We never think about the harm and hurt we are causing others when our selfish thinking and actions take over our lives. I know this was true for me, and many other men and women that I talked to or have aided in getting the help that they need and deserve.Our wives, husbands, children, siblings and friends are all innocent bystanders of our behaviors in one way or another.
I’ve written a few articles for publications both locally and nationally. Most have been about my personal experience with addiction and my journey to recovery and a new fulfilling and productive life. What I have not talked about up to now is what happens behind the scenes.
During my active addiction, it was obvious to almost everybody who knew me that I had a problem. My denial allowed me to believe I was getting away with my drinking and behaviors because I was smarter than that.After all, drinking vodka is safe because you can’t smell it on my breath. Really? What the hell was I thinking? Maybe the slurring of words or not remembering conversations from the night before because of blackouts might have been signs everybody else saw that I chose not to.
The rest of this story isn’t about me or anybody reading this that might be struggling with addiction, or knows somebody who is.It’s about the wife, and a man she loved and lost due to his inability to see what was happening to him, and his refusal to accept it and get help.Continue reading Behind the Scenes of Addiction→
Those of us in public safety careers – law enforcement, fire service are usually gung-ho, Type A personalities, self-reliant, confident and sometimes even a little cocky. We love excitement. We feel there is nothing we can’t do; we’re self-important, helpers, fixers, we need to be needed, and we enjoy being the front-line of defense and first responders when something goes terribly wrong in our neighborhoods, our districts and our jurisdictions.
In the academy. we learn to be tough, to be a team player, to follow orders to the letter, to fit into the chain of command, to practice our particular skill sets until they become second-nature. During our years of service, we continue to train to be the best police officer, firefighter, or chaplain that we are capable of being. We learn about critical incident stress and how to manage it. We practice working under extreme stress. We train, train, and train some more. We are among the best of the best at what we do. Continue reading Emotional Preparation for Retirement – Adjusting to Civilian Life for Public Safety Personnel→
by Captain Robert Cubby (retired)
Jersey City (NJ) Police Department
Once again, we hear about another officer killed in the line of duty. We mourn the loss of Police Officer Randolph Holder of the New York City Police Department whose end of watch was October 20, 2015. May he rest in peace.
I have attended too many police funerals in my career. Two of the funerals that I attended, I was personally involved with the case and was there when the officer died. Continue reading Hiding in Plain Sight→
I started my career in mental health in 1979. I had graduated with a shiny fresh degree in psychology, though I had more hours in studio art and art history than in psychology. Unfortunately, my interest in art was limited by my lack of talent. I also noticed that being dead was a big career builder in the art world. That was less appealing. So ultimately I figured I could have a career in psychology, which I loved and keep art as a hobby.
by Aubrey Futrell
Louisiana State Trooper (Retired)
Grief is a long and hard process that only time will ease. You will be going about your life when unexpectedly, without warning, something happens that reminds you of the one you’ve lost. You will see someone who looks like them or laughs like them. You hear a song on the radio that reminds you of them or you think of something you need to tell them and as you pick up the phone you realize, they’re gone… Your heart will break all over again, and the flood of tears will come. Continue reading Grief→
“it is one of the most confusing, heart wrenching and lonely experiences to watch someone you love riding a rollercoaster of emotional states from intermittent irrational angry outbursts to complete emotional distancing, interspersed with moments of tears, hopelessness and thoughts of self-harm… and still, no one believes that things are really as bad as what you’re saying”
This week, for the umpteenth time, I heard from an emergency services worker who sought help for dealing with his stress levels. He was told by someone, by his organizational support staff that his problems are not work related, they are merely relationship problems. As additional motivation to take this advice on board, he was told that PTSD is extremely rare in the services; therefore, he should stop thinking about his personal stresses and focus on what is wrong with his relationship. Continue reading First Responder Stress and the Family Blame Game→
The long road that I started with Deborah Ortiz and Code 9 so many years ago continues. After many ups and downs of financial concerns and funding, forming an alliance with Tyler Marino, who would help complete the film, we are now presenting the film at free private screenings at various locations.