Have I figured out the meaning of life?

Have I figured out the meaning of life?

Have I figured out the meaning of life? When battling major depression this is what keeps me going.

As humans, it is in our nature to question our own existence; I mean really, why are we here? I suspect that the answer is a difficult one for many to uncover. However, I also have my suspicions that there’s more than one answer to this question. Perhaps it’s as individual as humans themselves?

From my perspective. the answer has somewhat come to light over the course of my lifetime. With that said, my answer may not correspond with other people’s definition. Regardless, it bears thinking about. And I thought it might be helpful to share.

The meaning of life, or at least as I understand it, has come to me after continuously battling mental illness. When coupled with my brain’s tendency to be in overdrive nearly every moment of every day, I was bound to reach a conclusion at some point.

How you ask? Interestingly, I have decided on its meaning, not through a dictionary definition, but rather, the instability that comes with a horrible dread of a depressive episode. Likewise, I posed this question during the more peaceful moments in between.

How to manage a depressive episode

Truth is, if I had not contemplated the meaning of life both in my darkest hours and at my happiest times, I believe the answer would have alluded me; quite possibly for the remainder of my life.

firstly, as most people with depression can attest, one is often stuck ruminating over why they are even here in the first place. Similarly, they can often question the point to it all. I know I do; frustratingly so, it occupies my neurocircuitry whenever I suffer a boat of major depression.

Negative self-talk and depression.

The beauty of this darkness? I actively seek to answer the question; what’s life’s purpose?

This question often crosses my mind organically, no matter my mental state and thankfully, I’ve come up with a conclusion that I think many may agree with.

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So, without further ado, here goes nothing: Have I figured out the meaning of life?

Humans have a beautiful ability to connect to one another in a very significant form of kindness.

At its core is a little thing called Love. This emotion, with the strength of gravity, pulls us towards those whom we have a “Humans have a beautiful ability to connect to one another in a very significant form of kindness.deep affinity for.

But connection and love are more than just mere feelings, they are natural survival mechanisms that have allowed humanity to form families and social networks. Because of it, we have survived for thousands of years.

Because its strength is so strong, so undeniable, it is the very essence for life itself”.

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I believe that this is the formula for the meaning of life. Love, connection and unity equal stronger, longer and more robust relationships. In my view, this is a beautiful gift.

Think of it, when we have this formula going for us, we are much less likely to feel lonely and isolated. Personally, I find that when I do a gratefulness inventory, my episodes of depression seem to be shorter.

Finally, while I know firsthand that major depression can feel really lonely and isolating, I also know that I do have many strong connections and thus many reasons to ride the wave of mental illness. The people I have in my life are truly amazing! So, Have I figured out the meaning of life? You decide.

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Nightmare's aftermath

Nightmare’s aftermath

PTSD nightmares just cause everything to be worse I call it Nightmare’s aftermath

One of the trademark symptoms of PTSD is the nightmares; a patchwork of post-traumatic memories that lurk in the shadows during the day and wreak havoc throughout the night. Maybe what lurks in the shadows during the day are the flashbacks?

In my view, these nightmares can be the cornerstone of PTSD’s power. I believe this because when I wake up in the morning with a deep sense of dread, it’s the nightmare’s aftermath that can derail the entire day.

With that said, this aftermath, may not be on your radar as a reason for your heightened symptoms during the day; but they very well could be the cause; a thought worth exploring I would say.

Think you may have PTSD? Go here: Symptoms of PTSD.

If the nightmares in themselves weren’t enough, the lack of sleep from them is intolerable at times. These two factors are, for me, at least, a recipe for a very triggered day.

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Every symptom is heightened; the startle response, the irritability, the flashback can be more pervasive and my mind thick with a mental fog. So thick in fact, that my thoughts strain to make their way through the merk.

The double-edged sword in all of this? The nightmare’s aftermath dominates the day. Not only because of the nightmares themselves but because of the overall lack of sleep.

So, essentially, the nightmares act as a terrifying ignition point and the lack of sleep is its steady state fire it produces. As many of you may already know, sleep is fundamental for good health and our mental health is no exception. In fact, a good night’s sleep is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your well-being; right up there with a good diet and exercise.

What can be done to quell the nightmares and get a good night’s sleep?

Fortunately, there are many things that can be done. For instance, getting a referral to a psychiatrist. I recommend them over a general practitioner simply because psychiatric disorders are their specialty. They can find the right meds to help you sleep and deal with the PTSD symptoms, like the nightmares.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com – Nightmare’s aftermath.

In addition, see a psychologist that has training in PTSD and its treatment approaches. They can train you in mindfulness and often have training in EMDER therapy; (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). A therapeutic approach that has been found to work well with people with PTSD.

And finally, the big three, diet, exercise and connection. They will take you a long way to feeling like you again. I know, the last thing you want to do is put yourself out there but let me tell ya, it’s good for you. Let’s not let the PTSD run the show.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed to be a cure all but if we can get the nightmares under control, we will sleep better and our PTSD symptoms will be more manageable. The elation I feel when all of these elements come together is amazing. This is why I continue to fight every day. Life is better when you set out to defeat the nightmare’s aftermath.

Thanks for reading Nightmare’s aftermath Pre-order Lemonade Stand Vol. III today

Lemonade Stand Vol. III is a collection of 20 authors who have PTSD because of their military and or emergency services background. They bravely tell their stories in hopes that will help end stigma within the services and within mental health in general. Its other objective is to give people who are afraid to speak a voice.

When I read the stories from the other authors, it was like I was reading the story of my own struggles. I quickly realized that this book will not only help those with PTSD but may very well provide their spouses and families with insight into their loved one’s mental illness.

Lemonade Stand Vol. III
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If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

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

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We must resist ourselves

We must resist ourselves

If we are to win the battle against mental illness, we must resist ourselves – John Arenburg.

Can I do this? Can I move on from this painful episode of my life? Or am I destined to be trapped in this ocean forever?

These questions constantly plague my mind; almost as frequently as my PTSD. While this may be true, I’d like to think that I’m doing okay, unfortunately, the consistency I need to defeat this beast simply isn’t there. Perhaps one of the roadblocks I am experiencing is my resistance to support.

Sure, I have goals and dreams, ambition and work ethic but essentially, like that of someone trapped at sea, I can only tread water so long until I tire and float backwards, to where I began.

my main weapon against my own tyranny is love.

I suppose that for someone living with a mental health condition, this particular battle comes standard. with all that said, it doesn’t make it any less exhausting. Yet, despite being tired, I have learned long ago that I am the only one that can save myself; for when I am drowning, it is up to me to reach out and find the help I need.

We must resist ourselves
we must resist ourselves

Of course, having a healthy dose of stubbornness goes a long way to ensure one’s survival. Like that of stubbornness, there are many more reasons that keep pushing me towards the shore. And while the length of my battle may defeat me at times, l shall stay the course and I shall survive, nay, I will do better than that, I will thrive.

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How you ask? Well, quite literally, my main weapon against my own tyranny is love; love for thy self and love for all those who see me through

This my friends is a sure way to drown

While we may want to run and hide, lick our wounds in secret, we will not survive alone. In fact, isolation can lead to a worsened mental health condition; or for some, the outcome can be dire.

Human connection and it’s impact on us

Truthfully, or at least from my point of view, we should be doing the opposite; resisting the perceived need to withdraw and hug it out with those who are in our corners.

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Don’t you feel like sometimes you have a bit of self-sabotage going on? I know I sure do. On one hand, we feel like we are navigating these rough seas all on our own and on the other; we are ignoring those in the rescue boats all around us and those who are tossing us, life preservers. This my friends is a sure way to drown; something we have all been working so hard to prevent.

At the end of the day, we must resist ourselves, that temptation to go it on our own. While you may not feel worthy, I know you are and you mean so much to those who love you. Please, stop resisting the help that in reality, has a much better chance of getting you down the road to mental wellness.

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!

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

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

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