My healing social network

My Social Healing Network.

When the pandemic struck, my social healing network became my friendships I forged on social media

Have you ever been in a room with someone, and for some unexplainable reason, you just felt awkward around them? It’s as though there is some unseen force at work. To me, if kinda feels like you’re both two like poles that naturally repel one another; each party doing their upmost to avoid one another.

What makes this unsee force so interesting to me is that it can happen instantaneously. We’ve all been there, am I right? All you want to do is make a run for the door whenever you and that person must interact.

Under those circumstances, it’s unlikely that the two of you will become close friends. However, that’s not always the case.

The Impact of connection

While this can make a night out a bit more stressful, thankfully, there are those whom we can instantly feel a connection. Instant attraction, romantic or otherwise can end up cultivating a kinship that guide both parties through the toughest times in their lives.

The Importance of human connection

In these most uncertain times, I would argue, that because we are more isolated than ever, its become more important to find meaningful connection and make an effort to stay connected.

Thankfully, we are also living in the internet age; a time when we can interact at any moment of the day and in real time. This was an impossibility only 25 years ago; and even more of a challenge before the advent of the telephone.

As rough as times are today, just think of those who had little to no connection in the days of ole. Oftentimes, when tragedy stuck, one’s social connection network stood a good chance of being wiped out by illness. Nowadays, medical science has made this notion a rarity.

Lists of disease that have been eradicated by science


Social media can be a good thing.

The one thing I love about the internet today, it can in fact, be a healer for many. Peculiarly for people who are suffering from a mental illness. Mainly, social media and video chat. Although social media has its well documented dangers, like all things, there’s good and there’s bad.

Now that we have established that human connection is fundamental to our well-being, both mental and otherwise, I want to share why it has been a lifesaver for me.

My Social media peer support

Anyone with PTSD and depression can tell you that it can be pretty isolating. I have been known to disappear into the perceived safety of my bed often and for long periods of time. An ever-increasing occurrence now that we have limited contact. However, I am able to pull through it, why? Well, in part because of the human connections I have made on social media. Those individuals who are also suffering similar afflictions.

Because The Road To Mental Wellness is an internet based mental heath advocacy page, I have had the opportunity to create a social media network with some amazing people. What’s more, I have made that “Instant connection” mentioned above.

MY SOCIAL HEALING NETWORK.
Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com – My Social healing network

Being that most of my work is internet based, I enviably have to use multiple social media platforms if I am to help as many people as I can. In the process of spreading the word about my blog, an unexpected consequence arose.

Astonishingly, these instant bonds online were more than an isolated incident. This discovery of like-minded people would provide me with more than just words in a messenger app or a smile on zoom, they would become part of my healing network. Or, as I like to call it, my social healing network.

My online friends have saved me from when depression speaks, from the desire to end it all because of PTSD’s nightmares,’ sudden anger and heightened startle response. Without them, I hesitate to say where I would be.

I can only hope that my support and outreach has done the same for them. To you all, I owe a huge “Thank You”!

Books you may love

Note: The Road To Mental Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

anxiety or ADHD

THE ROAD TO MENTAL WELLNESS – THE BOOK

Cover reveal

I am excited to announce that I will be revealing my first book cover in mid January. Called The Road To Mental Wellness, it chronicles my lifelong battles with mental illness. It’s goal? To help others by telling my story…. Check back for updates. However, if you would like to see it sooner, simply subscribe to The Road To Mental Wellness email list and I will be more than happy  to send you the exclusive first look at it.


Order Lemonade Stand Vol. III Here

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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What you don't see

What You Don’t See

Pics on social media are cool but its what you don’t see that’s most important.

People who see my Facebook account will see, for the most part, my face with a smile on it; or perhaps there are they’ll come across pictures of me out for a bike ride or me at the gym. I look like I got the world by the ass, right? Wrong! Don’t be fooled. Although it may seem like I’m enjoying life to the max, it’s what you don’t see that tells my actual story.

In reality, what’s going on beyond the one-tenth of me you see in photos; is but the tip of the iceberg. When I took the fire safety officer course, many moons ago, they taught us something that resonated with me. They taught us this: Perception is always reality and man, this is so very true.

