Learned To Think On The Fly

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think on the fly

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.

In amongst this chaos lies a set of unknown variables, things that arise that require a new page in your playbook. We prepare for any potential scenario we can think of but it is impossible to train for every possible emergency, all the things that can through a kink in the attack plan. You simply do your best to deal with whatever lands in front of you.
In my experience with mental illness, I have found these acquired skills from the fire service transferable, this mindset has helped me get through some of the more chaotic moments on this road to mental wellness. Like in life, mental health conditions can take you on a path of unknowns, how you feel from one day to the next is determined by the fluctuating but near-constant effects of post-traumatic stress; sometimes, the factors that trigger its symptoms is completely unknown.

PTSD and its triggers

When this happens I have to think on my feet and regardless of the source of my symptoms, I must minimize its effects if I am to guide myself through its tournament. When I become overwhelmed with the trauma ridden memories that plague me and stimulus brought on by the hypervigilance. The following are things that help me lessen the impact.

using minfulness

Tools to teal with Trauma

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 suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!


If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada


Want help fund my book? donate GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book.

Trauma Specialist, Dr. Jeffery Hosick: jeffreyhosick.com

You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD

Contact me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/TRTMW

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Jonathan Arenburg

I am a mental health advocate and mental health blogger. I Have my own battles with mental illness and want to share my story. "Telling my story of my mental wellness journey, hoping that it will help others along the way."

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