Still fighting …


LOL … it’s seems like that’s all I’ve done for the past few months … fighting, climbing, digging etc.

At times, it seems it’s all I can do to keep my head above water but I’m holding on.

I’ve even been fighting a little “writer’s block” here lately.

Well actually, I guess it’s all tied in with the emotional issues I’ve been having / fighting. I have good days but still encounter a bad one every now and again.

Although we’ve never met in Person, I consider Peggy Sweeney of The Sweeney Alliance, Grieving Behind the Badge a GREAT friend. She’s good at what she does and has been a tremendous help to me.

She always knows what to say and how to say it. She told me of the troubles I’d face before I actually did. She warned me about “triggers”.  Something that will “trigger” a memory and bring all my emotion back to the surface.

I’m still not sure if it’s PTSD or simply depression that I’ve been fighting but I can tell you this …. it’s a hell of a battle.

I’ve talked about it here on before and it’s worth re-mentioning. Depression and PTSD are REAL. They’re an illness / disease that are both bigger than I ever imagined.

I bring this up again for a couple reasons. First, I had a rough weekend and kind of made mention of it in a status update on Face Book. As always, it resulted in an overwhelming show of support. THANKS to each and everyone of you.

Follow on Face Book Click HERE

The 2nd reason I’m revisiting this topic is because June is PTSD Awareness Month!

I’ll add here to keep in mind that it’s not just our soldiers who suffer from PTSD. I’d bet you’d be shocked to know how many of our Brothers and Sisters (Firefighters, EMS providers and Police Officers) suffer from and battle PTSD on a daily basis.

Special Thanks to a good friend and Brother Firefighter, Gary Allen Ridenour for sharing the links with me.

“Take the Step” and help raise PTSD awareness.

The first link below is from the Department of Veterans Affairs but they have a “public” section for you to visit.

National Center for PTSD 

Learn more about PTSD HERE

Of course “grief” goes hand in hand with PTSD and Depression so I’ll also include a few more links that I’ve used heavily over the past few months.

The Sweeney AllianceFirefighter Behavioral Health AllianceNorth American Firefighter Veteran Network,,   Recover from ,

And for the record, I’m feeling better today. I’m hoping for a long run of “good days”. Don’t let my postings or status updates worry ya. I’ve been sharing my story (and emotions) with you in hopes that someone out will realize (like I did) that they are not alone. Maybe someone out there will see my battles and realize that they too can fight. Several folks have told me that my postings on these topics have actually helped them in one way or another. For me, that makes it all worth it so I’ll keep writing about it when I can.

Hopefully I’ll kick this “writer’s block” in the butt as well. I’ve been wanting to get something up for ya but I just haven’t been able to focus here lately.

Of course my busy schedule doesn’t help matters much either. Hay season is here and that always occupies a lot of my time and adds to my stress level but I’ll figure all that out too (I’m tougher than I look …LOL). We had a very productive day in the fields on Saturday due to some GREAT help from family and friends.  I just hope I didn’t over work em on the opening day of our season … we’ve got a lot more left to get up 😉

So, until I get back to ya …. stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines

  • Willie: North American Firefighter Veteran Network has been educating about firefighter and first responder ptsd since May of 2002 after 911. We were formed at the request of a Washington State Vietnam Veteran. He understood what we were facing. His comment was that they as a veterans organization waited too long to reach out and help their brothers with the ptsd wounding. From 2002 until current the rates of ptsd uncovered in the hidden fire service front lines are slowly but gradually being peeled back. We know there is much more out there but we also know through web blogs and information on the internet that there are ways to fight back with this incipient hidden deadly disorder. First Responders are connected through access to information. Peggy Sweeney and NAFFVN along with PUTP (Picking Up the Peaces) out of Australia have formed a global awarness network. We are getting our people to commit to recovery and educational understanding. Often not quick enough to our liking. We are loosing good service people to suicides and we are taking emotional hits in knowing that yet we still keep moving forward ever forward. Keep YOUR FAITH in YOU. It is about YOU and then it is about your service work. Holding those two in balance with YOUR FAMILY and those you love is the challenge. Always remember WE DO HAVE CHOICES. To live and to face the reality of death in our choosing gives us our earned title: RUBBER BOOT WARRIORS. We wear steel toed Rubber Boots….WE put our Bunker Gear on. We pull tight our Air Packs and Mask Up but we need to remember to Gear Up against the most toxic of hazardous waste of all….PTSD Where all Wounds are not visible. When we realize it is killing us….we can reach for the tools in the tool box and not be the fool in the fools box about how dangerous it is. Your in a fight for your life with the depression a life you have earned and a life worth living fully understood about your choices and your commitment to yourself your family and your calling as a warrior.
    Peace Love Joy and Friendship and lets not forget a brotherly hug.
    take care
    Shannon Pennington North American Firefighter Veteran Network
    F.I.R.S.T. S.T.E.P. H.O.P.E.

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