"So I used to lie and say I had GI issues when I was having an anxiety or panic attack. Now I lie and say I'm having a panic attack when I'm having a flashback. Can we just #breakthestigma and it be okay for ppl to not be okay so they can just get better instead of working on injuries? Oh wait this is first response, we work with broken bones, energy levels, spirits, and wallets."
The above is a text I sent in a group chat to my work brothers after waking up too late to call out. I got hectically ready and cried on my way in to work. That was when it dawned on me I was having an #emotionalflashback . And it's been a week full of them.
I actually tried to put the wall up, push the emotions down, and well you know... try actively #Dissassociating from them and their pain knowing good and well that would mean not feeling the good feels either. But it seemed the only way to make it through shift with how the morning and week were going.
But then, surprise, one of my brothers stopped by my station on his way home. He stayed chatting with me and my partner till our first call dropped not too long after clocking in. It gave me the courage to drop the idea of disconnecting from my emotions.
A few hours and calls later, another of my brothers found himself totally unfazed by my "hug attack" in the hospital's er bay. He let me burn off some anxious, annoying energy before we parted ways. It was the boost I needed to keep going.
Neither mentioned anything about the text. Neither called me out in front of anyone else. Both just gave me a few more extra minutes then I'd normally get from them. And it made all the difference.
They know I have a hard time reaching out for help. Thankfully they make it easy and worth it. And, without them even realizing it, they gave me a much needed burst of hope to keep doing my therapy and not give up admid a long frustrating symptomatic week.
I'm lucky to have some understanding peers and blessed to call a few my brothers. Most throughout the branches of first response are not so lucky, at least not when it comes to mental health issues.
The shift isn't over yet, but I know I'll make it through it.
Why? Bc my brothers have my six.
#EMS #Fire #Police #firstresponders
#Dispatch #iam911 #GY6 #PTSD #CPTSD