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First Responders

'I Will Hold Space For Your Darkness'

As a first responder or emergency services worker, you can see the best and very worst of humanity.

You encounter people in crisis, often experiencing what could be the most horrible day of their lives, and it's your job to help them.

You know that's your job, it's what you signed up for. To be the person running towards danger instead of from it; to be called to a scene and provide critical care/medical assistance, no matter the cause or circumstances.

You are identifiable by your uniform and the courage it takes, to not only wear it, but perform the role it requires.

For all the joyous moments and camaraderie a first responder/emergency services job creates, there is also an element of darkness that permeates it all. Bearing witness to the depravity of humanity, the aftermath of sheer bad luck - being in the wrong place at the wrong time, trying desperately to save someone, yet being unable to. Or even being judged and hated simply for the uniform that you wear. 

That darkness creates a weight, although invisible, that you all carry; in your minds, your hearts, your souls, your bodies, your memories and sometimes, your nightmares.

How do I know any of this...???

Because I was a First Responder and Emergency Services worker for

almost a decade. I'm also married to a 20+ year veteran and currently

serving Captain of a Fire Department.   

It's common in this culture not to want to talk to anyone about the 

things we see, in any kind of capacity. Even though the mental health

burden is significant and real, the risk of showing any kind of

perceived vulnerability, weakness or the notion that you "can't cope",

often prevents many from reaching out for help or discussing our

struggles with anyone.

And it's not just us, it's our loved ones, friends and those in romantic relationships with us, who also see what we experience, read it on our faces, bear the brunt of our bad moods, even if we don't talk to them about it.

I can definitely comprehend not wanting to talk to someone who "can't or won't understand". I may not necessarily have seen exactly what you've seen...but I do get it. I've had my own demons haunt me from scenes I've attended, actions I've had to take, crimes I've investigated. I too share that dark sense of black humour that you must develop, in order to survive in a job where you never know what you might see, out of sheer resilience, or face breaking under the pressure of it all. This is why I personally know how important it is to talk about the things we see sometimes, with someone we trust. 

Whether it's you or a spouse/partner you're supporting with a difficult profession, having someone listen, can make an enormous difference to your quality of life. I believe having a law enforcement background allows me a unique perspective into helping First Responder Clients with any and all aspects of their life; relationship struggles, improvements they wish to make, goals they want to attain and finding a balance between their demanding work and the life they want to be living.

What I offer as a Coach to First Responders and Emergency Services workers is this:

A sincere promise, that no matter what you tell me, I won't flinch. I'll hold space for your darkness, because speaking it out loud brings it into the light. When others might project judgement, I'll show you empathy, compassion, understanding and be willing to listen to anything you feel comfortable sharing. 

My hope is you will sense that camaraderie in me, as with a fellow colleague, knowing there are things you will never have to explain, that I will just instinctively understand and "get", in a way others may not.

If this sounds like you and something you are searching for, please don't hesitate to reach out.

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