is propagated by your mental illness voice from that of your authentic self; my prediction is that you will be able to be a more functional player in your life and as a result, will be well on your way; down the road to mental wellness.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

I Need To Keep Trying

So here I am, finding myself starting yet another medication. Although this is but one of many I have willingly subjected myself to, I need to keep trying. I am hopeful that the chemical compound contained within the latest capsule will bring me some relief.

At this juncture, I have lost count of how many pharmaceuticals I have tried; all I know is that they have all proven to be ineffective. With each failed attempt comes a feeling of disappointment, but despite that, I must carry on.

If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Now, on this latest round, one I just started two days ago; I can say that my chemistry handles the initial stages of a new med pretty well the same. These new meds, sedate me and immerse my mind in a thick blanket of brain fog.

Medications used to treat mental illness.

Normally, I find the initial introduction quite debilitating and difficult to deal with; because I feel useless and like and even bigger burden to my loved ones. However, I remind myself that it is meant to quell the depression and PTSD so that I may return amongst the living.

I Need To Keep Trying

You may be asking yourself why I put myself through one failed attempt after another? Well, I remember what it was like to be functional enough to enjoy life on a more consistent scale. Since losing the long battle with the post-traumatic symptoms, I have not been able to do so.

Also, I have a bit of built-in stubborn streak that I have had with me all my life so as long as I’m alive I plan to win the war. When you think about it, no matter how bad things get, as long as you are alive, you have the opportunity to get better.

Want to hear more stories from people like you? Go to A New Dawn Podcast

So, with that said, I shall overcome this medication hurtle and hope for the best. You know what they say; If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Please, if you feel like giving up, don’t. I do understand the feeling of; “what’s the point” but the truth is, there’s always a reason to keep fighting. Do what it takes to beat your mental illness. in the moment and one pill at a time.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

New Hope A New Medication

New hope New Medication

As this week comes to its conclusion, I look back to see that it has been a busy one. Most notable are the appointments I’ve has with my mental health professionals; resulting in some pretty psychologically taxing moments. This week, I walk away with a potential new therapy and new hope a new medication.

firstly, I had my psychologist’s appointment at the beginning of the week; read about it here; My Latest Session. Secondly, I found myself sitting across from my psychologist.

Despite seeing two people on my mental health team in one week, I made it through relatively unscathed; this, as many of my readers know, is normally hell on my mental well being.

What’s great about my latest experience going down the road to mental wellness is how seemingly productive it has been. Moreover, I can’t help but be grateful that it all just came together so nicely.

You may recall in an earlier blog post entitled Medication-At an Impasse where I discuss what was essentially the end of the road pharmaceutically. As sad as this may be, my psychiatrist agreed to keep seeing me and encouraged me to keep going to therapy.

It turns out that I am glad that I was able to keep booking with the psychiatrist because this week she provided me with a dash of hope.

As it turns out, there is one more drug that I can take. As a result, uncovered by their diligence, the psychiatrist laid out this option, its pros and cons and how to introduce it into my treatment plan.

Effectiveness of pharmacuital treatments for depression.

Although I am naturally hesitant to take yet another medication and endure its potential side effect; I am, however, elated. As a consequence, relief came flooding over me.

A new Hope A new Medication
A New Hope A New Medicatiion

So, despite my hesitation; I agree and as the details are explained to me, I discover that it is for the treatment of depression. Hearing the words, “It’s for Depression”. After hearing that, it added to my sense of happiness and thus, providing me with new hope.

Moreover, I feel, for the first time in a very long time that I am going to beat this Anxiety, depression and PTSD. With that said, I will be happy if it puts me in the well-managed category.

What should be included in your wellness plan

So, what has my journey taught me thus far? Well, there are going to be moments of debilitation, feelings of heaviness and despair and even though can’t see an end, keep going. Nothing lasts forever, including depressive episodes, moments of anxiety and feeling of dread.

Perhaps the best advice I can give is this; if you have a treatment plan and the mental health professionals to help you, keep going and don’t let despair deter you from getting better. You can do this!

In closing let me just say this; if you are having a difficult time getting in to get the help you need, push for your right to get well. I have gone in and bugged them, I have fought or it because I understood that I was fighting for my life. Perhaps, like me, you can find new hope, a new medication.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

My Latest Session

Latest Session

As the new year gets underway, I am feeling grateful to be in a state of mental illness remission. currently, I am enjoying clearer skies and thus a happier disposition. For me, the happier, the more mentally strong I am. This disposition helped in my latest session.

