When ambition meets PTSD

When ambition meets PTSD, we are forced to customize our lives.

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When deciding to write this post, I thought about my internal conflict that rages inside: a battle between my hopes and dreams, and how impactful PTSD is on my desire to see them through. You see, when ambition meets PTSD, it creates an entirely new set of mentally mind-blowing angst to fight with.

If I were asked to sum this up in one word, what the cornerstone of this entire battle is, it would be uncertainty. I literally have no idea what my future looks like going forward. However, despite this, I am not deterred from trying to figure it out.

Finding meaning when mentally ill.

Okay, so I may have days when thinking about the future is a huge deterrent and I may greet a day or two when the battle to find meaning and purpose is too overwhelming. Even so, when met with this internal confrontation, I simply crawl back into bed and hit the rest button – a reboot that on average takes around twenty-four hours. I’m an old, worn model, so maybe that’s why it takes so long.

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While I may “shut down” from time to time, I don’t let this deter me either. So, what, if I need a day, I take a day; heck, I’ve even taken two. I just never let the dark own my entire week, month or even year. I do after all have ambition, albeit under two tons of mental heavy metal.

I know that you know the struggle and I also know that you never planned for your life to go sideways like an eighteen-wheeler on black ice, but it has. So, now what? The question now becomes, what do you have to do to get past it?

Want more? Try When PTSD catches up.

Oftentimes, this question can a tough one to answer. However, I try my best to simplify it. Fundamentally, we can do one of two things. We can 1) do nothing – not an option for an ambitious fella like me. Or, we can fight like hell to regain a life that, admittedly, will never be the one you once knew but nonetheless can still be something great. Either way, keep digging until you find your what drives you.

It’s for this reason that life can be something great. that both you and I should endeavour to fight for that “something great”. For at the end of the day, when ambition meets PTSD or any other mental health condition for that matter, we still have a choice of where to put the energy we have, right? What’s key here, is making sure we customize our journey, so we can set ourselves so we may live again.

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


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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Reginald-Nixon Arenburg (Born January 14, 1976) is a Canadian mental health blogger, speaker, and published author. Retired from the fire service and long-term care fields, he has written and self-published an autobiographical account of his life-long battle with anxiety, depression and more recently, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Titled, The Road To Mental Wellness, he wrote it for what he calls “therapeutic release.” He published it in hopes it would help others going through similar mental health conditions. The sales of The Road To Mental Wellness have been steady selling over 300 copies since its release on October 10, 2021(World Mental Health Day). Arenburg has also been involved in a collaborative publication Called Lemonade Stand Volume III, a book featuring 20 authors who bravely tell their stories of PTSD. All authors where from the military and or emergency services. Published by Joshua Rivedal and Kathleen Myers for the i’Mpossible project, a mental health advocacy organization. Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health podcasts including The Depression Files, A New Dawn, and The Above Ground Podcast Arenburg has also consulted with the Government of Nova Scotia and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, the Honorable Brian Comer and Candidates for the New Democratic Party of Canada, on improving the mental health care system in Canada. Additionally, Jonathan was recognized in The Nova Scotia Legislature by the Honorable, Chris Palmer, Kings-North MLA, for his Book, The Road To Mental Wellness, his fight to make the mental health care system better. In addition, Chis acknowledged the support he gives to others.

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