Solving the Post Traumatic Stress Brain Injury Puzzle: A First Responder's GPS
This book saved my life. And it wasn't even written yet!
The actual diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would come months after my exposure. Somehow, though, I found myself on a unique path of recovery. When I looked back, I realized this same path could help others. So I wrote this book with that in mind...
Here's What I Cover . . .
A 30 year career in the fire service certainly has its challenges. The biggest one I faced was the Valley Fire in 2015. My earliest symptoms of post traumatic stress started within the first hour I was at scene. By the time I left the following morning, I was certain that I was responsible for most of the death and destruction that had yet to to quantified.
Within weeks I knew my post-incident symptoms were well beyond my typical stress response. I recognized the harm from the chronic insomnia. I ignored the nightmares as best I could. And when the whiskey didn't help any, I finally turned to the medical community for help.
A few months later I knew I was stuck in a rut. Pondering retirement at the end of 2016, I tried something new. I hired a life coach. I wanted to get back to the level of performance I had had before the fire, and figure out some potential options moving forward.
The tools and techniques I learned as a coaching client helped me get back in the groove at work. In hindsight, those same tools and techniques masked the degrading symptoms of my PTS.
They also helped me recover faster. And I share how that worked.
First of all, just knowing you're not the only one that has felt somewhat crazed by all of the symptoms that can crop up is actually a good thing. I was actually grateful for the diagnosis because it meant I wasn't going crazy. Guess what? Neither are you.
I also paint a picture of Post Traumatic Stress in real time. I happened to be keeping a journal during my darkest days. It helped me figure things out. My journals allowed me to gauge my progress, and keep things in perspective.
Finally, I've taken what I've learned as a coach, and provided several journaling exercises that you can do at home. Not everyone has access to quality mental health services. You still need to do something to recover, though. This is a good starting point.