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Sobriety.... One year later... Please Read.

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Old 02-13-2014, 08:47 AM   #141
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Glad to hear your sober buddy, my dad's a firefighter and he's told me some really messed up shit on the job.
Good job man!
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:04 AM   #142
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Congratulations on your sobriety. I just passed 4 years sober this past December. It hasn't gotten any easier, but knowing people like yourself are out there fighting the same addictions and beating it every day let's me know I can keep going.

Thank you for your service and sharing your story. Keep up the good work.
I have my days I won't lie. Never enough to make me go back down that dark hole though. Some days are better than others but I just handle them in a different manner. Family support helps greatly and now my wife is a active part in the process so she has become aware of when I'm not myself. I can tell you for certain... Just being able to talk about it will do wonders.

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Glad to hear your sober buddy, my dad's a firefighter and he's told me some really messed up shit on the job.
Good job man!

Thank you!
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:53 AM   #143
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Well congratulations to your wife as well for being there for you. We are not an easy lot to handle. Haha
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:49 PM   #144
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Thank you. I am in the Fire Academy right now and there is only so much preparation you can have. We are told stories, shown videos, but I know none of it will be come a reality until I am actually there experiencing it.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:08 AM   #145
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Thank you. I am in the Fire Academy right now and there is only so much preparation you can have. We are told stories, shown videos, but I know none of it will be come a reality until I am actually there experiencing it.
Only real advise I can give you is to not keep it bottled up as I did. Eventually it will find a way out usually with destructive force.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:37 PM   #146
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Thank you. I am in the Fire Academy right now and there is only so much preparation you can have. We are told stories, shown videos, but I know none of it will be come a reality until I am actually there experiencing it.
I am only a year or so out of the academy and the shit they show you does not begin to prepare you. OP great thread, I am currently a year and a half sober. I was hooked on pain killers for 5 years. My mother passed away when I was 4 and the rest of my family minus father and grandma shortly after so needless to say I have depression. I was given percoset for a broken hand and after 3 days I was hooked. FINALLY here was this magic pill that made me able to not feel anything. The next 5 years were downhill. I started lying to my family to get money , doing odd jobs on top of full time job etc. Anything I could do to get the money so I wouldn't have to feel anything anymore. I destroyed personal relationships and friendships because being numb was literally the only thing I cared about. July 26, 2012 I looked in the mirror and couldn't stand what I saw (granted it had been years since i could look at myself without feeling sick). 0330 i got in my car (06 vw jetta gli) and decided that 22 years of misery was enough. I bought 2 , 5 gallon gas cans and soaked first the interior then myself with said gas. plan was to to close the door and go up with the car. It may sound crazy but something came over me last second and I GTFO.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:43 PM   #147
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I am only a year or so out of the academy and the shit they show you does not begin to prepare you. OP great thread, I am currently a year and a half sober. I was hooked on pain killers for 5 years. My mother passed away when I was 4 and the rest of my family minus father and grandma shortly after so needless to say I have depression. I was given percoset for a broken hand and after 3 days I was hooked. FINALLY here was this magic pill that made me able to not feel anything. The next 5 years were downhill. I started lying to my family to get money , doing odd jobs on top of full time job etc. Anything I could do to get the money so I wouldn't have to feel anything anymore. I destroyed personal relationships and friendships because being numb was literally the only thing I cared about. July 26, 2012 I looked in the mirror and couldn't stand what I saw (granted it had been years since i could look at myself without feeling sick). 0330 i got in my car (06 vw jetta gli) and decided that 22 years of misery was enough. I bought 2 , 5 gallon gas cans and soaked first the interior then myself with said gas. plan was to to close the door and go up with the car. It may sound crazy but something came over me last second and I GTFO.

I know all to well the addiction to pain pills. If I'm honest it's the only thing that I still have a craving for. The alcohol and other stuff doesn't bother me anymore but the pain pills... yeah. Like you said, the feeling of being numb is a relief and a curse at the same time. Pain pills are essentially synthetic heroin so there is no doubt that they are addictive.

I'm glad that you were able to get out of your situation and I wish nothing but the best for you.

Stay safe my friend!
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:22 PM   #148
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I debated about posting this for a while. But, in the end I think it is too important to just pass up.

Let me preface this post with... I'm not looking for any accolades or recognition. I hate that. I got sober for myself and my family and that's it. If what I say helps one other person then what I post will be worth it in the end.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD. I have worked for the Fire Dept for 20 years. 5 years as a Fire Fighter, 5 years as a Driver (engineer), and 10 years as a Captain. I moved up the ranks pretty fast and have never been on a slow company in my career. My Company that I'm assigned too averages 2000-2500 runs a year so we are pretty busy. In 20 years I have seen some pretty horrific things and there are some things that you can't un-see.

