The What’s Wrong Scanner

There, the “what’s wrong” scanner booted up. Have you ever gone along feeling mentally pain-free…and then, BAM! you feel like you should worry, so then you do?

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The night before last was jam-packed full of PTSD nightmares, likely brought on by recent events. Earlier this month, one of my family members had a medical emergency. With that said, she is doing well now, a fact I am incredibly grateful for.

However, my autopilot feature – a switch that makes us firefighters leap into action without a single thought to our own well-being – was stuck in the “run” position. Since my fire service days, it’s become part of the way I deal. I guess it was disengaged the other night because the terrors of the fire service played out in my slumber like some bad horror flick. As it turns out, it was a double feature, as one of many work-related incidents aired just after. Of course, as you might well imagine, yesterday was a day full of flashbacks and rage.

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A difference a Day makes.

Now, let’s fast-forward to this morning. From the second I opened my eyes, I felt great! In fact, I felt so good that I felt a huge sense of relief and peace. And like basking in the warm sunlight, I soaked it all in. I know – “What the heck is a ‘what’s wrong’ scanner?

Well, it’s a feeling that my anxiety produces when it doesn’t detect something to worry about, kinda sad really. So, this morning’s moment of normality must have tripped it, my anxiety alarm. It seems I am conditioned to worry regardless of if I need to or not.

Because it detected a bout of homeostasis, my anxious brain said, “What the… there must be something here to worry over?” Let me tell you, the second I thought that a low-grade worry popped out of nowhere. Yay, me!

The Neurology behind anxiety

Since the “what’s wrong” scanner kicked in, the dull ache of worry has, much to my dismay, persisted. Nonetheless, the takeaway here is: I have made myself aware of it. Although I really dislike the feeling of dread it produces, thankfully I know how to fix it: Exercise

Whenever I am feeling anxiety’s power, I find running to be my best remedy. In fact, I often call it mother nature’s medication because it works so well.

Finally, I want to stress that if this sounds like you, I want you to know that you’re not broken. Anxiety can be managed once you learn how. This can be achieved through therapy, meditation and of course, exercise. Oftentimes our angst will try to convince us otherwise but remember, anxiety is frequently lying. You can do this!

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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