In those moments

In those moments.

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If there’s one thing I have learned from living with a mental-health condition, it’s 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, though. 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, and 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.

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! There is such a remarkable difference, that I have a “thank God” moment because of this contrast.

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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.

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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-health journey, I am intensely more grateful for the life I have been given…

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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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