I read a recent post from my list of followed blogs, here, who I enjoy reading.  I always find myself smiling after reading a post.  It brought me to The Blog For Mental Health 2014.  I obviously do not do enough clicking around on this big old web.  I feel like I should have seen this sooner somehow.  Although I have done a lot of thinking on this sort of psychological ‘blinder’ that seems to plague me.  The literal it’s right there sitting in front of you but are unable to see it.  Definitely a tad on the irritating side.

I’ll get back on topic now that I’ve strayed.  Here I am, fighting the urge to describe how one thought always leads me to another thought as a sort of footnote to elaborate on the previous.  Is too much information a bad thing?  Where’s the line?  My new superhero name…The Strayer.  Changes subjects faster than the flip of a page.  Need to know where that cliché came from?  Ask me something totally off topic and I will get there before you know it.

Possibly somewhat fitting that I start my pledge to blog for mental health 2014 with a thought process akin to skipping a rough, oddly shaped rock across mirrored water.  It’s path darting side to side almost as a rabbit would run through trees escaping a fox.  Unknowing of its own path.  Choosing direction based on adrenaline.  Flee as fast as you can and sort out the rest later.  Am I a rabbit?

This writing thing is becoming more important to me everyday.  I might even pick up a book again one day.  This needs to be important.  This huge goal.  My little goal.  Stigma.

The more politically correct and humane we have become in public means nothing to how we are all still human.  By human, I mean animals.  Constantly judging, comparing, pushing and fighting.  Did tickle me Elmo really help out our planet?  Take this super slippery, great sounding mortgage that you won’t be able to make the payments on in a few years so I can get a big cash bonus.  As long as my ‘family‘ is taken care of that’s all that matters.  All of this customization and personalization has separated us as connected humans.  We really are all connected.  Is there humans anywhere else that we know of?  Pretty sure earth is it for now.  As well as it’s orbit.  I don’t want to leave out the scientists traveling at amazing speeds around this gorgeous life maker.

So why do we do it?  Are we all sadists to some degree?  I can’t let myself believe that people truly enjoy watching other people suffer.  We must be better than that.  We have created some amazing things out of the molecules that exist here.  Furthering our need to consume and understand.  Much understanding comes from creation.  We can create a new place.  Start anew inside our minds and the minds of those around us.

Opening up about mental health can only bring good.  Everyone has a brain.  Therefore we all must have a state of mental health.  Sharing our deepest and most personal thoughts and all that goes along with it can only create a connection.  This is where we will distinguish the human from the animal.  We have language and art.  If we cannot use these mediums to our advantage, as they can be to connect us, we are all living with blinders on.

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

Thanks again for taking the time to read me.  I’ll write again soon.

Justin B.



Coffee.  Check.

Moderately medicated.  Check.

Dose of CBC radio one.  Check and continuing.  Unless of course it diverts from great programming to cover that massively over-advertised thing in Russia.  I hope that isn’t disrespecting any Olympians, potential Olympians, or athletes of any kind.  My underlying assumption is that those who love and are in love with a sport, and themselves in that sport, enjoy pushing to the brink of breaking mentally and physically with the determined goal of achieving a greater personal oneness and success.  Much like Buddhist Monks, I like to think they would do this without any media coverage whatsoever.  The thrill of feeling that all the time you have devoted inside and out has allowed you to manipulate that one muscle, group of muscles, to absolute perfection.  Your timing impeccable, an almost ‘matrix’ like zone taking over you.  Heightened to a point of pure elation.  High on adrenaline.  Exhausted.   Now to do it better…

Getting myself going on the writing front so I can pursue my determined goal.  Check.

I can most definitely believe that I won’t be receiving an Olympic medal for my endeavor’s here on WordPress, but one post a week is a pretty decent effort on my part.  Now I have a fresh cup of coffee almost finished brewing and Jian Ghomeshi has finished his monologue.  Once again never letting me down with a great episode full of perspective to look forward to while I give this a go.

I’ve filled the tank and got the car running but I’m still not sure how to quite get it in gear.  I have had a week to think of what to write today.  I don’t feel like I over thought it.  Feeling anxious about it, yes.  What don’t I feel anxious about doing?

There it is!  I knew if I just kept writing I’d find it.

What don’t I feel anxious about doing?

Recent life changes have left me alone a lot.  The past two months I have been almost exclusively alone.  This is normally something I would not be anxious about.  The polar opposite in fact.  I am an introvert.  Maybe was an introvert is more accurate.  I used to relish in solitude.  Although when I would isolate myself from people, I would draw myself into nature.  Nature in its outdoor wild glory is something I understand and connect to.  This is a place for me where I am in the moment.  All of me.  I feel every molecule of every breath.  Taste and smell everything around me.  The freshness of the morning dew.  The sticks and leaves on the ground below slowly decomposing into humus.  Acidic yet sweet is the smell of meticulously rotting pieces.  Pieces that used to be a part of this living forest.  My heart beating calm and sure.  I am relaxed throughout.  I can hear squirrels and small birds rustling and flipping through the branches.  Feel the air pressure against my completely aware skin.  Molding myself into the wild and all at once letting the wild flood and mold itself into me.  Picturing myself working my way through the trees, across streams and valleys.  Beginning at a walking pace and moving the branches in my way aside.  With the weight of a steam-powered locomotive I’m accelerating.  Branches are clearing themselves.  Now at an uncontrollable speed, entering deeper and deeper into the wild.  Into myself.  I can see it ahead.  Where is this energy coming from I think to myself as I push harder.  The edge is there, stopping is not an option.  I give in and explode into flight.  Blasting and soaring through forest and river, my body and mind.

