in between the raindrops.

In Between The RainDrops

Trying to adapt to life once diagnosed with a mental illness, can be a bit like running in between the raindrops.

Ah life, it’s full of surprises; changes that force us to adapt whether we want to or not. In my case, PTSD with a heaping side order of depression changed my life forever. Since then, adaptation has been my life’s work. Because of this, I had to learn to live my life in between the raindrops.

If you have followed me long enough, you will know that I often write about the fact that, sometimes, life cares little for our well laid out plans. In other words, we don’t always come out winning.

So, I’m not going to lie, coming face to face with my own reality was tough. I mean who wants to have the feeling of choice stripped away from them? No one, am I right? Like a physical ailment, mental illness requires a new plan.

Like what you are reading so far? Try reading What Lies At The Center

Despite being initially resistant to the chances, I nonetheless have to concede at some point and accept it; I’m willing to wager that some of us do so sooner or later. If not, the end result could be devastating.

Life really is customizable.

When we walk our way through therapy, we learn a lot about ourselves. This is a fundamental key to healing. Ultimately, the goal of counselling is to provide you with the tools to navigate in between the raindrops. Simply put, the adaptive tools we learn allow us to, not only accept our new reality, it gives us the coping tools we need to live the best life possible.

In beteen the raindrops.

Tools like mindfulness training and EMDR are but two examples of these mental adaptive devices; once mastered, navigating the world will be more tolerable. Also, their application can help us to accept the fact that our lives have been changed forever.

Check out my latest Podcast appearence on Men Are Nuts

While this was sad at first, what helped me through it was a change of perspective. At one point or another, I began to see parallels between physical and mental disabilities.

What they have in common is this; The need for both the outside world and for the individuals to customize their day to day. For example, an individual with PTSD may require a service animal; whilst a wheelchair user needs a ramp. In other words, access to normality equals acceptance.

Ways to help you accept your mental illness

In the end, we must not only find a way to cope but we must learn to thrive. Sure, some may not be able to commit to life every day; that’s simply a part of the disability. My friends, I believe that if we learn to walk in between the raindrops, we will indeed persevere.

In crisis? Call 1.833.456.4566 | Text 45645 (Crisis Services Canada) Crisis Services Canada

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

Contact us: The Road To Mental Wellness

When Things Went South
We are raised that if we work hard enough, we can be …
ignored the signs of mental illness.
A message for all my fire service colleagues and you too. IF …
When The Fog Rolls In
Often times, when the fog rolls in it grips you so tightly …
I CAME ALIVE AT THIRTY-FIVE
For most of my life, I pushed aside any notion of being …
when things went south.

When Things Went South

Like many, I never gave too much thought to my life veering off course; Afterall, nothing bad ever happens, right? To begin with, I naively believed in the, from A to B linear line of success; School, career, kids etc and oh, saving for retirement. Because I believed In this my, well-planned life, I had no defence when things went south.

Well, guess what? As my adult life was busy chasing after my socially constructed reality, everything did indeed hit the ground in a blazing ball of fire. The thing is, no one prepares you for the harsh realities that life throws at you.

We are like modern tech in a sense.

Sure, those who came before you may say, “Life is tough” but then they emphasize how you can be whatever you want in life. The beautiful story right? In reality, you can only affect your destiny so much, after that, the wild card called life gets played.

In my case, the wildcard was an adult, life long battle with mental illness. Knowing this now, The question I ask myself most, is why didn’t I see it coming? First off, the Disney like illusion really does little to help you cope and secondly, my life choices fed the beast within.

I now understand many of the factors that got me here

Perhaps, equally to blame, was my wiring. We are like modern tech in a sense, so complicated; that we only use the functions we are most familiar with.

In other words, we are by no means experts on the tech we carry around in our pockets. Similarly, we are only partly aware of what makes us tick. What this does is leave us with a limited understanding of who we are. In my case, when I was young I didn’t understand that I was an empath. Heck, I had no idea what that even was.

It wasn’t until things went south and I was diagnosed with PTSD that I dove into what makes me, me. My diagnosis prompted one very important question; Why did I fall from grace? Well, the short answer is, being overly sensitive to stimulus coupled with my career and volunteer choices. These factors took my life and ran it into the ground.

As it turns out, being highly sensitive and firefighting aren’t compatible with one another. In addition, I worked in a long-term care facility where people with severe behavioural difficulties; turns out, this occupation is also incompatible with a more sensitive disposition.

Overall, I know I’m better off for learning this when things went south.

Of course, I now understand many of the factors that got me here; knowledge I wish I would have had years ago. All I knew then was that I wanted to help others, that was it.

So, here I am, less hair and more wisdom; still, I can’t help but wonder if I would have altered my life’s course had I known that a guy like me was more than likely to suffer from these choices. That I’m afraid, is something that simply cannot be answered. In fact, it really isn’t worth dwelling on.

