Where you put your energry

Where You Put Your Energy

Where you put your energy can make a big difference on your healing.

Before you reading, Where You Put Your Energy, 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

As I roll up to the coffee shop not far from my hometown I feel a wave of fear come over me. Is it going to be noisy in there? Or will it be absolute chaos? While I feel like I’m being held down in my front seat of my car, I decide that I value my good friend, who is waiting inside too much to simply drive away.

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Since 2016 this is pretty much how I’ve lived my life. Long sabbaticals away from the public; far removed from the noise and chaos. However, I refuse to be a slave to PTSD.

As I’ve said many times before, we get to choose where we put our energy. Regardless of what we have in the tank, it can still be used to propel us forward. The important question is; “Do I put what limited energy I do have into constant rumination, angst and fear? or do I maximize it on living?

Where you put your energy
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While I know that we can’t always bust through the fear and anxiety of, let’s say, the outside world, I have found that I can ill afford to be torched by what goes on in my head either. Therefore, if both are dire, I might as well make the best of it.

So, I set goals and I commit to doing what I’m doing tonight. For example, I have a short list of people that I will muster up my limited energy for. Which is why I am sitting in this parking lot this evening. I’m meeting a very close friend that is worth the torment of the surrounding goings-on. I make time for the people on this list even when I don’t feel like it.

How to best manage your mental illness.

Consequently, however, it often makes how I am feeling worse. But as I have come to learn in my life, understanding that being uncomfortable is part of life; therefore, it should be dealt with, not avoided. For me, this is so fundamental to my survival.

As counterintuitive as it sounds, placing your limited energy into what makes you uncomfortable can enrich your life and help you on your own road to mental wellness. How? Well, I frequently look back on moments I spent with friends, family etc, with fondness and with a sense of accomplishment.

For a moment, I beat my anxiety and the symptoms of PTSD. And because I chose to put my energy into something as amazing as a coffee with a great friend, I, for that moment in time felt the illusive feelings of normalcy.

So, where will you put your limited energy?.

anxiety or ADHD

The Road To Mental Wellness – The Book

Cover reveal

I am excited to announce that I will be revealing my first book cover in mid January. Called The Road To Mental Wellness, it chronicles my lifelong battles with mental illness. It’s goal? To help others by telling my story…. Check back for updates. However, if you would like to see it sooner, simply subscribe to The Road To Mental Wellness email list and I will be more than happy  to send you the exclusive first look at it.

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Anxiety or ADHD?

anxiety or ADHD?

When my young fella was young, he had a difficult time in school. He was, disorganized, unfocused and squirmed in his seat. Was it anxiety or ADHD? Maybe neither.

Before you reading, Anxiety or ADHD, 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
Note: I want to acknowledge that there are many people out there who have been battling ADHD and anxiety all their lives. Having worked with many in my career, I can say that every day is a challenge for them. This post is chronicles my family’s experience and doesn’t reflect the experiences of others in similar scenarios.

When my young fellas was little, his mother, and I enrolled him in French Emerson for school. For those who are unfamiliar with what French Emerson, may be wondering what the heck it is.

Well, it is exactly what the name applies. Essentially, the students are integrated into a core french curriculum for the entire year; every class from start of day to the finish, is taught in French.

Sounds a bit much right? Well, as it turns out, there is some real solid science behind the idea. The research indicates that learning another language when you’re young strengthens children’s cognition, their ability to listen and improves their concentration.

The benefits of french Emerson.

I can’t lie, both his mother and I had our reservations. With that said, we also wanted to challenge our son’s learning whist at the same time, helping him developmentally and give him an edge in his future.

Lastly, the classes for full time french were much smaller. I found this bit appealing. I reasoned that it gave him more of the teachers time. This in turn would help him learn the language. However, we would come to learn that the decision we made ended up not being what was best for him.

It’s true, it’s not for everyone, a fact that, in the case of our son, took us six years to uncover. Looking back, we should have seen it, admittedly, my ex saw it before I did, but there were a few factors getting in the way.

In the first few years, we were, mainly myself, insistent that he stick to it. After all, no one likes a quitter. Thankfully were didn’t sick to this outdated philosophy when his school approached us and strongly suggested that we switch him over to English. For many years, For me, I was trying to decide when was a good amount of time to say he gave it his best shot.

With that said, when we took a look at his academic history, we understood that he needed more. What’s more, we were both worried that there maybe some underlying mental health condition impending his learning.

ways to help your children academically.

Indeed, as the years melted away from the first year to his sixth, there was good reason to suspect illness, maybe ADHD or anxiety? Something. As much as we wanted him to stay, we saw the signs; Can’t sit still, difficulty concentrating, constantly forgetting things and super disorganized. One year it got so bad that we had to put a reminder list of what was expected of him and tape it to his desk.

Equally, worrying was the rise in his behaviour. Thankfully it wasn’t a level ten increase, but nonetheless, we were very concerned. As you can imagine, this prompted many meetings with his teachers over the years.

Fortunately, I have a background in counselling and have spent many years working with people with extreme behavioural difficulties. Therefore, I had tools at my disposal to help him through. Also, my fined tuned observation skills made me think about all the factors making his time at school so difficult. For instance, At the time he was struggling with the break up of his mother and I. What impact was that having on his learning?

Anxiety or ADHD
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Despite my background, nothing seemed to stick. We could tell that he was trying really hard, but he eventually fell back into his old patterns; a pattern that went on for years. Was it anxiety or ADHD? Maybe it was environmental? Perhaps something else.

Then finally, it happened.

In or about grade five, my son’s mother and I were once again summoned into a meeting with his teachers. Of course, it came as no surprise to us as to why they called us to meet. However, this particular meeting had one distinct element that set it apart.

As the meeting progressed, we walked through the same old same old. He doesn’t pay attention, he can’t sit still, he’s so disorganized etc. Then, it finally happened, one of his teachers suggested he may have ADHD; A notion that I swiftly rejected.

Why? Because I had been wondering it myself. I rejected their claim not because I didn’t especially believe it, but rather, I had come to the conclusion that the symptoms could possibly be confused with anxiety. Therefore, it became my priority to figure out what was actually causing his difficulties. Sure, it could have been attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it realistically wasn’t the only possibility.

Relationship between Anxiety and ADHD

Because anxiety and ADHD have some overlapping symptoms; disorganization, inability to sit still and lack of focus etc. I wasn’t willing to go down the road of ADHD. Essentially, I felt that what was being observed left us with possibilities, not a stern and under qualified conclusion.

While I’m not qualified myself to make a diagnosis of a mental health condition, my own battle with anxiety, my years of working in the field of behaviour and my educational background, were all telling he was anxious. I made it clear that this too should be considered.

Therefore, I felt it was imperative to continue to work with him and see. I was not about to have him put on powerful medications if we were wrong; Thankfully, they didn’t push after I nicely proposed other options; it could be something else. Because of the way things have tuned out, I will always be grateful that we advocated for him.

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When grade six rolled around, and we decided that we would transfer him to English classes, his years of struggle quickly became apparent. By the end of the first semester, he was turning a corner. His focus was much better, started to get more organized, and he was not quite squirmy.

Much to our relief, he started to excel. In fact, he did so well in English, he won the most improved student award in his finally year of junior high; his teacher noting that he was the most improved student in the English program. Now, in grade eleven, he is completely dedicated to his education; sitting in front of the class, he doesn’t concern himself with others, he sits and places all his attention on his work assignments.

So, was it anxiety or ADHD? As it turns out, it was mostly environmental casing angst Today, he shows little signs of either. He has healthy levels of anxiety and describes himself as happy, well-adjusted and goal driven. I shutter to think what his outcome would have been if we choose differently for him.

20 authors from the military and emergency services tell their story of PTSD. Order your copy of Lemonade Stand Vol. III today.

