Welcome to The Road To Mental Wellness, A blog where I tell my story, that of Anxiety, Depression and PTSD. Hoping it can help.
Welcome to the Road To Mental Wellness, a blog that I created to tell my story – a story of my long arduous battle, that of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. 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. You see, 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 in mind, I put my energy into this book project as an attempt at a therapeutic intervention, while at the same time seeking many other avenues to wellness. Equally important, it gave me purpose while I waited to hear from a mental-health professional.
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It was while authoring this book that I decided to share my ideas with close friends and family. Their feedback ignited a passion in me. One that simply said “You need to take this project a bit further, to look beyond yourself. So, The Road To Mental Wellness was born. How to combat stigma Frustrated by the way mental health is handled, I began sharing pieces of the book with even more people, looking for feedback. This was to see if I was accurately communicating what I wanted my blog’s message to be.
More than that, I wanted to gauge just how large the problem really is. Even though my intent was to gauge how people felt about mental illness, what I discovered during the feedback sessions was this: other people were more than willing to open up about their own journeys. As long as they felt safe to do so.
Furthermore, they also told me they felt like the book could help many others because it is a first-hand account, not by a professional with a clinical background in mental illness. The readers felt that it could potentially be more relatable, more real, and thus help more people. As the “sample readers” with their own mental-health challenges bravely opened up to me, I started to see commonalities within their stories.
Want to read more about my mental wellness journey? Go here
And upon learning of their struggles, I set out to talk with many others about my own challenges with mental health. I thought “I might as well tell more people if it would help others tell their stories.” In doing so, it quickly 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 mental illness described feeling fearful, lonely, isolated and dis-empowered. A good example of what perpetuates one’s fear of speaking out is losing one’s job.
Unfortunately, if people were to be honest about their illness, this could happen – a risk they don’t want to take. Therefore, they remain silent. A sad truth, one that I became emboldened to battle. So… Being that my lifelong passion has been in helping others, I felt compelled by this mission. I am fueled by the commonalities of the sufferers’ fears, coupled with being just plain tired of feeling the same myself.
Checkout Al Levin’s Podcast, The Depression Files
I decided that it was go time – time to face my own fears – fears that were echoed by many and to say F**k it! For all these reasons, 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.
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,” and my mental health tends to hate it too. Nonetheless, knowing that so many are quietly eroding in the storms of their own illnesses, I find that my genuine desire to help others pushes me onward.
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. Furthermore, I am very honoured that they chose to talk to me about their everyday battles.
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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.
“What they didn’t understand, is that behaviour always happens for a reason and that reason. What is t’s difficult to say when my dance with the mental illness devil began. I think back to being around four years old, when I had this thing about holding the doors open for people. It was almost like a contest with myself to see how much I could do it and how helpful I could be. “
I will, I will!” But now I’m wondering if I was opening the door to something terrible, dark and unseen, something that would almost destroy my life – and certainly change it forever. And it was invisible. I’m sure that had I been able to see it, I would have slammed the door shut, even at four years old.
If it had claws, a long scaly tail, terrible teeth, angry eyes, mouth breathing stinking fire…yes, I like to think that even at that tender age, my instinct would have been to stop it coming
The decision to make my personal story public has never been an easy one. It’s a challenging journey, but it’s crucial for me to share it in order to continue on the path to mental wellness.
listen to a free audio excerpt of my book, The Road To Mental Wellness
Welcome to the Road To Mental Wellness, a blog that I created to share my story—a story of my relentless battle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Ignoring my illnesses was never an option for me. When faced with a choice between giving up or taking action, I always choose the latter. The idea for this blog emerged when I started writing a book about my own struggles with mental illness. I was so debilitated by my conditions that I had no choice but to take a break from work and do everything in my power to recover.
With that in mind, I poured my energy into this book project as a form of therapeutic intervention. Simultaneously, I explored various other avenues to find wellness. Moreover, it provided me with a sense of purpose while I awaited assistance from a mental health professional.
While working on the book, I decided to share my thoughts with close friends and family, seeking their feedback. Their responses ignited a passion within me. They encouraged me to take this project further and look beyond my own experiences. That’s how The Road To Mental Wellness came into existence.
Frustrated by the way society handles mental health, I started sharing excerpts from my book with even more people, seeking their input. My intention was to gauge if I effectively conveyed the message, I wanted my blog to convey. To my surprise, during these feedback sessions, I discovered that people were not only willing to open up about their own journeys but also felt safe doing so.
Curious to learn more about my mental wellness journey? Read more here.
They believed that the book, being a first-hand account rather than a clinical perspective from a mental health professional, had the potential to be more relatable and authentic, thus helping more individuals. As I heard from “sample readers” who had their own mental health challenges, I began noticing commonalities in their stories. This realization motivated me to discuss my own struggles with mental health with many others. I thought, “If sharing my experiences can encourage others to share theirs, then it’s worth reaching more people.” Through these conversations, it became evident to me that I wasn’t the only one in need of a voice in this silent epidemic.
“I hope that we can bridge the gap, break the stigma, and create an alliance that benefits everyone!”Jonathan Arenburg – Author of the Book The Road To Mental Wellness
Unfortunately, most individuals I spoke to who were grappling with mental illness described feelings of fear, loneliness, isolation, and powerlessness. One example that perpetuates the fear of speaking out is the fear of losing one’s job. People hesitate to be honest about their mental health due to the potential consequences. Consequently, they remain silent. This sad reality inspired me to confront this issue head-on.
Given my lifelong passion for helping others, I felt compelled to embark on this mission. The shared fears of those who suffer, combined with my own exhaustion from feeling the same, fueled my determination.
Read Some great posts from Our Writers
I decided it was time to face my own fears, knowing that they echoed the fears of many others. So, I started chronicling my ups and downs on Facebook, sharing pictures and videos that represented both good and bad days. My hope is that those who are struggling silently in the shadows can see that they are not alone.
Need immediate Help? Go To Talk Suicide Canada
“LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER!”
Sharing my story publicly has never been easy or enjoyable. It often feels uncomfortable, and it affects my mental health. Nevertheless, knowing that countless individuals are silently battling their own illnesses, my sincere desire to help others propels me forward.Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan speaking at the
Jonathan Speaking at the Stop Depression Summit
On February 23, 2023
His talk was on the ways in which you can take back your life when you have trauma and major depressive disorder
Now, you can watch Jonathan Speak at the Stop Depression Summit – FREE!
I was honored to be part of such a wonderfully resource rich summit with some of the foremost experts in the field.