Paramedic Nat

A Blog About a Paramedic's Mental Health Journey


September 2015

Natural Wisdom IS Inside of You!


Do you believe that you possess natural wisdom? And if so, how much do you believe in your natural wisdom’s ability to make the best choices for you? How often do you ignore this wisdom and say ‘maybe’, when you want to say ‘no’? And do you take time to reflect on your experiences in order to stop repeating negative, unwise actions? Or have you convinced yourself that you just can’t change? Just a short year ago I would have said that I had zero confidence in my natural wisdom. If you asked me to rhyme off a textbook version of the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system…not a problem! Ya Ya…boring I know. But when it came to my gut feelings, they were routinely ignored while I made great strides to please everyone else but myself. I was completely focused on my faults, rather than my extraordinary potential…now where is the wisdom in that?

When we think we ‘are’ something, whether that’s ‘a jealous person’, or ‘a stupid person’, or ‘a person not worthy of love’, we get stuck in that personal image…sometimes for a lifetime. Abandoning these delusions may not happen over night, but I can tell you from experience that when you begin to remove the label you have assigned for yourself, and breathe, say ‘no’ when you need to, find what you like to do, and start to take responsibility for your personal inventory, you will nurture your natural wisdom, and from that you will naturally learn how to love. Yes, that’s right…I said naturally.

I didn’t come to this ‘natural wisdom’ realization all on my own. I have a year’s worth of beautiful, loving souls who have carried limitless faith in me to thank for this. People who taught me that love can’t be destroyed, and that there is nothing that love can’t heal. People who waited patiently for me to discover that the enemy was hiding inside of me all along, and that focusing on blaming others would only prolong my pain. With their loving patience and teachings I finally came to see that anger only looks at things from one point of view, and that in order to heal I needed to let go of anger, and finally allow myself to experience inner-peace. They cultivated my natural wisdom with patience, while I grew into ME.

Over the next few blogs I am going to take some time to acknowledge and recount some of the precious natural wisdom shared with me by loved ones and friends over the past year. Like I said, I definitely didn’t get to this awareness of my natural wisdom alone! And now it’s time for you to meet some more of my wise, kindred souls.

No Experience Is Ever Wasted


Everything in the past and future has a relationship to now. Where I have been and what I have done in my life has brought me here, to this hour, this second, this moment. And what I will do and become tomorrow will dance before me like an intricate ballet of cause and effect. As I mark the passing of one full year sober and healthy, I can’t help but reflect on all of the experiences I’ve had along the way. All of the ups and downs which have provided me with invaluable opportunities to change. I don’t believe in coincidences anymore…life to me now is more like a platter of perfection, masquerading as irony, at first appearing to serve a dish of disappointment, but if you look close enough, it’s actually serving exactly what you need.

September 23, 2014, I drank copious amounts of wine and ingested a bottle of Benedryl knowing full well that the possible consequence of this could be death. I didn’t care. I didn’t feel. I was so tired of thinking about suicide every day, that having death ‘happen’ would have been a gift to me. I didn’t want to have another nightmare, I didn’t want to watch my relationship fall to pieces, and I didn’t want to feel guilty anymore for all of the inadequacies I believed whole heartedly that I possessed. … I don’t remember that person anymore. She’s gone. She somehow climbed out of the darkness that was suffocating her slowly, breath by breath. It feels like a tornado of emotions and experiences had swept me up, and has finally spit me out; and leave it to me to need a tornado as my healing vessel, I don’t seem to do anything the easy way!

The transformation of my mind has changed me forever. I’m alive. I’m happy. I’m able to feel emotions in a healthy way. I am an amazing parent, modelling a life of hope and love for my children. I am beautiful. And I am free. I don’t blame others for my feelings anymore, and I am not obsessively attached to the fulfillment of my dreams. I now prefer to live a life that maintains the passionate wish to prolong my health and wellbeing, without harsh expectations. I let life guide me, rather than trying to guide life. I’ve realized that when I thought I always had to be at the wheel, I continued to crash into a sea resentment when things didn’t ‘go my way’. Now I breathe. I walk. I smile. And I love.

I consciously try to build a mind of love every day now, which effectively eliminates my previous negative and deluded states of mind. I have learned lessons I never could have predicted in a million years, like how to reframe my experiences so that they remain congruent with my wish to be happy. I see difficulties as my teacher, ever reminding me of the importance of humility. And try to consciously abandon non-virtuous, toxic minds. Life is perfectly imperfect (I forget where I’ve heard that line before), and one day at a time I experience its imperfections, never wasting what they are always trying to teach me.

Amazing Clara Hughes’ Book Signing



Another amazing night!

One of the most decorated Olympians, Clara Hughes, was at the Indigo in Toronto launching her book “Open Heart, Open Mind”


Thank you to Clara for taking the time to sign everyone’s book, and the Paramedic Nat’s Evening for Mental Health poster

You are an inspiration to so many!

Be sure to pick up a copy of Clara’s book, and support mental health

And reserve your ticket to the Paramedic Nat’s Evening for Mental Health today!


It So Easily Could Have Been Me…



My daughter and I went to see the movie ‘South Paw’ last night. I really enjoyed it, as I normally enjoy movies about the challenges and triumphs in which fighters experience. It was nice being out, just the two of us, relaxing, laughing and …living. But just when it seemed like we would chalk the evening up to another normal movie night, the plot suddenly thickened. *Spoiler Alert* There came a point in the movie where the main ‘mother’ character dies, and leaves behind her husband and small daughter. It ripped me to shreds watching the actors grieve over their loss, and I was especially overwhelmed with tears when the daughter was driven away from the cemetery while watching out of the limousine window, confused and alone. Then while wiping my eyes, I had no idea that a life-changing moment was about to occur. While watching this profoundly emotional scene, my daughter said something so candidly that shook my world and heart to almost the point of collapse… she said, “I can’t even imagine what that would feel like”……. Rewind to almost a year ago, when she so easily could have been that girl in the limousine driving away from her mother’s funeral, actually living what that would feel like.

Hearing those words hit me with a wave of so many emotions. I felt the emptiness my daughter would have felt had I been successful with trying to end my life. I felt the sadness and pain she would have had to battle for the rest of her life without a mother in her life to guide her. I felt the guilt of being so sick that I could have even thought about leaving my children behind. And while being very present in this poignant and sensitive moment, I felt gratitude and joy for how far I have come with my recovery to date.

THANK GOD I DIDN’T DIE! How I didn’t is simply a miracle! Thank God my daughter and son have had me this past year to help them heal from the agonizing memory of watching my lifeless body get taken away by the paramedics. Thank God they now have a mom who is healthy and an amazing roll model for overall health and well being. Thank God when my son wakes up from a nightmare and calls for me, I’m there to comfort him and reassure him that everything is ok. Thank God I am here for when my daughter had another heartbreak and so desperately just needed her mom to rub her hair and watch movies all day while she cried and healed. Thank God I am here to laugh. Thank God I am here to love. And thank God I am here to live!

Thank God!

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