What we see

What we see?

Is what we see, really what’s going on? In this post, I argue that the answer is no.

Our eyes, they are the windows to the world. Because of them, you and I can navigate the world and take in its breath taking beauty. But sadly, what we see isn’t always what’s going on.

While there’s no question that waterfalls are indeed amazing, we, with our not so stellar observation skills, only see the rushing water, crashing into the waterway below.

With that said, is that really all there is to see? What else is going on? For instance, we can not see the source of the water flow; nor do we bear witness to the copious amount of erosion happening as the water rushes over the cliff face.

IS what we see, really what’s truly going on?

Our brains, if they were to take in all the surrounding stimulus, we would likely cease to function. It’s perfectly adept at deciding what requires our attention and what it can disregard. We, as humans are attracted to things that move; a survival instinct that helped get us where we are today.

Why does the brain filter out things? Why does it limit What we see?

Interestingly, there are other things going on that influence our perceptions. Things like, good old fashion logic. The simplistic view, pun intended, says, what you see is what you get. In other words, our eyes are telling us the entire story; but, are they? Is what we see happening really a simple logical deduction? Well, here’s my take on it.

Like what you are reading? Then you may enjoy You, Me and PTSD.

In my view, mental illness is a great example of the dangers of taking thing at face value. To illustrate what I mean, I will use PTSD as the example.

person in blue jacket and black pants standing on rock near waterfalls
Photo by Aleksey Kuprikov on Pexels.com

Post-traumatic stress disorder comes with a whole host of symptoms. These symptoms include; Irritability, nightmares, a heightened startle response and more. None of them are pleasant.

To further demonstrate my point, I will pick on one symptom; the wonderful feeling of the startle response. Besides being very unpleasant for the diagnosed, it can be very problematic for a spouse or other family members.

What those closes see when I am scared by every single bang and clang is the often times very intense reaction; being very vocal, jumping out of my chair, etc.

When you couple all this together, what you get from family members is the “walking on eggshells” reaction, rightfully so. I mean, never knowing what will cause this intense reaction is very difficult.

Help for spouses and family of someone with PTSD

With that said, my goal isn’t to put those I love most in the world on edge; despite what they see and how they react to it, what’s really going on is I’m symptomatic. My reactions have nothing to do with them personally and if it were a choice, why would I put my loved ones through such a thing?

It’s true, I get where they are coming from but there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Therefore, the best advice I can give people trying to love someone with a traumatic injury is this; If you plan to be around for the long haul, you will very likely need support from a mental health professional; there’s no shame in that.

Even though mental illness is monumentally difficult for everyone impacted by it, those who suffer from a mental health condition deserve love and support. Equally true, is that those who love us, deserve the same.

Lemonade Stand Vol. III

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.

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Lemonade Stand Vol. III
Pre order today

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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Nervious system afire

Nervous system afire

The only haunting I have ever encountered is PTSD’s constant presence. It sets my nervous system afire.

Most of my writing takes place first thing in the morning. When one doesn’t sleep well, one might as well be productive; right? Besides, the wee hours of the morning are still and stimulus free and by default, I am at peace.

I am the furthest thing away from a morning person. In fact, I’m such a grump, I can’t even swear at my constant spelling errors. At times, I think, If coffee came in IV bags I’d be golden.

Alas, it does not and because of it, I have to begrudgingly brew my own. Besides having the quiet and nothing but my cat sitting on my keyboard from time to time, the early morning dark is “me” time

Oh, of course, I have one more entity lurking, a constant travel companion, my PTSD. While the pre-dawn hours provide me with some relief, it is PTSD that gets me up in the first place. Strange to think that the very thing that has brought so much pain to my life, also gives me licenses to be creative.

The only haunting I have ever encountered is PTSD’s constant presence.

One of the hardest things I find about being post-traumatic is how it seems to set my nervous system afire; from the top of my head, to the tip of my toes, I am in fight, flight or freeze mode and let me tell ya, it’s a force that extends it reach to my relationship; it hits hard like being struck by lightning, it shocks my partner and hurts her heart.

