Simple things

The simple things that matter.

When it comes to healing, it really is the simple things that matter.

Sometimes, I can’t help but think of the days when I was an active member of my local Volunteer Fire Department. Those days taught me so much in so many ways. Overall though, it made me a much better human being. While this may be true; it has also left a permanent psychological scar, right where my hopes and dreams used to reside; and honestly, I hate it!

Regardless of how much I loathe this injury, there is little I can do about the choices I made to join the fire service at the young age of nineteen; none of us can go back in time.

Likewise, I will never be able to bring back those who lost their lives, many, way before their time. So then, what do I do? I have indeed been working my ass off to try to get back to the land of the living; man I miss those days. But alas, like that of my past, there is little I can do. By that I mean, I can’t snap my fingers and wish the mental pain instantly away.

On second thought, maybe it’s not there’s little I can do but rather, it’s the little things I can do. If this is the case, then  I have worked on a ton of these little things that have added up over time.

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING.

A great example of this is a simple technique I learned in therapy. In fact, the idea is so simple that I thought; “that won’t work.” happily, I was wrong. See, sometimes it’s good to be wrong.

Simple things you can do to boost your mental health.

the simple things that matter.

As many of you may know, nightmares are synonymous with PTSD, they rob one of their sleep and constantly terrify them in the process. This easy to-do task is this: When you awake from a nightmare, take note of anything and everything in the room; try to include As much detail as you can. So, got a nightstand full of knick-knacks sitting on the top? Describe all of them, shape size and colour. The very act of doing this forces your focus on the here and now; the “now” is where the healing happens. And if for some reason you’re still awake, keep mentally moving around the room. See, simple and, personally, very effective. It really is the simple things that matter. I highly recommend it.

Another useful tool to try is simple exercises. Walks are like mother nature’s medication and… it’s free! Take that big pharma. Despite this one being seemingly obvious, it can seem monumentally difficult to initiate. However, you can’t beat the price and over time, your noggin will love you for it. Try getting a friend or a loved one on board, it will make this venture a lot easier.

TRAINED AS BIG PICTURE THINKERS, IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO SEE THAT THE SOLUTION IS OFTEN THE SIMPLEST ONE.

Thirdly, don’t take this life you’ve been given for granted, take stock of all things, big and small that you love and cherish. For me, my family is everything and when we are together, I do my best to soak up every memory made with them. Love, it’s simple and not limited. Our animals are our pet therapy and it’s so easy to get lost in their unconditional loyalty. What I love about taking stock is that it places you in the present and it does so without very little effort.

In conclusion, I really do think it’s the simple things that matter. Not only do they matter because life is too short, they pay off big time as you travel down the road to mental wellness.

If you or someone you know is looking to find people with Military and emergency service backgrounds that also have PTSD. This book is for you. Lemonade Stand Vol. III is a collection of authors who have paid the ultimate personal price for their service, ending up with PTSD.

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If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada

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

Nervious system afire

Nervous system afire

The only haunting I have ever encountered is PTSD’s constant presence. It sets my nervous system afire.

Most of my writing takes place first thing in the morning. When one doesn’t sleep well, one might as well be productive; right? Besides, the wee hours of the morning are still and stimulus free and by default, I am at peace.

I am the furthest thing away from a morning person. In fact, I’m such a grump, I can’t even swear at my constant spelling errors. At times, I think, If coffee came in IV bags I’d be golden.

Alas, it does not and because of it, I have to begrudgingly brew my own. Besides having the quiet and nothing but my cat sitting on my keyboard from time to time, the early morning dark is “me” time

Oh, of course, I have one more entity lurking, a constant travel companion, my PTSD. While the pre-dawn hours provide me with some relief, it is PTSD that gets me up in the first place. Strange to think that the very thing that has brought so much pain to my life, also gives me licenses to be creative.

The only haunting I have ever encountered is PTSD’s constant presence.

