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Paramedic Nat

A Blog About a Paramedic's Mental Health Journey

Date

August 14, 2015

Don’t Swim In Sh!+ Soup!

This fast-paced world is brimming with agitation, angst and impatience. These feelings literally rumble all around us, and I’m afraid we’ve become too accustomed to it. We sort of swim in shit soup on a daily basis and don’t even realize it. Why? Well because it’s warm, and oddly satisfies us…but it’s still Shit! Even when we notice that we’re swimming in shit soup we make excuses for why we haven’t jumped out of the bowl yet. “It’s such a steep climb out! I don’t have time to find a different kind of soup! I can’t leave this bowl…because my family is in here with me!” Ugh And so we swim and swim, and get sicker and sicker, and we wonder why we smell bad. Ok…that may have been a drastic analogy, but it’s drastic for necessary effect. Now don’t get me wrong! I do not profess to be a clean life-participant here…I am fully aware that my spiritual PPE (personal protective equipment) is still just out of it’s box. I’m still cleaning off the shit I swam in for years. Heck, I was shit soup president, life guard and CEO for as long as I can remember!…and that really STINKS! But I’m out! And I’m never going back.

We fill our days with so much stuff that we barely realize how out of control our lives are. Pedal to the metal! GO GO GO!…then we collapse at the end of the day. And sadly, it often takes getting sick from the soup to finally realize how out of control we are. When we are forced to take our foot off the gas, only then do we realize that the car still goes. How many experiences need to pass us by, before we realize that driving fast only makes memories a forgotten plume of dust in the rearview mirror. And furthermore, without patience and time, ‘love’ eventually becomes a four-letter-word that gets thrown around just as often as the other popular four-letter-words do.

When it comes to developing patience, we often avoid this sticky, heavy task, because well… we just don’t the have patience for it! But I dare to ask, have you ever noticed how often you work so hard for a negative outcome? Only to realize that if you took a moment to breathe along the way you may have been able to reroute yourself? And have you ever beaten yourself up because you didn’t even notice you were headed in the wrong direction because you didn’t take your foot off the gas? Just because the GPS in your car says turn left, doesn’t mean it’s right…I mean correct. If you slow down and patiently read the directions you may see that your gut tells you to turn an entirely different way. Maybe patience takes you off the beaten path…and it may get your car dirty. But I can guarantee it won’t be as dirty as if you crashed into a bowl of shit soup! ūüėČ

Having Faith In Transformation

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I’ve heard people from all generations mock social websites like Facebook..and to be fair, I have been known to take a Facebook hiatus or two. But when I think of the amazing transformations it allows us to see in ourselves and others, I’m super thankful that it exists. Yes, before we could waste the day away Googling anything imaginable, we would spend more time pulling out the old photo albums and have a good laugh at when we use to wear our bang’s feathered, hyper-colour Vuarnet shirts, jelly bracelets up both arms, and off-the-shoulder ‘Thriller’ shirts covered in sparkles. Wait a minute…well at least those are pictures of me.¬†But before the world-wide-web came along, we never had the opportunity to witness the transformations of our loved ones and friends to the level we are so accustomed to now.

Yes, not everyone¬†is like me and¬†wants to see 347¬†kindergarden graduation photos every June, but when you really think about it, what an amazing gift it is to actually have these shared with us! To be allowed a glimpse into our loved one’s moments of pride, happiness, and even sorrow is a blessing. Furthermore, these sites give us permission to ‘share’ our reactions to transformations we would have normally never experienced if we all didn’t update our ‘status’ on a daily basis (or hourly, depending on who you are) :).

Transformation is what we are! Tomorrow we won’t be the same person as today. We all transform through experiences, and mould our dreams with faith that we will one day be that spouse, parent, friend or successful person we imagine we can be. And how cool is it that we get to witness these transformations in others with a click of a mouse. I can definitely attest to the power of sharing our transformations with the world. Every blog and honest word I’ve written and shared has profoundly disarmed my mental illnesses. One word at a time I have had the opportunity to fracture the shell of stigma my mind so barely existed in, and see that beautiful healing is possible by having faith in transformation.

Faith often sounds like a passive word. ‘Oh,¬†just¬†have faith’, makes it seem like it’s something we just need to¬†remind¬†ourselves to do, and them BAM we’re doing it. I disagree. I believe that faith takes courage and determination. It takes passion and hope. And above all, it takes trust. If we have faith in our ability to grow and transform into the happiest form of ourselves possible, we need to trust our instincts and listen to that little voice that always seems to be guiding us down the right path. But the difficulty with faith is that during our transformations very often we need to trudge through the darkness before we even come close to seeing the light, and this is scary and uncomfortable. Faith may need to take us far out of our comfort-zone, and moving out of that zone takes a heck of a lot of courage. But at the end of the day, our options with transformation are only one of two; we transform into what we want to be, or we transform into someone we will eventually barely even recognize.

If I hadn’t had faith in even the potential of transforming into a healthy person through this blog, I would still be SO sick. I needed to trust that my instincts to open up, and become completely vulnerable were right. I was lucky to have had loving people support and encourage me to do so, and yes not everyone has this blessing, but I still needed to sit in front of this computer, write the first blog, and…press….send.¬†Gulp!¬†With one click I was catapulted out of my comfort-zone! And with one click, I began to heal.

So what do you think more faith in your life would look and feel like? What is holding you back from stepping outside of your comfort-zone? What vision of transformation of yourself do you have in your heart that you haven’t truly considered as possible yet? You may have heard the verse from the Bible, “Faith without works is dead”, and whether you’re religious or not is irrelevant to deciphering it’s meaning. Simply put, it’s another reminder that faith isn’t a passive word; to reap it’s immeasurable benefits it requires action. One foot in front of the other…through the darkness of doubt. In order to transform into a person who’s truly happy with their life, we need to have the courage to ‘press send’, and not just when we are on Facebook posting a kindergarden pic. ūüôā

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