I have watched a man kill his infant son by grabbing him by the feet and slinging him into a brick wall on the side of a apartment complex. The police couldn't reach him in time and we had just arrived on scene when this happened. But I saw the impact right when it happened.

July 3rd 1996 a man was changing his locks on his rent house because he was having trouble with his renter. The renter pulled up at the time he was changing the locks and pulled out a shotgun and shot him point blank range in the chest. The shooter then went into the bathroom and shot himself in the head with a 22 cal. pistol. The shooter was still alive when we got there. Do you know how hard it is to work on someone that has just done that to another human being? I was hoping that the owner didn't have a wife or children. He did.... A young wife who was pregnant and 3 small children. 4th of July will never be the same for them and one of his children will never know his father. I think about that every 3rd of July.

I could go on and on with many stories but it would take up the entire forum.



This was My Trigger:



Sept. 11, 2011. Ten year anniversary of 9/11. Made a run on a unknown medical in a neighborhood in our district. Arrived on scene only to hear a woman in one of the back rooms of the house counting... 1...2...3...4...5...1...2...3...4...5... I was first in the room and a woman in her early 60's was giving CPR to her 27 year old son in the floor. I took the woman out into the hallway while we were setting up because she did not need to see what we were about to do to her son. The last image she is going to have of her son was this and I didn't want to make it worse on her or her husband. Understandably she is beside herself and screaming. I have to be the voice of reason in times like these and gather as much information as I can. This one was tough. And there is a reason this one was tough.


She looked exactly like my Mom....



The ambulance arrived on scene and we worked him for quite some time. We sent our Firefighter to the hospital with the Ambulance and I remember climbing back into the pump and for the first time in my career I looked at my driver and said "That really bothered me".

After this run everything that I had kept locked away in whatever compartment in my brain overflowed and I couldn't gather it back up and put it back where I had kept it all those years. I prided myself on being able to do the hard runs and come back with no issues. That was no longer the case.

I spiraled into a deep depression and started self medicating first with Alcohol then whatever prescription drugs I could get my Doctor to prescribe me. I knew I had a problem and sought help with treatment but that didn't seem to work. Partly because I wasn't honest enough. I'm a Firefighter, I'm supposed to be the one helping people not the other way around. But I couldn't get the screaming from that woman that looked like my mother out of my head.

It all came crashing down one day about a year ago. I went out to eat with some friends and arrived at the restaurant at around 11:30am. At 2:30pm my wife sent me a text and asked if I was still there. I told her yes and that I had only had 2 beers. In reality I was probably working on #5 of the 32oz beers. To top it off... every time I would go to the bathroom I would take a Xanax or pain pill for the extra effect. Needless to say, I don't remember anything. At around 5:00 pm I called my wife and said she needed to come pick me up (at least I was smart enough for that) but I couldn't tell her where I was. She played me the voice mail the next day and I was unintelligible. Lucky enough she found out where I was and picked me up.

I don't remember any of this except this one part. In the middle of the restaurant I passed out and my head hit the floor so hard that it snapped me out of it for a split second. I remember thinking... Damn that hurt and I've never been here before. I don't remember anything after that. My wife said that I tried to grab the steering wheel of my truck as she was driving and run us into oncoming traffic. I have no reason to doubt her.

I remember waking up the next morning and calling my wife. Lets just say it wasn't a good conversation. I have never been more ashamed of myself than I was that day. I knew that I had just hit my "rock bottom". I had 2 ways to go. In the grave or take care of this once and for all.

I picked my (then) 7 year old daughter up from school that day and took her for some ice cream. I told her everything that I had done. I needed to be held accountable for my actions from this day forward and it started with my Daughter and my Wife. I took 3 months off of work to get sober and I have not had a desire to drink or use since that day. I will not lie and say I am now just living day to day. I have the life I used to have and now the life that I am living and that takes adjustment.

In 20 years we have had 6 people commit suicide on the job. That is one person about every 3 years. Not a very good ratio in my opinion. I very easily could have been number 7. We have also had many people fired from the job because of drug abuse and testing hot on random drug tests. It is almost never the young member that test hot. It is without fail, someone that has between 15-20 years on the job and they are handling the stress in a self destructive way. I just got lucky and didn't overdose to a point that I couldn't come back. It is becoming very apparent that the fire ground is no longer the most dangerous place on the job.

I personally believe that the only way to get yourself (myself) out of this mess is to actually hit that rock bottom. I was one of those people that thought PTSD was complete and utter bull shit. I'm looking across the field from the other side of the fence and see that I couldn't have been more wrong. I have learned to deal with it in my own personal way and I am extremely lucky that I have a great family support system. No one knew what I was going through until that day.

I hope none of you ever have to deal with this because it is truly hell. From the Military, LEO, Firefighters, Paramedics, to most any line of work it can happen and it can happen fast.