And, It couldn’t have come at a better time for me because yesterday I landed in my therapist’s office for the first session of the year. I felt like I was ready to tackle some of my most haunting experiences; those that gave birth to my PTSD and exacerbate my depression.

I still have a way to travel before my road to mental wellness reaches smoother, less difficult terrain. We explore this in my latest session.

From the moment I landed in the chair, It was go time! I was ready. to tackle whatever came my way and as a result, it was a great session.

It’s in these moments when I am enjoying a reprieve from the dark and depressive states that I stand firm; my determination to beat my demons shines. I can beat this! I am the one in control and I will win the day!

Common theraputic tools for PTSD

although I walked in like a warrior, I would be lying if I told you that the forty-five-minute dive into my mental pain was a walk in the park. In fact, the opposite is true because the therapist started to dig at my most severe triggers; those incidents that had changed my life forever.

Taking me back on a trip through my mind, I was triggered, I became symptomatic and my fight or flight mode was telling me to run for my life. Although I dislike feeling numb and care less for the flashbacks, I must stand tall, I must conquer this pain. If I am to have any sort of life, the uncomfort zone is where I must venture. Whether I like it or not, it’s irrelevant.

Symptoms of PTSD

Up until this last session, we have been working with mindfulness in an attempt to steer me back into the present and minimize living in the past. For months, we have been working on my triggers and it has helped; when I am faced with low stimulus environments, I can navigate my way through the discomforts and manage the side effect.

“We have all made it through our toughest days, things have gotten better”.

Unfortunately, being exposed to the larger world for too long of a period can take me out; sometimes for days on end. So, clearly, I still have a way to travel before my road to mental wellness reaches smoother, less difficult terrain.

Latest Sessioon

My therapist recommended we try EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; a type of therapy that a technique used by a trained psychologist to minimize the psychological stress of my traumas. Click the highlighted link to learn more on EMDR

Well then, What advice can I offer? Well, I think we have gotten so used to running away from, anything remotely uncomfortable, as a result, our go-to remedy has been avoidance. I know its tough, but if you step out of your comfort zone and brave your mental pain, you can then start to heal.

Stronger Than You Think

Stronger Than You Think

We, with mental illness, tend to always think we are weak but, is this really the case? Are we stronger than we think?

Since I started out on this mental health blogging adventure, I have met so many wonderful people. People from all over the world doing their best to help others through their mental illness by blogging and podcasts; by providing peer support and through their own bravery. I have also found this digital world very helpful at times. I have to say, you’re stronger than you think.

But, perhaps one of the most wonderful things for me is having others reach out to me for help. This is the ultimate reward because it does two things. It fills me with a great sense of honour and contributes to my healing, so thank you all who have reached out, I guess it makes the healing process mutual.

You’re an absolutely amazing bunch

While I will never understand why some people feel inspired by my writings, I am nonetheless blown away when I hear it roll off their tongues. Its nothing short of inspiring and it keeps me going. Sometimes, your kindness comes at a time when I need it most. As many of you are already aware, it is so hard to be consistent when you’re fighting a mental health condition.

Read my blog post: Inspired By You

Similarly, I am truly humbled by the number of people I have had the pleasure of meeting in real life. And, no matter how many times I hear about someone’s mental health journey, I am always blown away by their courage. It takes real strength to bare one’s soul to someone, especially face to face. To all of those who have overcome their fears to talk to me, I thank you for your trust.

Stronger Than You Think

How to talk to someone about your mental illness

So, here’s to all those who have braved their own battles. You’re an absolutely amazing bunch and are stronger than you ever thought possible. For those of you who are fighting moment by moment, remember, you have made it through every one of your toughest moments, not because you are weak but because you are strong. based on this alone, I know you will get through them all and see happier times once more.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Got Fooled Again

Fooled Again

Every time I feel free from mental illness, it comes roaring back and I end up being fooled again.

The dominating force that is mental illness is an indecisive old entity; cruel beyond measure; it teases with moments where you are free from its grasp; then, like that of the head torturer, it throws you back into your prison cell once it’s convinced you you are free. I knew in my heart that I was fooled again.

Since just before the new year, I have been enjoying the refreshing air of happiness. Believe me, I have been breathing it in; much like you would on a crisp fall evening. Sure, I could self-sabotage this inner peace but the last depressive episode was so intense, all I feel is relief.

It’s a reminder that mental illness still holds a firm grip over my ability to consistently live my life.

One area I have been successful in, in terms of my illness recovery is in the department of rumination. Although it tends to go to shit on all things PTSD related, I’m able to hold on to the morsels of happy that come my way.

