Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
BCM
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 2/1/2021 11:02:57 PM EDT
I’m a firefighter with 20 years on the Job.  I love what I do, the highs, the lows, all of it.  But the past couple of years have had some pretty low spots.   My wife thinks I’m going through depression, but to me I feel like I’m just going through a low time and it will pass soon.  She says I’m being short with her and the kids.  I’m not interested in my usual activities.  I get angry easily.  

I feel like I have a lot of stressors going on, department life for sure but then all of the stuff life drops on top of you too.  I feel like I can’t even accomplish the simplest of tasks without something getting in the way.

To make matters worse, we had a rookie in the department kill himself last week.  I never met the guy, don’t know anything about him, but I was so mad about it over the weekend.  This is our second suicide in the department over the last several years and I knew the first guy pretty well.  

I’m also on light duty right now because I hurt my shoulder at a fire a couple of weeks ago.  I’m not getting younger and it seems like I’m getting hurt more and more on the job and that pisses me off because it feels like I can’t do my job.  I work out and try to stay in shape but every injury sets me back and makes the situation worse.  

I know there’s resources I can reach out to, but for what, to get told I’m depressed and need to relax a little?  Anyway like I said, I just need to vent a little.  
Link Posted: 2/2/2021 12:07:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2021 12:11:55 AM EDT by Urimaginaryfrnd]
It happens to people with stressful jobs and I have a couple of suggestions.  PT  any physical exercise is helpful like riding a bike you don't have to think a lot about it.  Add something positive in your life new hobby perhaps if nothing else get a color book and some crayons and spend a few minutes not dealing with the worlds BS, or oil paints or wood carving or leather tooling or whatever you think you would enjoy doing that lets you just enjoy what you are doing. Even if its just 20 min.   note alcohol is a depressant stay away from it for now. Women pick up on things we don't always pick up on so listen to her and try to spend some quality time talking to her listening to what she has to say and actually considering it.  Psych doctors try to prescribe meds, Ministers deal with similar issues without using Rx meds.  Lots of guys are very independent and being cut off isolated from interaction with others is not ideal. Yes Covid has screwed most of  the population and I'm sure there are huge increases in psych instability that doesn't have to mean that you cant snap out of the negative by adding positive things in your life.  Get a bible and read the New Testament even if you are not into that there is still  wisdom and positive though to be found there.

Try and keep in mind that jobs eventually come to an end.  For those of us who the job is not just what we do, but who we are ........it is a big transition.  Sometimes training classes in another type occupation can adjust the mindset.
Link Posted: 2/2/2021 1:23:27 AM EDT
You should talk to somebody face to face. A traned trained counselor to sort out how you feel about your job and life in general.  As much as you love your job and get your identity from your job. You can't let it destroy you and your family.  It might be time for a change of employment or retirement. The only person that knows is you.  I had my closest family member pass away and I didn't say boy I wish I could work more.  I would have done anything at all to have 5 minutes more with her.  Good luck.
Link Posted: 2/2/2021 1:28:40 AM EDT
Certainly a good thing to talk to someone face to face....
Also take time for yourself to do things you love and that help to switch off and focus. To me that's what got me back into guns & shooting....
Link Posted: 2/2/2021 1:35:54 AM EDT
I can relate. I'm a cop. Not working patrol anymore, but I spent plenty of time this year working Antifa riots and the like along with a never ending case load. Between Covid, riots, online school for the kids and then a 3 week evacuation for forest fires, this year was stressful to say the least.

The wife, kids and I have all noticed we are getting short with each other so I decided we are going to unplug and take a two week road trip across the US. We've done trips like this a few times in the past and it really seems to make a difference.

OP, after 20 years you've probably got plenty of vacation and other time off. The machine will keep running without you for a while. Take some time off and get away from life for a while. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 2/2/2021 8:12:32 AM EDT
I won’t offer advice because I’m not sure I’d be able to but I can definitely understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes I feel the same way. Wife notices too. It’s a rough job man. We’re here if you need to vent more.
Link Posted: 2/2/2021 11:00:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jollyg83:
I’m a firefighter with 20 years on the Job.  I love what I do, the highs, the lows, all of it.  But the past couple of years have had some pretty low spots.   My wife thinks I’m going through depression, but to me I feel like I’m just going through a low time and it will pass soon.  She says I’m being short with her and the kids.  I’m not interested in my usual activities.  I get angry easily.  

