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Paramedic Nat

A Blog About My Mental Health Journey

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addiction

BrainStorm – Welcome to My Recovery

Welcome to my recovery. If you have been a follower of my blog and book Save-My-Life School: A first responder’s mental health journey, you will know that my mental health journey is ever evolving. My new podcast BrainStorm will take you even deeper into the mind of someone (me) coping daily with the darkness and difficulties of PTSD, depression and addiction. I will share raw experiences and opinions, as well as new treatment information I learn about along the way.

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/save-my-life-school-a/9781894813914-item.html

On this episode of BrainStorm:

  • Who I am and how I came to be diagnosed with PTSD and depression
  • Opinions about mental health in-patient hospital care
  • Current and upcoming PTSD legislation in Canada
  • …and more

 

Tips on How to Prune Your Mental ‘Chaos Garden’

https://www.facebook.com/natalie.harris.507679/posts/10159012843815624 

New Mental Health Facebook Page

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Hi Everyone 🙂 I have a new Facebook page: Paramedic Nat’s Mental Health Page

Check out my personal:

~book selections, photos, ‘mental health mission’ videos, events and more!

Hope you’re doing great!

No Experience Is Ever Wasted

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Everything in the past and future has a relationship to now. Where I have been and what I have done in my life has brought me here, to this hour, this second, this moment. And what I will do and become tomorrow will dance before me like an intricate ballet of cause and effect. As I mark the passing of one full year sober and healthy, I can’t help but reflect on all of the experiences I’ve had along the way. All of the ups and downs which have provided me with invaluable opportunities to change. I don’t believe in coincidences anymore…life to me now is more like a platter of perfection, masquerading as irony, at first appearing to serve a dish of disappointment, but if you look close enough, it’s actually serving exactly what you need.

September 23, 2014, I drank copious amounts of wine and ingested a bottle of Benedryl knowing full well that the possible consequence of this could be death. I didn’t care. I didn’t feel. I was so tired of thinking about suicide every day, that having death ‘happen’ would have been a gift to me. I didn’t want to have another nightmare, I didn’t want to watch my relationship fall to pieces, and I didn’t want to feel guilty anymore for all of the inadequacies I believed whole heartedly that I possessed. … I don’t remember that person anymore. She’s gone. She somehow climbed out of the darkness that was suffocating her slowly, breath by breath. It feels like a tornado of emotions and experiences had swept me up, and has finally spit me out; and leave it to me to need a tornado as my healing vessel, I don’t seem to do anything the easy way!

The transformation of my mind has changed me forever. I’m alive. I’m happy. I’m able to feel emotions in a healthy way. I am an amazing parent, modelling a life of hope and love for my children. I am beautiful. And I am free. I don’t blame others for my feelings anymore, and I am not obsessively attached to the fulfillment of my dreams. I now prefer to live a life that maintains the passionate wish to prolong my health and wellbeing, without harsh expectations. I let life guide me, rather than trying to guide life. I’ve realized that when I thought I always had to be at the wheel, I continued to crash into a sea resentment when things didn’t ‘go my way’. Now I breathe. I walk. I smile. And I love.

I consciously try to build a mind of love every day now, which effectively eliminates my previous negative and deluded states of mind. I have learned lessons I never could have predicted in a million years, like how to reframe my experiences so that they remain congruent with my wish to be happy. I see difficulties as my teacher, ever reminding me of the importance of humility. And try to consciously abandon non-virtuous, toxic minds. Life is perfectly imperfect (I forget where I’ve heard that line before), and one day at a time I experience its imperfections, never wasting what they are always trying to teach me.

It So Easily Could Have Been Me…

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My daughter and I went to see the movie ‘South Paw’ last night. I really enjoyed it, as I normally enjoy movies about the challenges and triumphs in which fighters experience. It was nice being out, just the two of us, relaxing, laughing and …living. But just when it seemed like we would chalk the evening up to another normal movie night, the plot suddenly thickened. *Spoiler Alert* There came a point in the movie where the main ‘mother’ character dies, and leaves behind her husband and small daughter. It ripped me to shreds watching the actors grieve over their loss, and I was especially overwhelmed with tears when the daughter was driven away from the cemetery while watching out of the limousine window, confused and alone. Then while wiping my eyes, I had no idea that a life-changing moment was about to occur. While watching this profoundly emotional scene, my daughter said something so candidly that shook my world and heart to almost the point of collapse… she said, “I can’t even imagine what that would feel like”……. Rewind to almost a year ago, when she so easily could have been that girl in the limousine driving away from her mother’s funeral, actually living what that would feel like.

Hearing those words hit me with a wave of so many emotions. I felt the emptiness my daughter would have felt had I been successful with trying to end my life. I felt the sadness and pain she would have had to battle for the rest of her life without a mother in her life to guide her. I felt the guilt of being so sick that I could have even thought about leaving my children behind. And while being very present in this poignant and sensitive moment, I felt gratitude and joy for how far I have come with my recovery to date.

THANK GOD I DIDN’T DIE! How I didn’t is simply a miracle! Thank God my daughter and son have had me this past year to help them heal from the agonizing memory of watching my lifeless body get taken away by the paramedics. Thank God they now have a mom who is healthy and an amazing roll model for overall health and well being. Thank God when my son wakes up from a nightmare and calls for me, I’m there to comfort him and reassure him that everything is ok. Thank God I am here for when my daughter had another heartbreak and so desperately just needed her mom to rub her hair and watch movies all day while she cried and healed. Thank God I am here to laugh. Thank God I am here to love. And thank God I am here to live!

Thank God!

Paramedic Nat’s Evening For Mental Health

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Hello again!

Just a reminder to get your tickets soon for the Paramedic Nat’s Evening for Mental Health

Special Guest: Vince Savoia from the Tema Conter Memorial Trust

Supported by:

Canadian Olympian and Mental Health Ambassador Clara Hughes

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The County of Simcoe

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