I Live.  I Have Life.

Impenetrable.  Relentless.  If I ever used a thesaurus I probably couldn’t be stopped.  Just a couple of ways I can describe myself when I am in control.  ‘Genghis Khan would fear me if I rode in his time.’, something I tell myself when I’m on top.  As of late I find it hard to even derive a small amount of those feelings when I’m in my element.  Stresses, doubt, exhaustion are all creeping in.  Taking the steam right out of me.  Almost exponentially able to turn it around and use it against me.  ‘Go away.’, I tell myself.  ‘I don’t need you.’  What am I doing anyways.  That’s right, I’m pulling wood, cutting wood, or chopping wood.  Don’t forget about the shoveling.  How can something so clean and beautiful as snowflakes become so depressing?

Mindfulness has been extremely important for me over the last few weeks in particular.  Directing my mind to focus on my body has been the basic one.  All the way to going outside in boots and boxers until all I could think was, ‘Holy **** I’m cold!’.  Trouble sleeping, breathe in, breathe out.  Repeat.

I’ve made 30+ revisions on this post and had an overly stressful morning and last night.  I am absolutely thrilled with myself that I am able to complete what I think is another well thought out organization of words and punctuation.  I’m going to take the next 30 seconds or so, or as long as it lasts, to congratulate myself for accomplishing my post.  Doing this type of exercise actually will help to re-wire your brain to think positively.  Cognitive Behavior Therapy.  A must use for more than likely anybody with a brain and blood.  Promote it, use it.  Mindfulness is a big one.  Being in the moment can be quite difficult but regrets of missing out are even worse.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this.  I’m a newbie to the writing game and welcome any comments at all.  In a week or less I’ll be here again.

Thanks again for reading me.  Saying see you again,

Justin B.



So I shall just being with a non-anxiety increasing short little hello.


I had the thought to start this blog today to try to help open up the discussion to anyone who reads this or anything about mental health.  I haven’t quite decided how far this will go, but how can I?  After all, I am using the internet to display my personal thoughts, feelings, actions, and most of all my anxious and obsessive thoughts and actions.  This could go anywhere.  One of the goals I had in mind when beginning this little project is that just the act of expressing myself and letting it go to the masses will help reduce my anxiety with that use of energy alone.  So maybe a small bit about me, Justin B, could start the conversation.  Here we go….

I grew up beginning on an island on a border lake, Saganaga.  It is split between Canada and the United States, Ontario and Minnesota.  My parents then moved to Ignace, a small town in Ontario.  Through what I would say I experienced several life times of emotional and physical stress during my upbringing.  Things that I will more than likely expand on over time.  I vaguely remember having thoughts and feelings of anxiety as a teenager and as a pre-teen but they were just shrugged off as normal.  Although the more I look back the more I realize it was most indefinitely a daily if not constant weight on my shoulders.  School dances, social obligations, just simple conversations were things that I would over think and talk myself into the fact that I’m simply not that type of person.  It’s fine.  I’m just anti-social, no big deal right?  Lack of friendships and those willing to even spend time with me slowly dwindled down to being truly alone.  I started to turn against myself.  I’m anti-social, no problem.  Anti-social turns misanthropic, no problem.  I’m opinionated, no problem.  I can only spend time with you or truly appreciate you if you just listen to me and do what I say, as I think a number of thoughts that 10 brains could have a hard time processing so why shouldn’t you?  Problem.  Problem #1 we’ll call it.  As any person that has an understanding of anxiety would say, yeah maybe not number one, but definitely a number.  One number of many.

Fighting yourself is a battle that is unreal.  As I’m writing this I can’t believe that I have the energy to fight myself.  Put me down.  Beat me up.  There have been times when it led to panic attacks.  Hyperventilating, crying, obsessive thoughts spiraling out of control.  Thoughts so strong that lead me to becoming physically ill.  My body convulses itself into trying to vomit repeatedly.  My vision starts to blur, becoming light-headed.  All of my skin is tingling.  I begin to then start a thought process of a hypochondriac.  Am I having a heart attack?  A stroke?  Am I going to get through this?  Why am I having these thoughts when I’m falling apart mentally and physically?  My sock is turned sideways, I forgot to feed the cat, the sink has dishes and I forgot to send that email.  Why don’t I call people back?  Should I have kept that old high school girlfriend?  The volume of a cylinder is pi x r2 x h.  I’m still laying on the floor my shirt is covered in snot and tears.  I wish the dog would stop trying to make me feel better I’m not worth it.  Is suicide an option?  How?  Will I suffer?  Why?  I’m a good person, I have so much to share.  I love oxygen and the sun and the dirt.  Maybe I’m not worth it though……

This is a panic attack.  I hope that you have never experienced it.  This is one of many forms it takes on myself and many people everywhere.  More than likely someone you know and love or care about.  Someone you work with and wonder why they are always touchy or in a bad mood.  If it is yourself, I’m here.  We’re here.  There is many of us.  Open up please.  Tell everyone you know as much or as little as you can.  It’s not normal.  It’s not healthy.  We all have so much to give.  Share this any way you can.

Justin B.