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.

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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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 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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