There is two sides to every story

Two sides to every story

Remember, there are two sides to every story.

Before we start, there are two sides to every story… please consider donating to The Road To Mental Wellness, we are able to keep going because of readers like you. Thank you for your support.

As a mental health advocate, part of the work I do is to try to get people to understand the plight of those suffering from mental illness. This, as you well might imagine, is no easy task.

But perhaps even more difficult, is living with or trying to explain to someone but why you; say, jump at literally every single noise. You know, this is classic PTSD and it’s startle response. However, it’s been my experience that the majority of people who aren’t cursed with this invisible taser-like affliction, will likely see you as jumpy. Furthermore, rather than seeing one as ill, people who don’t know will either laugh or pay it zero attention. Hell, I’ve even been told to calm down. There are, without question, there are two side to every story.

One thing I would like to get better at, and I wish the rest of us would too; is learning to think deeper than just what we observe on the surface from others. Personally this has been a reoccurring theme in my life and it has done some real damage.

For instance, we could stop and ask ourselves what’s really causing the behaviour that we are seeing? Now, I know that this really isn’t the way we think, at least the majority of us; however, it would nonetheless help us better understand and thus better empathize those around us. So maybe empathy is something we should teach in schools?

How to cultivate empathy.

Empathy allows us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to try and understand and work with people who having unique challenges. In my case, If disappear and withdrawal for example, I’m not avoiding you intentionally, I am trying to recharge; so I can cope with the world around me. Understanding how depression works, will help you see that it’s not you, thus you may have more empathy for my predicament. The lack of trying on the part of others is, as far as I am concerned, further proof that there are two side to every story.

The sad reality of a person with PTSD is that the person you loved and once knew is gone. For us, this is a huge part of our journey because we are wrestling with a loss of identity. Our sense of self was once wrapped up in the services, our lives literally put on hold countless times to run to the aid of others. PTSD, takes that from us, at least in the way we once knew it.

There are two side to every story – yes even the non-sufferer.

With all that said, we, the mentally ill must consider that there are two side to every story of those on the outside looking in. For example. Do they know anything about PTSD, depression or any other form of mental illness? Furthermore, do we have a right to be mad at every human being who “doesn’t get it?” While this may be difficult to answer, it’s my contention that, no, in fact we can’t be mad with every Johnie and Joe; especially if they have only heard tell of PTSD on the TV or internet. Some people will never get past the words, “oh my. that’s terrible.” What can I, or you do about that? Others are outright dismissive whilst others are avoidant.

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Rally Point Retreat provides a quiet, safe, and relaxing, rural setting on Nova Scotia’s South Shore as a respite for essential services members in treatment for CIS/CSI/OSI/OSIS/PTSD to regroup themselves and reconnect with their families, to prevent further collateral damage from traumatic events.

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While deep down I find that a bit sad and frustrating, especially when I have to provide a crash course on trauma wherever I go, I do accept that not everyone cares. It’s just the way it is. Does that mean we give up the fight? Of course not.

The most effective tool we as the ill, is the amazing power of education, not through agitation. The exception? Family and close friends. If they want to and love that special person with PTSD, they are going to have to commit like never before. I recommend that one’s partner, children and friends seek out the assistance of a metal health professional, educate themselves on the disorder and train themselves to look for the signs. Letting someone know who’s post-traumatic that you are going to make a loud noise, is just but one of the ways you can help.

How to love and live with someone who has PTSD.

So, it’s imperative that we see that there are two sides to every story. Firstly, people with mental illness need love, support and customization. It would be helpful for society as a whole to recognize this but that’s not practical. Two, we must understand that it’s not realistic to assume that the entire population is educated about mental health conditions or that they are cable of understanding it. This reality necessitates that we move away from the non-empathic or ignorant.

So, my fellow suffers, lets educate and not hate. We will reach some and others? Well, what can we do? I have always felt that the best way to change the world is by one person at a time. I will worry about those who are willing and not waste me very limited mental resources on those who don’t know or care. Remember, if we choose to fight against mental illness stigma, we must not waste our fuel. Rather we must ration it to help move the cause forward on the willing to learn.

In those momenets

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 services, 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!

