Self-Sabotage is a bitch

I’m currently sat on my sofa with a coffee having dropped my car off at the garage. I’m feeling a little tired after being brutally woken by an almighty storm in the early hours. I can hear the hum of the boiler as it kicks in, on schedule, and a random click from the kettle as it cools down. I can hear the odd movement from the people next door as they get ready to leave for work. The birds in the tree outside my house are singing and every now again I will hear a motorbike or loud car go by on the busy road a few streets down. Other than that, it’s just me and my thoughts and the odd notification coming through on my phone. I don’t know about you but in these quiet times, being alone with your thoughts can be productive, but also very destructive…..

Self-sabotage is a bitch and creeps up on you, and if your not careful it can take over. It feels better to control your own failure rather than face the possibility of it blindsiding you and taking you by surprise dont you think? Sometimes it’s an easier option because it’s better than this feeling of being out of control.

This week the Invictus Games trials are being held in Sheffield. I was very happy to be there on the first day and night to support everyone but it left me with very mixed emotions. I then attended some of the Defence Medical Services Conference and saw a few familiar, friendly faces. Friends who I served with but also a couple of which I toured with. Friends who kept me together during tours of Afghanistan, ones that were to change my life forever. I sadly had to leave Sheffield yesterday as I have a busy few days ahead, but I left with a heavy heart….

I was anxious about attending for a few different reasons but the main one being that in my heart, I still wanted to be in the thick of it, lining up for accreditation and having many nervous wee’s before taking part in my sports. I cannot begin to tell you the effect the games can have on you, and that’s why I had to do the right thing and take a step back. That was definitely not an easy decision to make; but the right one to give other people that chance. It’s so great to see so many new faces taking part, as well as seeing a few familiar faces; it was nice to be in ‘the fold’ again. That’s the bit I really miss about the whole process but with my sensible head on, I knew it was someone else’s turn. We cannot be selfish when it comes to recovery, we cannot hold onto the blanket because it gives us comfort, but it’s so very hard to let go of it. I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to see that comfort blanket, within touching distance, and not want to grab it with both hands. Do you know what I realised though, I can get hold of the blanket again, but this time, to wrap it around someone else who needs it.

I had to make the decision to take a step back due to work commitments, and it was one of the hardest decisions to make. I chose to set up my own business because I couldn’t manage to hold down a job as a paramedic, or a full time position anymore due to symptoms associated with my mental health. I enjoy delivering my courses etc but I’m only just managing to keep my head above water cognitively. I am very blessed to have work coming in but I dont have spare capacity to do much else. I have to be honest and say that at times I feel overwhelmed with it all, and don’t mind admitting to feeling like running away from it. Apparently this is not unusual in the first 2 years of business. People think it’s easy and I’m doing great, and in the main I am; things look great on the outside. But you know what, it isn’t that great every day. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy what I do but I think it’s time to take someone else on board. This will give me more time to do some things I enjoy. At present I feel guilty having a day off from doing any work but then I find myself playing catch up all the time. Being at the trials was fantastic and made me realise that I miss it. I also got struck down with an overwhelming fear of sadness having seen some of my old colleagues and friends. I also had a reminder that I would never be a paramedic again but you know what, it is how it is and I have no choice but to move forward. Just over 3 weeks ago I received some news which I felt was a kick in the teeth. However, instead of kicking off as I would normally do, I sat on the news and will act on it in the proper way.

Being with the guys in Sheffield also reminded me that I’ve already come through so many battles and they always worked out, always. In the past I have always backed off from situations that overwhelm me, pushing people and opportunities away in the process. I have missed out on so much and sometimes others have restricted me to.

Sometimes we stick to what’s comfortable, like the blanket, but at some point we have to stand up and fight against not only other people and situations but also, self-sabotage. Today may just be that day….

About mitsanuk

I left the RAF in 2015 following 20 years as a frontline paramedic. It has been an amazing career but then found myself suffering because of this. My blog exists as an outlet for me as well as a place for others to read and try to understand the mind of someone with PTSD. Please feel free to make comment on any post and lets raise some discussions on how we can help to end the stigma which surrounds mental illness. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please follow and share in the hope my experience will help others.
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