Ebb And Flow

There is a sort of ebb and flow to PTSD and depression. John Arenburg.

It would be silly to think everyone understands the plight of the mentally ill mind. While I, like many of you, wish this were true, it’s not; in fact, some of those whom misunderstand mental health conditions are likely people you’re close to. It would be equally naive of me to think I am the only one who experiences this.

Part of the problem, at least in my experience, is the natural ebb and flow of, in my case, PTSD and its ride a long partner depression; might as well hit me from multiple angles, right?

What may be difficult for those who think we can simply get up and shake it off is, when we are in the throes of a depression, we isolate as a result, we can be missing from their lives for days.

you set the boundaries and go from their.

Of course, there’s also a little thing called stigma that is part of this equation too. One’s personal believe has a lot to do with their perception. Regardless of the motive; be aware, anyone can have this point of view, even those closes to you.

Ways to help people understand your mental illness.

While it can be difficult to embrace their inaccurate preconceptions of you, remember, their view is re-enforced by the observations they make when they see you; basically, when you are feeling well.

Ebb and Flow
Ebb and Flow

What’s important to realize that those who don’t understand, don’t have to have a say in your reality. Because one doesn’t think it so, doesn’t make it true, a fact we often forget.

Now does this mean you have to abandon a great friendship? Not from my point of view; we all have elements of being human that are not desirable., they are worthy of forgiveness. They can like it or they can hate it, you set the boundaries and go from there.

Like what you are reading? want more? check out: Depression’s Mindset.

Your priority is to understand that this ebb and flow is real and it does, in fact, take you out; we must get the help we need and when our mental health conditions can’t be helped; we need to ride the wave.

On a positive note, you are under no obligation to accept unfamiliar people into your life if you discover that they are not supportive or they are just downright mean.

if you can “get Over” your anxiety and depression, LUCKILY for you its not CHRONIC.

But John, how can you tell? Well, in my experience, when a person discovers you have a mental illness and has a view that somehow, willing it away is all one needs to do to get “over it” they will hesitate and verbally dance around the subject in an attempt to feel you out. The end goal? Is to figure out the best way to share their opinion; some voice it others don’t; whist others are trying to tell you you’re faking it.

check out The Depression Files Podcast

So please, don’t despair over the words of others. What you are going through is real, you can’t wish it away and you certainly can’t snap out of it. The ebb and flow of mental illness shows us just how real it is.

In crisis? Call 1.833.456.4566 | Text 45645 (Crisis Services Canada) Crisis Services Canada

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A test of mental strength

A test of mental strength.

This holiday season will be a test of mental strength for all of us.

Before you reading, A test of mental strength, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported The Road To Mental Wellness, your contributions keep me going….. Thank you! Any donations are greatly appreciated. To donate, please click the donate button below

Today is the first week of December 2020, hard to believe that Christmas is just weeks away. Ordinarily, I would be excited for the season but this year? This year, it’s hard to know how to feel. With an uptick in COVID-19 cases, we may be limited to spending it with the people we live with. Although this is a hard pill to swallow, I understand the seriousness of the times we are living in.

In times such as these, I feel that we have a right to be disappointed. And its understandable that anxiety is high for most. In spite of this though, we can still choose where to put our energy. Albeit, easier said than done; there’s no denying that it will be A test of mental strength.

Yet, it is possible. So for example, while we may not be able to gather with our loved ones; we can still choose to embrace the day with those we are with. Furthermore, for those of us who are alone, it would go along way to boost spirits if we use things like video chat to connect and participate in the joy of the day.

How To use video chat to connect at Christmas.

Whatever happens, I am determined to do two things; One make the best of it and two, give myself permission to be sad about it. Let’s face it, it’s not exactly ideal, so I will set aside a bit of time to process that sadness, acknowledge that it is an appropriate response to the situation and the I will dive head first into a merry, modified Christmas.

I think it’s best to mentally prep for the day in advance. Having PTSD, I know it will try and steer me into the worst case scenario thinking. Therefore, it is imperative to help myself by saying; “Yes it sucks, but this year we will sacrifice to ensure that we can all gather next year.”

christmas gift boxes under fir tree
Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

For me, the holidays have always been my epicentre of gratitude. For years now, I have been using the festive season as a way to maximize my appreciation for all those I love. Essentially, when December 25 rolls around, and we are all still here, I breathe that in. This makes me happy and emphasizes for me the importance of family.

Thankfully, this perspective works well for me. It will, without a doubt be something that I think about a lot for the next few weeks. I know we can make the best out of these unprecedented times. Think not so much of this year, but look forward to the next. I will keep telling myself this.