Please feel free to PM me if you feel so inclined and I'll give you my phone #. Getting it off your chest and knowing that there is someone else out there with your problem is the first and best step in this process. Some of you out there might think less of me and I honestly could care less. If what I posted helps one person then it was worth the embarrassment and shame on my part.

Thank you for reading this long winded post.
Good for you man. Takes a strong person to do what you did. And like you said some people don't make it. Ive had 2 friends pass away and 1 that almost did. Much love brotha
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:24 PM   #149
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Good for you man. Takes a strong person to do what you did. And like you said some people don't make it. Ive had 2 friends pass away and 1 that almost did. Much love brotha
Thank you
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:04 PM   #150
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We all have our demons. It takes a real man to grab them by the horns and confront them. Hang tough
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:59 PM   #151
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We all have our demons. It takes a real man to grab them by the horns and confront them. Hang tough
Thank you. I am! Working on 2 years now.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:34 AM   #152
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I just stumbled on this thread. I commend you for turning your life around. For you, your wife, your daughter and family. It gave me some tears reading the post about your daughter and swing set. She will be proud if and when you tell her your story. Even though you missed a part of her life you are now there and one day being there to walk her down the aisle.

Recently found out a coworker was having alcohol problems. Don't know him well. One day during crew change when I left I had thought he smelled like alcohol, but didn't want to accuse. He looked like shit. Unshaven tired and raggedy looking. Got on the wrong bus. The next time I saw his partner I brought it up to his partner and he tells me that he was already under the help from the company. The next week I show up to work and find out the night before he rolled his car driving to work. He was in uniform. took off his shirt and threw it at the supervisor who showed up. Glad he was not killed or hurt anyone else. I feel bad for his son because he is a single dad.

Thank you for sharing your story. Congrats on your two years. Here's a hand shake from a fellow first responder.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:49 AM   #153
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I just stumbled on this thread. I commend you for turning your life around. For you, your wife, your daughter and family. It gave me some tears reading the post about your daughter and swing set. She will be proud if and when you tell her your story. Even though you missed a part of her life you are now there and one day being there to walk her down the aisle.

Recently found out a coworker was having alcohol problems. Don't know him well. One day during crew change when I left I had thought he smelled like alcohol, but didn't want to accuse. He looked like shit. Unshaven tired and raggedy looking. Got on the wrong bus. The next time I saw his partner I brought it up to his partner and he tells me that he was already under the help from the company. The next week I show up to work and find out the night before he rolled his car driving to work. He was in uniform. took off his shirt and threw it at the supervisor who showed up. Glad he was not killed or hurt anyone else. I feel bad for his son because he is a single dad.

Thank you for sharing your story. Congrats on your two years. Here's a hand shake from a fellow first responder.

Thank you very much for the kind words. I'll always carry the regret and guilt with me of the things that I don't remember for those few years. That never goes away or gets easier. But... I'm glad what happened to me happened. As embarrassing and ashamed as I felt / feel it was probably the best thing that could have happened.

I hope your friend can get the help he needs. Self medication is not the best route. I'm a prime example of that.

Take care my friend and stay safe!
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:03 PM   #154
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Just found this thread myself. Good on you for sharing your story for others to see and ponder. Those pictures of your daughter are completely priceless.

Had a buddy turn into a raging alcoholic after 20 years in the AF. We all tried and tried to save him but he was determined to self destruct. He was forced to retire after losing 2 stripes and we lost track of him. A few months later we read he drank himself to death.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:51 PM   #155
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Those pictures of your daughter are completely priceless.
I sure wish I remember taking them.


That's what so sad about this whole thing. The parts of her life I missed because I chose the wrong direction.

Very sad to hear about your friend. I've seen it all too often happen to close friends of mine. Very easily could have happened to me. I'm one of the lucky ones.

Thank you for the kind words!
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:25 AM   #156
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[QUOTE=RearViewMirror;8535536]I sure wish I remember taking them.


That's what so sad about this whole thing. The parts of her life I missed because I chose the wrong direction.



Ya but you can't regret the past. Whats done is done now you can just make it up to her by keeping on the right track my friend!!
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:30 AM   #157
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I know you don't want any recognition, but you deserve it! I am happy for you and for your family!
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:37 AM   #158
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Ya but you can't regret the past. Whats done is done now you can just make it up to her by keeping on the right track my friend!!
You're right. That's all I can do.


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I know you don't want any recognition, but you deserve it! I am happy for you and for your family!
Thank you!
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:32 AM   #159
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Firefighter: IAFF Local 34 Professional Firefighters
Name: Craig Christ
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Keeps my focus in check and grounded.


http://youtu.be/yHHbXo89kwQ






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Old 05-03-2014, 07:49 AM   #160
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CrucialLimiT is on a distinguished road
Army: 2nd BCT 1Bn 18th Regiment 1st Infantry Division
Name: DereK
Joined: Apr 2014, #128569
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Well I spent 6 years in the military MOS 11B4 2C this past October I quit drinking as well.
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