The Beautiful Things in My Life That Define Me

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The Beautiful Things in My Life That Define Me – My Journey Through PTSD and Depression Toward Self-Love and Contentment”

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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.

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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.

Read: When you should check in on a friend with mental illness.

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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STOP DEPRESSON SUMMIT - When you should check in on a friend with mental illness.

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.

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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