By Safe Call Now’s Dr. Laura Brodie Ph.D.
Academies teach how to turn it on. They teach of being alert, learning body memory, run in when everyone is running out, save the innocent; do your job! But they never teach how to turn it off. The job teaches how to ramp up and be alert but now you’re alert at three am and reliving the day where you saw horrific things. You’re now just pissed and annoyed at any request made of you and you’re thinking to yourself, this isn’t me.
You roll your eyes at human pain. You hate handling the public and you assume your job is going to demand all of you and give nothing in return. You’re angry. You’re so angry without a clue as to why. You just want everyone to leave you alone. You want to scream LEAVE ME ALONE! But as you fantasize of doing so you also see yourself as the worst person on the planet.
You’re staring at paperwork and wonder why you took the job. But, if you could go back in time you’d talk to your old self and realize you did want to do good. You enjoyed helping the innocent. You took the job to help. What the hell happened?
You forgot you. You forgot everything that made you a person except the job. You forgot you like playing music loud, watching silly comedies or reading a great book. You forgot the people under your roof love you. You forgot you had dreams of travel, of remodeling the home or restoring that car. You lost you and you’re mad. But wait, who gave you away? You did. You bought into your identity as a hero and forgot your identity as a human. You can find it again but it is hanging up the white hat and allowing yourself to return to the person who was not a savior, but just a person who enjoyed life.
If you, someone you love or someone you know needs help, call:
Safe Call Now: 24 Hour Confidential Hotline: 206-459-3020
For more information on the First Responders program: Click here
Or call Shannon Clairemont at 661-466-6352 or Vanessa Stapleton at 304-651-3008
Published by armorupnow
Sean Riley is the Founder and President of Safe Call Now, a confidential, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service for public safety employees, all emergency services personnel and their family members nationwide. Safe Call Now was started in 2009 after legislation was passed guaranteeing confidentiality nationwide for all who call the Safe Call Now crisis line that is staffed by current and former first responders.
Sean played baseball for San Diego State University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration. He started his law enforcement career as a San Diego County Deputy Sheriff in 1987 and later relocated to Washington State in 1990. Sean spent over 16 years with the Kirkland Police Department. His many accomplishments include being a member of the International Homicide Investigator's Association, Homicide and Sexual Assault Detective, Interview and Interrogation Specialist, D.A.R.E. Officer, Gang Officer and Certified Training Officer. Riley is also credited with solving one of the first ever elder abuse homicide cases in the nation.
Sean's prominent career in law enforcement ended in 2005 when he could no longer hide his "secret" behind the badge. Sean threw away his almost 20-year stellar police career due to alcohol and drug addiction and was headed towards suicide to become just another unknown statistic. In addition to attending college for substance abuse counseling, Sean worked as a supervisor at a local treatment center where he witnessed many public safety employees coming in and out of treatment. Riley decided to do something about it. From his own experience, he knew that first responders wanted to come forward to help, but due to the stigma attached, they would not. Admitting to a substance abuse or mental health problem is perceived as a sign of weakness and could result in the termination from a noble career. By creating a safe and confidential place to reach out for help, first responders are now coming forward in droves from around the nation to better their lives, better their families and better their careers.
Recognized as a dynamic national keynote speaker, Sean travels throughout the country to share his inspirational story. Coupled with cutting edge, interactive training, Riley hits those once thought of as "taboo" or "controversial" topics head-on.
"Safe Call Now provides education, healthy alternatives, resources and a complete continuum of care to save lives and put families back together. Through a collaborative effort, Safe Call Now has discovered when you provide an opportunity for an individual to get their life and their family back, you get one great employee back out serving the public."
- Sean Riley, Founder/President
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