Fighting For My Life

Fighting for my life

Today, I write this blog post from the comfort of my couch. I am stricken with dizzy spells and exhaustion; an inconvenience that prevents me from standing. Sadly, this has become all too familiar. However, despite what you are thinking, this inflection is not an illness; rather, it is the direct result of fighting for my life.

More specifically, I am currently coming off a drug, Sertraline and slowly introducing another antidepressant. This change is yet another attempt of many to get me running down the road to mental wellness. The Irony here is that I am too sedated to get out of my own way.

I fight on because when I look up, I see all those I love and all those I hold near and dear.

I know that many may not agree with me when I say I am fighting for my life; that’s fine. However, there’s more than one way to look at the long battle to live. for example, fighting to get back on track after having your life come flying off the track due to, in my case mental illness; while others are going toe to toe with a serious physical ailment.

In crisis? Crisis Servces Canada Can Help.

One thing that physical and mental illnesses have in common is that both can sometimes have dire consequences, especially if left untreated. In fact, one of the main reasons I have survived is that I sought out a multitude of treatment options.

Like what your reading? try Face To Face With My Mental Illness.

Of course, I can’t speak for others, I can only speculate that their struggle is similar to my own. For me, I’ve been at war since I was a boy. And, If I had to be honest with myself, I’m tired.

Fighting for my Life.

Exhausted from what is essentially a lifetime in the trenches; a lifetime therapist after therapist and trying one medication after another. Now, at forty-four, I sometimes have doubts as to whether or not I will emerge the victor. It’s a thought that I’m sure many people struggle with.

When one has a mental illness, winning one battle, one moment at a time is a victory.

I am fighting for my life because this PTSD thing has latched on and uses me as its host to survive, the depression, it reaches from within to ensure there is no way I can shake either one. With a firm grip and a resolve to conquer my life, I fight on because when I look up, I see all those I love and all those I hold near and dear.

So, I will press on, continue to take on my internal conflict with all the strength I can muster. Because life isn’t all about me, it’s filled with people who love me. This is all I need to get up and fight on! Fight on my friends, fight on.

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

Advertisements

How to Affect Change

How To Affect Change

Warning, this post contains material that may be triggering to others; reader discretion is advised. The options expressed In this article; How To Affect Change are those of the writer.

Empathy, it’s a term that is tossed around often in conversation. But what does it mean? Well, simply put, its the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. While in college, the need to be empathic was drilled into our heads. When you are a counsellor, being able to sense other’s emotions is essential. This is how we affect change in the lives of the ill.

Once you learn how to empathize with others, a whole new world opens up. This new world is amazing because it can help to minimize any judgments you may have towards, not only those who sit across from you seeking your help; it can help you to look at all people’s in a more equal light. Ultimately, it bolstered my belief that everyone has value.

Want to Read more from The Road To Mental Wellness? Chick here

Similarly, my counselling education taught me so much about helping those with mental illness. Having a mental health condition is serious and should be treated as such, always!

I am grateful for having learned to take mental health as seriously as any other medical condition. Not only has it made me a better helper but it’s also helped me to be kinder to myself; understanding the core principles that make mental illness tick allows me to see that John the person and John’s PTSD Or John’s depression are two different things.

Ways to be kinder to yourself when you’re mentally ill

Sadly, Not everyone is able to sperate themselves from their illness. There are many factors that make one feel like their disorder is part of their identity. They include:

  • The symptoms themselves. Many mental disorders produce irritability, for example, this can cause conflict with others, making one feel like a bad person.
  • Stigma. Not everyone understands or cares to quite frankly; Having an encounter with sigma can re-enforce one’s symptoms, making them want to retreat from the world and making then feel less than they are.

Of course, there are many other things that can impact people who are ill. But the one I want to focus on is the resistance from the physical health side of things. I am speaking of some doctors, nurses and other professionals charged with the care of sick people. Now, it has to be said, that most health care professionals are awesome! What I am talking about here is the enormous burden on them; its no easy task and the majority of the ones I have encountered are kind, compassionate and do what they can.

How To Affect Change

However, I have the impression that many health care professionals have two separate views on illness; the physical disease model is of the utmost priority whilst mental health treatment is considered a low priority, if its on the radar at all. This is likely due to the amount of physical health training they have compared to mental health training.

The health care crisis

Moreover, the notion that a mental health emergency is somehow not as worthy indicates to me, a lack of understanding. When someone walks into an ER and bravely tells a doctor or nurse that they want to kill themselves, that should be seen in the same light as someone in the ER who has coded from a heart attack. Both can be life or death.

Those who come in a mental health crisis can and indeed, should be treated accordingly. They require a different set of skills; those of active listening, a calm voice and you guessed it, empathy. Additionally, suicide intervention training and protocols must be followed.

How to talk to someone in a mental health emergancy.

In other words, if a person presents with suicidal ideation, they should be kept for observation. And, if they tell you they have a plan, this should not only be taken seriously; it’s imperative that its seen as an emergency. Find them a bed until they can access the mental health services they need.

We need to do better, mental illness is a growing epidemic(1) and our ER’s like that of any medical emergency are our first line of defence. Of course, it would be irresponsible to rest the entire blame on the medical and mental health establishments, after all, their respective fields have been butchered by government cuts. To Lean more, how we can bolster the system, click the link below. Please, take care of yourself, hang in there and most importantly, keep fighting. Let’s learn how we can affect change.

Making the Case for Investing
in Mental Health in Canada

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

When Talk Has Value

%d bloggers like this: