If I'm being honest

If I am honest

If I am honest, my old identity was killing me.

Today, I find it imperative that I am honest with all of you, myself included. My confession? Most times, I feel nothing. In fact, I feel so little at times that if it could be measured by a heart monitor, you’d see a flat line. Of course, my affect is not completely dead. I know this because every once in a while, there will be the occasional “beep” representing moments where I feel a moment of happy.

However, there is no device that can accurately display my truth; a truth that mental illness, specifically depression does hold me hostage more often than I’d like. Despite this, I if I am honest with you once more, depression’s mindset is designed to force me into isolation. While this isolation seems like it is of my own accord, it is, truthfully, not. I am being honest because I know in my heart, I would rather live in the sunshine than hide in the darkness; I mean, who wouldn’t. Therefore, I want to confront this demon.

This urge to hide from the world is, without question, PTSD. Oh, how I absolutely loath to see another life lost needlessly. Therefore, it seems safest to avoid all the potentials that lay beyond my front door. It’s pretty heavy stuff.

But it’s more than that. Many people who suffer from trauma, also have major depressive disorder. I am, unfortunately, one of these people. Let me tell ya; the two together make for the perfect mental storm. Their potential to do damage is enormous.

What it’s like having major depressive disorder.

If I am honest with myself, I have to admit, I hate this, I really, really do. However, like many things that have been laid at my feet, I must do what I have to. This includes, whether I like it or not, allowing these two disorders to run their course at times. Especially when super symptomatic.

If I were honest
Photo by Valentin Antonucci on Pexels.com

If all this is new to you, if you have been recently diagnosed, hang in there. Let me tell ya. Honestly, it’s best to accept what lays before you too. Think of it, now that you know, you can research and rebuild a life that accommodates your illnesses.

I know my friend, it feels like you are being robbed of your identity. If you’ve followed a similar path as myself, a massive amount of who you are, was defined by helping others. This personality type is hard to untangle oneself from, but does one really have to? I argue that the answer is no.

Let me give it to you straight

Thankfully, the skills of a helper are fixable and very transferable. Honestly, there are endless ways to make a difference. When I could no longer work because of my mental health conditions, I ultimately decided to tackle it head on and start anew.

Once again, if I am being honest, I had to go through the pain of loosing who I was. I was a firefighter, a health care worker, and that’s all I knew; all I wanted to be. but…. I can’t be those things anymore, ever again…

Finally, after so many years, I have come to terms with my partial loss of identity. If I’m honest about it, I am glad those days are behind me. Why you ask? Well, Simply because what I loved so dearly and identified with so strongly, destroyed me. That by definition would be considered toxic in any other type of scenario, am I right?

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

If it’s true that it was toxic for me, then why would I want to go back? Even though I have no clear direction at the moment, I have this: Firstly, I have the opportunity to heal from the life that brought me so much mental pain and secondly; My life is a blank slate and thus, full of opportunity. This is both scary and exciting and as I heal, I will fulfill my passion to help.

With all that said; like the book I co-authored; Lemonade Stand Vol. III, says; “When you’re handed lemons, you make lemonade.” So, that’s exactly what I have set out to do. During these most turbulent times in my life, I am finding the new me. As a helper at my core, I have dedicated my time to helping others by telling my story.

Rebuilding your life when mentally ill.

This blog, The Road To Mental Wellness is now part of the new me; My new identity if you will. From the feedback I have received since starting this venture, I can say that I am achieving the goals I have set out to accomplish. I want to continue to help others whist at the same time, find some therapeutic benefit too. Writing and advocating has been an amazing way to accomplish this.

At the end of the day, we get to choose where we put our energy, even if it’s not as robust and in a way we once knew. So then, how are you going to reclaim your own life? The possibilities really are yours for the exploring.

Check out one of my favourite mental health non-profits, fighting the battle against stigma; Sick Not Weak

If I were honest

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

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Putting out the main fire

Putting out the main fire

In order to get well I must focus on putting out the main fire.

Each and every human on earth faces their own struggles. Whether they have a mental illness or not. Similarly, many of us are stuck in what I like to call, self-preservation mode. It can feel like all we are doing is running around trying to minimize the effects of the enviable assortments of crises that pop up in real time. The daily battle is real.

Still, while this is a common experience, there are those of us that just refuse to deal. Often sighting that we are “too busy” to take a moment to figure out why we are going down the rabbit hole.

Listen to other people tell their story at: The Depression Files

But is this really the case? Sure, I can imagine that it may be extremely difficult for some. With that said however, there are indeed those out there who avoid their unpleasant feelings at all costs. The trouble with this approach is, it can get you in the end.

This can be especially true for those who have a mental health condition. I for one was just such a person. I mean, who wants to entertain the idea that they are somehow vulnerable? Stigma is such a scary monster, the very thought of addressing one’s illness, can freeze one into a solid block of oppression.

How to overcome stigma.

But by not putting out the main fire, you’re only allowing it to spread. Trust me, if left unattended it will consume you and leave you in a pile of ruins. So, it’s imperative to address the root cause.

Personally, what I find most effective is to indeed work hard at putting out the main fire. This, in my experience, helps to lower the number of spot fires and thus, helps my struggles more manageable.

In other words, be honest with yourself and work towards accepting your mental disorder. Tackling depression for example, is essentially fighting the main fire and thus making the smaller ones (day to day challenges) easier to contain. If you can figure out the source of your difficulties, you can devise a method of attack to save yourself.

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

A good diet, exercise and down time can all help one dampen down your depressive symptoms, boost your mood and make the wider world seem way less overwhelming. These actions are applicable to other mental health conditions, like anxiety, PTSD, etc.

Daily stress can be accumulative if we fight on without self-care. Every try running in the water? For me, it’s kinda like that.

I look at it this way. Trying to go full tilt while in a pool or another body of water will only achieve one thing; it will exhaust a person very quickly. Stress and taking on the world has this effect on my mental well-being. Oftentimes, it’s simply too heavy to navigate my way through the wider world. All I achieve is extreme fatigue. Yay, me!

Why depression is so exhausting.

All I can do is work on putting out the main fire. Or at least knocking it down to a degree that allows me to get back on the road to mental wellness. Over the years, I have come to realize that having depression, anxiety and PTSD, will always be a fire breathing dragon that I must contend with. So, even if I don’t slay the beast, through therapy, mindfulness and exercise, I may just be able to tame it.

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

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Woke up exhasted

Woke up exhausted.

Today, I woke up exhausted!

Today as my feet hit the floor, it didn’t take long to realize that I woke up exhausted. Partially because this is how I always wake up. Even on that super rare occasion when I sleep well, I’m still plagued with this chronic and very disappointing tired.

This morning however, it feels like I am done, the tank is on empty. No wonder! With my life in such upheaval at the moment; it is imperative that I get a break. I feel mental illnesses’ intensity, worse than ever. For this reason, I NEED to find a peaceful, low stimulus environment.

Rally Point Retreat – A retreat for those who are in the military, emergency and or other areas of service like those working in ER’s and 911 operators who have PTSD Located in Lock port, NS

Woke up exhausted
Woke up exhausted.

You know, the damnedest thing about it all is? As of late, whether its good emotion or bad, the result is still the same. Like that of the fuel being burnt in a supercar going at top speed, I quickly expend every ounce of energy I have just trying to navigate through the day.

The good news? Is, I know for certain that I’ve exceeded what I am capable of doing. Therefore, I know for certain that I can do no more. At least until I get a break. Reboot his old bugger.

Listen to people tell their stories at A New Dawn Podcast

Perhaps frustratingly so, today, we humans are not very good at understanding that we are not designed to be perpetual motion machines. Far from it In fact. We are programmed for rest, as are most animals on earth. Basically, we just can’t keep going and going and going. Yet despite the fact that, on some level, we know this, we push on and on and on.

The results? Burnout or worse. Mental neglect can make us m more susceptible to not only physical illness, but also mental illness too. The longer we go, the harder we push, the greater the odds of illness.

How to minimize burnout

Simple right? Wrong! At least for many of us. Without tending to our own needs, listening and responded appropriately to ourselves; we end up in a world of mental trouble. Take me for example, ignoring and pushing forward against my troubles, led me to where I am today; sitting in the parking lot waiting for my psychologist appointment full of PTSD. I have shut and succumb to my refusal to slow down as of late. Sometimes, like one with a physical ailment, once I start to feel better, I push too hard. Yes, with PTSD, there is a price to pay for doing too much.

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

This is precisely why I woke up exhausted this morning. Despite having a great sleep, my head feels like a fifty pound kettle bell and my mind is full of mental carbon and angst.

The way I figure it, this tired and foggy disposition will be part of my reality for the foreseeable future. So, if that’s the case, I must accept it and live within its parameters. I will simply work on self-improvement on the days I am able and fight my way through the exhaustion…. You keep going too, ok?

Lemonade Stand Vol 3 – It’s a busy time!

Out promoting Lemonade Stand Vol 3. 20 authors tell their story, that of PTSD as a result of serving in the military and or emergency services.

Lemonade stand

Order Today!

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!

Lemonade Stand Vol III

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

Today is your day
Yesterday, you found yourself too heavy to get on with the day. …
Love and loath
The fire service and I suspect it's true of all emergency services, …
Depressed State Of Mind
When in a depressed state of mind, it's even more imperative that …
End of a nightmare
With the Biden win in the United States, we are seeing the …