Another quiet Sunday in the books.
I ended up taking an additional rest day from my working out, and spent a good chunk of the day watching television with Lynn. We finished off the seventh season of “Castle” and started watching the first season of “Third Watch,” a series that I loved when I was first getting into EMS.
The fact that I can even watch that show again tells me just how far I have come in my mental health recovery. There was awhile when I first left the ambulance that anything that reminded of of the ambulance triggered the hell out of me. It’s just another indicator that I am recovering.
Watching the show does make me miss my time as a first responder, because despite the shitty times, and there were many of those, there were some good times as well. I did do so good in my time as an EMT, but that life ran it’s course, unfortunately.
Looking at everything in my past, with the mental illness diagnosis and my career, I honestly do wonder at how I lasted as long on the job as I did. Still, I lasted longer than most, and that is something to be proud of, and the experience I gleaned from that job has led me to where I am today.
If I had not gone through the trials and ordeals over my time as a first responder, or through the trials since I left, I would not be where I am today. I’ve progressed far enough in my recovery that I am back in school, working a job that I love, albeit very casually, and have just celebrated twelve years of marriage with the love of my life.
I’m not where I thought I would be in life at this point. I planned to work EMS for life. I expected to have kids. Neither of my expectations have become reality, because I never expected my mental health to fail as harshly as it did. I didn’t expect to spend the better part of a decade in and out of hospital, struggling with whether I should kill myself or not.
I lost nearly a decade of my life to Borderline Personality Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress, and the combination nearly cost me my life. Yet it didn’t. I grew. I learned. I built myself up, with Lynn at my side. Yes, there are still issues. Not everyday is rosy or cheery, I still have bad days, though I am grateful that they are less bad and less frequent than they used to be.
If my thirties were spent rebuilding a mind fractured by a stressful job and mental health issues, my forties are going to be redeveloping myself into the person I want to be. Instead of being triggered by the reminders of my time on the front lines, I’m going to cherish the memories and friendships I still have from that life while embracing my life now.