The Power Of A Good Friendship

Never underestimate the power of a good friendship.

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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When you live with a mental illness as long as I have; you learn that there is a sort of ebb and flow to the soul crushing, down-and-out lows. I know that they come and go – and this knowledge helps me get through them.

If you are struggling, please go here for help: Talk Suicide Cananda

But just as they come and go, so too does their severity. Some depressive episodes are harder and longer than others. This last one, for example, was a category 8 on the darkness scale. For those wondering, that’s pretty high.

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Perhaps most troubling for me is that each new episode of it is worse than the last. Thankfully, I can still mount a great defence against my enemy within. My best weapon? The power of a good friendship.

Here’s the story:

Just days ago, I was seemingly possessed by a good mix of symptoms:; a fifty-fifty mix of PTSD and depression. Oftentimes, I find myself duking it out with one or the other, but in this last bout, they joined forces; maybe it’s because I’m too strong for them one-on-one? Bring it on! I got coping tools and great support to win the battle.

Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness - 8 sings your relationship is hurting your mental health.
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I knew that I was losing this round. Depression and PTSD had me on the ground, beating the authenticity right out of me. As they overtook me, I felt myself slipping, just wanting to give up. Lucky, I had just enough strength left to yell out to a good friend.

In my desperation, I noticed that a fellow veteran of the fire service was on Messenger, so, knowing the power of friendship, I started out with this:

“What does one do when they are tired of fighting?”

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Immediately, the little box that indicating he was responding, lit up. He responded with “Need to go for a coffee?” I knew I had to say yes, I was losing badly; I agreed

While I knew that the last thing I wanted to do was go out, I mustered up what strength I had to push mental illness off of me and headed to our agreed-upon coffee shop. An hour and a half later, we were sitting across from one another.

We talked, the convo ranging from politics to PTSD, and eventually to how I was feeling, just two dudes, long-time friends who understand what it’s like.

I left that night, feeling so much better. Together we had put the run to my mental health conditions. Once again proving the undeniable power of a good friendship.

If you are struggling, please go here for help: Talk Suicide Cananda

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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, #thewellnesstalksHe 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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