It’s been a minute since I’ve had a chance to collect my thoughts and do a blog post.
The last couple of weeks have challenged me both personally and professionally.
A local firefighter with the department I used to volunteer with was killed in the line of duty at the start of February.
The gentleman and I never worked together, but I knew him from around town and he was by all accounts a hell of a nice guy.
I ended up being the one to break the news story, and to be honest, in this case I hated myself for doing it. Still, it had to get done, and if I didn’t someone else would have.
Sure enough, some of the major media groups were looking for information and permission to use photos we’ve published within a matter of hours of my story breaking.
Suffice it to say, dealing with the fallout of that story in addition to everything else going on has kept me hopping. Lynn and I watched the service online. I was covering it for the paper, but I honestly would have watched it anyways.
The thing that really hit home with me with all this is just how dangerous the job of a first responder is. I know in the years that I did it, I was out in some of the nastiest weather imaginable and had several near misses. I’m fortunate that I got out of the job physically intact, even if mentally I wasn’t so lucky.
Still, something like this happening would have added a tremendous amount of stress on me mentally regardless of whether I was working part time or full time. It happening within a matter of weeks of me starting my full time position with the paper definitely added can all new level of stress I can barely describe.
I would say my mental health recovery was severely stress tested.
It was a test that I have, so far, passed with flying colours. I did what needed to be done, then I took some down time for self care and let myself join the community in grieving.
The fact that I have been able to ride through this storm as well as I have is positive proof of just how far I have come in my mental health recovery. It feels different, knowing that I was able to handle everything without collapsing on myself as was my usual habit.
It leads me to be a lot more optimistic about the future than I think I have been in a long, long time.