Where does one begin? I’m an EMT, and have been for more than six years. Yes, still new to some, ancient to others. Either way, here I am, struggling. It’s a fight day in and day out with some days being better than others. I can remember a time where I was young, innocent, and ready to rescue the world.
I was happy, had not experienced depression, anxiety, or panic attacks. I didn’t know what it meant, or what it came with. But I love my job, I do. I remember my first panic attack like it happened yesterday. Laying on the couch, a quiet day home alone. About 3 years of being in the field. Beautiful day out, nothing but me and the tv, with sunshine.
I didn’t know then what it was, but I learned quickly. Visits to the doc, several. Many different medications because so many didn’t work, or made it worse. Now, I take nothing, but I know I am still hurting. I can only imagine that a lot of it has to do with our line of work. Just seems to catch up to you one day. You realize you aren’t who you were, you don’t act the same, or feel the same. At least it’s that way for me.
I find it hard to sleep. It’s hard to wake up and face the day. Mornings are terrible, because I know i have an entire day ahead of me, before I can go back to bed. Unless it’s an empty agenda day, then I try to sleep through most of it, to numb it and pretend nothing exists. I hope that somehow, someday, I’ll find myself and my happiness again. And I hope that any one experiencing the same thing knows they are not alone. It’s even harder trying to hide it, because you can’t trust anyone. But just know, we are somehow in this together. I’ll hope for you and me, this is a phase and it’s over soon.
– Written by an anonymous first responder.