However, I suck at is dealing with loud noises, people and sudden bangs or crashes. It’s just too much despite the ongoing efforts to learn mindfulness. I guess I have yet to harness its powers to the degree where I can handle it.

complete list of PTSD symptoms here

Looking back on this period of joy, I see that; after the holidays, everything returned to peace and quiet; the floodgates of relief opened because I felt safe. So, even though I wasn’t turning the corner on my healing journey, this moment was still worthy of my embrace. When on top of the world, I always secretly hope that something cured me of my disorders, fooled again.

the best advice I can give you is not to self-sabotage your happy

Just yesterday, I started to feel the push towards my cell, slowly overtaking me as I resume the everyday busy of life; being forced to reintegrate myself back into the fray of possible death and destruction. It’s a reminder that mental illness still holds a firm grip over my ability to consistently live my life.

Like what you are reading? try Learned to Think on the Fly

Got Fooled again

What keeps me from losing hope, from descending into depths too low to free myself is the moments of happiness. So, the best advice I can give you is not to self-sabotage your happy moments with thoughts that place you back in your cage; thoughts like “Today is going too well, how will that be ruined?” When we do that, we quickly find a reason to say I told me so.

“We get to choose where we put our energy”

John Arenburg.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Politics and Mental Illness

Politics and Mental Illness

Is politics bad for our mental health or is it our lack of engagement the issue? Maybe it’s both?

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, it should come as no surprise that we are navigating through very troubling times. The political landscape is such that it can easily cultivate new cases of mental illness. Similarly, it can exacerbate the symptoms of those who are already sick. Sad to say but politics and mental illness simply don’t mix.

More on politics and mental illness here

Although we tend to be passive participants in all things political, we still feel its sting regardless. On one hand, there is a sense that political decisions have little impact on our daily lives; but on the other, there is this pervasive feeling of dread that is being felt around the world. With that, comes a feeling of overwhelming depression for a lot of us.

Our mental health depends on it.

This collective of a sense of loss of control being experienced around the globe frightens a good many of us. Add fear and loss of control together and what do you end up with? You guessed it, Anxiety. For many, this will bloom into a clinically diagnosable anxiety disorder.

For me, the current affairs dominating our world today are a source of continuous fuel to my mental illness fire. Having PTSD, this turbulent era is very impactful on my mental health recovery.

We live in an age where death and destruction are everywhere. We need not even go looking for it now, it plays out before our eyes, whether you want to see it or not. we can thank social media for that. A better bulk of what is presented to us is a direct result of political actions or, perhaps just as troubling, their inactions.

It’s clear that politics affect every aspect of our lives, regardless of what we think; from budget cuts to social spending, to acts of war to environmental policy and you guessed it, our mental wellbeing. So, for the sake of our health, we need to work together to improve our world and thereby alleviating our anxiety and depression.

Check out my posts on Anxiety here

Our health and indeed our world needs us to act, to get involved. There are good people in politics, doing good things but they need our help. Please get involved. Our mental health depends on it.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

To New Beginnings

To New Beginnings

Heres to new beginnings and being honest with yourself.

Although the chapter that was 2019 has finally come to a close, My healing journey continues. So far, I have greeted the first days of 2020 with excitement and hope; hope that this year will come with the healing breakthrough that illuded me all last year. So, Here’s to new beginnings.

In my post; I crawled to the end, I talk about how slow my trek down the road to mental wellness has been. This is most definitely due to the discouragement that went hand and hand with the last year’s setbacks.

In my case, Post-traumatic stress disorder has overpowered my will.

Many of my posts contain how I have made it this far and what I do get through the toughest of times. A good diet and exercise have been essential players in my recovery; so too has psychotherapy and mindfulness. It’s my hope that by telling my story, the readers discover that they are not alone.

Ways to improve your mental illness symptoms

While my intention is to inspire others, it is also meant to be a therapeutic release for myself. Perhaps what I find most amazing is the inspiration I take from you all when you contact me and tell me your stories. Thank you for your help.

Its a new day, a new year and a new decade and with it comes new opportunities to get better

However, I feel that in order to start a new, I must first be honest with myself. Contained within the structure of truth must lay a resolve to fix what has set me off course.

Firstly, being honest with one’s self doesn’t necessarily mean that they have been lying to themselves; it’s more about putting into action what they know is best for them; yet, they do not. There can, of course, be for a multitude of reasons why. In my case, Post-traumatic stress disorder has overpowered my will. This has left me with many difficult days; its intensity has denied me the strength to put a plan in place to follow through with the things I know will improve my condition.

