There are many things you can do to ease some of the pressure you’re feeling inside. The first thing to do is to realise you’re not alone. If ten people were in a room together then seven to eight of them would have, or will be struggling, with something mentally.
The very nature of the work you do adds to the emotions, feelings and pressure you feel – it’s perfectly normal.
As an emergency personnel, you are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events and there is a good chance it will catch up with you. It’s worthy of note that it may have been a small incident that has sent you over the edge and not a large traumatic event, again this is perfectly normal.
Remember, you’re not losing your mind, nor have you lost any of the spark, energy or fight that allows you to do the complicated job you do every day.
It helps enormously to break down some of the issues that are bothering you, it can be money, a new position at work, trouble at home or with family, friends, work colleagues, illness, drinking too much, coming to terms with something that happened in your past or even a change of command at work that has taken you out of your comfort zone.
Nobody’s life is perfect, no matter how they may seem on the outside. Normal day to day life is complex for everyone and can often leave you feeling exhausted, fed up and wondering what the hell it’s all about!
Now by adding all the complexities of the job you do into the mix, it is placing more and more pressure on you.
By confronting some of the issues mentioned above and tackling them head on, it’s possible to relieve some pressures and help give you greater mental resilience. Talking some of the issues out with friend or loved one is not always an easy step, so pick your time and force yourself to deal with it.
Talk to your spouse about what’s going on in your head, no matter how silly you think you sound, maybe write it down if you find it easier. This is actually a very good way of coping with stress. Your family and friends will have seen the changes in you and will notice things about you that you wouldn’t necessarily have. Remember it’s not a sign of weakness, you’re not weak. You do a very tough job that others don’t!
“Probably one of the most difficult things I did was tell my wife how I was feeling and how I was struggling. Turns out she was struggling with some of her own issues. So now we can both be crazy together, life’s getting better for both of us.’’
Dave and Carla, West Mids Police.
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