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Paramedic Nat

A Blog About My Mental Health Journey

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ParamedicNat

A paramedic on a mission! Let's talk about mental health <3

Career Fulfillment

The feeling of career fulfillment – ahhhhh – like a post-turkey-dinner nap, or a gold-star-stamped exam – it feels wonderful doesn’t it? In essence it satisfies our being – and who doesn’t want that feeling? I know I sure do.

I had that feeling for many years as I zipped up my black steel-toed work boots and buttoned my advanced care paramedic epaulettes onto my uniform shirt. I had that feeling when I showed a paramedic student how to start an intravenous (IV) line and when I saw their eyes light up when I placed their hands in the proper place to feel that a patient’s pulse had returned. I had that feeling when I held a patient’s hand in the back of a bumpy ambulance as we drove them to the cardiac care centre to have the blockage removed that was causing them to have a heart attack. I had it when a healthy baby was born, and even when I stood frozen from the cold wind on the side of a highway waiting for a patient to be extricated from a car.

For me, career fulfillment didn’t come easily. It took a lot of endurance and hard work to become a paramedic, and alas, it was fleeting. What fulfills my life has changed since I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a double murder call I was a paramedic at in 2012. And finding that feeling of fulfillment again took me quite a long time because sadly I placed all of my worth into being a paramedic and forgot that I was still a human being under my uniform.

The truth is, just when you think life has set you on a path of endless happiness, an unexpected fork in the road appears, and pulls you down a path you didn’t choose – or did you? That path may be dark, and filled with thorn-covered, tangled vines in which you have to navigate around, through, and under, careful not to cut yourself or get suffocated with. At some point the path may be filled with hopelessness…until one day a glimmer of light appears through the mess, and you suddenly remember that life can be fulfilling again.

Career fulfillment has returned to my life – I now I share my recovery story with the world. I let people know that there is hope and happiness after a major career change; sometimes happiness you never could have imagined if you didn’t make that change. I now have the opportunity to watch people grow through peer support meetings I helped to create called, Wings of Change, (a free solution-based peer support model that demonstrates to the meeting goers that they are not alone and that recovery can be a beautiful path.)

Now I get to listen to stories of enlightenment when someone finds a break in the binding chains of PTSD. I get to witness heartwarming moments of recovery. I get to say I have a voice again, and best of all, I get to witness other’s find theirs. I may not walk in paramedic boots anymore, but I have been blessed to now walk beside those who still do.

Path To Enlightenment

On this episode of BrainStorm I contemplate the phrases, “Our life IS the path to enlightenment” and “Be a part of life, not an island.” … And you get to meet George, the kitten.

Check Out These Books Written by Natalie Harris

📚 Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

📚 Save My Life School: Here

This episode of BrainStorm is brought to you by The Homewood Health Clinic Mississauga 

➡ BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

“What A Different Day That Could Be”

“We have a tendency to identify with our limitations.” Gen Kelsang Suma, Jampa Ling Kadampa Buddhist Centre. 

What a powerful and true statement spoken by one of the teachers at the Buddhist Centre in my hometown. I can definitely relate to this statement as I, for many years, have been identifying as a paramedic…who can’t be on the road anymore. Rather than simply sharing that I am a paramedic (because technically I still am), for a very long time I felt the need to add my limitation to the description of what I do. Many people have challenged me on this and have shared that they feel that I don’t need to identify as such because I still help people on many levels and that I am a paramedic at heart forever, and I appreciate these people and their kindness very much. But how can I change this opinion of myself permanently? How can I change my description of what I do to something new and positive like, an advocate for mental health and public speaker, and be ok with that? Well I learned the answer to this question at the Buddhist Centre too.

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“Our life IS the path to enlightenment.” Gen Kelsang Suma, Jampa Ling Kadampa Buddhist Centre. 

Rather than embarking on a path of self-pity because I’m, “not on the road anymore” as a paramedic, I need to be mindful that the path I am on, and have already travelled down, IS the path I NEED to be on in order to achieve the best version of me, a.k.a. enlightenment. Sure, the cultivation of new abilities and experiences takes time, but the path that is required to do so doesn’t need to seem like a life-sentence of horror and pain. Ok, let’s face it, we all have experienced a painful path in some way, but re-travelling it over and over with the high beams shining on the limitations it has caused us will only make us veer off the road to recovery and growth. When I am able to enjoy where I am on the path right now, today, I will be at ease with any part of my past.

”What a different day that could become”, Gen Kelsang Suma, Jampa Ling Kadampa Buddhist Centre. 

Delighting in the opportunities that present themselves along our life-path can change our outlook as to what is actually a limitation at all. If I saw PTSD as the pathway to the many beautiful and amazing experiences I have had since being diagnosed, I wouldn’t be angry at PTSD anymore. If I simply lived in the moment and soaked up the sunshine of a day without depression, I wouldn’t need to feel loss of my career anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t wish PTSD on my worst enemy – what I do wish for is that everyone had the ability to reframe painful experiences from hopeless disasters, to seeds of possible growth. Changing our perspective sure can change our entire day.

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Restless, Irritable and Discontent

On this episode of BrainStorm I share how I manage feeling “off”.

 

Check Out These Books Written by Natalie Harris

📚 Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

📚 Save My Life School: Here

 

This episode of BrainStorm is brought to you by The Homewood Health Clinic Mississauga 

 

 

➡️ BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

Go Fund Me – Mental Health Revolution

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Would you like to help out with our mental health revolution? Click here for more information!

Planting The Seeds Of Recovery

On this episode of BrainStorm I share how to plant the seeds of recovery and how to give yourself permission to have healthy boundaries. 

 

Check Out These Books Written by Natalie Harris

📚 Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

📚 Save My Life School: Here

 

This episode of BrainStorm is brought to you by The Homewood Health Clinic Mississauga 

 

 

➡️ BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

Cracked Armour

Looking for some amazing apparel for an amazing cause. Go to www.crackedarmour.com for more information.

Fear, Faith and Justice

On this episode of BrainStorm I share about my experience with allowing fear to be conquered by faith, and I take a look at justice and how letting the universe decide what justice looks like can rid us from so much anger.

Check Out These Books Written by Natalie Harris

📚 Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

📚 Save My Life School: Here

This episode of BrainStorm is brought to you by The Homewood Health Clinic Mississauga 

➡ BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

Can This Please Be Photo Of The Year? #torontostrong

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