The Two Types of Chaos

What we go through matters. Therefore, our choices will determine our outcome. Here are the two types of chaos that influence our fate

The Road To Mental Wellness > Opinion piece > The Two Types of Chaos

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I don’t think there’s a single soul on earth who hasn’t experienced hard times. It’s as much a part of life as sleeping and eating. Similarly, I think it’s safe to say that many millions do indeed have it worse than others. And when we break it down even further, we see others still who overcome their darkest moments. Despite the fact that there are real success stories, there are others who succumbed to their darkness.

But why is that? Well, the factors that play into one’s ability to overcome or be devoured are many. Nevertheless, the fundamental difference that I see between breaking free and remaining prisoner to your mental illness is fear.

Or more accurately, one’s willingness to live in chaos. From my point of view, our society, especially in the West, seems obsessed with dodging anything remotely difficult. Yet, despite this, the only way to overcome is to indeed embrace the fear – to tackle what ails you.

Perhaps it may be helpful to look at fear and discomfort in more depth. While people often talk about how being uncomfortable is important for growth, they often don’t elaborate.

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So, this blog post will attempt to do that. While this may be from my perspective only, it may nonetheless resonate with a few.

My argument centres around one word. This word, however, can be transformative or destructive. The word to which I speak of is the word “chaos.”

To be more specific, there are two types of chaos. I call them negative or perpetual pain chaos and positive growth chaos.

Chaos – it’s all around us. In fact, money and chaos have something in common; they both make the world go around. And it makes sense when you think about it. From the formation of universes, to getting your room cleaned – it’s all “destruction first.”

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On a human level, when we go through those deep-cleaning moments in our homes for example, we all know we have to make a mess in order to make it nice. There’s no getting away from it. In order to have a sparkling-clean home, we must create a lot of chaos in the process. In fact, there are a few things that aren’t improved upon by being made a mess. You and I included.  So, tell me something: when you have your room/house in order, how do you feel?

Similarly, then, we can have a scenario where chaos creates more chaos. A reality that certainly applies to our species.

First off, I will define the two types of chaos below.

Negative or perpetual pain chaos – Applying to ourselves when we are suffering from an addiction, embattled by a mental illness, or even a selfish outlook. When depression speaks, for example, we often confuse it with who we are. For instance, it may say, “No one likes me.” Or “I am worthless and not worthy of love.”  Of course, these thoughts aren’t true. We are worthy and we are loved. However, when we don’t recognize that depression has hijacked who we are, this is what I call Negative or perpetual pain chaos.

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What typically happens when we don’t see that the narratives aren’t our own, is those with untreated depression.  Therefore, we can be viewed as negative or seen as a “bummer,” “Why does Jonathan sleep all the time? Let’s not ask him to come out with us again.” Often, we lose friends because we just don’t have the energy to commit.

Ergo, we end up in a perpetual cycle of loneliness, exhaustion, and mental pain. All of which are a form of chaos. Or to put it another way, doing nothing is causing you continued discomfort.

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While having a mental illness like depression is not your fault, it is nonetheless counter to your mental well-being when it goes untreated. An important question here is, “Why am I always suffering over and over?” Is your day-to-day always the same form of misery?” If so, this should be seen as a red flag. When you start to detect red flags, you can then identify what needs to be done to improve your life.  It’s at this moment where you are starting to question that you should seek therapy. It will act as a booster and propel you forward.

When you finally say, “Enough is enough,” be weary of statements like “I want to, it’s just easier not to.” Why this is important to know is because it’s not true. It’s just easier, is depression speak for “I’m too afraid to try.” However, when you find yourself saying such statements like this, it can be used as a catalyst to try harder.

When one has finally seen that it is darkness that lords over them, it’s time to throw oneself into the second form of chaos.

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positive growth chaos. – Positive growth chaos is probably exactly what you are thinking. Yep, that’s right, it’s the opposite of perpetual pain chaos. For example, if we accept that everything in the universe is chaotic, then so too is personal growth.

When we evaluate from this perspective, we start to see that regardless of what path we go down, it’s hard.

Therefore, it makes sense to put yourself through the hell of getting better. Changing your diet is tough, taking up exercise is too, but so too is the mental pain that inhabits you. And just like getting your house in a place where it makes you feel good, so will getting yourself in order.

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So, there you have it. The two types of chaos. We may have mental illness, but we have no excuse not to try. Why not start your journey towards mental wellness today?

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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…..

The Two Types of Chaos – copyright – 2022

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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