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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

Natalie’s Community Goals

via Natalie’s Community Goals

Suicide Awareness Month

On this episode of BrainStorm I talk about what it is like to live with suicidal ideation and how to help those who do.

 

 

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

Officially Not A Paramedic Anymore

On this episode of BrainStorm I share about how I’m officially not a paramedic anymore and how that feels to me. i also say farewell to my colleagues and patients. 

 

 

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

The Welcome Mat

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Have you ever walked around your neighbourhood, alone, knocking on doors and talking to strangers for hours? I have. Welcome to a day in the life of a City Councillor hopeful.

I see a lot of bugs on my campaigning walks. Moths, grasshoppers, butterflies and bees drift and jump aimlessly around the bushes that line the pathways to homes of my neighbours. I’ve learned that people like figurines of owls, dogs and frogs. And that apparently “pedlars” knock on people’s doors too – and that that is frowned upon.

These experiences have offered me so many raw and real lessons. Vulnerability at its finest, I feel, is standing on a porch with dogs barking behind the door, sweating in the hot sun, fixing my hair in the door’s reflection, taking off my sunglasses, stepping back a bit after I ring the bell so that the person feels they have some personal space, smiling and preparing to talk about … anything. Absolutely anything.

I’ve gathered so many great ideas on how to improve my community from these amazing strangers. I have also learned that a welcome mat, a hockey net and a comfy chair on a porch put me at ease for some reason.

Have I skipped across a lawn or two, but told myself I wasn’t going to? Yes. I should really stop that.

So far this journey has been amazing.

Coping With Loss

On this episode of BrainStorm I share how I have been coping with the loss of my cat and also share about my experiences running for City Councillor. 

 

 

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

Covered in Art

I love getting my hands covered in art.

Bill C211 Reaches Royal Assent

On this episode of BrainStorm I talk about what the Royal Assent of Bill C211 means and i share my experience in Ottawa.

 

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

People Who Spread Hate Are Hurting

On this episode of BrainStorm I discuss bullying and how to not carry resentments. 

 

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

Steps To The Podium of Gratitude

Three steps onto the stage. Four more to the podium. Each step before I speak carries such a profound meaning. Since I was diagnosed with PTSD and alcoholism, I have been sharing my recovery story with the world. Most of the time behind a computer screen, but also from a mic on a stage – earlier this week was the latter. Allow me to take you on a journey through these steps.

As I wait in the audience to be introduced, I see the stage steps…they really mean something to me today…and I know why. I am speaking to employees from my rehab, Homewood Health, and the steps it took to get me to this day were with them and their belief in me and my ability to embark on a beautiful journey of recovery. They saved my life and having the opportunity to speak this make me so filled with full-circle gratitude, that I can’t help but to reflect on what each step to the podium means to me today.

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First Step – Like a lost soul in denial I was too sick to see how sick I was. I was an alcoholic and an addict and I didn’t want to admit it. My body shook every morning from withdrawal. I hid bottles of wine all over my house. I blacked out many times – once in my hot tub and almost drown – but still I didn’t want to come to terms with my reality. I didn’t want to accept that I was slowly killing myself and hurting everyone around me.

Second Step – While at Homewood my daughter gets sick at home and I am so sick myself that I can’t leave to see her in the hospital. Broken and ashamed I FaceTime her and bawl so uncontrollably that I am convinced I may stop breathing. My eyes burn with salt water and sadness. How am I supposed to call myself a mom when I can’t even be with my sick daughter? It’s time for me to open my eyes.

Third Step – I fall to my knees – literally. Like a wall being demolished, I crumble to the ground. I need to see how sick I am. I need to be a mom. I am ready to surrender. I am no longer willing to die. I need help and I am ready to accept it.

Fourth Step – I accept the help they are offering me. Clearly what I have been doing to heal isn’t working – it was time for me to listen to the lessons. Cry the tears of locked up emotions in my heart. Talk to others about my pain. And be a student willing to learn.

Fifth Step – I start to breathe. I walk the labyrinth outside and sit alone – something I hadn’t done without alcohol in as long as I can remember. I shed tears of heartbreak from love lost and ask God for help. The trees sway in the wind and the sun sets in front of me and I know that I will be ok. I still have some work to do – but I will be ok.

Sixth Step – I practice what I am taught. How to feel emotions and let them pass without covering them up with vices. How to not be codependent. How to accept love and how to laugh. How to forgive myself and others. I make amends to those I have hurt. I value my new found health – free from the wrath of alcohol.

The steps are steep some days, making them challenging. But that’s ok. I’d rather walk up difficult steps than lay alone in a dark pit of hopelessness and pain not knowing how to escape. I didn’t know that there were steps at all before I went to Homewood, and I am so grateful that they showed me that they exist.

Final step to the podium – deep breath in, take in the room, deep breath out – thank you.

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