There are two sides to every story, copyright, 2020

Order today

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

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

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Doing it wrong wrong for so long

We do something wrong for so long

We human are funny creatures, sometimes we do something wrong for so long, we believe to be right. But is this always the case?

I am like many of you; once I saw the injustice that has embedded itself into the mental health care system, I felt compelled to act. Over the course of advocating for myself, the battle was very disheartening. Why does everything have to be about money?

We hear this all the time, don’t we? There’s no money, we had to cut our budget. While on the surface, this seems true but is it really? I mean, looking at anything just on it’s surface only gives you a first glance at an issue, at least, this is how I see it.

So, if we dig deeper, are we really broke as a nation? Or could it be true that the money is being spent hand over fist on other, more frivolous things?

Where does the money go?

How many times have you heard that government has bailed out yet another corporation, gave themselves a raise or “invested” it into something? Lots right? This is a clear reallocation of money and it happens all the time. I find myself asking, what is the human cost of this misspending?

Sure, it’s true that there is only so much money to go around but with that said, the more important question here is, where is it going? How is the debt larger yet the “deep cuts needed” haven’t made a dent?

We do something wrong for so long.

An American battalion chief, a keynote speaker at a fire service conference I was attending said; “Sometimes, as firefighters we do something wrong for so long, that we believe it to be right.” Since that day, his words have always echoed in my head. I think this statement is not only true of the fire service but of many other areas in society.

house money capitalism fortune
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com – We do something wrong for so long.
The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Could this be true of our political systems? Let’s be honest, where the politicians put our money can make one shake their head. For example, some local, provincial and federal governments will cut funding to emergency services. Unthinkable; instead, they spend it on flags, trail development or some other trivial project; a move that is the equivalent to you and I, neglecting our mortgage payment to pay for our recreational desires; this would be silly to most. As far as I’m concerned, government spending is one of these scenarios that the battalion chief spoke of.

Like what you are reading? Try Our mental well-being.

I think we can agree that there’s no denying that money, whether taxpayers or personal, needs to go to the essentials first. While a beautiful walking trail is very nice to have; its irresponsible to cut from essential services to have this added bonus in one’s community. When we think about it, it’s silly to keep up appearances when lives are put at risk and there’s a very real chance that some could die because of this decision.

The mental health picture.

So then, why are we being told there’s no money for mental health care but the coffers seem to be full for the wealthy and their corporations? Well, in my view it’s because we’ve been doing it wrong for so long we think it’s right. However, with a bit of critical thinking, we can easily see that our priority should be on the services that benefit the country as a whole.

Given that mental health issues are on the rise because of Covid-19, we need more funding for mental health resources and professionals to help combat this rise. Now is not the time to spend money on things that may be pretty and nice, but don’t provide any long-lasting solution for society as a whole.

Hear people tell their story on Men Are Nuts Podcast

A good metric to use in my opinion is that of human suffering. For example, are people with mental health conditions getting the help they need? The answer to this question is, some. But with that said, there are so many more going without…… Honestly, our fiscal misdirection in our society is making us sicker and is not the golden goose egg we’ve been led to believe. How many people are dying because of it?

And it’s not just mental health, its healthcare in general, it’s a shortage of doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, forestry firefighters food inspectors, police, psychologists, social workers, plow drivers, just to name a few. This is, of course, made worse by the lack of facilities and the tools to do their jobs. How much of a cost is there to the people? These are not mere, “needs to save more,” issues they are real and legitimate health risks to the population. How many people have died because of this “fiscal responsibility?” Lots. Furthermore, what are the economic cost of putting the population at risk for a new stadium whilst neglecting the hospitals?

The cost of favouring a few over the majority is enormous. Yet it is business as usual? There is money to make the health of our nation the priority, we just need to put it where it belongs; on the people who invest the money in the form of taxes to have what they need. People first!

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!

Pre order today

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

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

The What’s Wrong Scanner
Then, the what's wrong scanner booted up. Have you ever gone along …
To look forward is to look into your past.
The Way I Deal with Pain
Everyone has a process For dealing with personal emergencies. Here, I discuss …
This could be the key to moving FORWARD
This could be the key to moving forward. Let your passion be …
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.

Lemonade-III-Front
Lemonade Stand Vol. III
Pre order today

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

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