There is two sides to every story

Two sides to every story

Remember, there are two sides to every story.

Before we start, there are two sides to every story… please consider donating to The Road To Mental Wellness, we are able to keep going because of readers like you. Thank you for your support.

As a mental health advocate, part of the work I do is to try to get people to understand the plight of those suffering from mental illness. This, as you well might imagine, is no easy task.

But perhaps even more difficult, is living with or trying to explain to someone but why you; say, jump at literally every single noise. You know, this is classic PTSD and it’s startle response. However, it’s been my experience that the majority of people who aren’t cursed with this invisible taser-like affliction, will likely see you as jumpy. Furthermore, rather than seeing one as ill, people who don’t know will either laugh or pay it zero attention. Hell, I’ve even been told to calm down. There are, without question, there are two side to every story.

One thing I would like to get better at, and I wish the rest of us would too; is learning to think deeper than just what we observe on the surface from others. Personally this has been a reoccurring theme in my life and it has done some real damage.

For instance, we could stop and ask ourselves what’s really causing the behaviour that we are seeing? Now, I know that this really isn’t the way we think, at least the majority of us; however, it would nonetheless help us better understand and thus better empathize those around us. So maybe empathy is something we should teach in schools?

How to cultivate empathy.

Empathy allows us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to try and understand and work with people who having unique challenges. In my case, If disappear and withdrawal for example, I’m not avoiding you intentionally, I am trying to recharge; so I can cope with the world around me. Understanding how depression works, will help you see that it’s not you, thus you may have more empathy for my predicament. The lack of trying on the part of others is, as far as I am concerned, further proof that there are two side to every story.

The sad reality of a person with PTSD is that the person you loved and once knew is gone. For us, this is a huge part of our journey because we are wrestling with a loss of identity. Our sense of self was once wrapped up in the services, our lives literally put on hold countless times to run to the aid of others. PTSD, takes that from us, at least in the way we once knew it.

There are two side to every story – yes even the non-sufferer.

With all that said, we, the mentally ill must consider that there are two side to every story of those on the outside looking in. For example. Do they know anything about PTSD, depression or any other form of mental illness? Furthermore, do we have a right to be mad at every human being who “doesn’t get it?” While this may be difficult to answer, it’s my contention that, no, in fact we can’t be mad with every Johnie and Joe; especially if they have only heard tell of PTSD on the TV or internet. Some people will never get past the words, “oh my. that’s terrible.” What can I, or you do about that? Others are outright dismissive whilst others are avoidant.

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Rally Point Retreat provides a quiet, safe, and relaxing, rural setting on Nova Scotia’s South Shore as a respite for essential services members in treatment for CIS/CSI/OSI/OSIS/PTSD to regroup themselves and reconnect with their families, to prevent further collateral damage from traumatic events.

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While deep down I find that a bit sad and frustrating, especially when I have to provide a crash course on trauma wherever I go, I do accept that not everyone cares. It’s just the way it is. Does that mean we give up the fight? Of course not.

The most effective tool we as the ill, is the amazing power of education, not through agitation. The exception? Family and close friends. If they want to and love that special person with PTSD, they are going to have to commit like never before. I recommend that one’s partner, children and friends seek out the assistance of a metal health professional, educate themselves on the disorder and train themselves to look for the signs. Letting someone know who’s post-traumatic that you are going to make a loud noise, is just but one of the ways you can help.

How to love and live with someone who has PTSD.

So, it’s imperative that we see that there are two sides to every story. Firstly, people with mental illness need love, support and customization. It would be helpful for society as a whole to recognize this but that’s not practical. Two, we must understand that it’s not realistic to assume that the entire population is educated about mental health conditions or that they are cable of understanding it. This reality necessitates that we move away from the non-empathic or ignorant.

So, my fellow suffers, lets educate and not hate. We will reach some and others? Well, what can we do? I have always felt that the best way to change the world is by one person at a time. I will worry about those who are willing and not waste me very limited mental resources on those who don’t know or care. Remember, if we choose to fight against mental illness stigma, we must not waste our fuel. Rather we must ration it to help move the cause forward on the willing to learn.

In those momenets

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 services, 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!

There are two sides to every story, copyright, 2020

Order today

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

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

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What's wrong with that guy?

What’s wrong with that guy?

What’s wrong with that guy?

You hear it often nowadays, “we are living in different times.” I hear this often from people when they are doing their best to avoid getting too close; thank you COVID-19. It’s one of the truer statements one makes in this era of deception and fake news.

Unfortunately, one of humans fundamental flaws, besides being easily led a stray, is complacency. Take my corner of the world for example, we have experienced a really low number of cases of the virus. It’s true that our governments have done a great job of keeping us safe but its ultimately up to the people to hold the line and do what needs to be done. If not, we risk a major health crisis here too.

Yet, I see more and more people blatantly and foolishly disregarding what needs to be done. This is especially true of the young. With an Uptake in case across Canada, We must do better. Please, if you’re not an infectious disease specialist, don’t make your own conclusions about how transmission happens.

