I’m a superhero, somewhat

I am a superhero, somewhat. Or am I? I do know one thing: PTSD has made me burn down some of the most important relationships in my life.

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So, my life is such at the moment that all I can envision is the badass in a movie, walking his thick and chiseled frame away from the explosion he set in motion with a match.

Just so you all know, a match can never cause an entire plane to become a raging inferno. Basic fire behaviour, right, my fellow firefighters?


Nonetheless, the make-believe artistry of Hollywood illustrates my life, almost to a T. Why? Well, it seems to me that I have, like an action hero, been leaving a trail of destruction behind me everywhere I go.

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Anyone with trauma can tell you it’s a sucky scenario. It’s not unlike an old carnival ride – things can go south in any given moment.

And surely, I can’t be the only one imploding my life as I go? Maybe, but somehow, I doubt it.

Man, I’ve messed up a lot this year, well, okay, likely longer. I have said goodbye to people who were friends, and not just in a “sit down, we have to talk” kind of way, but rather, in an abrupt and sometimes-brutal way.

Now, I know what you are thinking: “Why the hell did you do that?” Honestly, I haven’t a clear idea why.

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I can say this, however. That the level of mistrust is at an all-time high – so combine that with an anxious mind and a fear of messing up, and you got the gas, the match, and the plane.

I know, on an intellectual level, that many people are so busy, and I am off work – so in other words, I have loads of time to think, while those I hold dear don’t have the time to think. Still, certain thoughts go through this trauma-ridden mind.

What goes through my head?

  • “I wonder what I have done?”
  • “Did I say something that offended or made someone mad at me?”
    • “If no one bothers to get a hold of me, maybe it’s me?”

Oh God, I hope I’m not one of those chronically annoying people. Maybe? So much uncertainty.

When the rumination is allowed out of its cage, so too is a marked increase in agitation. With that said, if I compared it to a fever, I would consider it low-grade. Still, it’s enough for me to light the proverbial dumpster on fire.

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So, basically, I’m superhero but not. More accurately, I’m what some would call a hot mess. Or am I? I would be lying if I said that I haven’t felt the hot sting of self-hatred. While I have at times been my own worst fan, I have reminded myself that trauma manifests itself in much the way I described above. Mistrust, self-sabotaging and critical of the self, among others. So, should I really be so hard on myself? No. Should I instead work on healing, especially since I am aware that PTSD is carpet-bombing my world? Absolutely!

Read: Break free from PTSD

I guess when I put it that way, I must be the superhero in my own story and maybe, just maybe, I will find the strength to ignite trauma’s symptoms and walk away as the less-bulky, not-so-Hollywood-hunky hero that wins the day!

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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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