Thank you again to The Agenda for this amazing opportunity.
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.
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.
Former Simcoe County and Peel Region paramedic turned author, Natalie Harris, pens raw and honest memoir about her battle with PTSD, depression, addiction and suicide titled Save-My-Life School, ISBN 978-1-894813-91-4.
In 2012, Harris attended a grizzly double murder that caused her to spiral into a challenging battle with mental illness. As part of her recovery, she started a blog that has since had almost 200,000 hits and grabbed the attention of Canada’s favourite Olympian and mental health advocate, Clara Hughes who wrote the Foreword for this title.
Clara Hughes writes, “There is no one audience for Natalie’s writings; I truly feel she writes for us all.”
Harris’s book, Save-My-Life School expands on her recovery process, giving a real-life glimpse into the mind and thoughts of someone suffering with mental illness. In the second week after its release this January, the book reached the #2 spot on the Amazon.ca Kindle Store’s “Hot New Memoir List,” one spot ahead of Anderson Cooper’s The Rainbow Comes.
Harris will be at the Eaton Centre Indigo, April 3rd for a book signing from 6 – 8 p.m.
For more information or to book media appearances, please contact:
Heather Down (PR Manager)
FROM THE PUBLISHER
This intense and engaging memoir is based on the true-life of Natalie Harris. Mental illness, post-traumatic stress injury, overdoses and addiction are some of the demons this paramedic-turned-author deals with–stemming from a horrific double-murder call. This incredible story makes public the very private battles many face. This book is raw, honest and a window into the mind of someone facing mental illness. Although a serious topic, this biography is at times laugh-out-loud funny, poignant and simply a good, entertaining read. This is a must-have for anyone who wants a cover-to-cover book that keeps you on the edge of your seat. To me, it is a Bridget Jones’ Diary meets Girl Interrupted.
Obviously, this title will appeal to first responders such as paramedics, firefighters and police officers. However, this title will also be of interest to those suffering with or suffering beside people experiencing mental illnesses and/or addiction. In Canada alone, there are 4.5 million people with mental illnesses.
Last year, Jody Mitic released Unflinching: The Making of a Canadian Sniper. Like Natalie’s book, Jody’s had a specific audience as well as widespread interest. His book touched on PTSD; and akin to Natalie, he worked in a field with a very unique culture.
Natalie and her writing are highly supported and endorsed by many people with influence. The foreword is written by six-time Olympian, Clara Hughes. In addition, all three levels of government officials have written endorsements for the book. This includes, Arif Khan, Barrie City Council, Ann Hogarth, MPP, and John Brassard, MP.
Link to Book on Indigo:
You can also preorder at winterticklepress.com
This damn darkness… Why is it back? Not nearly to the extent it use to be (don’t worry, I am safe), but it’s here nonetheless. Close enough to make me feel like a fraud. Dark enough to make me want to hide from all of the positive advice I have given over the last…however long its been.
I’ve been wanting to write about it, because as you know, writing is therapy to me. But no matter how hard the magnetic field has been between my fingertips and these keys, before right now, I have filled my time with sleep or useless ‘being’, in order to avoid how honest this blog may end up being. So as you may be reading this and thinking.’that’s courageous of her to share this’, I promise you that all I can feel are fingers pointing, and hear skeptics yelling ‘we knew that you weren’t better’, when I say that I am depressed.
I’m torn…and uncomfortable. I have finally closed the pages of an old book, but not after reading the last few chapters over and over again because I didn’t want to admit that that book was done. It sucks. I had finally settled in to the comfy corner of pillows in my reading spot, had finally chosen my favourite coffee mug, and had gotten so comfortable with the feel and smell of the pages…and now, that book is done. I’m not getting anything else out of reading it over and over again. The comfy pillows are making my back hurt now. The coffee mug is suddenly just a coffee mug. And the pages feel cold, and smell boring.
Today, unable to stop the force to write, as my mind and soul know how necessary writing is for me to grow, I have finally accepted, that a new book, chapter, page…whichever you choose, has come to be; and this first edition really sucks for me.
Days have been boring, long and filled with my old alien brain lately. Nights have been sleepless. Thoughts have been dark…and incessant. This makes me SO MAD! I will get through this…I have the tools. But man oh man it feels like a punch in the throat having to share that I feel like shit again. I am NOT looking for sympathy. I am NOT looking for anything really. Selfishly, this blog is for me. And if you gain insight or even spiteful joy, good on you. The honesty, vulnerability and egoless peace I feel from writing this is what I need right now.
I’m doing a juice cleanse today. I thought it would suck…but I can tell you that this blog cleanse is worse…Both will make me shit, I’m sure.
April 5th, 2016 will always be a day to remember! Seven years of fighting by SO MANY amazing people (of which I was only part of for 2 years) for the recognition of the toll our careers take on our mental health. There’s LOTS more work to be done.
Stay tuned for an upcoming article in the Canadian Paramedicine magazine documenting the time line of the PTSD Bill’s past seven years, and of the fight that Toronto Advanced Care Paramedic Shannon Bertrand so bravely started so that April 5th, 2016 could one day become a reality.
A huge thank you to Fire Fighting Canada for this wonderful post in their magazine!
Maria Church | Assistant Editor
Fire Fighting in Canada | Canadian Firefighter