Ode To Illness attempts to sum up how I battle for my mental health. While I may be debilitated at times, I will never relent to the dark forces that try to pin me down.
And with the kindness and generosity of friends and loved ones, I will persevere because their love for me is like a super fuel. I know that my life is part of theirs, intertwined. It’s important, and with that is motivation. I shall survive.
Listen to #thewellnesstalks with host Jonathan Arenburg: #thementalwellnesstalks
I’m fighting mental illness. The one choice, the choice of recovery, is moving forward. We all have something we can cling to that can be used as a catalyst to propel us down the road to mental wellness.
Please, keep going! You are worth every moment that you are here to someone.
As I rose from yet another sleepless night, I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. This seemingly out-of-the-blue spike in angst shot through me, and in an instant rendering me useless. Thankfully, I was able to knock it down a peg or two before it hijacked my entire day.
Even though I was able to defeat the demon within, at least for now, I was still left with “why did it happen?” My therapist tells me that trying to figure out its source is irrelevant; it’s more important that I focus on the “now” and working on ways to reduce its grip. By using therapeutic techniques like mindfulness I can get through most mental health-related incidents. But not always.
Having spent years in the fire service, I am primed to act, not just sit like some sort of spectator.
Despite what the therapist tells me, I have made it my life’s work to overthink and find solutions for everything that runs through my head. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to obsess or consume my time trying to find its source. Rather, it found me. Usually uncovering the answer provides me with some relief, but not so in this case.
So then, what set my anxiety ablaze? The answer is simple. Covid! Covid-19. It’s everywhere, and the fear it produces burrows its way into my head and becomes all-consuming. This virus is much more than a two-week fad on social media; in fact, it has been quoted as being the new normal, at least for the forseeable future.
I am anxious, not because of my anxiety disorder itself, but because my PTSD has rendered me useless
If I were to be more specific about the source of my episode with angst, I would have to say that I’m impacted by two things. Firstly, I must confess that I am constantly being triggered by the bombardment of updates; the news constantly fuels my mental-illness fire. Post-traumatic stress disorder hates this sort of stuff. Secondly, I am and always will be a helper. Thankfully, I am still able to help others in the capacity of a mental-health blogger and advocate, which I am grateful for. However, I am primed to act in times like these. My many years as a firefighter have conditioned me to be this way. Making order out of chaos is our specialty. Sadly, in my mind, these two factors have rendered me useless.