I admitit. I suck at putting out my own fires. How good are you at self-care?Tweet
I answered my last alarm a few years back and ever since then, I have been putting out my own fires. This time, I am battling blazes that threaten to consume my mind and myself in my entirety.
At first, I hated that I was too “weak” to fend off a little thing like PTSD, I sure as hell, so I thought, had defeated bigger monsters in my life, so this beast would be easy to slay, right? Man, did I ever pay a price for that silly assumption.
Fortunately for me, I saw the wall I was hurling towards at top speed. Thankfully, this gave me time to abandoned my foolish ways before I became yet another tragic statistic.
Even though I narrowly escaped a socially-acceptable yet mythical norm – that of plowing through every ounce of mental pain – I was, however, left with permanent injuries, ones I can now not ignore.
You know that old saying? That ignorance is bliss? Well, not in my case. Had I not worked on putting out my own fires, my world could have been destroyed by my own ignorance. Turns out, that what you don’t know can hurt you. Whether you want to see it or not, it is still there.
While it’s true that I hoped that the tragic events imprinted on my memory would somehow dissolve over time, I was wrong! As if that weren’t enough, I am also a helper by nature. This disposition is by default one that sees people like myself at the bottom of their own “to take care of” list.
Want to read more! Check out I CAME ALIVE AT THIRTY-FIVE.
This approach is, in my view, ridiculous. Why? Because running on empty all the time leaves you drained, lonely and unfulfilled as a person. After all, we love helping others. it’s what drives us. But without self-care, we can’t reap the benefits of our work. At least, this has been my experience.
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In conclusion, putting out our own fires needs to be the priority. Think of it this way. Militaries all over the world have learned that they must condition their troops. So, on the level of the individual, they must be in peak shape to do their job. In other words, they must look after themselves first. And so too should we.
Check out the book I helped to write:
Lemonade Stand: Vol. III
Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military. In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness. So, if you are from the military or emergency services, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently come with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and/or get the help you need.
The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone. Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness – and best of all, it attempts to give all who served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!
If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada
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