When ambition meets PTSD

When ambition meets PTSD

When ambition meets PTSD, we are forced to customize our lives.

When deciding to write this post, I thought about my internal conflict that rage inside; a battle between my hopes and dreams and how impactful PTSD is on my desire to see them through. You see, when ambition meets PTSD, it creates an entirely new set of mentally mind-blowing angst to fight with.

If I were asked to summon this up in one word, what the cornerstone of this entire battle is, it would be uncertainty. I literally have no idea what my future looks like going forward. However, despite this, I am not deterred from trying to figure it out.

Finding meaning when mentally ill.

Ok, so I may have days when thinking about the future is a huge deterrent and I may greet a day or two when the battle to find meaning and purpose is too overwhelming. Even so, when met with this internal confrontation, I simply crawl back into bed and hit the rest button; a reboot that, on average takes around twenty-four hours; I’m an old, worn model maybe that why it takes so long.

While I may “shutdown” from time to time, I don’t let this deter me either. So what, if I need a day, I take a day; heck, I’ve even taken two, I just never let the dark own my entire week, month or even year. I do after all, have ambition; albeit, under two tons of mental heavy metal.

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I know that you know the struggle and I also know that you never planned for your life to go sideways like an eighteen wheeler on black ice but it has; so, now what? The question now becomes, what do you have to do to get past it?

Want more? Try When PTSD catches up.

Often times, this question can a tough one to answer. However, I try my best to simplify it. Fundamentally, we can do one of two things. We can, one, do nothing, not an option for an ambitious fella like me. Or, we can; two, fight like hell to regain a life that, admittedly, will never be the one you once knew but nonetheless can still be something great.

When ambition meets PTSD
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It’s for this reason; that life can be something great that both you and I should endeavour to fight for that “something great”. For at the end of the day, when ambition meets PTSD or any other mental health condition for that matter, we still have a choice where to put the energy we have, right? What’s key here, is making sure we customize our journey, so we can set ourselves so we may live again.

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
Order today

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

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Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

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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
Contact me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TRTMW