That Inner Voice.

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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Intuition. We all have that inner voice that tells us: “Hey, something isn’t right here.” But do we listen to that voice? If you’re like me and I’m willing to wager, like me, you simply ignore it. If this is the case, how is it working for you? Has taken the “Ignore it and it will go away” approach ever worked for you?

Of course, I can’t answer these questions for you; nonetheless, they are worth exploring to see if brushing them aside is helping you in your life’s journey or hindering it. I can tell ya that ignoring the most troubling and challenging moments in my life, moments that sparked an intuitive four-alarm fire in my head have in essence burned my life down around me.

I knew that I was a jet in full mayday, moments from hitting the ground and exploding on impact.

Firstly, ignoring the way I am wired was a bad move. Being more on the sensitive, empathic side of the human spectrum, I don’t excel in all things death and destruction. And what did I devote my life to? Professions of unrelenting death and destruction. To be fair, when I was a young man, nineteen, twenty, I hadn’t a clue what all this was, what it meant or what impact it would have later on my life.

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But, as the old saying goes, when you know better, you do better, right? Wrong! As the years went by, a lot of years, my intuitive voice got louder and louder. I pushed and down further and further. Amazingly, I continued ignoring it – well after I had gotten to know who I was as a person.

How to listen to your Intuition

Turns out, that being empathic and fine-tuned to the needs and pains of others is like fire. While in stark contrast, the emergency services and long-term care profession are like water, they simply don’t mix. Although it may seem counter-intuitive to be wired to help and have a helping profession destroy you, I can assure you, it can, and it does. It all depends on the way one is wired and the helping profession they choose.

“We are being invaded by PTSD!”

However, is it blind stupidity that makes us plug our ears and yell “lalalala!” when our intuitive voice starts yelling danger? Of course not. For me, there was the very real need to work to pay the bills, so I thought I might as well continue to work in a profession where I was helping others. This may have made rational sense to me, but internally, I knew that I was a jet in a full mayday, moments from hitting the ground and exploding on impact.

The rise of mental illness

The second mistake I made was when I learned that something had mentally mutated inside, a dreadful feeling that became more and more dominating over time. From there, an ever-present sense of anxiety became my master. Eventually, there was no denying it. However, though I may not have been able to refuse its existence, I was still able to go to work, fight fires and pretend that I wasn’t melting from the inside out.

I am off on worker’s compensation and in the middle of the fight of my life.

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While I was going nuclear inside, the whole time that inner voice was running around saying “We are being invaded by PTSD!” But, despite my own warnings, I plowed along. In retrospect, I really should have listened.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Well, it’s ultimately about following your gut. Get to know what makes you tick and know that, if you choose to ignore your intuition, the consequences can be devastating. Moreover, your loved ones will bear the brunt too. As you ignore your accumulation of stress, you will become more and more tired and irritable. Trust me, they will notice.

Tired of reading but want to hear more stories of mental health journeys just like yours? Checkout The Depression Files Podcast

Because I continually disregarded my inner alarm, I ended up with little choice but to take leave from work and resign from the fire department. Actions I am not proud of, but I digress. My life’s path I chose was seemingly the right one, as all I knew was that I had a passion for helping others. But did I choose the right career to satisfy my love? I’m afraid the answer is an unequivocal no! The proof lies in the fact that I am off on worker’s compensation and in the middle of the fight of my life. So please, if my story sounds familiar to you, listen to that inner voice. It just may save your life.

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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, #thewellnesstalksHe 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.

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