The takeaway for me? Never run with a suggestion and always go in armed with real knowledge; educate yourself on disorders and most importantly, ask yourself, is what I’m seeing from my child “really what’s going on?” It could be a gamer changer.

anxiety or ADHD

The Road To Mental Wellness – The Book

Cover reveal

I am excited to announce that I will be revealing my First Book cover in mid January. Called The Road To Mental Wellness, it chronicles my lifelong battles with mental illness. It’s goal? To help others by telling my story…. Check back for updates.

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

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

This could be the key to moving FORWARD
This could be the key to moving forward. Let your passion be …
I will never bend to it’s will
I will never bend to its will, to my mental illness. These …
You have the right to refuse
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES PAGE
Have I figured out the meaning of life?
Have I figured out the meaning of life? When battling major depression …
How are you feeling in the moment

how are you feeling in the moment

How are you feeling in the moment? This may be the most important question to ask yourself especially this day and age. Are you angry, sad fearful? More specifically, at whom is your feeling directed?

I bet you think you know the answer; my spouse and maybe even my children. But I think one can make the argument that who you’re really upset with is you.

Ok, of course, I can’t say that for sure but I feel like we spend a lot of time obsessing over the notion that we must be happy; all the time. With that said, a number of questions must be asked; questions like, What is my definition of happiness? How do I achieve it? and is happiness really what I think it is?

In order to answer these questions, one must do so honestly. Moreover, one needs to accept certain things about what it is to be human.

are we in a steady sate of being?

Therefore it should come as no surprise that our entire existence is full of contradictions. A fact that can, in some instances, lead us down the road to mental illness. For instance, we all know that we experience a whole range of emotions so if this is true, why then do we, at the same time, want to prioritize just one emotion?

What’s is this much sought after feeling you ask? It’s happiness. We chase after it like its some sort of tangible item, a trophy we deserve just for trying; we see it as the ultimate prize and winning it will make our fairytale dream life come true. However, this simply isn’t the case.

Want to hear about other’s mental heath journies? Go to: A New Dawn

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pursue what it is your passion about; what I am saying is that, along with the pursuit of our dreams, life’s ups and downs are proof that happiness is a real human emotion and therefore, subject to the ebb and flow that make us who we are. In other words, happiness isn’t something you can possess; rather, it is a fluctuating state of being, as are the rest of our emotions.

How are you feeling in the moment

the happiness – depression connection.

So then, if we accept that the idea that happiness is raw emotion and not something that we can permanently acquire, what are the psychological repercussions?

In my view, being happy all comes down to how we feel in the moment. However, our mythical conceptualization of happiness is, for, many, a road of pain, fear and anxiety.

How to live in the moment

This begs the question; is the pursuit of happiness really just a journey down the spiral staircase to mental illness? Because we as people are always in a state of emotional flux, one is bound to come head to head with their other emotions; anger, sadness, fear and frustration. Are they wrong? Should we beat ourselves up for them and feel shame? I say no.

What’s more, it’s how you are feeling in the moment that really matters.

Only you can truly answer these questions for yourself. With that said, if we buy into the idea that we should always be happy; won’t we be setting ourselves up for failure? Can our misunderstanding of emotions as a whole lead us to depression and anxiety, or, even worse, lead us to develop anxiety and depressive disorders?

Look at it this way, we can never always be angry, nor can we always be sad or anxious; happiness is the same. We would do well to work on staying focused on the here and now and not beating ourselves up for feeling the range of emotions that are innate in all of us. Furthermore, if you don’t achieve your goal of being permanently happy, remember two things; one, we were never designed to be and two, it’s ok that you can’t.

What’s more, it’s how you are feeling in the moment that really matters; accepting that we are creatures who come standard with a wide range of feelings, will, ironically, make one more satisfied with life. As you move through your life, you will experience an accumulation of wonderful memories, when you pasted together, you will see, just what it means to be happy.

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

This could be the key to moving FORWARD
This could be the key to moving forward. Let your passion be …
I will never bend to it’s will
I will never bend to its will, to my mental illness. These …
You have the right to refuse
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES PAGE
Have I figured out the meaning of life?
Have I figured out the meaning of life? When battling major depression …