Mental health first aid

Mental health first aid – drafting my book provided it. Selling it, though? Well, I’m going to need a ton more of it to make it through.

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Have you ever been so consumed with keeping busy? Always running to get a reprieve from your mental-illness symptoms? I know I sure have. In fact, I’m doing it as I write this post. It’s not a terrible thing, to “keep yourself busy.” It is, however, like most things in life, a two-sided affair.

Yes, as much as we want somethings in our lives to be nothing but rainbows and good times, nothing is a constant joy, nothing. With that said, I have made it this far redefining, not only myself, but also my life’s purpose. Ah, this The Road To Mental Wellness has been a slice, to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong – consuming my time with blog-posting and book-writing has indeed kept me alive throughout my illness journey; and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Buuut, as I said, there is good and bad in everything. In my experience, any venture undertaken is always met with unforeseen complications.


For example, authoring my book, The Road To Mental Wellness was a wonderful therapeutic experience. What it did for me was allow me to bang away at the keyboard and produce some meaning as I typed. And….. when I needed mental-health first aid, I would wander off to my sanctuary. My room, where I slept the symptoms away.

This was amazing! I could customize my purpose depending on what my mental health needed. Not only could I customize my work, but I could also plan my days around therapy sessions, family, and exercise.

Download the audiobook version of the book, The Road To Mental Wellness FREE (CH’s 1 through 5 Here)

All of this was fine and dandy, that is, until the day came when I realized that I wasn’t ready for the world…

The day came when a flat, light-grey package landed on the doorstep with a thump. I excitedly rushed to grab this package and knew right away that it was the package I’d been waiting for.

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Picking it up, the first thing I thought was, “Man, the packaging is crinklier than I was expecting.” The thought quickly exited my head when I felt the unmistakeable flexing that only a paperback book can make. “It’s here!” I yelled, remembering that I was the only one home to hear myself.

Firing up my phone’s camera to make a video of my triumph, I ripped open the package. Like any normal person, I used my teeth to rip away the tab. It came apart perfectly and as a result, I was able to slide the book out of the envelope and into my eager hands.

Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness - 8 sings your relationship is hurting your mental health.
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Finally, after three years, the fruits of my labour were staring back at me. My face, looking off in the distance as if I were searching for a new purpose. The background, light in design, splashed with the colours white and a gentle green for contrast. I thought, “It’s the perfect weight, and size. I can’t believe this is MY book!” I’m holding my book!

Then it hit me

While seeing my book, in its glossy cover and black-and-white grandeur was great mental-health first aid, something hit me. “Damn, now I am going to have to sell it!” I said to myself. “Not only do I have to sell it, but I must also market it, pound the pavement to get it into reader’s hands.”

Worst of all, I thought, “I am going to have to brave it all, every last pitch, person and noise.” “I know I am not ready for this.” And honestly, it’s true. I am not mentally well enough to go it alone.

So, what was therapeutic in its creation, may work to serve as my decline in its published format. I know in my heart, that I will need “boots on the ground.” Someone there to help get me through the torment.

In other words, I will need someone there to provide me with mental-health first aid. Any takers?

Why not read Burnout and Women – Who’s that girl?

Since there is no turning back now, I must find ways to cope, and find people to be there. Additionally, I need to remember why I wrote the book in the first place. I want to help others see that they are not alone and that they get to choose where they put their energy, regardless of how limited it might be.

Ultimately, I want to leave the world a better place than when I found it. So, that means that if my book helps others, it will have all been worth it. Or at least, this is what I keep telling myself.

“Hoping for a better world, for everyone.”

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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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