I know some of you must be wondering what I mean when I say; my post-traumatic stress disorder set my nervous system afire. Well, what I simply mean is, I am hypersensitive to everything! One of the best examples that demonstrates this well, is when people hug me. Now, I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a hugger but at times, a hug ignites my nervous system and triggers a wave of panic. Unfortunately, what this wave of panic does is it sends me squirming to break free. And like a cat who fell in a tub of water, I fight my way out.

Set my nervous system afire

This is, of course, not something I am doing by choice but rather, I am hijacked by the powers of my mental health condition. A sad and painful reality, one that is mutually heartbreaking for the both of us.

Full list of PTSD symptoms

The power of observation?

What must be remembered is that observation isn’t always as accurate as we would like to think; with that said, I know that the feelings loved ones feel after I full on panic and break free from their embrace is quite naturally hurtful.

Although this is true, the intent on my part is not to be cold and callous, its fear; inexplicable fear that has absolutely nothing to do with those I love. Yet, despite this, they rightfully feel like they did something wrong. Sad thing is, I have no idea how to make up for those moments, nor can I ever expect them to take them with a grain of salt.

Help for families of people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My only hope is to keep travelling down the road to mental wellness; to continue therapy and self-care. Included in that is a good diet and exercise. All of this effort will hopefully quell my fight or flight mode and better manage my PTSD when my nervous system is afire. 

To my dearest family, please know that the truth is, your support keep me going.

Lemonade Stand III, people with military and emergency service backgrounds talk about their PTSD. Pre-order today!

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About the Book

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 their 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.

Pre order today

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!

PRE ORDER TODAY AT

Lemonade Stand Vol. III on The Road To Mental Wellness.

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

You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD

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

Fighting for my life

Fighting For My Life

Today, I write this blog post from the comfort of my couch. I am stricken with dizzy spells and exhaustion; an inconvenience that prevents me from standing. Sadly, this has become all too familiar. However, despite what you are thinking, this inflection is not an illness; rather, it is the direct result of fighting for my life.

More specifically, I am currently coming off a drug, Sertraline and slowly introducing another antidepressant. This change is yet another attempt of many to get me running down the road to mental wellness. The Irony here is that I am too sedated to get out of my own way.

I fight on because when I look up, I see all those I love and all those I hold near and dear.

I know that many may not agree with me when I say I am fighting for my life; that’s fine. However, there’s more than one way to look at the long battle to live. for example, fighting to get back on track after having your life come flying off the track due to, in my case mental illness; while others are going toe to toe with a serious physical ailment.

In crisis? Crisis Servces Canada Can Help.

One thing that physical and mental illnesses have in common is that both can sometimes have dire consequences, especially if left untreated. In fact, one of the main reasons I have survived is that I sought out a multitude of treatment options.

Like what your reading? try Face To Face With My Mental Illness.

Of course, I can’t speak for others, I can only speculate that their struggle is similar to my own. For me, I’ve been at war since I was a boy. And, If I had to be honest with myself, I’m tired.

Fighting for my Life.

Exhausted from what is essentially a lifetime in the trenches; a lifetime therapist after therapist and trying one medication after another. Now, at forty-four, I sometimes have doubts as to whether or not I will emerge the victor. It’s a thought that I’m sure many people struggle with.

When one has a mental illness, winning one battle, one moment at a time is a victory.

I am fighting for my life because this PTSD thing has latched on and uses me as its host to survive, the depression, it reaches from within to ensure there is no way I can shake either one. With a firm grip and a resolve to conquer my life, I fight on because when I look up, I see all those I love and all those I hold near and dear.

So, I will press on, continue to take on my internal conflict with all the strength I can muster. Because life isn’t all about me, it’s filled with people who love me. This is all I need to get up and fight on! Fight on my friends, fight on.

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

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness