Paramedic Nat

A Blog About a Paramedic's Mental Health Journey


August 2019

International Overdose Awareness Day

I just learned that today is International Overdose Awareness Day.
I would like to send extra love to those who have lost a loved one to overdose, and to those who battle with addiction and mental illness/injury every day.
You’re not alone. 💕

PTSD Relapse 101

It’s been a very tough week. Keeping it real here, my depression hit me square in the face with a vengeance. I spiralled fast, and sought medical attention for it. (Thank you Mike Pesce for helping me with this – I adore you). I don’t need to get into the details – PTSD relapse looks different for everyone. But I will share what I’ve learned THIS time around.

– Isolation will make you sink deeper into your darkness, (I promise you this). So no matter how hard you want to keep your pain a secret, reach out and tell someone. Let the tears flow. You ARE loved, even when your brain lies to you and tells you that you aren’t.

– When PTSD is “reactivated”, (as my psychologist calls it), the current darkness will NOT last as long as the last reactivation’s darkness. Your brain is resilient and has built pathways to remind you of how to get back “to earth”, (as I call it, because I feel like an alien in this stage).

– Be honest with your family. Tell them what you need. They WANT to help you but can’t read your mind. Now, I will add a caveat to this point – I totally understand that at the peak of a relapse you may not know what you need! BUT, when you figure it out, share it. Communication will decrease any anxiety that the unknown brings to family members.

– Be kind to yourself. Man-O-Man, I am NOT good at this when my relapses hit. I hate myself and feel like a failure. I blame myself for getting PTSD. I feel unworthy of anything and I definitely don’t love myself. Sigh…when you’re in this darkness it’s so hard to be kind to yourself. But maybe do ONE thing when you’re there to remind your brain that you are deserving of health. Hug your pet, (like I definitely do). Don’t punish yourself for being in pyjamas for a day … or two… or three, (because let’s be real – it happens). Get “skip-the-dishes”, (when you’re able to eat). And that laundry can wait another damn day.

So, maybe you’re not ready to use this advice today – I totally get it. But if you can take one thing away from this – know that you’re not alone. Xo

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