Take Care of Self

by Wyatt James Brooks Sr

I am not sorry any longer
I stand with strength; I have done nothing wrong,
It is not my fault.
I have done everything in my power to do Good.
I am not responsible for the traumas I faced.
It is not a weakness that I have empathy.
Don’t feel sorry for me or sad. I made my own decision to give myself to others.
But it’s time to take care of the “Self”.
I ask nothing from you that you cannot give in good friendship.
If, I seem weak to you or lost, just walk up, shake my hand and say good to see you brother.
That’s all it takes.
If you can’t do that, then go your own way.
I wish you good fortune, and may the gods be with you and your families Always.

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Deadly Epidemic

by Joye Atkinson

There seems to be an epidemic spreading more and more each day
Although it’s not contagious people are dying anyway
It’s not heart disease or cancer, Alzheimer’s or even dope
This disease is caused from believing there’s no hope
This thing I am referring to causes one to believe
That no one cares about them and it causes them to grieve
When they feel life has no meaning and that nothing can be done
They may take an overdose or go out and get a gun
Then their friends and family deal with grief of their own
And if they don’t ask for help they too may soon be gone
Lord, help us to pay attention and always be alert
Fill us with your compassion for those who really hurt.

About the Author: Joye Atkinson is originally from Sumter, South Carolina. For over 30 years, she has been writing from personal experience, and for people who have been through severe hardships. This is her gift, and her purpose is to encourage those who are hurting to let them know they are not alone and there is hope. She currently resides in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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“I am Tough, and I Don’t Need Help”

by Kristi Tausinga
Patrol Officer, Enforcement Compliance Division
Arizona Department of Transportation

I just wanted someone to believe me. I wanted someone to care. My intention was not necessarily to harm myself, I just needed help. However, I didn’t know how to ask. I am a cop and cops “don’t ask for help”. We’re tough, not allowed to be weak or show weakness.

I don’t know why I took all the pills. I guess I was hoping that my husband would find me passed out on the living room floor. I had been telling him I had an Opiate addiction, but he did not believe me. I guess I did “too good” of a job hiding it. I figured if he found me passed out, he would call an ambulance or rush me to the hospital. THEY would tell me I needed help, which is okay. Then it would take the “weakness” off of my shoulders. I could blame it on the doctors and not have to tell anyone it was ME asking for help. No, not asking, CRYING OUT FOR HELP. Continue reading “I am Tough, and I Don’t Need Help”

Faith and Fire

by Jacquetta Gomes

Faith and Fire is a partnership between the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) in the United Kingdom, Fire and Rescue Services (FRS), and faith communities to develop mutual respect. It also increases the awareness of faiths to FRS staff and volunteers.

Faith and Fire is led by Fire Officer Daryl Oprey, CFOA Lead on Equality and Diversity, and assisted by Jacquetta Gomes, Advisor on Interfaith and Multi-faith to the CFOA Equality and Diversity Group.

Faith and Fire developed from work undertaken by the CFOA Chief Fire Officers Association with the Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada), Ketumati Buddhist Vihara Manchester, and Manchester Buddhist Convention; and from the pilot project run at Kendal Fire Station in 2012 – 2013 by the Buddhist Group of Kendal together with CFRS Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service England, UK. Publications about Faith and Fire are listed on the Faith and Fire website. They welcome submissions of interest. Continue reading Faith and Fire

Reflections on Times Past with PTSD

by Bubba

Over the next few days, most, if not all of us, will start reflecting on the last year, which turns into years.  For me, this year means seeing a list of failures and loss in some areas, and gains in others. 

The negative for the year is, of course, easy to see. First, I didn’t get my medical retirement status finalized. I can’t get my disability status made permanent because they are busy fighting with Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), my former agency is contesting everything to be just more of themselves.  Recently, my service dog had to be put down and the process of finding a new one is less than easy or quick.  Continue reading Reflections on Times Past with PTSD

A Day in the Life of an Addict with PTSD Active Addiction

by Dana

I have been a first responder for almost ten years. I am a survivor of workplace sexual assault. I have been exposed to several traumatic scenes while on duty.

I was first diagnosed with PTSD in the fall of 2013. It stemmed mainly from two specific traumatic experiences that occurred on shift. I was struggling for a long time emotionally. Most of the time I would struggle in silence. I had been abusing alcohol for most of that time. Getting help for PTSD was challenging, and seemed like a constant struggle. It was either a battle with the city or with the Workers Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), but nobody had the solution. It often felt like I was caught in between and left alone to try to put the pieces together. Alcohol wasn’t enough anymore and I eventually turned to drugs to cope with my pain. I am not what you would think a typical addict looks like. I kept my job, my house, my car and I had a savings account. But I had a very dark secret that very few knew. This was my secret: Continue reading A Day in the Life of an Addict with PTSD Active Addiction

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

by Robert Cubby

Oh God, how I hate that song. Why, you should ask?  Everything that was sung about and wished for was, it seemed, forever denied me and my brothers and sisters in blue who had to work the holidays because police cannot simply close shop and be home with loved ones.

Oh, we tried making the best of a bad situation. I, fortunately, worked the midnight shift, which, if luck would have it, got me home in the morning in time to see the kids open their presents. Of course, that entailed losing sleep to be with the family, to attend church services and then, maybe, grab a few hours of sleep before getting dressed and heading out for our Christmas visits.

But even that had to be curtailed or pared down as I had to head out the door by a certain time to get the family home and for me to get changed and go back on duty the following night. Dragging myself into the district station house, it was good to see my second family in blue and partake in their little Christmas festivities. That is, if dispatch could spare us a few minutes, which was never the case. Continue reading I’ll Be Home For Christmas

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