Mental Health

Don’t let your illness define you

It was pointed out to me that we are more than our mental health conditions, so, don't let your illness define you.

Don’t let your Illness define you.

I remember the early days of the aftermath that altered the course of my life. When PTSD ravaged my mental well-being, leaving me in shambles in its aftermath. Becoming void of purpose and lacking direction, I realized that it was time to stop, think and plan.

Because I decided to make a plan, I essentially created a direction to head in. So, where did this direction take me? Well, it took me here, to The Road To Mental Wellness. Helping people by telling my story became my compass, my therapy and ultimately, my saviour.

Finally, I was able to fill the void with purpose once more. I have been helping people for as long as I can remember, so this seemed a perfect fit. I would dedicate my limited energy to being a mental-health advocate. But even this new-found purpose, as exciting as it was, came with its downsides.

Chief among them was my propensity to go full-tilt with things I am passionate about. While putting energy into mental-health issues isn’t a bad thing, it can however, deplete this store of said limited energy in a hurry, and that’s where things get problematic.

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As it turns out, if you delve into something wholeheartedly, you can inadvertently get too close to it. As my psychologist rightly pointed out, “Your illness doesn’t define you.” Her words produced a revelation in my brain. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I was simply thinking I was putting my energy in a positive cause, mental-health avocation.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Although it’s true that where I chose to put my mental resources was and still is a great thing, the algorithm of the internet hits you in the face, all the time. As a consequence, words like mental illness, PTSD, depression and anxiety cross my line of vision more than the beautiful surroundings I’m blessed to be living in.

Free chapter download of my new book, The Road To Mental Wellness

Although I love helping others, I do have to prioritize my own recovery. Essentially, what I need, what we all need, is balance. It’s vital for your mental health to walk away from this trap laid by algorithmic behaviours set by stupid social media. Furthermore, it’s good to have other hobbies and to actively pursue them.

How to achieve balance in your life.

Perhaps most important of all, don’t let your illness define you. You are much more than a diagnosis. You are an instrument of wonder and curiosity just waiting to explore that passion you have always thought you weren’t good enough for. I believe in you.

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

Order today

More about self-care here

Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental-health blogger, writer, Wellness coach and published author – appearing 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 to 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 book 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.
Find Me Online
Twitter
@ArenburgJohn

Contact Me
Email
roadtomentalwellness@gmail.com

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If you are struggling, please go here for help: Reach out to Kids Help Phone

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