Pics on social media are cool but its what you don’t see that’s most important.Tweet
People who see my Facebook account will see, for the most part, my face with a smile on it; or perhaps there are they’ll come across pictures of me out for a bike ride or me at the gym. I look like I got the world by the ass, right? Wrong! Don’t be fooled. Although it may seem like I’m enjoying life to the max, it’s what you don’t see that tells my actual story.
In reality, what’s going on beyond the one-tenth of me you see in photos; is but the tip of the iceberg. When I took the fire safety officer course, many moons ago, they taught us something that resonated with me. They taught us this: Perception is always reality and man, this is so very true.
So, what am I talking about? Well, simply put, what you see with your eyes doesn’t always marry up with the assumptions you conclude. Getting back to my smiley faces and gym poses on social media, the real question here is; “Am what I am seeing actually what’s what’s really representative of what’s actually going on?”
Sadly, in my case, the answer is no. As much as I want these pictures to represent me as a fun-loving, active guy who has his shit together, it would be a foolish to believe. Firstly, let me say that I am indeed a fun-loving, and active fella, however, to say I have my life together, is not at all what those pictures suggest.
Underneath the flesh and bone and bouncing around in my nervous system is the mental health disorder called PTSD. If that weren’t enough, my brain has been afflicted with a huge dose of major depressive disorder; Crappy.
What you don’t see is the days and sometimes weeks that I am living in a tiny bedroom, burnout form PTSD’s symptoms and exhausted from depression. In this state, just looking at my phone can seem daunting. This is my reality, often, I am broken.
Want to listen to people’s mental health journeys? Go to A New Dawn podcast.
Remember, a smile, an action shot on a bicycle or even a statement pronouncing one’s gratitude, can be deceiving. Furthermore, making judgments about what you see in a photograph is not justification to conclude anything really.The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.
My truth? My pictures are proof of my incessant desire to get moving forward. Getting down the road to mental wellness requires action so, when I’m able I do. That’s what you are seeing. A forced smile, may help others, a chronicle of my good days may inspire someone else to fight their own inner turmoil. That’s my hope. Plus, let’s not forget, when one has a blog and is an author, one must make the most of their good days to get content out there and sustain it.
Now you know my truth when it comes to my health and social media activity. What’s your story behind the pic?
Checkout the book I helped to write:
Lemonade Stand: Vol. III
Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military. In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness. So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.
Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!
If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada