Fighting for people’s lives on the job is the name of the game for first responders. Police officers, firefighters, and EMTs all work to help people in distress find hope. If the mental state of a first responder wavers, then they begin to struggle with performing their job. Moving through life and death encounters each day is exhausting. Sometimes they lose people on the job. Even with training, these memories and concerns are impossible to ignore. People may call them heroes, but it’s hard for them to think of themselves that way, let alone live up to such an impossible standard. Learn more about why it is essential to help first responders find hope and healing in treatment for addiction as a result of turning to substances.
Mind of a Hero
First responders often have to think with the mind of a hero. They have to analyze their surroundings and develop plans on the fly. Their community consists of family and friends trying to wrap their heads around what they experience each day. Instead of getting up each day and knowing your purpose, you might find you face a mountain of uncertainty. Even then, you may feel isolated despite all the people involved each day on the job. Showing up means being there physically, but mentally it gets harder each day. A hero is someone who goes to work and handles business even when it’s challenging. An unfortunate side effect, however, is that you may isolate yourself from loved ones in the process. This is sometimes the vision people have of heroes. Unfortunately, not everyone can keep showing up day in and day out without severe repercussions. Substances often fill in the holes where first responders have gaps in their hearts. These gaps are places where they have not been able to open up about what they witnessed or experienced on the job. The inner demons weaken their spirit and make them feel like it is harder to get back to square one again.
The culture and stress response for first responders is to act first, ask questions later. There is no time for debate. Split-second decisions must be made to literally save lives. Removing these mental blocks and healing is the only way to move forward. This will help first responders uncover a purpose and meaning behind what they do at work each day. It also helps them lead fulfilling private lives so they can focus on their jobs. Using substances is not the way out. It is better to find hope and healing outside of substance use.
First responder programs can empower clients to re-establish connections with life. They emphasize stress management from chronic, long-term effects of exposure. They can help first responders realize how to rebuild from trauma. Everyone can look at what they’re supposed to handle and replace expectations with healthy coping mechanisms. It is not easy being a first responder. It takes courage to face the front lines of saving lives. Sometimes a first responder needs time for self-care, and learn to take care of their needs first and foremost.
Hope and Healing
The confidence and healing they seek can come from many places. It starts with choosing to go to treatment, (or being compelled) but ultimately deciding to stay. They also might:
- Get some excellent therapy
- Regain confidence
- Find restoration of relationships
- Rebuild their spiritual life
- Uncover and heal trauma from the past
It is not easy to face the circumstances they do each day. With addiction treatment, hope is the first stop on the journey of making things better. It is the way to recover one’s life and find the true meaning of hope. Being on the other side of addiction will look very different for people, but it will also be very calming. It will be relaxing not to be worried about finding more substances or getting into more drugs. It is about shoring up resources from within to battle external fights with triggers and cravings. Hope starts with finding a reason to keep going, even when it feels hard.
The Road Ahead
Finding purpose and healing in treatment is difficult for people because it is about leaving the comfortable misery of addiction and venturing into the unknown territory of recovery. If they want treatment, they will put all they have into it. From there, recovery requires them to put themselves first and worry less about others. This will make them a better first responder, overall. Aftercare planning is essential after treatment. This means setting up a first responder for success with a plan of action to take care of themselves when they get out of treatment. It is not easy, but it will be better to go out with a plan than to have nothing to focus on. The hope in recovery comes from seeing what’s ahead and being able to plan for some greater days ahead. These small milestones will lead up to big goals that can help someone feel better about themselves and how far they’ve come in just a short amount of time. Every day is a new day to be thankful.
Forge is a place to come and recover your life from addiction. We help you reimagine what is possible and create the life you’ve been dreaming of.
Call us today: 1-888-224-7312