After A Good Run

Today, I find myself sitting in the ER waiting room. Surprisingly, I’m the only one sitting here. It’s nice and quiet which comes as a relief to my nervous system but as you know, there are so many things that can be triggering for PTSD, the location being one of them.

I am waiting for a loved one to see a medical professional for an ailment. As I wait, I find myself wrestling with my mental health medical condition, PTSD. This hospital setting reminds me of my own work environment as they have many similarities, I work in long term care, helping those with mental illness and aggressive tendencies. My workplace has been a significant contributor to the erosion of my mental health. It’s loud, fast-paced and very overstimulating. Practically every aspect of my occupation is toxic to the post-traumatic brain. How PTSD and Trauma Affect Your Brain Functioning – Psychology Today
I slugged along in this mentally taxing environment for as long as I could but found that it wasn’t powerful enough to sustain the mental shield, the one I took to work every day. Essentially, I was being mentally assaulted every time I stepped foot in the building.
Eventually, the strength and endurance I once prided myself on had taken such a psychological beating that I had to surrender to survive. I am off work, employing everything I can think of to regroup, rebuild and regain my life back.
Sitting here in this ER, my mind is in overdrive, its side effects, are a numbing feeling that is fighting to disassociate, so I can cope with my surroundings. Moments come flooding back to mind that my workplace had imprinted on my memory; tragic moments of death and violence.
Ironically, as I sit there, writing this blog post, the speaker above my head erupts with a call for a code for a violent individual on the psych unit. This unit is very similar to the one  I work on. As you may have guessed, it’s exacerbating the PTSD symptom; now I am triggered, gone completely numb and have disassociated even more. Sorry, I no longer have the capacity to continue.

…….. Several days later..  Initially, when I found I was no longer able to continue writing this I thought I would conclude it right where I had left it but then I thought; “I need to add how I got through the mental health, almost crisis moment.” Perhaps my efforts to forgo a crisis may be of use to you.

I first off recognized that I was starting to get numb like local aesthetic that slowly starts to dull your physical pain. I was numbing to my surrounds in order to try to stay in the waiting room, this dissociation never works. At that moment, I had to ask myself “What Do I have to do in this very moment to help me get through it?” Recognizing and coping with PTSD (Verywell minded).

The following things helped me to get through it. I went outside to get some fresh air. – Doing this allowed me to, not only get fresh air but because I was outside I was able to take slow, deep breaths. As I did this I could feel my symptoms subside before I knew it I was able to return inside. This proved very helpful but because of the long wait, I found that it only acted as a temporary fix.

In the Valley where I live, I have mapped out many of the quiet cafes, libraries and other low stimulus atmospheres in the event I need to seek refuges from my anxiety and PTSD, or, more specifically, the causal factors that amplify my symptoms. Luckily, one of these low stimulus cafes was close by; good thing too as I needed to seek its shelter. I jumped in my car and headed there. After taking the time I needed, I found that I was able to get through it the day and avoided a crisis.

 So when you find yourself in the mental thick of it, perhaps the things I employ in those moments can help you too. Map out the low stimulus places, cafes, libraries and natural settings In your area so when you are faced with a triggering scenario you have options, thus a feeling of some control. I tend to think of them as mental illness shelters. Sometimes, the best thing you can have when you have a mental health condition is a plan.

If you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!


If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada
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Anxiety And Depression.

I am man, hear me….. Say very little. I have spent the majority of my life living in very real fear, a fear of communicating the constant, unrelenting pain that ravaged my soul until I was left with nothing but the darkness of depression.

Society forbids me from talking about my pain. I am somehow seen as less of a man if I even whisper for someone’s help and for years, I complied with my captures and in doing so generalized anxiety disorder infected my brain. I was held in solitary confinement by cultural expectations and whist at the same time being held hostage by the tournament of mental illness. Learn more about men and mental illness stigma.
Sure I could run around blaming everyone in sight for effectively cultivating my existing sadness and angst but what purpose would it serve? Regardless of the source of my torment, it is I who must take back the power, only I can do that.

But how? I must find the courage to fight back, defy those who I have allowed to through me in the hole of perpetual misery. It’s do or die, go time. My weapon of choice? To find somebody, anyone who will listen and contribute to my overall well-being. I will shatter these restraints by seeking out the help I need. I shall do so by always being my primary advocate. For I am my own voice and I shall speak freely with zero fear of the repercussions. For now, the only way society can enslave me is if I care about what their expectations are. I am my own man, a man with anxiety, depression and PTSD.

My illnesses do not own me, do not define who I am. I freely acknowledge them and I’ll be damned if I will allow their symptoms to dictate my outcome. I get to choose where I get to put my energy and I choose to live.


You may also enjoy Signs Of Strength When You’re Not Mentally Well.

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This post originally published at sicknotweak.com

At Odds With The Self

PTSD I am at war! A fight for my life and all that I love and hold sacred. This conflict is not so much raging against the exterior world around me although I have to say that it provides my enemy with enough ammunition to keep us in the throws of combat for many years to come.

As painful as a prospect of this campaign continuing on for the foreseeable future is, it’s almost more so thinking about how long I have danced with my arch-nemesis. Combining the two thoughts together sometimes makes me wonder how I will take on the next battle and the one after that.
Who is this enemy you ask?  It’s the battle with the self, two factions within my head, vying for supremacy.

The back and forth confrontations of my authentic voice and the voice of mental illness.

How I will win this fight is not entirely certain but what I do know is that I don’t intend to lose. Therefore I will fight on for as long as the anxiety, depression and PTSD want to rage on. Sure I’m outnumbered and it’s true that they sometimes attack alone, in the darkness, at family gatherings or in the local supermarket for that matter. A solo assault I rarely see coming and seldom do I understand its triggers.

Listen to the stories of others at – anewdawnaa.com

When one of them isn’t trying to ambush me, all three form an alliance of pain in an all-out effort to end the war and take their object, my mental well being. These are the toughest, most taunting battles and take so much out of me that I find I have little choice but to avoid the world beyond my doorstep. I guess even the hardest of soldiers need to go on leave, my war is no exception. With this rest, I live to fight another day.

Although this battle is at times, exceptionally difficult, I fancy myself a long-time veteran of this mental tug of war and have spent years learning my disorders battle tactics. Luckily for me, they don’t deviate much from this plan and I am able to deploy my weapons to fight back. Good diet, exercise, deep breathing, and therapy.

My own tactics have given me the upper hand because I am able to discern my authentic voice from that of anxiety, depression and PTSD. I shall never surrender, my loving support system is my mental H bomb and it always keeps me in the fight.

My fellow road to wellness warriors, keep fighting the good fight. Although exhausting, it is absolutely worth every battle scar it leaves behind.

You may also enjoy: Mental Illness and Cleaning out the Garage, What do they have in common? 

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