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The Road To Mental Wellness

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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.

I’m all over this damn Internet find me here: Linktree

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.

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

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.

Want to wear your support for mental health? Go our Wellness Shop Here

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. 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 fuelled by the commonalities of the sufferers’ fears, coupled with being just plain tired of feeling the same myself.

NEED HELP? DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN? CHECK OUT OUR MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES PAGE

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.

 

Need help? Go to Crisis Services Canada

“LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER!”

 

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.

 

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. Furthermore, 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.

If you are struggling, please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

“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 in.

Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalks He has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak. Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way. Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness. He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community. His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

View Comments

  • Beautifully written my love. I cannot wait to read more of your blog as well as your book. I'll always be in your corner cheering you on.

  • Very well written John. I have been silently following your journey through Facebook, and I am impressed at your candor. I also suffer from a myriad of mental illnesses including Depression and anxiety, and most probably, a few others not yet diagnosed.You are a fighter and if anyone can rise above their mental illnesses, it is you. I look forward to following you on this new dimension of your journey. Thank you for inviting me.

  • Thank you John for having the guts to do what I and so many others are afraid to do and say. Reading your posts have certainly helped me and I'm sure they have helped many others.

  • Sounds like the best plan ever John! We can climb mountains together! (Well maybe the younger ones!!!) I'll climb the hills and applaud those others! Together is always better! No one should have to suffer anything alone! Keep on with the \"Let's Talk\" every day - not just one day a year - and maybe this stigma will finally be put to rest as others open up to discussion and help! You have found your passion and I'm proud to call you a friend!

  • Thank you for the kind words, I appreciate you following my journey and hope that it is helpful in some way for you. If you could please help me out and share this page so it will reach many more people that would be awesome.

  • Thanks, Darlene, I am very happy I'm glad they are helping you. The more people that subscribe and become followers the more people we can reach......

  • Thanks Jonathan, its all about the small goals. You can help me reach more people by Following this blog and sharing this site on Facebook.

  • Thank you my anonymous friend, very well said. Once I find out which friend you are, I will also be proud to call you friend...lol. Have a wonderful day!

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