One of the Lucky Ones
I am one of the lucky ones.. I let my trauma dictate my life for over a decade. The flashbacks, the reminders, the triggers. Back then I didn't believe PTSD could be a possibility because I wasn't in combat. I was wrong. It took veterans telling me it was ok to not be ok, it took counseling for me to confront my demons. Even then I still self medicated. It would be wrong for me to take a medication for my struggles right? But everyone drinks. I can just go to the store and get something to numb myself and I won't have to worry about someone seeing my medical history or even worse, think I can't do the job or that I'm weak right?? Wrong. I know that there is still a very big stigma in my job to discuss my feelings. To say that I'm not ok. But you know what? I finally realized that it takes STRENGTH to admit I needed help. To admit I couldn't fight this fight alone. So I stopped fighting. I found my own faith. I made some of my worst calls and hardest memories my "why". I realized how lucky I was to be able to be there for those people in those terrible moments and have hope that I was able to bring them a little bit of peace. I know that it still hurts but I now honor their memory instead of using it as an excuse to be numb. Instead of it taking from me I now let it drive me. Is it easy? Absolutely not, it is a struggle every day on some level and I now know that it is something that I will have to continue to work on. When I finally humbled myself and was willing to get help I chose to go to rehab. I chose this because I had a drinking problem and I was not only hurting myself but I was hurting my family, my relationships, and worst of all I hurt people that were just trying to help me. I was becoming the opposite of the person who started this job and I had lost my way. Rehab finally gave me a foundation for my fight. Counseling. loved ones, and admitting I cannot do any of this alone keeps me on the right path. I now go to work feeling like I have a new purpose, that no matter the call or how horrible a scene can be that I am still blessed to be there. Honored to be the person that is there for someone on their worst day. I choose not to waste another day. I choose not to numb. Why? Because I am one of the lucky ones..