in between the raindrops.

In Between The RainDrops

Trying to adapt to life once diagnosed with a mental illness, can be a bit like running in between the raindrops.

Ah life, it’s full of surprises; changes that force us to adapt whether we want to or not. In my case, PTSD with a heaping side order of depression changed my life forever. Since then, adaptation has been my life’s work. Because of this, I had to learn to live my life in between the raindrops.

If you have followed me long enough, you will know that I often write about the fact that, sometimes, life cares little for our well laid out plans. In other words, we don’t always come out winning.

So, I’m not going to lie, coming face to face with my own reality was tough. I mean who wants to have the feeling of choice stripped away from them? No one, am I right? Like a physical ailment, mental illness requires a new plan.

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Despite being initially resistant to the chances, I nonetheless have to concede at some point and accept it; I’m willing to wager that some of us do so sooner or later. If not, the end result could be devastating.

Life really is customizable.

When we walk our way through therapy, we learn a lot about ourselves. This is a fundamental key to healing. Ultimately, the goal of counselling is to provide you with the tools to navigate in between the raindrops. Simply put, the adaptive tools we learn allow us to, not only accept our new reality, it gives us the coping tools we need to live the best life possible.

In beteen the raindrops.

Tools like mindfulness training and EMDR are but two examples of these mental adaptive devices; once mastered, navigating the world will be more tolerable. Also, their application can help us to accept the fact that our lives have been changed forever.

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While this was sad at first, what helped me through it was a change of perspective. At one point or another, I began to see parallels between physical and mental disabilities.

What they have in common is this; The need for both the outside world and for the individuals to customize their day to day. For example, an individual with PTSD may require a service animal; whilst a wheelchair user needs a ramp. In other words, access to normality equals acceptance.

Ways to help you accept your mental illness

In the end, we must not only find a way to cope but we must learn to thrive. Sure, some may not be able to commit to life every day; that’s simply a part of the disability. My friends, I believe that if we learn to walk in between the raindrops, we will indeed persevere.

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Contact us: The Road To Mental Wellness

When Things Went South
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ignored the signs of mental illness.
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when things went south.

When Things Went South

Like many, I never gave too much thought to my life veering off course; Afterall, nothing bad ever happens, right? To begin with, I naively believed in the, from A to B linear line of success; School, career, kids etc and oh, saving for retirement. Because I believed In this my, well-planned life, I had no defence when things went south.

Well, guess what? As my adult life was busy chasing after my socially constructed reality, everything did indeed hit the ground in a blazing ball of fire. The thing is, no one prepares you for the harsh realities that life throws at you.

We are like modern tech in a sense.

Sure, those who came before you may say, “Life is tough” but then they emphasize how you can be whatever you want in life. The beautiful story right? In reality, you can only affect your destiny so much, after that, the wild card called life gets played.

In my case, the wildcard was an adult, life long battle with mental illness. Knowing this now, The question I ask myself most, is why didn’t I see it coming? First off, the Disney like illusion really does little to help you cope and secondly, my life choices fed the beast within.

I now understand many of the factors that got me here

Perhaps, equally to blame, was my wiring. We are like modern tech in a sense, so complicated; that we only use the functions we are most familiar with.

In other words, we are by no means experts on the tech we carry around in our pockets. Similarly, we are only partly aware of what makes us tick. What this does is leave us with a limited understanding of who we are. In my case, when I was young I didn’t understand that I was an empath. Heck, I had no idea what that even was.

It wasn’t until things went south and I was diagnosed with PTSD that I dove into what makes me, me. My diagnosis prompted one very important question; Why did I fall from grace? Well, the short answer is, being overly sensitive to stimulus coupled with my career and volunteer choices. These factors took my life and ran it into the ground.

As it turns out, being highly sensitive and firefighting aren’t compatible with one another. In addition, I worked in a long-term care facility where people with severe behavioural difficulties; turns out, this occupation is also incompatible with a more sensitive disposition.

Overall, I know I’m better off for learning this when things went south.

Of course, I now understand many of the factors that got me here; knowledge I wish I would have had years ago. All I knew then was that I wanted to help others, that was it.

