Thinking back, I can’t remember a time when I felt what “normal” is supposed to feel like. But then again, what is normal? This tends to be a frequentl- asked question. Maybe it’s an individual’s experience that is their own sense of normality.
So, is this normal? What I have been going through all these years feels inescapable so it must be. Whatever it is, normal, abnormal or otherwise, I long and I strive for at least extended periods of peace.
I used to mistake my anxiety and say I am a “worst-case-scenario thinker.” I also held the belief that this made me a better firefighter. Boy, was I taken for a ride. See, it can be difficult to differentiate the chatter that is mental illness from your authentic self; as a result, we end up assimilating the anxious talk into who we are. In other words, we believe it to be normal.
My worst-case-scenario thought process coupled with this harm-reduction approach that is ingrained in the minds of every firefighter, made me focus on the girls and guys of the department. I helped develop better accountability programs for equipment care. All in the name of safety.
Unfortunately, with my inability to understand that my mental-health condition was doing the majority of the talking, I ended up being completely led by the powers of this anxiety, so much so, that I’m sure it guided me down the road of PTSD. It was at this juncture that I was so overwhelmed, so consumed with fear that I couldn’t even walk through the doors of the station. Shortly thereafter, I walked away from one of my few true loves in life.
Are you in a similar boat? If so, ask yourself “is this normal?” Does it produce feelings of stress and angst on a near-constant basis, is it impacting my everyday living? Like me, maybe you’re being ruled by mental illness.
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
You may also enjoy: Slowly Walking My Way To Mental Wellness.
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