Where You Put Your Energy

Where you put your energy can make a big difference on your healing.

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As I roll up to the coffee shop not far from my hometown, I feel a wave of fear come over me. Is it going to be noisy in there? Or will it be absolute chaos? While I feel like I’m being held down in my front seat of my car, I decide that I value my good friend (who is waiting inside) too much to simply drive away.


Since 2016, this is pretty much how I’ve lived my life. Long sabbaticals away from the public, far removed from the noise and chaos. However, I refuse to be a slave to PTSD.

As I’ve said many times before, we get to choose where we put our energy. Regardless of what we have in the tank, it can still be used to propel us forward. The important question is: “Do I put what limited energy I do have into constant rumination, angst and fear? Or do I maximize it on living?

While I know that we can’t always bust through the fear and anxiety of, let’s say, the outside world, I have found that I can ill-afford to be torched by what goes on in my head either. Therefore, if both are dire, I might as well make the best of it.

So, I set goals and I commit to doing what I’m doing tonight. For example, I have a short list of people that I will muster up my limited energy for. Which is why I am sitting in this parking lot this evening. I’m meeting a very close friend who is worth the torment of the surrounding goings-on. I make time for the people on this list even when I don’t feel like it.

How to best manage your mental illness.

Consequently, however, it often makes how I am feeling, worse. But as I have come to learn in my life, understand that being uncomfortable is part of life. Therefore, it should be dealt with, not avoided. For me, this is so fundamental to my survival.

As counterintuitive as it sounds, placing your limited energy into what makes you uncomfortable can enrich your life and help you on your own road to mental wellness. How? Well, I frequently look back on moments I spent with friends, family etc, with fondness and with a sense of accomplishment.

For a moment, I beat my anxiety and the symptoms of PTSD. And because I chose to put my energy into something as amazing as a coffee with a great friend, I, for that moment in time, felt the illusive feelings of normalcy.

So, where will you put your limited energy?

Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness - 8 sings your relationship is hurting your mental health.
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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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