If I’m being honest, I have to say that I have struggled to follow my mental health care plan, with the overwhelming mental pain, came to a reduction in exercise and a move towards a poor diet. Moves that only exacerbated, not only the PTSD but also the depression and anxiety.

To new beginnings.

The good news? It’s a new day, a new year and a new decade; with it comes new opportunities to get better and live again. So, here’s to a new beginning, 365 days with the potential to change my life forever.

Remember, the year ahead of you is a blank slate, full of opportunity to recover; find what works for you and do it. There will be days where you can’t but there will be days when you will be able, it’s these days that will define your recovery. This is your year!

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

I Crawled to the End

Slow crawl

As 2020 draws to a close, I reflect on the slow progress and how I coped.

As we enter the last few days of 2019, I can’t help reflecting on the last twelve months. For me, it’s time to evaluate successes and re-live the fond memories made; its also a time to reflect on my mental wellness journey and what it looks like. it was a slow go but I crawled to the end.

Although there were some wonderful memories made and some great laughs with some good friends, it has been a year of slow progress and disappointments. In fact, in many ways, this has been the most unproductive year of my life.

Sadly, it turns out that my recovery from PTSD has been painfully slow and fraught full of challenges. Most notably is the ineffectiveness of the medications. I have a pre-existing medical condition and its treatment for it renders most SSRIs useless. So my pharmaceutical options were very limited. I am very grateful for the psychiatrist I have for all the time and effort that has gone into helping me.

Like what you are reading so far? Go here for more

It wasn’t all bad.

Despite zero signs of a return to normalcy any time soon, and a not so productive year, I have been trying. I have made a commitment not to sit here in my home and become consumed by my mental illness. Sure, there are days, even periods of time where I can’t leave but I will always get out there; its essential to any progress I make.

You have a choice where to put your energy.

I see progress as just that, progress and given the difficulty of my case, I’m pleased to be moving forward. Whether its been made in therapy, with mindfulness or putting plans in place to see a friend for coffee and a chat.

Looking back, I see that these things were how I survived the year; I even threw myself out there and helped with a political campaign. I learned a lot from doing this. One, I am not where I need to be to put myself back in the workforce; towards the end of it all, I was devoting less and less to it because my tolerance ran too thin. Another lesson I learned was that, when you brave the wild world we live in, there is almost always good that comes of it.

It works for me because I am the one driving the bus

Ok, so I wasn’t where I thought I was in terms of recovery. However, as a consequence, I made some wonderful friends; people I would have never have met if I had allowed the might of mental illness to completely consume me. As I always say, You have a choice where to put your energy. I take the risk, overcome my fear and do it and I don’t sweat it when I can’t. As long as I stay committed to getting better, I will always be able to follow through with plans at some point.

It works for me because I am the one driving the bus, if I can’t take on a task that day, I will tell people. I will make a meeting shorter or I will ask them if they mind meeting me in a quieter place.

So, if you have had a slow crawl to the end of this year, don’t despair. The good news is, you probably have forged memories and have moved in the right direction, no matter how slight it’s progress. May 2020 be your year, where you find more joy and less angst; less dark days and more sunny skies. You got this, just keep going down the road to mental wellness.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Need help? Go to Crisis Services Canada

Boxing Day Reflections

Boxing day reflections

This post, Boxing Day Reflections was written on boxing day, December 26, 2019

Wow, Christmas of 2019 has slipped into the history books, leaving a lifetimes worth of memories in its wake. For me, time with friends and family is my most treasured gift. although its only hours into the first day after the festivities; I have already begun to do some boxing day reflections.

Despite this, It’s hard to fathom just how fast it came and went; sometimes it feels like life is travelling at breakneck speed, sadly, it shows no signs of slowing down. All I want for next Christmas is more time with those I love.

Firstly, in order to accurately review the most wonderful day of the year, I need to go back in time. Approximately a month and a half to be precise. During this time, things were far from jolly. As you regular readers know, I went through one of the worst depressive episodes ever! One that I have not yet completely beaten.

Types of depressive episodes

The ferocity of this mind-numbing mental illness storm robbed me of the ability to feel any joy. So, when the Christmas day countdown commenced, my soul took a further beating from the sadness that compounded on top of pre-existing sad. I fell deeper into the depths of despair because I love the holidays but this year, yet, love just wasn’t enough.

Surviving the holidays with mental illness

Winning the big day!

Those who know me and no doubt, those of you who have followed me from the beginning; know that I live off one single philosophy, don’t feel like doing something because of mental illness? Do it anyway.