One of the hardest things I find about being post-traumatic is how it seems to set my nervous system afire; from the top of my head, to the tip of my toes, I am in fight, flight or freeze mode and let me tell ya, it’s a force that extends it reach to my relationship; it hits hard like being struck by lightning, it shocks my partner and hurts her heart.

I know some of you must be wondering what I mean when I say; my post-traumatic stress disorder set my nervous system afire. Well, what I simply mean is, I am hypersensitive to everything! One of the best examples that demonstrates this well, is when people hug me. Now, I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a hugger but at times, a hug ignites my nervous system and triggers a wave of panic. Unfortunately, what this wave of panic does is it sends me squirming to break free. And like a cat who fell in a tub of water, I fight my way out.

Set my nervous system afire

This is, of course, not something I am doing by choice but rather, I am hijacked by the powers of my mental health condition. A sad and painful reality, one that is mutually heartbreaking for the both of us.

Full list of PTSD symptoms

The power of observation?

What must be remembered is that observation isn’t always as accurate as we would like to think; with that said, I know that the feelings loved ones feel after I full on panic and break free from their embrace is quite naturally hurtful.

Although this is true, the intent on my part is not to be cold and callous, its fear; inexplicable fear that has absolutely nothing to do with those I love. Yet, despite this, they rightfully feel like they did something wrong. Sad thing is, I have no idea how to make up for those moments, nor can I ever expect them to take them with a grain of salt.

Help for families of people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My only hope is to keep travelling down the road to mental wellness; to continue therapy and self-care. Included in that is a good diet and exercise. All of this effort will hopefully quell my fight or flight mode and better manage my PTSD when my nervous system is afire. 

To my dearest family, please know that the truth is, your support keep me going.

Lemonade Stand III, people with military and emergency service backgrounds talk about their PTSD. Pre-order today!

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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.

Pre order today

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.

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

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

PTSD comes standard with a hefty dose of collateral damage.

If someone asked me to describe what the last few years of my life were like, I’d tell them this; It’s been the biggest and most heartbreaking personal battle of my life. With that said, I am grateful that I was able to recognize the trouble I was in. In doing so, I avoided becoming a statistic. There has been however, a fair amount of collateral damage.

Personally, I don’t find that there is a whole lot of discussion around the damage our mental health conditions have. The damage it wreaks on our spouses and other loved ones is can be and often is, very devastating.

Speaking for myself, I know that I have been actively seeking solutions to minimize PTSD’s powers and depression’s ability to keep me captive. In doing so, I have been almost exclusively focused on myself.

Self-care, I believe it is absolutely essential for us to keep going. A recharge isn’t really optional when one has mental illness.

Collateral damage

But what of those who matter most? Who’s helping them? From my point of view, our symptoms radiate from within and spill out of us, infecting those around us.

A great example of this is PTSD’s startle response; To watch my partner walk around on eggshells because everything scares the life out of me, is heartbreaking.

While my reaction is a by-product of the PTSD, it doesn’t change the very real fact that she is impacted by it and by the multitude of other symptoms.

Partner have PTSD? Need help coping? Click here.

I work hard to try to acknowledge her feelings but a lot of the time the collateral damage is done. The pain is real and long-lasting and I don’t know what to do.

What I do recommend however, is that those who love someone with post-traumatic stress disorder find professional help for themselves. You are just as worthy and important as the person going through it, therefore self-care is vital. There is help, likewise, there is hope. It’s true that living with someone with mental illness can still be worth the fight, as long as you understand that you can’t absorb that flack without help. Go to our Mental health resources page for help.

I want to thank all the family, friends and especially spouses who stand by their partner and fight the good fight with them……… Much love to my own partner… I am eternally grateful for you.

If you would like to help keep us going, please hit the donate button and follow the instructions. Whatever you can give is really appreciated

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

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

Proud to be one of the contributing authors this book! 20 authors, 20 stories of people with PTSD. Available for pre-order today

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Josh Rivedal
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.