With that said, honestly, I would have hoped the twenty-something me would have chosen a different path; still helped others, just in a more personality friendly way. Whatever the case, its a moot point now as I know that these chapters in my story are already written.

While I can’t change my past, my newly acquired self-awareness can propel me into a better future; however, I can only achieve this if I can master living my best life in the now.

While I’m far from being well enough to take on new possibilities with any regularity, I chose to remain hopeful. Overall, I know I’m better off learning these painful lessons when things went south; now, I can build a new normal.

In crisis? Call 1.833.456.4566 | Text 45645 (Crisis Services Canada) Crisis Services Canada

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

Contact us: The Road To Mental Wellness

In Between The RainDrops
Trying to adapt to life once diagnosed with a mental illness, can …
ignored the signs of mental illness.
A message for all my fire service colleagues and you too. IF …
When The Fog Rolls In
Often times, when the fog rolls in it grips you so tightly …
I CAME ALIVE AT THIRTY-FIVE
For most of my life, I pushed aside any notion of being …
I ignored the signs of mental illness.

ignored the signs of mental illness.

A message for all my fire service colleagues and you too. IF you’ve ignored the signs of mental illness., it could spell trouble down the road.

In my last post, I came alive at thirty-five, I wrote about my life long struggles. To be more specific, for most of my life I ignored the signs of mental illness.

A real hearo is one who is brave enough to also save themselves.

Jonathan Arenburg.

What I learned from this was that the ancient practice of “manning up” is a mythical concept. While it may not actually be a thing, I can’t help but wonder just how much damage it has done.

Unfortunately for me, I would learn this lesson in a retrospective way. In other words, it wasn’t until the mental dam holding it back burst, sending me off work. This began my journey down the road to mental wellness.

at the time, I thought it would all work out in the end.

On the plus side, I would not stay home in waste away because I still had the fire department. As it would turn out, the department would be a double-edged sword. Why? Well, that’s a great question; the simple answer is that it sealed my traumatic fate.

Listen to other’s mental health journies at A New Dawn podcast.

Don’t get me wrong, for those times I was off work it helped immensely. It did so by providing me with structure and fuelling my sense of purpose. A wonderful thing as it kept me from going deeper within the recesses of my mind. This I will always be grateful for.

emergency service trauma slowly builds up, until BAM!

While this may be true, what’s equally true, sadly, is this; Durning my years in the fire service, I began to feel the slow yet steady poison of post-traumatic stress disorder, making a case that it developed because I ignored the signs of mental illness. Right from the start, I ignored the signs of mental illness.

This increasingly numbing feeling accompanied me on every call, making me a bit more ill every time; it was bad and I foolishly believed that denial was or would eventually be the cure. Although I know now that manning up is equivalent to trying to cure heart disease with bacon. However, at the time, I thought it would all work out in the end. If I had to be honest, the thought of showing “weakness” around the guys was my real motivator to keep pushing through.

How to recognze the early signs of PTSD

I ignored the signs of mental illness.
A real hearo is one who is wise enough to also save himself

Yup, thinking back on it, it seems kinda stupid to have subjected myself to situations that were causing me mental injuries. Equally, dumb was holding it down even though I knew it was bad for me. I think so; too bad I came to this conclusion afterwards.

I’ll be ok” may be true or it may be precursors to mental injury.

Perhaps the best analogy I have come up with is this; PTSD is like carbon monoxide; its orderless, tasteless and cannot otherwise be detected. It does its damage by slowly building up in the body. Similarly, the symptoms of emergency service trauma slowly build up until BAM!

Picture this, one day you find yourself inexplicably yelling at your boss and co-workers or you end up on a scene feeling so numb and disconnected it feels like your walking through molasses.

Sound familiar? If so, maybe it’s time that you take a look at your situation? Man up and look after you? Take it from me, you do NOT want this getting out of hand. The key is early intervention my friends. Because I ignored the signs of mental illness, I was slowly poisoned with my fear of being less than a man and as a consequence, I fell victim to the power of PTSD.

Looking for a place to start? #Firstrespndersfirst may be able to help.

So, please, if you feel this maybe you, get help. Pride and denial will never act as cures. Nor will the statement; “I’ll be ok.” While for some this may be true, for others, it may be precursors to a mental

In crisis? Call 1.833.456.4566 | Text 45645 (Crisis Services Canada) Crisis Services Canada

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

Contact us: The Road To Mental Wellness

In Between The RainDrops
Trying to adapt to life once diagnosed with a mental illness, can …
When Things Went South
We are raised that if we work hard enough, we can be …
When The Fog Rolls In
Often times, when the fog rolls in it grips you so tightly …
I CAME ALIVE AT THIRTY-FIVE
For most of my life, I pushed aside any notion of being …