Like what you are reading, want more? Go here: Our Mental Illness Is Real

Although this was a monumentally tough thing to do this Christmas, forcing myself to live life paid off. Looking back on it now, I have absolutely zero regrets.

I’d be lying if I said I awoke on the big day feeling as though my depression was snow and somehow melted away Christmas eve while I slept; leaving me feeling the joy and excitement that this day usually produces for me.

Despite not feeling the spirit of the season, I got out of bed determined to catalogue wonderful memories that were just hours away from being made.

Boxing day reflections

The hustle and bustle of the day were a perfectly good distracting from my PTSD and depression, there was so much that needed to be done that it helped to take the edge off the angst and other symptoms.

Looking after the logistics of the day turned out to be a great thing for me. It set the tone for the day and by the time family arrived, there was a small spark of excitement, just enough to win the day.

Forge memories that last a life time

Looking back, I am grateful for that spark because it propelled me forward and made family time around the tree amazing. Finally, I could feel again. The laughter and pure joy that comes with gift-giving and time spent with loved ones were like the best medication of all.

So, there’s power in pushing through it. As long as you take time in those moments to feel the magic of your loved ones around you, the ice of your ills will melt and memories will be made. Was it tough? You bet ya! But, now that I am emerging on the other side of this holiday; I can say that I have walked through the biggest depressive episode of my life. In doing so, I got to a place where I was able to forge memories that will last a lifetime.

Success! You're on the list.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Gratitude and Mental Illness


Does gratitude cure mental Illness? I think not.

As I rise on this green and mild Christmas morning; I can’t help but think about all the things I am grateful for. Perhaps its the spirit of the day, the silence of being the first one up or my first coffee that has called gratitude and mental illness to my attention.

Whatever the cause, I can’t help but think about it from a mental illness perspective and the misconceptions around it. One thing I hear often when discussing mental illness with people is this; “If you’d just stop and think about all the things you are grateful for, you’ll feel better”. For some of you, I have no doubt that this sounds familiar.

It is in those moments of mindfulness that we can feel how lucky we are.

Although I’m not entirely sure how to accurately explain that PTSD, depression and indeed, any mental health condition doesn’t work that way; I can tell you that It just doesn’t.

See, mental illness and gratitude are two totally separate things; much like the brain and your arm. They are unrelated but one has power over the other. The brain and body also have influence one another to get things done.

Although the relationship between gratitude and mental illness doesn’t necessarily work in harmony in terms of their differences, they nonetheless impact one another.

Like what you are reading? Looking for more? Try Anxiety and Depression

The power of psychiatric disorders is at the root of this impact on gratitude. That being said, your ability to feel grateful oftentimes can not subdue the disorder you have wreaking havoc within.

Does this mean that one can’t feel gratitude? Of course not. One just needs to cultivate it when being mindful, while zeroing in on the moment. It is in those moments of mindfulness that we can feel how lucky we are.

Learn mindfulness

When you are temporarily lifted out of the fog, think of the things and people you really appreciate. I find this goes a long way when the overpowering wave of mental illness swallows you whole once more.

So, One this beautiful Christmas morn, I am full of appreciation for all I am lucky to have. And although I am still sick with mental illness, I am in a place where I can take on the day and feel the gratitude that goes with the warmth of being with those you love.

Success! You're on the list.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

If I'm Being Honest

If I am being honest, especially with myself, I can win the day.

Every now and again, it’s good to take a moment and ask yourself; Am I really being honest with myself and with those around me? As uncomfortable as the truth may be, it’s difficult to grow without it. So, today, I am going to do my best to come clean.

As of late, I find myself unwilling to confront my inner turmoil, a devastating depression that has embedded itself deep within. Perhaps I’m hesitant is because of its level of intensity.

It’s so troubling in fact, that I remain silent largely because I don’t know what to do with it. You see, I have never been this way before and to be honest, I’m finding it difficult

In my view, managing the pain can get us to a place where we can feel emboldened

Equally troubling is the duration of this episode. It’s held me captive now for well over a month, producing a mind-numbing, non-feeling effect that I just can’t seem to shake.

The good news? I will eventually wrap my head around it enough to mould it into words and make sense of its intensity. But for now, I continue to go through the motions hoping that I will come around in time for Christmas. I am determined to enjoy the day!

If I’m Being honest

I think it’s ok if we can’t always figure out the way of mental illness pain; rather, it becomes more important to deal with the feelings, right here, right now.

In my view, managing the pain can get us to a place where we can feel emboldened to talk it out. If my experience has taught me anything, it’s this; I can not deal with anything when my mental health conditions are at a seven, eight or nine. It’s just too much.

