Sunset

More Important Than Ever

Finding my purpose has become more important than ever.

Thanksgiving of 2017 was a life-changing moment for me and not in a good way; at least not entirely. What started out as a warm and joyous occasion with family, ended with a young man’s last moments on earth. Upon hearing that there was an emergency on the front step of my aunt’s apartment building, I leaped into action.

Sadly though, I would be met with a wall of numbness and disassociation, rendering me unable to assist the young man. As a result, on this cool thanksgiving evening, the firefighter and long term care working in me died; leaving a shell of a man, standing beside himself, very, very, lost.

Symptoms Of PTSD

As much as I tried to shake it off and shut it down, like the big tough firefighter I thought I was, I could not. My nightly dance with the nightmares was too strong of a force to contend with; the flashback would damn near send me of the road and made it increasingly more difficult to bear. What’s more, my workplace was fraught with violence, and near constant noise. With this threat of being assaulted a constant and coupled with this noise, the new, not so cable self, was defenceless against its over stimulation. Essentially, I lived in zombie land, shut off so as to protect the shards of me that remained.

adventure beach lost man
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com – More important than ever.

Now, in twenty-twenty, I have only made baby steps down the road to mental wellness; with that said, I’d be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that’s not saddened and frustrated. After all, I should be cured by now right? Wrong!

When PTSD Catches Up

With PTSD producing all this internal chaos; or, as I like to call it, the mental health storm of the century, I am left in a quandary. A battle that leaves me struggling to define who I am. Since I had no say in the “new me” I have no idea which direction to take. However, with all this uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to keep fighting like hell to find a me that can be defined; one that can contribute to society and an identity that finds purpose.

The One Thing I do have in 2020

Getting back to this holiday weekend and it’s overwhelming, triggering challenges, it has become more important than ever to take stock of all the great things I have in my life. Amazingly, it’s the practice of gratitude that propels more forward and because I am so fortunate, I have to believe that great things will happen along this long but healing journey. I have to have hope and perhaps most importantly, I have to keep moving forward.

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

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

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

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When PTSD catches up

When PTSD catches up, how do you handle it’s wrath?

Let’s face it, life doesn’t stop doing its thing. It will always come with its ups and downs, that’s simply part of the deal. Sadly, these rules still apply for those with mental health conditions. Of course, I can’t speak for everyone but I can for myself. So here it goes; Life’s hard my friend and recently, I have had my fair share of the harsher side of things.

Checkout Al Levin’s Podcast, The Depression Files

Thing is, right now, I don’t feel that bad. Despite a break up and my son’s accident, I should be wreaked right? Well, I’m not, but its has not yet sunk in for me. Fear not, it will when PTSD catches up. Then, it will hit me.

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

Being witnessed to so many critical incidents, I have built a disconnect from tragic events; not the good kind either. In fact, I have no armour what so ever. No, what I’ve got going on is an unhealthy dose of disassociation and apathy; both symptoms of PTSD but are protective in a sense. I liken it to a sort of power down mode, designed to protect what’s left of me.

When PTSD catches up
Photo by Gabb Tapic on Pexels.com

Despite resembling a zombie at times because of it, make no mistake, when PTSD catches up with me, I will “feel” once more. It may take a day or maybe even three, but it will hit me and hit me hard.

Symptoms of PTSD

When it hits it will literally take my out of living. For how long, is anyone’s guess; all I know is that I will retreat from the world and live within the safety and quiet of my bedroom. This ever busy world is just too much, especially when life throws me a few curve balls. It essentially creates the perfect mental illness storm.

Read Nightmare’s aftermath

If this sounds like you, don’t despair, this need you feel to seclude yourself will pass. When PTSD catches up with you, it will be hell but hang on you WILL get through it… Stay strong.

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

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