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Where did I go?? (For those who asked)

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On 6/3/2020 at 1:55 PM, Jet_Engine1 said:

I took a breather from the board, FB, and even work for a while over the last few months. I needed to get some "real life" stuff squared away. Between work, kids, my parents health issues, and some other stuff too boring and ubiquitous to talk about, I realized stress srress had caused me to develop a hair trigger temper, depression, and even some anxiety. It was seeping into all aspects of my life, so I finally admitted I had issues I needed help dealing with,  and went to EAP. 


I cut off almost all social media, eliminated the Nightly News, and even checked into a treatment center specifically for First Responders for 2 weeks. I was able to get off sleep meds (Ambien is an absolute nightmare that should be pulled from the market imo) and reset my sleep habits through good sleep hygiene and reset my circadian rhythm after nearly 20 years of 24 hour shifts. I also had the opportunity to talk to a Psychologist who was a 30 year First Reponder 2x a week, and am still in touch with him. Helped me put a lot of my issues and stress triggers in perspective. Very helpful. Itbwas tough being away from my family with limited contact for 2 weeks, but my wife and I both thought it would be good for me, and work was totally on board, My Fire Chief actually gave me some great reading materials while I was away, and just wants to get me back into fighting shape after 2 years of riding a desk in Admin and becoming isolated and depressed. 


I also decided to totally "dry out", and I haven't had a drink since 4/17. I didn't do AA or anything (I fundamentally disagree with their philosophy and approach, and found the adherents very cult-like), but I just chose to stop for a while. I'm going on a family (Disney) cruise in September if they're back in ops, and I might decide to have a drink then, but who knows?


Meanwhile, I have been following Dr. Jason Fungs Intermittent Fasting protocols and working out again every day, and have lost 25 pounds in the last month and a half. 


So, that's where I went if you were curious. I feel better, and will continue to try to live a better version of my life, but man, current events and the insanity of the world sure are making it tough to relax and keep stress down. I need to keep unplugged from sh*t like the News and FB. Heck, to tell you the truth, during the 2 weeks I was at the treatment facility when I didn't have access to my phone or internet (voluntarily), I didnt really miss it. Not even during the Draft, which I watched old school,  on TV with a Street and Smith's guide. LOL. 

I graduated from HS in 1989. in the 31 years since I became an adult, I have been a LEO, Infantryman,  and then a Firefighter/Paramedic. I've been to war, I was in NYC on 9/11, I have seen things at work that would horrify most people, and I've seen those things over and over again. I have watched countless people die while I was trying to help them. But of all of those things, the thing that broke me was leaving my station and my crew, leaving the line and going to the office. It's crazy. 


Anyway, glad to be back. I'll make a concerted effort to be less provocative here and stay out of the current events threads. I should have kept quiet on the recent events, this is no place for that stuff anyway.  




@14 in Green @T0mShane

Good for you JetEngine. You have a stressful job no doubt and its good to see you are getting healthy in all aspects of your life. Word of caution however and its not meant as a negative criticism.  A lot of my clients experience substance abuse issues so my perspective is somewhat different than a layman.  How can you make an assessment on a program like AA if you didn't even engage it. I don't know 1 person who went to AA and didn't feel exactly the same way as you.  I mean who wants to go to AA?    And by engaging, I mean exactly that. Not just checking it out.  Give it 3 months on a consistent basis THEN make a better informed decision. If you want out, they will refund your misery.  With the pandemic its not possible now and only accessible online.  But what do you have to lose? Nothing.  Worst is you'll stay sober for 3 months. LOL.  You can always go back to drinking if you think you can do so safely . But you have to make your own determination and see what works and what doesn't. 

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

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