Finding my purpose has become more important than ever.Tweet
Thanksgiving of 2017 was a life-changing moment for me and not in a good way; at least not entirely. What started out as a warm and joyous occasion with family, ended with a young man’s last moments on earth. Upon hearing that there was an emergency on the front step of my aunt’s apartment building, I leaped into action.
Sadly though, I would be met with a wall of numbness and disassociation, rendering me unable to assist the young man. As a result, on this cool thanksgiving evening, the firefighter and long term care working in me died; leaving a shell of a man, standing beside himself, very, very, lost.
As much as I tried to shake it off and shut it down, like the big tough firefighter I thought I was, I could not. My nightly dance with the nightmares was too strong of a force to contend with; the flashback would damn near send me of the road and made it increasingly more difficult to bear. What’s more, my workplace was fraught with violence, and near constant noise. With this threat of being assaulted a constant and coupled with this noise, the new, not so cable self, was defenceless against its over stimulation. Essentially, I lived in zombie land, shut off so as to protect the shards of me that remained.
Now, in twenty-twenty, I have only made baby steps down the road to mental wellness; with that said, I’d be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that’s not saddened and frustrated. After all, I should be cured by now, right? Wrong!
With PTSD producing all this internal chaos; or, as I like to call it, the mental health storm of the century, I am left in a quandary. A battle that leaves me struggling to define who I am. Since I had no say in the “new me” I have no idea which direction to take. However, with all this uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to keep fighting like hell to find a me that can be defined; one that can contribute to society and an identity that finds purpose.
The One Thing I do have in 2020
“A wound heals faster when you attend to it.Jonathan Arenburg – author, The Road To Mental Wellness
Getting back to this holiday weekend and it’s overwhelming, triggering challenges, it has become more important than ever to take stock of all the great things I have in my life. Amazingly, it’s the practice of gratitude that propels more forward and because I am so fortunate, I have to believe that great things will happen along this long but healing journey. I have to have hope and perhaps most importantly, I have to keep moving forward.
If you are struggling, please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada
Message from Jonathan.
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