Ways to manage mental illness pain

All of these elements are simply being honest with myself, I gotta be real if I’m gonna heal. Yes, It’s uncomfortable and yes, its true; discomfort makes us want to retreat but, let’s be honest, do you really want to be a level eight or nine as often as you are? I’m willing to wager that your answer is no. You may not feel it, but it is within you to make your life better, I know you can.

Success! You're on the list.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Behaviour and Personality.

Normally, I devote the majority of my time focused on helping others with mental illness. In fact, that’s the driving force behind The Road To Mental Wellness. It’s not that I don’t care about fixing the stigma that’s out there, I just want to help the sick feel better. That being said, we need to discuss the difference between behaviour and personality.

Although I choose to devote more of my time helping others get through mental health moment, there’s a few things I wish people understood. Sometimes, seeing things from a different perspective is all one needs to break down barriers. I truly believe that most well minded individuals want to help ease the pain.

But how? It can be tough to try and empathise with someone who’s experience differs from your own, this can create a void and ultimately, a miscommunication.

When I came to understand that the behaviours I was seeing was a result of their mental illnesses and thus an unfair representation of who they really were, I excelled in my job.

This brings me to the purpose of this post. I want to help those who are struggling to understand mental illness and why we behave the way we do. But how do we accomplish this? I want to share with you what I learnt working with people with mental illness.

Throughout the majority of my adult life, I have had the honour of working with people with serve mental disabilities; in addition, many of them presented with very aggressive behaviours. Notice I underlined the word behaviours; but why?

Well, in my extensive experience with this population, staff tended to integrate the behaviour they observed with personality of the person producing them. Behaviours one produces and who they are as a person are two fundamentally very different things. If this is the case, than why do we have a tenancy to define people based on what we observe?

The Difference between behaviour and personality.

It’s a good question and one that is worth thinking about at length. Sometimes observations that are made are judgements to keep us safe. For example, if you witness aggression you are going to avoid the acting out individual.

If we embrace the notion that behaviour and personality are two different things, we strengthen our empathy.

When I came to understand that the behaviours I was seeing was a result of their mental illnesses and thus an unfair representation of who they really were, I excelled in my job.

Behaviour and Personality

This revelation helped me to cultivate my empathy and was essential to building a working relationship. This helped my cliental reduce their outbursts. In short, I recognised that when they were at baseline, that is, they were in a state that allowed for typical interaction and daily living.; some where outgoing and kind, whist others were naturally funny and helpful. I saw these personality traits for what they truly are, elements of the real person.

So, what does this mean for you, the everyday person? Well, what it means is this; if you have a loved one suffering from depression, the low mood and desire to stay in bed, It is in no way a good metric to define who they really are. It is behaviour being produced by their mental health condition. No different than trauma to a leg, it symptom is a limb.

If we embrace the notion that behaviour and personality are two different things, we strengthen our empathy. When we do so, our perspective shifts and we take on a more supportive role. For the sufferer, this can go a long way in making the chronic sad a little easier to take.

Success! You're on the list.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

I Feel Nothing For Christmas

I feel nothing for Christmas

Christmas is traditionally my favourite time of the year… So what’s happened?

Just this week, I have started to snap out of a depressive episode that lasted for over a month. It was so severe in fact, that I seldom left my bedroom little lone my home. Unfortunately, a residual side effect of this episode is that I feel nothing for Christmas.

Even though the mental illness storm is starting to lift and I’m able to venture into the real world once more, I am surprised to discover I that I feel, well, I feel nothing.

If there was a way to measure the pulse of emotion, I’m certain that mine would be mostly a flat line with the occasional beep of short lived joy.

Into mental health and podcasts? Check out my good friends’ site at A New Dawn

This is new to my experience, I can’t recall a time where I was meh about everything. A fact that I’m very troubled by for sure. I guess one could say that I feel indifferent.

Sadly, my love for Christmas is not immune to this monotone phenomenon. It may sound a little cliche but it’s traditionally the most wonderful time of the year for me. I have spent the majority of life putting family first. We are all on borrowed time, so naturally, when this time of year rolls around, I’m filled with excitement.

For many, simply going through the motions makes how they already feel worse.

Christmas can be very taxing on people mentally. The stress of the holidays accumulates and as it does, it robs many of the joy they are supposed to feel. I don’t even feel that. Stress is not a factor this year. I guess I can thank the lack of feeling for that. Good and bad in everything they say.

Ways to minimise stress during the holidays when you have depression.

