The Beautiful Things in My Life That Define Me – My Journey Through PTSD and Depression Toward Self-Love and Contentment”
Throughout my life, I’ve worn many hats – a father, a firefighter, a son, a man battling mental illness. Whether I love these roles or loathe them, they have all helped define me. Yet, the thoughts that obsessively echo in my mind, the fears and worries, often overshadow the rest. While I want my PTSD to define me in a sense, so that I can embrace it and heal, I refuse to let it consume me.
Instead, I strive to let the moments of happiness, joy, and the love from friends and family define me. What defines me can either build me up or tear me down, a choice that is, to some extent, within my control.
There are times when I feel like a failure. In those moments, I have to remind myself that I didn’t choose PTSD and that I’ve fought bravely to reclaim my life. But why? Why do I persist despite the constant inner turmoil?
The answer for me is simple: It’s the love for the beautiful things in my life that define me. My son, my daughter, my sister, my mother, my father – those who love me are my lifeline, my motivation to endure the pain and strive for moments of joy. I do this for them.
But importantly, I do this for me too, because self-love matters. No one is perfect, but most of us have no valid reasons not to love ourselves. Chances are, you don’t either. Most people are decent, caring individuals. This, I know.
My friends consistently provide the fuel I need to navigate moments of mental agony. They not only define me but also enlighten me. When I’m struggling with the weight of mental illness, they pull me through. Regardless of how often I crumble under the force of depression, they never leave me wounded and alone.
This is a testament to what has defined me over the years. Not only does it define me, but it also serves as evidence that I am a good person. Who would persistently support a man if he weren’t decent at heart? Therefore, I choose to embrace it all – the love from my family, friends, and the fact that I am a good and decent person.
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I’ve learned that when I feel like a terrible, unlikable human, it’s depression holding me captive. I know this because the world beyond my mind is the reality, and it overwhelmingly proves depression wrong.
Depression or PTSD do not permanently define me. I acknowledge their symptoms as part of my life, but I also know that the love and support from those around me serve as my pain reliever, leading me towards joy, love, and contentment.
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Lastly, be kind to yourself. If you’re always dismissing kind gestures or constantly criticizing yourself, you could be held captive by depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Healing begins when you embrace the inherent goodness within you. Once you do this, you can redefine who you are, paving the way towards more peace, love, and joy.
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Jonathan speaking at the
Jonathan Speaking at the Stop Depression Summit
On February 23, 2023
His talk was on the ways in which you can take back your life when you have trauma and major depressive disorder
Now, you can watch Jonathan Speak at the Stop Depression Summit – FREE!
I was honored to be part of such a wonderfully resource rich summit with some of the foremost experts in the field.