I feel like I have a lot of stressors going on, department life for sure but then all of the stuff life drops on top of you too.  I feel like I can’t even accomplish the simplest of tasks without something getting in the way.

To make matters worse, we had a rookie in the department kill himself last week.  I never met the guy, don’t know anything about him, but I was so mad about it over the weekend.  This is our second suicide in the department over the last several years and I knew the first guy pretty well.  

I’m also on light duty right now because I hurt my shoulder at a fire a couple of weeks ago.  I’m not getting younger and it seems like I’m getting hurt more and more on the job and that pisses me off because it feels like I can’t do my job.  I work out and try to stay in shape but every injury sets me back and makes the situation worse.  

I know there’s resources I can reach out to, but for what, to get told I’m depressed and need to relax a little?  Anyway like I said, I just need to vent a little.  
View Quote



A few thoughts.....

Two suicides in a couple years....that makes me wonder....is there an organizational problem there? Low morale caused by leadership?

Try this.....find a dark quiet spot in your house when no one is around to bother you and turn your phone on silent and put it somewhere way from you. Turn the lights off and sit in the dark and try to clear your mind and relax. Do you relax or does your tension/stress increase? If you relax....all is well....but you need a break from work....a good break from work. If your tension/stress increases, you need to talk to a professional.

How’s your diet? Get your Vit D levels tested. I started taking a Vit D supplement last year and my mood and attitude has never been better. Sunshine is always good too but especially in the winter, you really might benefit from a Vit D supplement. It’s cheap so will not hurt and will probably benefit you.

Feeling depression isn’t unusual. Not doing anything about it is unhealthy. Good luck!
Link Posted: 2/2/2021 12:05:56 PM EDT
Google Cumulative PTS(d), sounds like you are likely dealing with it.

After 26 years in LE, I certainly am (along with acute). Get help long before you (yourself) thinks you need it. No shame in asking for help, talking to a pro every now and then or even getting on meds if it helps. Gone (or should be) are the days of dealing with this with "suck it up" and anyone who tells you to deal with it that way is a piece of shit and are likely miserable people.

For me, working out (weights, running, mountain biking) helps, embracing anything BUT work when I'm off (fly fishing, hunting, woodworking) etc.

When I started in LE I had a good partner who told me to pick a spot on your drive that is 1/2 between work and home. On the way home, you pass that spot you don't think about work until you pass that spot on the way back in for your next shift. Sometimes its impossible but it is something small that truly does help.

Check out Travis Howze's book (since you are a FF you should know who he is), it helped me too.

Keep your head up, lay off the alcohol (if you're a drinker) and try to get to a good spot.

J-
Link Posted: 2/4/2021 7:18:57 PM EDT
This corona lock down is affecting us all. Even the people who are still working every day...

As a Fed LE, my job hasn't changed since all this crap started. But my life certainly has.

Places where I used to go out with my wife have closed. Places where we used to go with friends have closed. Last summer sucked, plain and simple. As someone who has weekend BBQ's for friends and family on a pretty regular basis, I really miss that interaction. Not having been out with friends to a party, a movie, or a comedy show in over a year has had its impact on my family.

I haven't had a real date night with my wife in a year...

My son is still a toddler, so as long as mom is OK, and the park is open to play on the slide, he is good.

But I can't even remember the last time I went out with friends and had a good time.


This is not just you my brother, its hitting us all. And the longer it drags on, the bigger a problem it will be for many people.

Some professional chat time may help, and some time away from work may as well. I know plenty of people having the same depression issues, and for some of them, counseling helped. For other it didn't. But it doesn't mean you can't try.

Be strong brother, we are all in this together, and lets hope the end is on the way!
Top Top