I have however, made up my mind that this numbing feeling is only temporary and I will, like many of my darkened days, get to the other side of it. For that is my resolve.

For many, simply going through the motions makes how they already feel worse. But is pushing yourself to get through the season really such a bad thing? In my view, its the right thing to do. You only have two courses to take in this situation; you can plug away it and get through it or you can remove yourself from it. The latter is defiantly less helpful.

Personally, I’ll be dammed if I allow this lack of feeling take out the first Christmas I’m indifferent about.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore how you are feeling and abandoned your need for self care. Rest when you need to and remove yourself if it gets to be too much. what I’m suggesting is that you mentally pace yourself so you can make the most of the big day. This is my plan. I know that my mental health is such that I can’t immerse myself in all that hustle and bustle so I do what I can and make no analogize for it.

So, why do I think it’s fundamental to crawl your way through it? Because if you do, it gives you the opportunity to have a moment where the dark is lifted, the pain is subsided and you form memories that last a life time.

I feel nothing for Christmas

Personally, I’ll be dammed if I allow this lack of feeling take out the first Christmas I’m indifferent about. I will solider on because I will increase my odds of being reunited with my love for the season. If this happens, that’s all I will truly want for Christmas this year.

Success! You're on the list.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Our Mental Illness Is Real

Our mental illness is real

Our Mental Illness is real, Here I lay out my argument.

It’s no secret that one of the biggest battles for people with mental illness is the stigma; A notion that seems to come with the territory. Some seem to feel that death by suicide is a choice; whist I’ve heard others say, what we’ve likely all heard before, “someone always has it worse”. How many times have I heard a sentence that starts with “you just gotta”. I want to make the case that Our mental illness is real.

When talking to the folks who use these, “I know how to solve it” one liners. Its fascinating to me just how generic these suggestions are. What I find disheartening though, is that they presume to know the level of havoc psychiatric disorders have on a person. I wish there was some sort of mental illness pain scale that could show the level of pain that beat’s around in one’s head.

I have to say that I truly believe that many are well meaning; loved ones who have little skill to help and even less understanding of the ill. While on the other side of that coin, there are those who don’t care to get it and, honestly, they aren’t worth trying to convince. At least not on the individual level. The best thing we can do is combat the inaccuracies together.

With that said, how does one simply brush it off? When many mental health conditions come standard with a feeling that no body likes me; how do you ignore that sigma? When you feel like everyone is angry with you, how does one let that go? I’m willing to wager that many don’t.

assumptions are born out of factual inaccuracies. In other words, we fill in the gaps when we lack knowledge or experience.

As much as we may try to articulate the severity of our pain, those who don’t know likely never will. Unless, of course, they become ill themselves..

You may also enjoy: You Me And PTSD

Personally, I’d like to put to rest that “if you can’t see it then it’s not happening assumption”. Nothing could further from the truth. There are a few roadblocks that re-enforce this assertion. One of the biggest being the myth, that there is no evidence that you can see mental illness.

What I think makes us blind to the symptoms, is that the majority of us aren’t that good at understanding human behaviour. I feel like we see it as a secondary function of humanity, when in reality, it’s one of the most fundamentally important. We do what we do for a reason.

Experienced or trained observers are much better at understanding what makes us tick. We, the ill can tell and so can a mental health professional. To the untrained eye, however, they have little to go on but the assumption that we are well. As we know, assumptions are born out of factual inaccuracies. In other words, we fill in the gaps when we lack knowledge or experience.

So, mental health conditions do exist, its an undeniable fact. The symptoms radiate from an organ known as the brain and its symptoms are many. Take PTSD for example; one symptom of this disorder is a heightened startle response. So, if you notice a loved one jumping out of their chair over every sudden noise, that’s a symptom; an observable symptom.

PTSD and the Brain

The brain, not unlike the heart after a heart attack has damage and very real consequences as a result of that damage. Proving that our mental illness is real.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is nihms35071f2.jpg
Our mental illness is real – Neuroimaging in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Other Stress-related Disorders
J. Douglas Bremner, M.D.

This brain scan, it shows the effects of PTSD on the brain. More specifically, it shows what happens to the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain behind your forehead that makes you, you. It is responsible for managing impulsive behaviour, future planning and executive function among other things. For a comprehensive read go here

Please, do your best to not feel shame or like you are being judged

A simple way of understanding the images here is, the brighter the colour in the image, the more brain activity; less colour is an indication of lower activity. As you can see, the prefrontal cortex, located at the top of the images, shows less activity in images 7 and 8. A notable difference between images 5 and 6. Visual proof that PTSD’s symptoms have a source. This is true of many other psychiatric disorders.

