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Paramedic Nat

A Blog About a Paramedic's Mental Health Journey

Month

October 2017

Making Notes of Gibberish

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A lot of gibberish in this book. Chaos trying to make sense on paper, but really it just turns out to be lines of misspelled words in every direction not answering any real questions or having any real point. Sort of reminds me of life. A journal that had all intentions to be organized and reverered slowly turning into a bunch of shit on paper when you pen stops working.

Finding a pen is half the battle. A working pen. It’s like the paper is our subconscious filled with hope of why our conscious mind can wrangle up to put into words. Then just to be disappointed when the pen runs out. No time to come back to it. The thought is lost. In the abyss of conscious thought without a concrete home.

Making notes here and there. Oh well. At least you can enjoy the art. 😀

Reframing & Vulnerability

On this episode of BrainStorm: I talk about Reframing & Vulnerability, how I had to reframe past traumas to be able to move forward, and how being vulnerable can create freedom. 

 

Purchase Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

Purchase Save My Life School: Here

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

Rainy Day Art

Overdose Candlelight Vigil

Last night I had the pleasure of participating in a Narcotics and Overdose Candlelight Vigil. It was a lovely community event that allowed for family and friends to remember those who have died by overdose and to also remember those still living with the disease of addiction today.

There is an overdose epidemic right now in our community and in many others. More businesses are carrying naloxone (narcan), the opioid antidote, in order to combat this. Some overdoses are intentional, but some are also by misadventure and accidental. This is because you never know what you are actually taking. If you think it’s just cocaine, think again, because it very well may be laced with fentanyl or another powerful drug with sedative effects. Not to get into technical terms, these drugs slow your breathing to an ineffective rate and often stop your breathing all together. If you are lucky enough to be near someone with the antidote (preferably the paramedics as they are also trained in advanced airway management) you may have the effects reversed. But not many people are so lucky.

The night couldn’t help but bring me back to when I overdosed. How I was the one who needed care by the paramedics (my colleagues) and hospital staff. How it was my friends and family who suffered while they waited to see if I would survive. I didn’t take medications that had an antidote, so it was up to my body to metabolize the pills and alcohol I took – and I was lucky to survive. I still carry much guilt and shame surrounding these events. I know that I was very sick back then and I was not trying to hurt anyone, but I am very much responsible for the pain I inflicted on people who loved me. I try to make a living amends every day by showing them that I am clean and sober and still going to my 12 step meetings so that I can stay that way. I don’t ever want to hurt anyone the way I did again.

I send love to all of those who have lost a loved one to overdose/addiction. And I pray that this epidemic will stop.

 

Challenge Extreme Thinking

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On this episode of BrainStorm: I share the difference between emotional, rational and wise mind. I also explain how extreme thinking sabotaged many of my relationships and how I have changed the way I think in many situations.

 

Books

Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

Save My Life School: Here

 

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

Special Guest – Adam (My Son)

On this episode of BrainStorm: I chat with my eleven year old son about what it’s like to live with a parent who has a mental illness. He also shares excellent advice about how to help friends his age.

Order my New Book: Here

Get Save My Life School: Here

 

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

My Improved Sound Sensitivity

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I’m home and finished my programs at Homewood … early … again. You may remember that over two years ago (when I had my first Homewood stay) I also went home early causing my friend to nick-name me the Dark Knight because I was the only person she ever knew to finish a program early – like I had some super power. Well I don’t have super powers, I just have bad luck. I was supposed to have two more weeks of programming, but my doctor had to leave unexpectedly and he felt it was best if I carry on working with my psychologist at home rather than wait for him to return. So, I’m home. And happy to be.

The biggest thing I will take away from the program this time around is the improvement to my sound sensitivity. Being around noise all the time at Homewood put me into a type of ‘exposure therapy’ setting. At first I wore my earplugs pretty much the duration of the day, but as time went by I found that I could sit in class without them, and then walk the halls without them, and then – and this is BIG – eat in the cafeteria without them! Clinking glasses, loud laughers, chair draggers and all! This didn’t happen every day, but during the days it did, it felt like a huge accomplishment – because it was.

My sound sensitivity started in 2012, when I hardly even knew what PTSD was. I remember getting so mad at a tractor that drove around my neighbourhood all the time that I moved! Yes, that’s correct – I actually moved because of a tractor. But that goes to show you how severe my sensitivity was. I tried to wear foam earplugs, stay all day in the basement and even spend the day away from my neighbourhood just because of the fear I had of hearing that damn tractor. I didn’t know why it was happening. I later learned that my brain had actually physiologically changed due to the traumas I had witnessed in my career and my amygdala (the fight or flight centre of my brain) was hyper-active and causing me to feel like I needed to flee when I heard a loud noise.

The severity of my sound sensitivity increased over the years and I eventually had musician earplugs made to block out certain decibels of sound. These earplugs changed my life for the better and allowed me to participate in the world a lot more, but my deep down fear of the sounds around me still caused me to isolate a lot and hence decrease my exposure to sound all together.

So, being a patient at Homewood gave me a hidden gift of exposure to sound – something my psychologist and I had been talking about trying. This is not to say that this exposure would work for everyone, and I definitely advise you to speak to your doctor about any type of treatment you choose, but I can say that for me, it helped. I’m still not ready to go to a concert or not plug my ears when a motorcycle drives by, but being able to even walk down a hall without my earplugs has made me feel almost as strong as the Dark Knight. And I would say that that’s pretty damn awesome.

 

 

From Inside The Homewood Walls

On this episode of BrainStorm I share what it is like to be a patient at Homewood Health. I share journal entries, progress reports, and more…

 

Pre-order my New Book: Here

Get Save My Life School: Here

This episode of BrainStorm is brought to you by The Homewood Health Clinic Mississauga 

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

 

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