Be Brave Enough

As many of you may know, for over the last month I worked on a political campaign. Many of you may also know how the symptoms of PTSD started off lurking in the background than ever so slowly overtook me and by the end of the experience, my symptoms were so pronounced that I ended up spending less and less time in the office.

Read The Results Are In, Am I Healed?

As excited as I was at the prospect of having some semblance of a normal routine, next time, I have to be real with myself and understand that a new shot at normalcy isn’t a cure for mental illness. Despite the end result, there are so many great reasons why I don’t regret being brave enough to put myself out there, to let myself be vulnerable.

Admittedly I probably took on way too much, I now know that I need to customize the next round that is more tailored towards my own needs, to work within my own tolerances. With that said, I also got so much out of the experience that it quashed any feelings of regret or failure. So, here’s why I Don’t regret being brave enough.

Tips on self-care

  1. I was fighting for change, for metal illness – The only way to make a difference is to get involved. Being a mental health advocate and  suffering myself, I aligned myself to the New Democrats because mental health is a big part of their platform. Getting involved helped me advocate for us, asking the leader of the party a very important question. You can read about that here: Wait Times, A Mental Health Question For Jagmeet Singh or watch me ask it here.
  2. I wasn’t only fully embraced by the team, I was trusted with a key part of the campaign which I am proud of that. The people I worked with under this assignment were amazing and so hard working, as was every person working towards our goals.
  3. The commonalities that we all shared was energizing, it felt like I was part of something bigger than myself, so full of hope.
  4. Finally, the individual friendships I have made as a result of putting myself out there was well worth the mental pain, they all made this part of my journey so much easier.

Coping with mental illness in the workplace 

Thanks
So, if you were to ask me if it was taking on this adventure was worth it, despite the mental distress it produced, I would have to answer with an unequivocal yes! Not only did I learn where I am mentally, but I was also given an opportunity to help the team, which I love. Not only that, but I had a sense that I could help make a real difference overall and as a bonus,  made some wonderful very caring and understanding friends along the way.

if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!


If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada



Want help fund my book? donate: GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book

You may also enjoy: Spontaneous Mental Combustion


Contact me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TRTMW


Check out my friend’s blog here: anewdawnaa.com

 

When Stigma Arises

Whem stigma arises

Anyone with a mental health condition can tell you that the symptoms aren’t only real, they are sometimes level ten intense. Disagree if you must, just keep in mind that the sick would gladly trade heads with you in a heartbeat.

For those who are lucky enough to have walked through life being able to take on the world and navigate its tough spots, I commend you for being well enough to do so. From my point of view, that’s what makes the difference between those with mental illness and those without, the “normal” people are well enough to deal with the wider world and the stress it produces.
Stigma arises when those who have a healthy mind fail to understand that people with psychiatric disorders aren’t faking it or exaggerating their condition. Of course, not every well-minded individual takes the, “if I can’t see it, then its not happening approach.” There are lots of healthy people working hard in the mental health field to make a real difference in our lives, I thank you for joining the battle.
With that said, some of the healthy brained among us have a difficult time comprehending why someone can be on disability for depression or why another would be accommodated in their workplace for PTSD.
From where I stand, I feel like this perpetuates the stigma because people tend to base their assumptions on what they are observing. For example, if a person with, let’s say, borderline personality disorder is being accommodated in their place of work, those who have never experienced the disabling effects of such a disorder may begin to view the BDP sufferer as someone who is being favoured. Which of course, simply isn’t true.

Manging work and mental illness

What I find amusing about this assumption is they can’t physically see the evidence that there is preferential treatment going on, but they choose to believe that their narrative is factually accurate, yet the unseen but very real mental health condition is somehow not made up or exaggerated.

Mental illness

While it escapes me why some people choose to believe their own conclusions without asking themselves it what they are seeing is accurate, it is, nonetheless, something that people with mental illness have to contend with.

Only you know how you feel inside so despite what those around you may think, you have a right to live and work and have every opportunity to venture as far as you can down your own road to mental wellness.



if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!





If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada

Want help fund my book? donate: GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book


You may also enjoy: Spontaneous Mental Combustion


Contact me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TRTMW

Check out my friend’s blog here: sicknotweak.com


Learned To Think On The Fly

think on the fly

When I was in the fire service I quickly learned to think on the fly, to mitigate the dangers, often life-threatening dangers in which I was confronted. Firefighters are an awesome bunch because they don’t like to give up until they extinguish the flames in front of them and moving on to the next set of issues before them, they will do this until the damage to life and property is minimized.

In amongst this chaos lies a set of unknown variables, things that arise that require a new page in your playbook. We prepare for any potential scenario we can think of but it is impossible to train for every possible emergency, all the things that can through a kink in the attack plan. You simply do your best to deal with whatever lands in front of you.
In my experience with mental illness, I have found these acquired skills from the fire service transferable, this mindset has helped me get through some of the more chaotic moments on this road to mental wellness. Like in life, mental health conditions can take you on a path of unknowns, how you feel from one day to the next is determined by the fluctuating but near-constant effects of post-traumatic stress; sometimes, the factors that trigger its symptoms is completely unknown.

PTSD and its triggers

When this happens I have to think on my feet and regardless of the source of my symptoms, I must minimize its effects if I am to guide myself through its tournament. When I become overwhelmed with the trauma ridden memories that plague me and stimulus brought on by the hypervigilance. The following are things that help me lessen the impact.

using minfulness

Tools to teal with Trauma

1. I remove myself from the area; going to a peaceful area that is less stimulating decreases the duration of a moment that has been induced by triggers. A constant loud and overbearing environment can serve as fuel for the fire and maintain the burn of flashbacks.

2. Work with mindfulness to bring myself back to the present and remind myself that my memories are just that, memories.

3. Sometimes its all about riding the wave. I find this the toughest option but if I can’t get away to decompress, I have little choice but to wait out the storm that rages in my head.

I have to come to terms with the fact that my mental illness injury has altered my life plan to the degree that I am forced to find another path, to work towards new goals and aspirations. This prospect is, of course, a scary one but I refuse to give up until I have won the day. I will be ok.

if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!


If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada


Want help fund my book? donate GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book.

Trauma Specialist, Dr. Jeffery Hosick: jeffreyhosick.com

You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD

Contact me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TRTMW