In life, do whatever it takes

Having spent many years in the #emergencyservices, I know first-hand what hard choices are. Sometimes, in life, you have to do whatever it takes. Here’s what I’ve learned.

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Having spent many years in the #emergencyservices, I know first-hand what hard choices are. When it comes to life and death, one doesn’t have the luxury to avoid what lies before them.

In fact, if one was to ever decide against going against the odds, they would most certainly face disciplinary action. I mean, could you imagine one of us saying, “I’m not preforming CPR on that guy”? Even though we wanted to turn and run at times, we all understood that our purpose was to make order out of chaos. So, we accepted that in our profession, our lives may be on the line.

We simply accepted the risk. We did so knowing that, sometimes, life doesn’t care how we felt, and that some things are bigger than us. Therefore, we must do “whatever it takes.”

Read Putting out the main fire

“Do whatever it takes.” A mantra, and dare I say a necessity? My years in the #fireserivce have taught me some of the most invaluable life lessons. And man, I am ever so grateful. While I have struggled with my own mental health for years, it’s this four-word sentence that has kept me going.

Yes, I owe my survival to the “life doesn’t care how you think it should go” as well; life just does what it does. What’s more, is that the tough times we run up against can be made worse by the choices we make. Or the ones we don’t.

For example, I didn’t ask to be taken down by PTSD, yet I can’t expect inaction to make it better either. They say time heals all wounds, a statement I solidly disagree with. Rather, I feel that it’s what you do that heals you over time that makes the difference.

In crisis? Go to Crisis Services Canada

In my book, The Road To Mental Wellness, I talk about the knockdown, drag-out fight I’ve had with mental illness. Don’t get me wrong – there were times when I was too sick to fight, but all and all, I have been given er hell. Feeling exhausted? Don’t worry, it’s your body and mind telling you, you need some #selfcare

However, in order to keep fighting, I had to accept that I couldn’t stay on my knees for long. After all, I had a life I wanted back, and a plan that only included avoidance wasn’t going to save me. Sadly, many have lost their battle while swimming in the sea of denial – preferring instead to let go and sink.

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With that said, I know that many others have fought the good fight and could no longer handle the relentless mental pain that eats at you day and night.

What I am saying is that we owe it to ourselves to fight until we can’t fight any longer. And when we can’t fight any longer? We fight to live for those we love. For they too, have a lot emotionally invested in our Well-being. We all need anchor points

Finally, you don’t have to be a firefighter to “do whatever it takes.” Do the following and keep doing whatever it takes to get them done:

  • Regulate your sleep
  • Eat a clean(er) diet
  • Therapy – go!
  • Exercise
  • Medications
  • Social interaction
  • Connection to others.
  • Stop the self-blaming
  • Learn the language of mental illness – When Depression Speaks.

“Never giving up means being consistent. Didn’t get to the gym for a few days? Go today. Doing whatever it takes + never giving up on yourself = slow and gradual success.

Jonathan Arenburg – Author of The Road To Mental Wellness

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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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