This may be the most important blog post you read this year. It’s the bravest thing I’ve ever seen a firefighter do.
It’s about Mental illness. Some prefer to call Behavioral Health, but I like Mental Illness because it truly is an illness and we must see it that way, not as something “wrong” with the person but truly an illness that can be healed.
Our firefighters experience so many events that would send any mere civilian reeling into a depressive or anxious state. But they have found ways to “deal” with it. Humor. Silence. Putting it in the “filing cabinet” thinking its dealt with.
But it doesn’t always go away.
And then you experience a significant, traumatic life event and it all comes reeling back at high speed and your body goes into mental convulsions. You don’t even recognize yourself. Your family doesn’t recognize you and may feel hurt and distant from you.
I’m not a counselor but I know this because I’ve been here. On a smaller scale personally and also as a wife of a firefighter who has faced such struggles. I write this as a wife who has felt the pain of firefighter behavioral health.
This is why this blog post from IronFiremen.com’s Captain Wines is so important.
Everyone has had this topic touch their life Very few talk about it.
Here is an excerpt from Captain Wines blog post:
Just 9 months ago I thought like most other folks … I thought depression was something ”just in your head”… you know … an excuse … laziness, self pity …. something that you can (should) “suck up” and move past.
Remember that General George Patton scene when he slapped the soldier with “shell shock” or “battle fatigue” and called him a “Goddamn Coward”? I felt like that coward.
I’ve said it here before and will again … NOT ALL WOUNDS ARE VISIBLE.
The most important thing you do all day may be to share this post with your firefighter or to share it with another firefighter you know is struggling. I firmly believe that us as wives need to help our firefighters address these issues but that is not enough. When another firefighter reaches out to a brother who is hurting and struggling with this, it is a very effective first step towards healing.
Captain Wines you have many supporters behind you in this battle. We pray for complete and whole healing for you and your family.
Many resources are listed at that blog post but I also want to share a few more. You can find details at FirefighterWife.com/crisis