Break free from PTSD

No matter what I do, what I try, the nightmares persist, the flashbacks continue, and my hypervigilance is king. I can’t seem to break free from PTSD.

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As my journey down the road to mental wellness continues, I feel like it’s only getting longer and the ride, much rougher. At the same time, my hope and optimism begin to fade, like the last sliver of sunset just before the dark.

As if this weren’t concerning enough, my once-robust tolerance is not so resilient and is less so as time goes by. “What’s happening to me?” A question I ponder more and more by the day. The answer seems to elude me. Sad, considering that I had once had at least a partial solution.

So, what is the problem exactly? Until recently, even this was a mystery to me. But now? I think am heading towards what keeps me suspended in a perpetual state of high alert and dark depression. Despite this revelation, I am terrified that I will never be whole again.

Essentially, my traumatic experiences, the endless accounts of death and destruction, are on lockdown. Not unlike the millions across the world whose homes became their jail. With that said, there is one fundamental difference. All those people are breathing in their freedom now that we are taming the worst of the virus. My traumatic lockdown, however, rules me because I worry that I will meet my mental demise, or worse…

I know, I know – it doesn’t make any sense given the state I am in currently. It should free me, like a wrongfully-convicted convict. Imagine, the sweet taste of freedom! Will I see it? Moreover, can I hang on long enough to try another method, another technique, a new medication? Nowadays, I’m not very hopeful.

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With my memories entombed somewhere deep in within my hippocampus, it’s no wonder my progress has been slow and laborious. Thank God for the work of my psychologist. Without her, the darkened domain of major depressive disorder would have made me another victim of depression’s power.

Most disturbing thing to me is that fact that my repression is not voluntary. Instead, it’s although my brain has gone intro safe mode in an attempt to save itself. Interestingly enough, the grey mass between my ears also knows that its reluctance is achieving the same tragic outcome – a slow and all-but-certain decline.

Break free from PTSD

So then, if the outcome is going to be the same, l have concluded that I must soldier on. If I am to break free from PTSD, I am going to have to find a way to get it done.

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So, it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get ready for the next round, because it’s coming. Someday I will be victorious, and so will you, my friend. Remember, there is a sort of ebb and flow to mental illness. We will face dark times and will feel joy and be pain-free in other moments. Hang in there. I know I’m going to.

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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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