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Paramedic Nat

A Blog About My Mental Health Journey

Ugh, Insomnia

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Dear Insomnia,

I know you keep trying to be friends with me, but it’s just not going to work out. You see, I’m tired. Even though you try to trick me into thinking that waking up at 2:30 am every day is the ‘cool thing to do’, I know it’s not. Insomnia, it’s dark out, that means I should be asleep, but you never seem to care about that, it’s always ‘insomnia, insomnia, insomnia’. Selfish. How about we try to make a deal – you let me sleep for just one solid night each week, and in return I will not get so frustrated when you creep into my sleep-world at an unGodly hour of the morning on the other six nights of the week.

How wonderful it would be to have a good night sleep! I hate doing the Navy Seal roll through the sleeping animals on my bed in order to find my phone while praying that it will say something like 6:30 am, only to find time and time again that it says 2:30am. Walter and Lollers are snoring away – phew. My strategic roll through the blankets didn’t wake them up – that’s good. So I’m going try to say farewell to you for the night.

Please stop trying to be my friend,

Natalie (a.k.a. exhausted)

Action!

The last three days have been a whirlwind! I have been filming with a crew for a CBC documentary on PTSD in paramedics, and it’s been very emotional. I am used to being interviewed and asked specific questions about my past experiences as a paramedic, but this documentary/interview is different because it includes my kids and AB. Yes you heard me right, after several years I finally saw the AB. We have always remained kind to one another, but lost touch after the events in my life in 2014 because well, things change, situations change, and sadly sometimes friendships change. It was lovely seeing her again – it almost felt like we picked up right where we left off, making jokes and asking about how our dogs were. Sidebar – Magyver is doing great. It was nice to have had some peaceful conversation with AB and to show her my new house. So much has changed since 2014 – but some things (like personal connections) really stay the same.

And to top the emotional roller coaster off, both of my kids were interviewed as well for the first time and hearing their input on what PTSD is, and how my sickness and injury has affected them, really put things into perspective again and ripped open a few old wounds. Hearing about how alone Caroline felt when I was at Homewood and in the hospital broke my heart. It seems like a lifetime ago that these things happened, but really they were not that long ago. They were both so young when I got really sick, and I am SO proud of their resiliency and strength through those hard times. Adam sat with cameras rolling and shared how he knows that PTSD is a ‘stress disorder’! Cue jaw drops from Caroline and I. And Caroline shared how if she does choose to pursue a life in policing that she feels stronger having been through what she has and that she would be able to use the ‘tools’ she has learned in order to maintain a healthy career. Cue tears – happy ones.

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I needed a hot bath and lots of sleep the last few days to refill the emotional well that was tapped dry, but that’s ok, it has been an amazing experience for all of us and I will never take for granted how we all got to reunite in happiness and health.

The documentary will air this April on CBC. I will keep you posted with links and more details as I learn of them.

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And cut.

 

Dr. Douglas

On this episode of BrainStorm: I chat with Dr. Jonathon Douglas about Perceived Injustice and Sanctuary Trauma. This is a guaranteed a fascinating interview!

 

Books

Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

Save My Life School: Here

 

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

Michael Landsberg Will Be A Special Guest Speaker!

Exciting News!~ Michael Landsberg will be a special guest speaker at my event on January 27th!

Get your tickets now as they are going fast!

Money goes to the RVH Foundation for youth mental health and IveGotYourBack911.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/paramedic-nats-2nd-annual-evening-for-mental-health-tickets-37160927334?aff=eac2

Putting The Hero On Ice

On this episode of BrainStorm: I share how I have experienced the difficulty of removing myself from the first responder culture. I talk about how we should consider educating new first responders how to “put the hero on ice” in a healthy way. 

Books

Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

Save My Life School: Here

 

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

Dealing With The Winter Darkness

On this episode of BrainStorm: I discuss dealing with the winter darkness and helping yourself through Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

Books

Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

Save My Life School: Here

 

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

Post Traumatic Growth

On this episode of BrainStorm: I talk about my experience with post traumatic growth and how it’s possible.

Books

Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

Save My Life School: Here

 

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

Lost In Waiting

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We should wait…it’s nice. But oh so hard. Waiting is almost frowned upon in our society. Everything needs to be now. Faster. Yesterday. Hurry up and move through time so that you can be where you need to be tomorrow. So much rushing around…and I am very much guilty of it.

I have learned so much about mindfulness and living in the moment, but no matter how much I learn I still find myself living insatiability. Wanting to do more, be more, love more. It’s not easy living life this way, but overall, it’s all I know.

My addiction tells me to think of the years in my future without a drink rather than allow me to be without and to enjoy that astounding accomplishment. My PTSD tells me that I should be better, healthier than I am, that enough time has elapsed and that I should just know how to be ok now. My depression keeps me looking around the next corner to see if the darkness is lurking, rather than stand in the sunshine and tan in the rays of happiness. My brain just keeps on going…and going, when really it should learn to wait.

It’s a difficult balance living in the now while lunging for the future. Stretched over miles of time, my body gets thin and weak some days. But it’s who I am I suppose. The girl who lives in realms unknown. Who lives in an abyss of seconds and minutes. The girl who isn’t afraid of her last day, but who is terrified of the future. I am definitely that girl.

When I press ‘publish’, this blog will be no longer waiting. The words no longer dangling in my mind. No longer able to live in the now of the feeling of the keys under my fingers. It will be finished and I will be on to the next blog. Trying while I do, to live in the now, but lost in the second that just went by.

Giving And Compassion

On this episode of BrainStorm: I share about the importance of giving and compassion, and how changing my perspective changed my life.

Books

Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

Save My Life School: Here

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

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