I became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in the summer of 2001. After completing my certification, I started working with my town’s ambulance service. I lived in a small town in rural Vermont, and the ambulance calls were rarely anything like you see on TV or hear about from larger cities, but we certainly kept busy.
Most of our calls were to the local ski area, and the nursing homes, and the occasional car accident. Most of them were pretty non-eventful and I don’t remember them. But some of them were really bad and those did have a lasting negative effect.
I started “dealing” with the emotional toll like a lot of my peers, I went out after the call was over and drank. In other words, I didn’t deal with it at all. The stress and trauma was doing damage to me physically and emotionally, and if I didn’t change, I was going to get a whole lot worse.
I wanted to keep being a good EMT, a great Nurse, and a patient and kind partner and mother. I learned ways to process those traumatic memories without having to talk about them, relive them, or feel vulnerable. I used tools that didn’t involve talk therapy, opening up, or losing control. And now I don’t struggle with those traumatic memories any more. They don’t “haunt” me or affect me negatively.
Now I’m able to look back now with a new perspective on how this “tough-guy-stuff-your-feelings” mindset gets going, is reinforced, and can be broken without anyone looking “soft.”
You aren’t alone. You don’t have to self-medicate or “just get through it,” and it doesn’t have to “stay with you.”
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Karen Gray CH, RN
Karen Gray is a Certified Hypnotist, a Registered Nurse, and the Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis. For more information on how you can use hypnosis to change your life, contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (802) 566-0464..