So, what am I talking about? Well, simply put, what you see with your eyes doesn’t always marry up with the assumptions you conclude. Getting back to my smiley faces and gym poses on social media, the real question here is; “Am what I am seeing actually what’s what’s really representative of what’s actually going on?”

Sadly, in my case, the answer is no. As much as I want these pictures to represent me as a fun-loving, active guy who has his shit together, it would be a foolish to believe. Firstly, let me say that I am indeed a fun-loving, and active fella, however, to say I have my life together, is not at all what those pictures suggest.

The impact of social media photos on our mental health.

Underneath the flesh and bone and bouncing around in my nervous system is the mental health disorder called PTSD. If that weren’t enough, my brain has been afflicted with a huge dose of major depressive disorder; Crappy.

What you don't see
Photo by Raphael Brasileiro on Pexels.com

What you don’t see is the days and sometimes weeks that I am living in a tiny bedroom, burnout form PTSD’s symptoms and exhausted from depression. In this state, just looking at my phone can seem daunting. This is my reality, often, I am broken.

Want to listen to people’s mental health journeys? Go to A New Dawn podcast.

Remember, a smile, an action shot on a bicycle or even a statement pronouncing one’s gratitude, can be deceiving. Furthermore, making judgments about what you see in a photograph is not justification to conclude anything really.

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

My truth? My pictures are proof of my incessant desire to get moving forward. Getting down the road to mental wellness requires action so, when I’m able I do. That’s what you are seeing. A forced smile, may help others, a chronicle of my good days may inspire someone else to fight their own inner turmoil. That’s my hope. Plus, let’s not forget, when one has a blog and is an author, one must make the most of their good days to get content out there and sustain it.

Now you know my truth when it comes to my health and social media activity. What’s your story behind the pic?

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
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

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Trending buzz words

Trending buzz words?

If it takes a village to raise children, then it takes a nations people to tackle its injustices. Not trending buzz words.

COVID-19 at its peak was tough on so many all over the world. So much worry in fact, there were tons of talk on mental health. People, experts and lay person alike wondered about the pandemic’s impact on our mental well-being. My question now is; where did all the buzz and concern go? Are we a society full of two minute trends and trending buzz words?

If this is indeed the case, I have some real concerns around emulating the behaviours of social media’s algorithms. Firstly, if we are to tackle or most pressing social concerns like mental illness, how do we get anywhere if it falls off the radar faster than a supersonic jet?

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

I’m afraid we can’t. Even though a few of us, in comparison to the total population, still champion the cause, most are moved on to the next three-minute outrage. While I am proud of the work we are all dong as mental health advocates, is it enough?

How to advocate for those with mental illness

I think it’s time that we recognize the destructive power of mental illness, Not only is it damaging to the individual but it’s impact on all of us is too large to be a treading buzz word. Furthermore, we need to work on understanding how events around us shape the mental health landscape.

people doing group hand cheer
Photo by Dio Hasbi Saniskoro on Pexels.com

So dark and dreary are the times we live in. I feel like there is no end to the medias insistence on feeding us all things trauma related. It’s unrelenting. If that weren’t bad enough, some see nothing wrong with posting a video depicting a violent act, they are everywhere. Personally, I feel like gory images do little in the way of getting justice overall because it leaves many more damaged and suicidal.

I think it’s fair to say that mental illness can spread like a virus; fed by exposure to every conceivable tragic story. But also, it worsens by our refusal as a society to ensure we or someone we know aren’t the next victim of the mental illness pandemic. We can accomplish great things if we do so as a collective.

Having PTSD myself, I go further into my shell with all this chaos. I do so simply because it feels inescapable to me. I’m sure many others feel the same. Sadly, while showing the darkest disparities of humanity on social media isn’t likely to go away, it tells me one thing, more help is needed.

Like what you are reading? Try Find Time To Do What You Love.

My friends, the outcry around mental illness needs to be more than a flash in the pan; the talk needs to be more than trending buzz words, it needs to be a battle taken on by the majority, every day. We don’t only lose people to the virus, we also lose an untold amount because of the mental suffering brought on by it…. Please be safe!

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
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