How to find joy when alone.

The Road To Mental Wellness > Inspiration > How to find joy when alone.

How to find joy when alone. Can we make happiness in the now, even when we long for days gone by?

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From memes to Facebook posts, YouTube videos and more, I often see “You have to live in the moment.” A concept that I fully agree with. In fact, I would say that it’s the best way for one to live their life. But like with all things, there is a negative side to living in the moment.

What? But doesn’t living in the moment maximize the joy and allow us to cement the memories from said moments? Well, yes, of course. That said, is living in the moment enough? Let’s say you often feel anxious when your baby cries. You are by default, living in the moment. “I just want you to go to sleep.” Essentially, in that moment your angst would be alleviated if your little one would drift off into slumber.

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In my view, this is an example of living in a moment that is less desirable. For me, looking back on my children’s childhoods, I would love nothing more but to have every moment back. Yes, even the ones that were stressful.

I think, “I would handle the harder moments better and change them into instances of joy.” This thought often runs through my head when I long for the smaller versions of my kids.

Sadly, you don’t get the time back and realistically, you could never be a perfect parent. Regardless, looking back, I am filled with a deep sense of sadness, a sadness for times gone by.

Ironically, this is a juncture one should strive to being themselves back into the present and thereby, be grateful for the now. I get that. Not only do I understand its importance, but I also see that It’s for the best. For in life, it’s always straight ahead.

What has been can’t be undone however, it can be learned from.

With all that said, certain times of year, coupled with circumstances in one’s life, can make it tough. Christmas is fast approaching, a holiday that I once loved. However, now that my kids are older and I am living alone, all the “joy” is hell at times.

And in these moments is when I reflect and want every second of my younger kids back.

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Author Jonathan Arenburg on the cover of his book, The Road To Mental Wellness

When I went off work because of PTSD, I was left in limbo while I waited to see if I would be awarded Workers Compensation. It was long and painful, hanging in the darkness of my home.

So, I began to try and figure out this PTSD thing; how did I get here? I was a firefighter, so I knew that much but my battled with anxiety and depression was a life-long battle.

I began to write out my story, mostly to help quell the angst of being lonely and in mental illness purgatory. It helped – immensely. I survived the dark because of it.

Now, it’s here – written for therapeutic intervention and published in hopes that it can do the same for you or someone you know…..

How to find joy when alone.

The key to finding joy in the now is to acknowledge that there is nothing you can do about the past. As sad as it is to say, there is no going back. So, what do you have in front of you that you can make new memories with? Who is currently in your life that can make the holiday season wonderful for you?

For most of my adult life, I have used Christmas day as a day whereby I could celebrate those who are here in my life. I don’t care about gifts; I care about time. Therefore, if we have made it from one Christmas to the next, we have been gifted.

I am grateful for this perspective because it allows me to embrace the moments and the people I share them with. In other words, while I may want the little kiddy Christmas, full of noise, toys and wrapping paper, I can adapt. So, no matter who I spend the holidays with, I will make amazing memories. We are all on borrowed time, so let’s make the most of the time with those we love. Let’s not forget to live in the moment that is right in front of us!

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How to find joy when alone. copyright, 2022

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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