When I was in the fire service I quickly learned to think on the fly, to mitigate the dangers, often life-threatening dangers in which I was confronted. Firefighters are an awesome bunch because they don’t like to give up until they extinguish the flames in front of them and moving on to the next set of issues before them, they will do this until the damage to life and property is minimized.
1. I remove myself from the area; going to a peaceful area that is less stimulating decreases the duration of a moment that has been induced by triggers. A constant loud and overbearing environment can serve as fuel for the fire and maintain the burn of flashbacks.
2. Work with mindfulness to bring myself back to the present and remind myself that my memories are just that, memories.
3. Sometimes its all about riding the wave. I find this the toughest option but if I can’t get away to decompress, I have little choice but to wait out the storm that rages in my head.
I have to come to terms with the fact that my mental illness injury has altered my life plan to the degree that I am forced to find another path, to work towards new goals and aspirations. This prospect is, of course, a scary one but I refuse to give up until I have won the day. I will be ok.
If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada
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