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First Post Ever!

I really have no idea where to start so let’s start off with a confession. I have a huge problem starting stuff and then not really finishing it. There is a huge possibility if no further content is posted after a period of time then it could be another decade before you hear from me. lol. Anyways…

My name is Dustin Ronald and I live near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I currently work as a Registered Nurse specializing in the field of mental health. I consider myself someone interested in many different topics and someone who is a life long learner. I love to learn. I love to reflect. I was drawn to the mental health field because I have interests in psychology, science, human behavior, self-help, history, and evolution. I have lived experience with mental health in my family and the last few years have come to the realization I have suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, among some other things, my entire life.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family and was never fortunate enough to have access to be able to try and seek out my passions. My parents divorced when I was 14. I did not have a positive role model from my father. I haven’t spoken to him in fifteen years. I haven’t spoken with my mom in two years. My loving sister who is a little younger had complications with mental health from a young age. Even though I haven’t talked with my mom in some time I realize that If it wasn’t for her efforts I may have been in a much worse position today. Unfortunately, the relationship between her and I is complicated by the fact she has coped with significant levels of anxiety and depression by drinking wine every day. I still do love her and it hasn’t been an easy decision not talking with her.

For many reason’s I have felt alone in this world throughout my life and it is something I still struggle with today. It doesn’t help when you have social anxiety, performance anxiety, thoughts filled with “I can not” “I am not good enough” “I am stupid”, periods of depression, and little to no family support. If it wasn’t for my friends who I slowly gained from the ages of 10 to the present I may have been influenced by much worse things.

In my early twenties, I gathered some soul searching books and read them to find some inspiration. I needed a role model. I never had one growing up. I wanted to learn better values and develop a better sense of self. I wanted to find hope. I wanted to learn about other’s hardships to know I was not alone and I could too overcome the hardships I was dealing with. Two books I read and enjoyed were “The Art of Happiness” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler M.D, and “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

Reading books never really took the pain away. It did provide me a level of support, hope, and inspiration though. Also, In the last several years my employment has given me the advantage of learning a lot about mental health and learning new skills to cope with it. Among those skills, I have found a deep love for mindfulness and a little bit of a love/hate relationship with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

I am now approaching the age of 40 and through my ups and down’s need to start making more of a commitment to my health. I know what it feels like to feel good, I want to feel that again, and I want it to last this time. I want to use this site to let out my creativity, motivate myself to get back to self-care, and maybe inspire someone else.

I have no idea how you landed on this page. Whether it is for pleasure, work, curiosity, you’re struggling, something else, or you went down some crazy 2:00 AM internet rabbit hole. I want you to know I do not have the answers. I am no expert on life. I am still very much soul searching and figuring things out for myself.

Today, my goal is to get on a healthier path in life. Today, my goal is to motivate myself to use some of the skills and insights I have and write about my experience with them. Today is about self-care and loving myself. Today is about making my first post on a website I created three years ago. Today is about reaching out to others to know they are not alone and give hope that things can get better.

Welcome to Mindful Paradigm.