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

For example, because your area might have low numbers or even zero cases, doesn’t mean that we can lower our guards. Remember, COVID-19 came all the way from China and infected the world in a matter of months; Months! Also, just because you are young, doesn’t somehow exempt you from contracting or spreading it; so, WEAR A MASK!

But John, WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MENTAL HEALTH?

Well, nothing really, except that when I am sitting in a busy café and more than half of the customs walking in without masks, I go into disaster mode. I saw an even higher percentage of kids not wearing a mask either.

Right or wrong, my blood boiled ever hotter the more and more bared faced people walking through the door. I tried to contain the PTSD range, I really did, but alas, my experience of watching people die slowly with phenomena overtook me. Finally, I jumped up out of my seat and yelled, “Where the Fu** are your masks?”

Listen to others on their own journey at A New Dawn

One young person admitted she didn’t even have one. Sadly, but not surprisingly, my displeasure was met with smiles and laughter. I didn’t care then and I don’t care now. I felt panicked and not safe. In fact, the more complacency sets in with folks, the more unsafe I feel; not only for myself, but for all those whose are immune systems are compromised. I bet instead of them considering the validity of my concerns, they probably thought; “What’s wrong with that guy?”

What's wrong with that guy?
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Let’s see, What’s wrong with that guy? Humm, well, PTSD, a mental disorder that I earned with distinction that’s what. I want to spend the rest of my days painful and death-free. A tall order I know, but a panic driven concern that can send me in to a fit of anger. It really is bigger than me sometimes.

If my own mental history weren’t enough, the accumulation of recklessness on behalf of my fellow human beings can send me to a point of no return. I really do hate it but sometimes, it will rear its ugly head.

Learn about PTSD and anger.

So, if you ever see someone loosing it on someone, especially over something like mask wearing and or other legit safety concerns; don’t ask, “What’s wrong with that guy? Instead, ask yourself, what has he been through? And is what he is angry about valid?

Please, be safe and I beg you, please think of others…. Take care!

In those momenets

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!

Order today

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

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

Hang in, there is hope.
For those with PTSD, sleep can be their enemy; plagued by a …
Don’t let your illness define you
It was pointed out to me that we are more than our …
From fear to courage
We in the services go from fear to courage. If we didn't …
Today is your day
Yesterday, you found yourself too heavy to get on with the day. …

In those moments

In those moments

In those moments.

If there’s one thing I have learned from living with a mental health condition, its this. There seems to be an ebb and flow to these damn conditions. Especially depression and post-traumatic stress.

My last depressive episode was a bad one. Thankfully, I think I’m on the other side of it through. Thanksgiving weekend, just a few weekends back, is the most difficult time of year for me. It’s this weekend that I was abducted by PTSD and have been held captive ever since.

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to resuscitate a young man who passed on the front porch of my aunt’s apartment building. So, naturally, I fall to the darkened power of depression every year. Therefore, it stands to reason that my PTSD symptoms are set afire, like a mental migraine, they overcome my brain and send me to hell. Basically, I ache, not physically, but mentally.

Getting to know your triggers

In those moments, I struggle to see the surrounding good, the sense of life and even my own self-worth. While this is obviously a very troubling way to feel, it does however, allow me to feel the fog start to lift. Feeling so intensely blue, makes the emergence of the more chipper me very easy to detect.

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Which brings me to the now. Now, I am feeling more “normal” If you are sitting there wondering how I can tell, well, let me explain. Firstly, it’s all about the energy level. I have more spring in my step and my endurance level is more like the old me. It’s like I am a video game character, low on life force, (depression) until I suddenly come across a health kit; then BOOM! let’s get err done. There is such a remarkable difference, that I have a “thank God” moment because of this contrast.

In those Moments
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Secondly, the need to isolate myself has decreased to baseline. Sure, I’d still prefer the solitude of my own company, but I have an actual desire to see others and appreciate that I am liked by some and loved by others. In those moments, I feel so thankful that I braved the mental illness hurricane, long enough to let it pass; at the end of the chaos, I am alive! Always.

Need help? Don’t know where to turn? Check out our Mental Health Resources Page

So, there you have it, This is how I know that I am on my way to wellness once more. Again, the contrast is so remarkable that I almost am euphoric with joy. Furthermore, when I land on the brighter side of my life’s mental heath journey, I am intensely more grateful for the life I have been given…

Please hang in there, it will get better. Then, there will be a period where you feel like you’re loosing. See, it’s in these moments when we have to hold on to the knowledge that it will, indeed get better. You got this.

Lemonade stand

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!

Order today

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

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

Hang in, there is hope.
For those with PTSD, sleep can be their enemy; plagued by a …
Don’t let your illness define you
It was pointed out to me that we are more than our …
From fear to courage
We in the services go from fear to courage. If we didn't …
Today is your day
Yesterday, you found yourself too heavy to get on with the day. …