Military, Law Enforcement + First Responders
Wearing the uniform means placing yourself amid ongoing adversity and danger.
It’s agreeing to put yourself on the line to serve our nation and communities.
No matter what uniform you wear – law enforcement, nurses, military, EMTs, firefighters and even mental health professionals – you’re constantly on the front line witnessing the casualties of life.
When we sign up to support and defend our way of life locally and abroad, we know we may have to place ourselves in harm’s way.
We accept the possibility we’ll die doing something that matters.
We often don’t consider how the things we’ll see and experience on the journey will impact us.
Our line of work shows us the abuse of children, how children are used by enemy forces, and we’re unable to “un-see” it.
The smell, the sight, the sounds stay with us. They come up in our memories and nightmares.
One reminder can throw us into reliving the experience.
We’re told by our colleagues to drive on, suck it up, and man up.
We move onto the next trauma and never grieve the first loss. This continues throughout our career.
We start drinking to cope. This is the only escape from the pain.
We continue to get up and go to work.
What do you do mid-career, when you have 10-15 years as law enforcement or military?
Retirement is so close, but so far away.
There’s not a career out there that can come close to being in this exciting and fulfilling. There’s no way out.
At times we place ourselves in harm’s way by drinking and driving or reckless behavior. You begin to distance yourself from your friends and family.
Hypervigillence is the norm. After all that you’ve seen, you can’t imagine going somewhere and not looking for the exit, being able to see everyone or getting lost in a crowd.
Your firearm is an extension of yourself and it’s always there.
The worst of humanity creeps into how you see the individuals in your life.
Your worldview is darker.
Anger and irritability show up unexpectedly. Tension headaches are a regular occurrence. Being on high alert is something you’re used to.
You feel detached and disconnected. Concentration is difficult.
Isolated and fearful, you feel weak for being human.
Our minds were not designed to see the things you’ve seen.
I’m a US Navy veteran who knows the honor and pride of wearing the uniform.
It’s an honor to continue to serve those who have sacrificed for our country’s freedom.
I’m also familiar with the challenges that come with that lifestyle and career choice. These include frequent relocations, missing important events, sacrifice, changing jobs and friends every few years, and dealing with multiple tragedies – losing family members and colleagues.
Surviving may seem impossible.
I worked with Luis. He deployed in the army and saw so much conflict.
When he returned home, life was not the same. It was hard to find a job and difficult to concentrate in school.
Luis saw so much conflict while deployed with the army. But, when he returned home, over six of his fellow soldiers who survived the conflict took their own life.
Because we’re used to being in harm’s way, our brain is wired for danger.
Treatment can help rewire your brain for safety and connection instead of fear and isolation.
Talking with someone and processing the pain can give you your life back.
Relationships can be restored.
You don’t have to be destroyed by your honorable career choice.
You can make it to retirement as a whole person and have a fulfilling life after retirement.
I’m passionate about serving those who have sacrificed so much. But I’ve worked with too many who’ve lost a friend or loved one to suicide.
Even though you may not see a way out of the pain, passing on that pain to your loved ones and friends is not the answer.
The pain may be too much…
…but those you served with, and those who care about you, want to see you through this.
Losing one more officer, military member or veteran to suicide makes me sad, because I know help is available.
Sometimes the first time we reach out for help, it doesn’t work, or scheduling an appointment is frustrating. But, effective help from a trained professional makes all the difference.
Reaching out takes courage & requires strength. Fight the stigma.
Contact me today! (512) 256-4929
I also provide a 2nd opinion on your VA Disability Rating on your mental health claim. I can also provide a DBQ. Not sure what a DBQ is? Give me a call and we can discuss how it can help your claim.