Today, I must come to accept that I am injured and may never see the working world as I knew it ever again.Tweet
Today, I find myself wrapped in a new heavy; one that comes from being on the cusp of a life change. Damn it, you, life! Although my battlefield record against mental illness is impressive, it is now starting to look like all I can do is hold its dark forces at bay. Have I hit the ceiling? What if this is the best I can do? Regardless, no matter what I threw at this dreaded PTSD, I always ended up being in the defensive.
Nonetheless, for years I was convinced that I would win the war on, not only PTSD, but depression too. Now, it’s looking less and less likely that I can. Don’t get me wrong; I’m far from surrendering. I just think it’s time to admit that the road to mental wellness will be forever uphill.
So, if I’m not giving up, than what the hell am I doing? Despite the vast array of weapons I have fired at mental illness, I haven’t found that “doomsday device” that would see the war come to a swift and concrete end. Whilr this is true, I will endeavour to find it.
For what seems like a century, I was one of the “go-getter” types – always happy to work and do it to the best of my ability. I’m sad to say, I loved it. Why do I say sadly? Well, frankly, because it has, at least in part, gotten me into the mental mess I am in today.
Nonetheless, I can’t tear out the pages of my fifteen years in the fire service, nor can I tape over my youth’s dream of working in long-term care. So, I must learn to shed the shame and embrace the consequences of my life choices, choices that led me straight down the road to mental illness.
Sure, I can say to myself “if I had only not become a firefighter,” as many times as I want, but what does that solve?? Nothing! Disappointing as it may be, I can’t change it. Rather, I must start to accept that my injury is too severe for me to be re-acquainted by the man I once knew.
And so, what does that leave me with? I think it gives me two things. One is the truth that I am injured and two, it only matters what I do right now. Therefore, I must continue to work with in the confines of my mental injury. In a bit to maintain some semblance of life, I will battle on by continuing to…
- Force social contact
- Continue to work on improving my diet
- Resting when I need to.
- practice mindfulness
- Refining my sleep schedule.
Now is the only thing that matters, really. Even though this is true, I know it’s easier said than done. However, it can be done. Being present is a skill and like most skills, the more you practice them, the better at it you get.
And so, I find myself in a sort of maintenance mode where I can continue to live a life, albeit not at all the one I once knew. Am I okay with that? I guess I will have to be. If you are in a similar jam, you can re-invent yourself. What that looks like is up to you… Remember, “we have a choice where we put our energy.” You can make something else of yourself. 🙂
More about self-care here
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