• Michelle Partington

Pushing through my comfort zone.

So I have been offline for a couple of days because I decided it was time to reboot my system. I spent the weekend nervously contemplating my decision to go out on my own work wise. I had decided to put myself out there despite the concerns I had. What concerns would they be then?

Well since returning from Afghan I have not really had any ‘oomph’ for anything. It has taken everything some days to even drag myself out of bed. My head has been completely scrambled and I have been unable to concentrate on anything. I have lacked interest in absolutely everything and let so much admin slip until the very last minute. Anything and everything was causing me so much angst and I was hitting brick wall after brick wall. I was worried about what would be next for me following the RAF. Being a frontline paramedic in the NHS is sadly not an option because of my already heightened anxiety levels. I worried in case I secured a job but would have days when I couldn’t get up. I wouldn’t be employed for long that’s for sure. That is of course all dependant on anyone employing me at all with a preconcieved notion of what PTSD is. With all these thoughts going through my mind why on earth would I put myself through any further added pressure on top of it all?

Bottom line is it will MAKE me get up and find my mojo again. If I don’t do this the risk for me is that I will withdraw from ‘the real world’ more and more. This would not be a healthy place for sure. I have fought my way out of the dark place so many times that the risk is that one day, unless I push myself out of the door, the dark will consume me. In no way will I EVER let that happen so I’m getting my fight on.

Monday morning arrived, my alarm went off at 0500 and the fear of dread ran through me. As I was getting ready I felt sick to the stomach. It’s understandable for anyone to be nervous starting a new venture but this was something more. I was travelling over 2 hours for my first job so there was no coming back home if I needed a safe place. I would have to deal with everything as it happened away from my support network. I climbed into my camper and drove off. It took me over 3 hours to arrive due to the trafgic and there was no going back!!!

So im now lying in bed watching big brother and Perez has just been voted out – BOOM!!!!!!

I am absolutely shattered, I have scratches all over my arms and wind burn on my face but I really whizzed through the work. I found it so therapeutic, I was on my own with my thoughts and a list of jobs to complete. The tasks didn’t need any brain power so it didn’t matter that my mind would go blank or wander. It was all manual work so I could vent and have a great outlet for it. I did so much more than I thought I would have done which benefits those I’m carrying out the work for as well as myself. Although I had tough moments it didn’t seem to matter because there was noone around to explain any of my moods to.

My decision was the right one. What has also been great is that I could see instant results. This really hasn’t happened much over the last couple of years so the feeling was immense once I’d finished. I feel like I’ve achieved something and it’s convinced me to continue on this path, pushing myself out of the safety of my home, out past my comfort zone and onto the path to move forward.

I tell you this to provide you with some comfort that not every day is a dark day. PTSD and other mental illnesses are lifelong but it doesn’t mean that every day will be a battle. There will be good days and bad days but value every one that comes. Keep fighting, keep pushing because only YOU can take YOU forward. You may have support in many guizes but there is only one person fighting to win the battle and that is YOU. I do not intend to lose my fight….


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