Thursday, August 7, 2008

Firefighters Story

My name is Larry and I've been a firefighter in Ottawa for approx 24yrs. I was diagnosed with recurring acute PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder and have been battling hard since 2003 to overcome this and other mental health issues that go along with PTSD. I want to share my story with others, to give them HOPE, and to let others know that they are not alone and it is possible to overcome. I also hope that as I tell my story, others will recognize similar characteristics that we all might share when stricken with mental healh issues. I also hope that this will encourage people to seek out help, as I did. It is possible to overcome, and although you might feel all alone in your battles, you are not alone. If I am able to help just one other by telling my story, it will all be worth it. We have to educate people and break down the walls of shame, stigmatisms and all that goes with having mental health issues. This is one of the biggest problems with mental health issues, people are not educated and understanding with regards to issues we might face, therefore people are scared and misinformed as soon as they hear the words "mental health issues." I say we , because I've been through it myself as I have said, and I am hopeful that as you read my story that you will notice and understand that, yes, there are others who face similar challenges and that you are not alone. I am sure that as I tell my story here, you will find similarities between what you might be facing, and what I have faced. I want to give you some hope and the courage to seek help and regain control of your life. You can do it, and I really want to inspire you to open up, not be scared, and you too can overcome, as I have.

I will continue writing my story shortly, a little at a time, and I hope it will help you who read it, and inspire you not to give up, but to know that there is help for you and you too may enjoy success and overcome.