NEED HELP? DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN? CHECK OUT OUR MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES PAGE

Equally helpful, is my experience in the emergency services. Despite that these years have damaged me, what seems like beyond repair; it has also taught me the frailty of life and thus, its necessity to embrace it. This includes learning to prioritize your time with those you love. Life, it really is but a flash in the pan.

This reality begs the question; If life is frail and over in the blink of an eye, what do we do to maximize it with the things that matter most? One answer, I think, is to do what’s best for those you love this year. We have the technology now to have a modified version of our most treasured of days. And while it will be a test of our mental strength, I am really excited that we have the ability to see my loved ones.

Please, be safe and have a great holiday season. We shall overcome.

Warmest wishes,

Jonathan.

In those momenets

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

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Ebb And Flow
There is a sort of ebb and flow to PTSD and depression. …
Hang in, there is hope.
For those with PTSD, sleep can be their enemy; plagued by a …
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From fear to courage
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Hang in, there is hope.

Hang in, there is hope.

For those with PTSD, sleep can be their enemy; plagued by a past, one that steps into their dreamland and tears through it like a tornado. Hang in, there is hope.

While there is some sort of expectation that I will remember the nightmares from my attempts at slumber, this is simply not the case. What it does is bring me back to the realm of the woken world is an intense, heavy feeling that denies me a great night’s sleep. This, of course, rejuvenates PTSD’s other life interrupting symptoms. There is hope!

The eyes deceive us, for the only know what’s in front of them.

While my past traumatic events follow me around like some lost demon puppy, there is an upside. I know, you’re thinking; Whaaat! but hear me out. First off, trauma sucks, always… But I am grateful that I experience a reprieve from its torture. I am glad to have those good days and sometimes, great weeks.

Now, with that said, I find this dastardly bastard has its hands wrapped around what was a long period of peace, systematically throwing me back into a terrifying yet familiar place.

Hang in, there is hope.

Luckly, I am a keen observer and can sort of tell when my memories of rendering aid to others in my fire service days, is slowly boiling its way to the surface. I gues the best way to communicate this to the outside of the mental illness world, is like this:

Listen to more mental health related stories at Men Are Nuts podcast

In modern times, we know when there’s a huge storm heading our way. And while it may be wreaking havoc hundreds of miles away, we still are, at least, cognitively aware that it is coming.

However, to look outside your window, you would never know. Perhaps where you are is sunny with blue skies dominating over your head. For, me, I think to myself; “It’s hard to believe that there is a storm heading our way.” Visually, the eyes deceive us, for the only know what’s in front of them.

However, as the storm gets closer, we start to see suttle changes; the blue sky is colored in by an ever-darkening shade of grey and a breeze is now detectable upon our face. And as the storm draws closer, so too does our anxiety intensify; until finally the storm has descended down on us.

A storm, it is a brewin

This real-world occurrence perfectly describes the mental health storm that slowly bares down on me at times. It does so in the following ways:

  1. Firstly, I start off with the most beautiful of days; I feel so good in fact, I almost feel cured.
  2. Then though, as time passes and as I encounter the busyness of the world, I start to feel the storm blowing in; slowly but surely.
  3. As my anxiety rises from the impending storm, I feel my startle response become heightened to the degree where every sudden movement, ever little noise, brings me out of my chair. It’s usually at this juncture that the flashbacks occur. (the storm is moving in).
  4. Finally, nightmares, little sleep, and a very low tolerance for any sort of interaction ensues; this is the hight of the PTSD storm and the point where I seek safety, my bedroom. At this point, the only thing I can do is hunker diwn and wait for the storm to pass.

Looking for help? Go to our Mental Health Resources Page

The take away? Well, I have learned a lot by having this sort of ebb and flow or up and down if you will. As a result, I now know that, like storms in real life, mental health storms pass aswell.

While this may be true, it certainly doesn’t feel that way when you’re encountering the full force of post-traumatic stress disorder. What I try to do is keep in mind that I have ALWAYS weathered the storm.

So, with a survival rate of a hundred percent, I can say that I am doing awesome; I am happy to be here to have written this. Similarly, if you are reading this, then you also have a hundred precent survival success rate, I’m so happy that you’re here; Hang in, there is hope.

Like what you read? Then the book I help write as a contributing author may be for you:

Lemonade-III-Front
20 stories of those from Military and or emergency services.
pre order today!

About the Book

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre,  Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of  20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, If you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with  post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that their are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of  this book is to help with that….You’re not alone.

Also,  Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

PRE ORDER TODAY AT

Lemonade Stand Vol. III on The Road To Mental Wellness.

This too shall pass.

unknown.

If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada

Want help fund my book? donate: GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book

You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD

Contact me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TRTMW