In those moments

In those moments

In those moments.

If there’s one thing I have learned from living with a mental health condition, its this. There seems to be an ebb and flow to these damn conditions. Especially depression and post-traumatic stress.

My last depressive episode was a bad one. Thankfully, I think I’m on the other side of it through. Thanksgiving weekend, just a few weekends back, is the most difficult time of year for me. It’s this weekend that I was abducted by PTSD and have been held captive ever since.

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to resuscitate a young man who passed on the front porch of my aunt’s apartment building. So, naturally, I fall to the darkened power of depression every year. Therefore, it stands to reason that my PTSD symptoms are set afire, like a mental migraine, they overcome my brain and send me to hell. Basically, I ache, not physically, but mentally.

Getting to know your triggers

In those moments, I struggle to see the surrounding good, the sense of life and even my own self-worth. While this is obviously a very troubling way to feel, it does however, allow me to feel the fog start to lift. Feeling so intensely blue, makes the emergence of the more chipper me very easy to detect.

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Which brings me to the now. Now, I am feeling more “normal” If you are sitting there wondering how I can tell, well, let me explain. Firstly, it’s all about the energy level. I have more spring in my step and my endurance level is more like the old me. It’s like I am a video game character, low on life force, (depression) until I suddenly come across a health kit; then BOOM! let’s get err done. There is such a remarkable difference, that I have a “thank God” moment because of this contrast.

In those Moments
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Secondly, the need to isolate myself has decreased to baseline. Sure, I’d still prefer the solitude of my own company, but I have an actual desire to see others and appreciate that I am liked by some and loved by others. In those moments, I feel so thankful that I braved the mental illness hurricane, long enough to let it pass; at the end of the chaos, I am alive! Always.

Need help? Don’t know where to turn? Check out our Mental Health Resources Page

So, there you have it, This is how I know that I am on my way to wellness once more. Again, the contrast is so remarkable that I almost am euphoric with joy. Furthermore, when I land on the brighter side of my life’s mental heath journey, I am intensely more grateful for the life I have been given…

Please hang in there, it will get better. Then, there will be a period where you feel like you’re loosing. See, it’s in these moments when we have to hold on to the knowledge that it will, indeed get better. You got this.

Lemonade stand

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!

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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Pain is pain, period.

Pain is pain period

As I go through my life, I have come to realize that pain is pain, period.

As a thinker, I spend a lot of time thinking about my long battle with mental illness. As a result, I have learned a lot about myself along the way.

With that said, sometimes I’d give anything not to think at all. After all ignorance can be bliss, right? However, good ole mother nature designed me to problem-solve. Oh, and if that weren’t enough, she added a dash of angst; you know, so I can obsessively ruminate over what ails me.

Thankfully, there is an upside to letting anxiety take the wheel. As a matter of fact, it has, oddly enough, helped me on my road to mental wellness. How? Well, let me explain.

Having trouble finding help? Try our Mental health resources page.

While it’s true that having a mental illness sucks, my generalized anxiety disorder has an upside. Yes, an upside. So, for example, I can come up with valid solutions, at least for me, around why, lets say, PTSD impacts my life.

For me, my fight, flight or freeze response is always on high alert. So much so, it’s like someone snapped off the leaver and quietly walk away. Damn PTSD.

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Together with anxiety’s power, I am in near constant, a lot of the time, low level fear. This is what could be considered normal for me, baseline if you will. Regardless, if pain is pain, then I will work at making it better.

woman looking at sunset
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com — Pain is pain, period

As much as I consider this “my normal,” I have come to the conclusion that being in a mental state that is literally always painful, is not normal at all. I mean, If I was in near constant physical pain, the last thing I would think is “this is business as usual for me.”

Like what you are reading? Try Robbed Me Of My Joy.

So, I have concluded that, while symptoms of PTSD are what they are, a reality I can’t escape; I deserve to, at very least, work towards accepting the constant discomfort as something I can work toward alleviating. After all, if I broke my arm, I wouldn’t whistle around town and try and muddle through; of course not.

In reality, pain is pain and in my view, pain not only happens for a reason, it deserves our full and immediate attention;If you’re hurting, please get help.

So, obsessively worrying about how I feel has made me think, think and think some more. Most importantly, my intellectual endeavours have made me realize that mental discomfort, is a normal response to mental illness, we should not mistake it for normality; rather, we should strive and grant ourselves permission to fight for inner peace.

While it’s unfortunate, that we may never experience a permanent sense of euphoria or inner calm, we can however, work on getting to a better place. We are after all, worthy of the opportunity to life our best life.

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!

Pain is pain, period.
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

Be Brave Enough

As many of you may know, for over the last month I worked on a political campaign. Many of you may also know how the symptoms of PTSD started off lurking in the background than ever so slowly overtook me and by the end of the experience, my symptoms were so pronounced that I ended up spending less and less time in the office.

Read The Results Are In, Am I Healed?

As excited as I was at the prospect of having some semblance of a normal routine, next time, I have to be real with myself and understand that a new shot at normalcy isn’t a cure for mental illness. Despite the end result, there are so many great reasons why I don’t regret being brave enough to put myself out there, to let myself be vulnerable.

Admittedly I probably took on way too much, I now know that I need to customize the next round that is more tailored towards my own needs, to work within my own tolerances. With that said, I also got so much out of the experience that it quashed any feelings of regret or failure. So, here’s why I Don’t regret being brave enough.

Tips on self-care

  1. I was fighting for change, for metal illness – The only way to make a difference is to get involved. Being a mental health advocate and  suffering myself, I aligned myself to the New Democrats because mental health is a big part of their platform. Getting involved helped me advocate for us, asking the leader of the party a very important question. You can read about that here: Wait Times, A Mental Health Question For Jagmeet Singh or watch me ask it here.
  2. I wasn’t only fully embraced by the team, I was trusted with a key part of the campaign which I am proud of that. The people I worked with under this assignment were amazing and so hard working, as was every person working towards our goals.
  3. The commonalities that we all shared was energizing, it felt like I was part of something bigger than myself, so full of hope.
  4. Finally, the individual friendships I have made as a result of putting myself out there was well worth the mental pain, they all made this part of my journey so much easier.

Coping with mental illness in the workplace 

Thanks
So, if you were to ask me if it was taking on this adventure was worth it, despite the mental distress it produced, I would have to answer with an unequivocal yes! Not only did I learn where I am mentally, but I was also given an opportunity to help the team, which I love. Not only that, but I had a sense that I could help make a real difference overall and as a bonus,  made some wonderful very caring and understanding friends along the way.

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



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

You may also enjoy: Spontaneous Mental Combustion


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Check out my friend’s blog here: anewdawnaa.com