So, here I am, less hair and more wisdom; still, I can’t help but wonder if I would have altered my life’s course had I known that a guy like me was more than likely to suffer from these choices. That I’m afraid, is something that simply cannot be answered. In fact, it really isn’t worth dwelling on.

With that said, honestly, I would have hoped the twenty-something me would have chosen a different path; still helped others, just in a more personality friendly way. Whatever the case, its a moot point now as I know that these chapters in my story are already written.

While I can’t change my past, my newly acquired self-awareness can propel me into a better future; however, I can only achieve this if I can master living my best life in the now.

While I’m far from being well enough to take on new possibilities with any regularity, I chose to remain hopeful. Overall, I know I’m better off learning these painful lessons when things went south; now, I can build a new normal.

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

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

Contact us: The Road To Mental Wellness

In Between The RainDrops
Trying to adapt to life once diagnosed with a mental illness, can …
ignored the signs of mental illness.
A message for all my fire service colleagues and you too. IF …
When The Fog Rolls In
Often times, when the fog rolls in it grips you so tightly …
I CAME ALIVE AT THIRTY-FIVE
For most of my life, I pushed aside any notion of being …
End of another chapter

end of another chapter

Early last week, I had an over the phone appointment with my psychiatrist. It was brief and bittersweet. Little did I know, at the start of the conversation, that this appointment would be my last. She explained to me that she had done all she could. Finally, I’ve come to the end of another chapter.

The long road we travelled together, started in 2018, barely a month after I went off work. I consider myself lucky; we meshed right from the start. However, it would turn out that my relationship with the SSRIs she prescribed, would do anything but get along with me.

What makes a good therapist

Moreover, I would put myself through a pharmaceutically induced hell. As fate would have it, nearly every treatment option failed. Despite this, I soldiered on Pill after pill, I clung to the hope that this time, this would be the one; the one that eased my depression, minimize the toucher that comes with PTSD and ultimately saving my life.

this little tiny pill would become a double-edged sword.

Alas, this was not to be and no matter the level of hope, it was soon dashed by the results; or should I say the lack thereof. Fortunately, it wouldn’t take long for my psychiatrist to figure out what my Achilles heel

So then, what was it that made this aspect of my healing journey such a difficult one? Well, Ironically, it was a medication. I have epilepsy and have been on an anticonvulsant since I was thirteen.

Read Medication, at an Impasse

With it, came an opportunity to plan out and live a normal life because it, lucky for me, completely controlled my seizures. Even to this very day, I am grateful for the life it gave me.

However, this little tiny pill would become a double-edged sword for me. While I got through my day to day relatively unscathed because of it, my slow and slippery slide into the realm of mental illness would be complicated by it.

End of another chapter.

I have been fortunate to have lived the life i have.

As fate would have it, the anticonvulsant I am on would prevent almost all attempts to help me moderate the symptoms of my mental health conditions; for the most part at least. How ironic, a medication that helps me to live was now hindering my healing.

On the positive side, my psychiatrist went the distance with me. She could have handed my care back over to my GP much sooner but wanted to find a solution. Although finding the med that worked for me was largely trial and error; I would have to say that many months of sedation and other side effects were worth it in the end. My psychiatrist was awesome and did her utmost to help; even advocating for me in other ways; often contacting WCB on my behalf. Although this is essentially the end of another chapter, I can move on knowing that we both put up a good fight.

So please, Don’t give up on yourself.

Despite the battle, we did, however, find some meds that somewhat help. Sure, I could be disappointed but I choose to be grateful. While they may not be wonder drugs, they do help quell the suicidal ideation. Personally, I’d call that a win. My friends, going the distance does indeed pay off.

So then, what’s the moral of this chapter in my life? Well, firstly, I now know that if you persist and advocate for yourself, you will eventually get the help you need. Furthermore, I have come to learn that there are some committed, compassionate mental health professionals out there who only want to help and make a difference.

So please, Don’t give up on yourself, the system our the professionals, for they may help you get to the end of another chapter.

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

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

In Between The RainDrops
Trying to adapt to life once diagnosed with a mental illness, can …
When Things Went South
We are raised that if we work hard enough, we can be …
ignored the signs of mental illness.
A message for all my fire service colleagues and you too. IF …
When The Fog Rolls In
Often times, when the fog rolls in it grips you so tightly …