Sunday, August 31, 2008

FirefightersStory-I Want To Give You HOPE!!!

I'm feeling very inspirational and am going to deviate slightly from continnuing where I left off, and am going to try my best to hopefully inspire you too with what I have to say !! There are many reasons that I am writing my story publically, and this is another very big reason. HOPE !! That's the message I want to get out and spread. The word "HOPE"!!
We all need HOPE in our lives, but I can tell you from experience with being 1 in 5 that I had ABSOLUTELY NO HOPE whatsoever in my life until it was finally acknowledged by my doctor(s) that I had serious mental health issues as a result of my job as a firefighter,(finally someone believed me) AND that I was finally going to receive the proper care. This care included my primary psychologist,(she is the greatest and no amount of praise I can give her will ever be enoough!), psychiatrist, as well as family counselling and individual counselling for my eldest daughter.
At the darkest times leading up to the start of my therapy, as I said, I could not see or "feel" any HOPE in my life at all. The lack of any HOPE was probably the biggest contributing factor relating to a very deep depression that I had fallen into. Depression was just one of my symptoms that I was suffering from though.
It wasn't that I had to be taught that there was HOPE for me, but I had to be shown through various examples, and a great many times it was through repetition that she confirmed and reassured me that this word and feeling of HOPE that she spoke of was indeed out there, and within my grasp through working with her in therapy! Therapy was the toughest battle of my life, in order to regain my life!! I dove right into therapy though, as should everyone, as it's what's at the end of the battle that's all worth it. We regain our lives that were totally lost.
We each have our own symptoms, as we are each obviously very different individuals, patients, but we are all linked by the common bond of being 1 in 5. I use the word "bond" very proudly now as a matter of a fact, as having this common bond hopefully will allow you to trust me in what I say and write. I have told my doctor many times that, "Unless you've walked a mile in my shoes, people have no idea about what I am going through, or have gone through!" It is for this reason that I say that this special bond we have as 1 in 5 is truly an issue of "trusting" each other. It is for this reason also that you have to trust your own doctors or team of doctors such as I had, and as you might also have. This is why I am HOPING you will allow me to encourage you in what I have to say here on this forum.
Knowing and having someone to talk to, relate to, believe in, confide in and also to trust another who has "been there, seen it, done it" was, and still is very important to me personally. My doctor and myself have a very close working relationship that was and is built on trust. She has the experience that I needed, and thus I trusted her implicitly when I began therapy. She was the only one that was able to keep me going and give me my "HOPE". In the beginning, I had this feeling that I was totally alone in my battle, that I was the only person that had problems such as myself. It sounds unreasonable to think that way now, but at the time, as I said, I was so alone and scared , that in my mind, (my neighbourhood) there was no other person in the whole world that would understand, empathize, relate to me, or be able to understand me and what I was facing and experiencing. In my mind it wasn't possible for another human being to be going through what I was going through. Remember, as I said before, I wasn't "normal" anymore, so nobody would be able to understand or deal with me and what I was going through. Not so in reality, but remember, at that time, that's how I felt. Maybe you do too? Think about it for a minute please. Does it sound familiar, or something you might have thought about to yourself?? Maybe it has crossed your mind, as it did mine, over and over.
If you do happen to feel that way, I really know what you're going through, and I am hoping as I said, you might be able to trust me also, as someone who's "been there, seen it, done it!" I HOPE you will be also be able to somehow relate to me in some small way, believe and be encouraged by what I say so that you will believe in yourself, your therapy, and go forward and work hard in therapy and succeed and regain your life as I and others have prior to yourself.
So, in conclusion for now, remember and never forget that there is HOPE for us all. Have faith in yourself, therapy, therapists, and please trust me when I say to you as 1 in 5 not to delay your own therapy, as scared as you might be, you're only delaying your recovery and regaining your life back, and with the life you get back, you will also get back an abundance of HOPE, which is what your life will also be filled with!
Thanks, till next week, Larry