Treatment options for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

So, there you have it, prove that our mental illness is a real, legitimate health condition. The brain, not unlike the heart after a heart attack has damage and very real consequences as a result of that damage. Essentially, both organs have functional issues that cause them to underperform and produce symptoms that can be seen. Remember the PTSD and its startle response from earlier? Its a symptom as a result of real changes to the organ we can the brain.

Please, do your best to not feel shame or like you are being judged, you’re illness is real. I hope I did a good job demonstrating that today. Not only for those suffering but also for those who aren’t. The odds of you knowing someone with a mental illness are high. If its a loved one, they need to see that you have taken the time to learn about their illness. Education leads to understanding and understanding what makes those you lovesick can produce the empathy and support they need from you.

How to support someone with a mental Illness

So, did I make my case? Leave your comment or give it a like. Thank you.

You can contact me here at, The Road To Mental Wellness Facebook page.

If you want to help me make my book a reality, please go to my GOFundeMe, thank you.

The Road To Mental Wellness


The very act of making my story public wasn’t and still isn’t an easy one. Despite this, It’s imperative that I do so, so I can continue down the road to mental wellness.


Welcome to the Road To Mental Wellness, a blog that I created to tell my story, a story of my long arduous battle; one that I have been an unwilling participant in my entire life.

You see, doing nothing about my illnesses wasn’t and still isn’t an option for me. If it’s do or die, I’m going to choose to do every time. The idea for this blog came to me after I began to write a book on my own struggles with mental illness. I was so debilitated by my illnesses that I had little choice but to take leave from work and do whatever I had to do to get well again.

With that, I put my energy into the book project as an attempt at a therapeutic intervention while at the same time seeking many other avenues to wellness. The main goal of the book is to help others by simply telling my story and what I’ve done to maximize my quality of life. 

Want to read more about my mental wellness Journey? Go here

While writing this book, I decided to share my ideas with close friends and family; their feedback ignited a passion in me that simply said; “you need to take this project a bit further, to look beyond yourself.

” There are so many people out there suffering in silence because of fear of this social stigma they are weighed down with.

How to combat stigma

Then, I  started sharing pieces of the book to others for feedback. This was to see if I was accurately communicating what I wanted its message to be. It was during the feedback sessions that I started to hear other’s journeys, the sample readers’ struggles.

They told me they felt like the book could help many others because it is a first-hand account, not a professional with a clinical background in mental illness. They felt that it could potentially be more relatable, more real.

As those with mental health challenges bravely opened up to me, I started to see commonalities within their stories. I continued to talk with many others about my own challenges with mental health.  It became apparent to me that I wasn’t the only one who needed a voice in this silent epidemic. 

I hope that we can bridge the gap, erode the stigma and create an alliance that helps everyone! 

Sadly, most of those I talked to who are suffering from one mental described feeling fearful, lonely, isolated and dis-empowered.

A good example of what perpetuates this fear is the fear of losing one’s job if one were; to be honest about their illness. This is a very compelling reason to keep one’s trouble in the dark.

So… Being that my life long passion has been in helping others, I felt compelled by this mission. Fuelled by the commonalities of the suffering and not knowing where to turn.

I decided that it was go time, time to face my own fears that were echoed by that of many and say F**k it! I started to chronicle my ups and downs on Facebook in the form of pictures and videos.

They display my good and my bad days. My hope is that those who sit in the shadows can see that they are but one of many.

Need help? Go to Crisis Services Canada



The very act of making my story public wasn’t and still isn’t an easy one; I take no joy in”putting it out there.”  It tends to “feel wrong,” my mental health tends to hate it too. Nonetheless, knowing that so many are quietly eroding in the storms of their own illnesses; my genuine desire to help others pushes me onward.

Want to hear about people who are suffering just like You? Check out A New Dawn Podcast.

In doing so, the results of this social media adventure have been nothing short of amazing. I was totally taken back and inspired by the outpouring of support I received for myself but mostly.

I was and continue to be inspired by the number of people who so courageously reached out and wanted to tell me their stories. I am very honoured that they choose to talk to me about their everyday battles.

So here we are, blogging in an attempt to reach even more people, not just the sick but also those who are well.

Those seeking to better understand the plight of those who suffer day in and day out. I hope that we can bridge the gap, erode the stigma and create an alliance that helps everyone down the road to mental wellness.




Click here to contribute to my book (GoFundMe)


You may also enjoy: The Unseen Epidemic: where are all men?





%d bloggers like this: