Moving ahead with purpose

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Keep moving ahead with purpose.

Before you read Moving Ahead With Purpose, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported The Road To Mental Wellness. Your contributions keep me going….. Thank you! Any donations are greatly appreciated. To donate, please click the donate button below

There’s an old saying that I have grown rather fond of over the years. No doubt you’ve heard of it too. It’s “put one foot in front of the other.” While it’s not that long and is seemingly unremarkable, it has nonetheless, seen me through some of my darkest days.

One of the reasons this short sentence ended up being on my favs play list is because when I think of it, it reminds me to slow down and that my battle is a hell of a battle. I need the right weapons to go to war. Plus, when I “slow down,” I can regroup and remind myself that I am indeed moving ahead with purpose.

Purpose – a single word loaded with a whole heap of helping potential. This was probably the single most important take-away from my time at Rally Point Retreat, a peer support facility for service persons with PTSD. The owner told me that peer support is so important because it can help to define one’s new purpose for moving forward.

Finding Purpose with PTSD

If you’re struggling to understand just how fundamentally powerful the word ‘purpose’ is, perhaps you need to ask yourself these questions: How far can one make it without a sense of purpose? And furthermore, how can one see a future without it? Undoubtedly, you will reach the same conclusions that I have.

See, one small seemingly insignificant word does indeed play a pivotal role in one’s success, even at the best of times. But I happen to think that, for those with a mental health condition, it can be a matter of survival. I know in my case, it is, at times, the one element that can make me or break me.

Because I am also on the main battlefield of my own mind, fighting not only PTSD, but also major depressive disorder, I NEED purpose, almost as much as I need support and connection. Think it as the fuel that keeps the convoy of mental-health tools rolling toward my internal conflict. Without it, I would be a sitting duck against depression’s impressive might.

The resources I deploy.

Okay, so shouting out that moving ahead with purpose is essential for survival is easy. However, how do we find things that matter? For me, and I am willing to bet, many others, there is a hidden passion hiding deep within that we are simply too afraid to let out.

In order for me to find purpose, I had to dust off a passion that I have held in captivity for well over twenty years; I’d locked it away in a dungeon of fear. So, what’s this passion I speak of? Well, you’re reading it. It’s writing.

Ever since I was in my teens, I have dreamed of being a writer. Didn’t matter what – songs, short stories, poems, whatever – I loved it. Sadly though, I had to give up on this “pipe dream” to man up and follow the millions of young people who were conforming to the cookie-cutter mythical expectation. I mean, we are suspposed to pick a career that supports a living that society says will get us the “dream” life. The house, the partner, the kids; the list goes on and on.

There’s just one tiny problem with this expectation. It’s someone else’s dream. Now that I am older and have tried the traditional lifestyle, I am just tired and mentally-ill enough from it to understand that I want my dream. Thankfully, nowadays, I care little for what others think of me. Because I care a little for other people’s opinions, I am free, and liberated to follow what it is I love.

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Essentially, I am moving ahead with purpose, my purpose. And finally, I am chasing my dream…and man, I’m doing it! This blog has helped me make baby steps towards my goals, thus aiding my recovery. To add to it, I have somehow – despite spending over half my time in bed or hiding – become a published author, appearing in Lemonade Stand Vol. III. While I find it difficult to extract joy out of almost everything, I am grateful to have done it. The work that came with the project kept the super fuel – purpose – flowing, and helping me move forward.

While it’s true that this i’Ampossible Project-initiated book kept me going, I am perhaps most proud of my own book The Road To Mental Wellness. This is a remarkable achievement because, I finally finished it, the final rough draft. It’s complete! Now it’s off to an editor for a good going-over.

What’s so amazing about it is the very fact that, in the face of PTSD and all my time in bed, overwhelmed and otherwise symptomatic, I FINISHED IT! I know I already mentioned this but honestly, it can not be overstated. It’s monumental because there are few things I have seen through to completion once I got sick. So what’s the common denominator? You guessed it, a single word that means so much: purpose.

I sincerely hope that you find the strength to follow your passions and start moving ahead with your passions. I think if you do, you will find yet another reason to keep going down your road to mental wellness.

LEMONADE STAND VOL. III

20 authors from the military and emergency services tell their story of PTSD.

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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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalks He has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak. Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way. Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness. He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community. His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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