Anxiety Depression inspiration Mental Health PTSD

Ode Too Illness

Depression's intent Like a wave breaking against the shore, Depression overtakes me. Now, it's time to go to war It may take me, but if I keep fighting, it's dreadful influence, will never break me. Moving forward, carried by all those who care, a fact that I must hold onto, a fact that I must always be aware.....of, no greater power than than that of love. Anxiety the liar. It's sadly true that anxiety makes me feel like I've failed at ever juncture of my life, makes me loose connection with my authentic voice, that of reason and truth. So, much so, I panic and don't know what to do. With this, I know that I can ill afford to let it speak for me, so I push past it, I need to manage to outlast it and that my friends, is the thing we all must see, tell yourself, this "angst always lies to me." Trauma's curse The days of yesterday, dance in my head at night and come to me during the day, sometimes with all their might. It comes for me..... And despite standing strong in battle, I am starting to falter. These pictures, the god awful, seconds worth of terror, those gruesome things that no one should see, whether awake or asleep, they keep haunting me. Does this mean I give up? I'd say not. Because the other thing I'm aware of and that I've never forgot. Is that my life is not purely my own. For it is my loved ones and close friends whom also call it home. So while I fight on, and while I wish it was with ease I will battle you post-traumatic stress, even if from my knees. You may own my mind but my soul will never take, I must live to fight another day and hope that someday I catch a break.

Ode To Illness attempts to sum up how I battle my mental for my l 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 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 it part of theirs; intertwined and 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 that 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 were here to someone.

As I rose from yet another sleepless night, I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. This seemingly out 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 highjacked 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; not so in this case.

Symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

So then, what set my anxiety ablaze? The answer is simple, Covid! Covid-19. Its everywhere and the fear it produces barrows it’s 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 for seeable 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 is 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.



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Jonathan Arenburg.
Jonathan Arenburg.

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, writer and published author; appearing 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 book, “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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Read the rest here: Rendered Me Useless

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