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Paramedic Nat

A Blog About My Mental Health Journey

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death

Happiness Eclipse (A Tribute to Suicide Awareness Month)

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Have you ever noticed how the most fragile and rare things are often the most beautiful? And have you ever noticed how their beauty often vanishes into the invisible abyss of atoms and time before they can ever truly be enjoyed? A snowflake, a dandelion seed, lightening, innocence – in all of a moment – they vanish. Happiness fits into this category of beauty for me.

I get frustrated with how happiness and my personal life seem to exist in separate orbits. Rarely eclipsing one another, but when it happens, like all phenomenons, it inevitably comes to an end. Watching this eclipse also my eyes to burn and tears to flow, especially when I see the orbit of happiness leaving, knowing that it will be a while until it returns.

Everywhere I go, I’m there. I can’t escape the sadness my mind simmers in so often. My mind’s inability to practice gratitude elicits enormous levels of guilt. And I know full well that guilt is a useless emotion – and that it only brings more pain. But still I feel guilt’s heavy dagger pierce my heart when I see the sunrise and simultaneously need to fight to see the beauty in it. I should be able to see the beauty in it. Why can’t I see the beauty in it?

September is Suicide Awareness Month, and I will endeavour to continue to share what it’s like to be in the mind of someone who has battled with suicidal thoughts and attempts. Don’t worry – I’m safe. But I feel it is necessary to continue this dark and often confusing conversation so that those who don’t understand, can; even if in the smallest way.

My Interview On The Agenda

Thank you again to The Agenda for this amazing opportunity.

You Can Preorder My New Book!

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Click Here!

This inspiring book of quotations from Natalie’s Harris’s raw and gripping account of her mental health journey, “Save-My-Life School,” offers daily motivational and thoughtful lessons.

 

BrainStorm – Suicidal Ideation & Relapse

On this episode:

  • What suicidal ideation feels like to me,
  • Coping tools to use when suicidal thoughts are present,
  • What is relapse?,

and more…

  • National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

BrainStorm – Remembering Chester Bennington

On this episode of BrainStorm I share:

  • Remembering the late band member, Chester Bennington from Linkin Park,
  • Thoughts about a past radio interview with him,
  • The “Layers” of my depression,
  • Ideas on how to react appropriately when we feel uncomfortable with talk about mental illness,
  • How I feel that suicide is not selfish,
  • …and more

Get Save My Life School: Here

BrainStorm – My New Mental Health Podcast

I Wish I Had Learned This As a Student: Compassion vs Attachment

The Depression Rollercoaster – Bring Your Vomit Bag

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My latest blog posts have depicted my recent difficulty with seeing light in the world – again. These dark ‘slumps’, (really the word slump does not do these experiences justice – but I will use it for ease of relating to all – we all have slumps – they suck – you get the point), fool me into thinking that the universe that takes care of me even in my darkest hours has abandoned me…and abandoned everyone else as well. Days go by as I agonize through the mundane and torturous seconds of hopelessness, tossing and turning between anger, guilt and remorse, until finally…FINALLY, the universe peeks its little universe head through the darkness and says, “Sorry I’ve been out of sight for a while, but wait until you see what I have in store for your now!”

I talk to the universe a lot…literally. I look up to the sky and say, “Ok universe, show me the way”, and it always does – ALWAYS. This time it spoke to me through a text message from a friend named Matt Henegan, who is also a paramedic with PTSD. This is what he said:

“Here’s the thing, and take it with a grain of salt, as I am not here to undo anything; you’re allowed to hate the world. You’ve experienced it. The good. The bad. And the indescribably ugly. The world is easy to hate. What’s important, is to not live in this world WITH hate leading us..”

Truer words were never spoken. I was leading my days with hate over the last little while because of some unfortunate circumstances – one being that I have sadly learned that Luci my service dog is not a good fit for my home. She bit Walter (food aggression) and the sights and sounds of this experience triggered PTSD reflexes/reactions and have forced me to make sure that that never happens again. My family and I are devastated, and still recovering from this realization, but I know that she will find a home that is best for her. I love her and I will miss her. (* I will be donating the remainder of my Go Fund Me money to the amazing trainers at Grassroots K9 who so generously worked with Luci and I for many months. I still highly recommend them – sometimes things happen that no one can foresee.)

Leading my days with hate, self pity and anger only hurts me and everyone around me more. These emotions are an express-pass to the depression rollercoaster that always makes me vomit. This pass swiftly buckles me in for ‘the ride’ and rockets me into twists and turns that cause me to be disoriented and sick – very sick. I inevitably stumble off the ride when it’s over with my clothes disheveled and no memory of when it really even began. I hate this ride…and I’m naive to think that I won’t ever find myself on it again.

Thank you Matt for your friendship. I know that your words will help many more than just me.

*You can find Matt’s own blog documenting his battle with PTSD at http://amedicsmind.blogspot.ca/2017/03/a-mans-eyes.html  He is one of the most amazing writers I have ever come across!

 

 

 

My Freedom Is Not Like Yours

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What does freedom look like to you?

To some it may be;

The mending of a broken heart,

Being cured from a disease.

The heavy weight of a jail cell opening.

Running past the finish line and falling to the ground.

Drinking refreshing clean water.

Escaping the pain of an abusive relationship.

Turning the ignition after getting your drivers licence.

Performing a play you have rehearsed for months.

Finally apologizing – and it being accepted.

Feeling the diploma placed in your hand.

Tasting the salt of the ocean for the first time.

Holding hands under the stars.

…all understandable.

Freedom to me is;

A quiet mind, free from feeling broken for a full minute.

Waking up to see the sun and actually wanting to feel it on my skin.

A night of dreams that I can’t remember.

When I finally run out of tears.

When the obsession to numb passes.

Walking Walter and not having to look over my shoulder.

Not seeing the pain in everyone’s smile.

Not feeling dark energy looming over the earth.

Having a day when I don’t learn of a suicide of a peer, and knowing exactly how that person must have felt.

Looking into Adam, Caroline, Walter, Pepsi and Loller’s eyes 🙂

Thinking that maybe…maybe…one day I can let someone in again.

Fearing death.

 

 

 

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