Oh my, I’ll take a one-way ticket, please
Think back to a time free of PTSD,when life was good, a time when everything was perfect. Perhaps this was during your childhood. Or maybe when you were a teenager (although if you were anything like me, the teen years were NOT good)! Or maybe it was when you were a young go-getter with your entire life ahead of you. Just starting the job of your dreams, no debt, getting ready to start a family. Some people refer to those as ‘the good ole days.’ Thinking back to that time puts a smile on your face, and maybe even now and then you wish you could hop in a time machine and go back to that very instant where everything was perfect.
Those days were indeed grand
What if I told you that this could in fact happen? What if I told you that you could return to a simpler, happier time in which everything was good again? And you don’t even need a time machine. If I may, for the purpose of this post refer to that moment when you have obtained the job of your dreams. Take a minute as well to read through ‘Do you remember getting the call’, I’m going to bet you each have your particular story, your happy memory of that day. All the hard work finally paid off, everything falling into place. It was such a great feeling…you had your entire career ahead of you; a career of helping others, being a community hero, and a job with a level of comradery second to none. Looking back now you can certainly see how naïve you were, just as I was. There was no talk of presumptive legislation, job-related cancers, workplace stress and anxiety, and certainly not PTSD and how it impacts emergency responders. And what about suicide rates among first responders? This concept wasn’t even whispered about.
Yah, but anyone can look backwards and see it coming
If only you could have looked into the future and be prepared for what was waiting. If I had a time machine, I’d have gone back 14 years and warned myself all about this. These topics are only now being mentioned in recruit classes and incorporated into training programs. And even then the information is limited and very necessary. Truthfully, I feel very few (if any) departments or organizations possess adequate training programs needed to keep their employees mentally protected. So I’m pretty sure there isn’t going to be a time machine available at Walmart anytime soon, on sale at every day low prices.
So what can we do NOW to go back in time?
What can we do NOW to get that feeling back of simpler, happier times? We can only do the best with what we have. So take a look around; look at your support network that I hope you’ve begun to build by now. Look at your resources and available options. Find your time machine. And the best way to do that is finding you a good psychologist. Find your own Dr. Storrie and get started right away. Remember, as mentioned before it is never too late! After all, you are fighting to get your life back.
So what can a psychologist do for you and PTSD?
Or more accurately the question should be what CAN’T a good psychologist do for you? From my experience, Dr. Storrie could do everything and anything! She was able to accomplish things that I did not know were possible. She was able to help me put my bad memories away correctly. She helped take away the guilt I had, and in return made it possible to sleep again. She was able to get me to stop crying and leave my house. And most importantly Dr. Storrie was able to explain PTSD to me in a way that made me understand it. She was able to convince me (accurately so) that I WAS going to get better. And in doing so, she was able to bring me back to those good feelings that I thought were gone forever. Dr. Storrie was MY time machine.
Don’t forget; you have to learn how to drive your PTSD Time Machine
Remember, it’s not your job to diagnose and fix yourself. But it IS your job to help yourself. It’s no different than when we respond to a medical call where someone has gone VSA, (vital signs absent). We don’t necessarily try to figure out what caused it or why they are VSA. Our job is to keep the heart pumping and air flowing around that body for as long as possible until we can get them to a doctor. Remember…our job is to get the really sick people to the really smart people. Get yourself to someone who knows how to fix you.
You CAN start living your life again. And when you start to regain control of your life and beat PTSD, you’ll feel as though you have in fact traveled back in time.