Double exposure image of a man

"Going to the doctor and receiving my diagnosis was life beginning for me."

About Jonathan:

I am a partner, a father of four, a tradesman, and most recently became the founder of a start-up clothing line called Arthur Bane Apparel, set to launch fall 2020. Arthur Bane is a lifelong dream of mine and was inspired by my bipolar diagnosis in 2019. It’s a clothing brand with a purpose and for each item sold a donation is made to support mental health.

Jonathan’s Story

Jonathan wearing cap by Arthur Bane ApparelWHAT WAS THE MAJOR TURNING POINT IN YOUR RECOVERY FROM DEPRESSION?

Because I suffer from bipolar, I experience both depression and mania with significant swings. The turning point for me was recognizing the obvious strain it was putting on my family, and that I couldn’t be who I wanted to be for them.

Going to the doctor and receiving my diagnosis was life beginning for me. I always knew something was off and that my moods took me over, I just didn’t know why and often blamed myself and figured I was just an a-hole.

The diagnosis was a huge relief because now I had an answer and knew that I was not to blame, it wasn’t all in my head, and I needed treatment. Once I owned the label I could take the actions I needed to improve my life, make better connections with people, and see my situation for what is was – an illness not a personality flaw.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT REALLY HELPED?

My bipolar is treated with medication, something it took me time to accept and I did because I couldn’t go on the way I was, and it made a huge difference in my life. What I learned through this process is that there are lots of things within my control that can improve my treatment and elevate my mood, in fact there are small lifestyle habits any of us can introduce that will help to create a better mindset.

For me, those habits include:

Working out every day

  • Running a trail, going to the gym, and going for a bike ride help to lift my mood and release some of my agitation.

Getting outside and into nature

  • Sitting on my back deck, going for a walk, and kayaking the river creates a calm I cannot find anywhere else. Nature is a powerful healer for the mind.

Talking openly to friends and family

  • Owning my diagnosis and talking to the people closest to me actually made our bonds stronger. It always surprised me that every time I opened up, it empowered others to open up too.

Thinking positively

  • Actively recognizing and stopping myself from listing a pile of negatives, it doesn’t help. Instead, I look for the positive in any situation and hang onto that.

Establishing a daily routine

  • Establishing a daily routine that makes all my good choices into habits, allows me to cut through the noise of decisions and everything becomes automatic. It also gives me a clear indicator when things are off and I know exactly what to do to get back on track.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER GUYS FIGHTING DEPRESSION?

Find what works for you and stick with it, if that includes medication so be it. It’s your life and your decision to do what makes you feel best.

Like me, you will be surprised by what happens when you open up and talk to people and share with your buddies what is going on. No one is immune to struggles, let’s talk about them and tackle them together.

– Jonathan, Founder of Arthur Bane Apparel, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. insta Twitter logo