The sheepdog

I’m enjoying a bit of a change of pace.

This week has been slower than my last couple of weeks, although my Thursday and Friday are looking busy this week.

It’s a good thing though. I need to keep myself somewhat active. I need to keep my mind somewhat active. I just have to pace myself because I do not have the physical or mental endurance of the average person.

I tire easily. I get overwhelmed easily. Unfortunately, I don’t bounce back the way I once did. Part of it is the symptoms of age creeping in. I’m not in my twenties anymore. Part of it is something else though.

Part of my fatigue comes from my mental health struggles. The hypervigilance, especially while in crowds. The just abut non-stop adrenaline rush from when I worked on the ambulance fatigued my adrenal system. The years of fractured sleep, partially from the job, and partially from the sleep apnea I also struggle with.

Mind and body are linked. Of that there is no doubt.

I am on the path to recovery. I’m working again, which a couple years ago I didn’t see as being a possibility at all. Yes it is only part time. Yes, it’s not enough to live on. Just the fact that I am in the community again actively contributing is therapeutic on it’s own. So is the fact I’m opening myself up and sharing my story.

A scene from the movie “American Sniper” has replayed through my mind lately. In the scene Chris Kyle’s father is letting his two young sons know about the three types of people in the world.

He describes the sheep. They are the ones who follow the herd, easily stray, and fall easy prey.

He describes the wolves. They are the people who prey upon the weak, and bring evil into this world.

And then there are the sheep dogs. These are the people who protect the meek and timid. These are the people who help others, and are prepared to stand up and bring evil to the wolves.

The third group, the sheep dogs, are the group I most readily identify with. My entire life I have wanted to help others. It was apparent when I was in the Coast Guard Auxiliary in BC where I grew up. The trend continued when I became a lifeguard. Then during my ambulance service, I put myself on the frontline to help others in less than ideal circumstances.

Even today, I find myself still in the helper role. I chronicle the history of my region. I share my store, giving people a voice who don’t have one for themselves. I educate people who don’t understand mental illness, and I stand beside those that fight the battle. If those aren’t at least some traits of the sheepdog, I don’t know what are.

Not all sheepdogs carry again, but all sheepdogs are willing to help others.

Kevin

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