Well, after many months of pouring myself into the 3 Books,
Fireman's Tired Eyes,
then Fireman's Tired Eyes & Mind,
and finally Fireman's Tired Mind.
I am incredibly pleased to say all 3 are published, and available on Amazon, in both Kindle and paperback editions. Not too bad from starting this blog page last year in March and releasing the first book in April the following year, plus having moved Country from France to Portugal and trying to settle in with all the new systems. And to have written and released another two books in July and Sept this year. Getting the message of support out there has been a driving force.
I have been challenged, dealing with my own stuff and then having the first book ripped apart by a professional editor. I had to revamp it and hold off releasing book 2 until July. A big kick in the............!!!!! Get back up and deal with it. This is me though. Deal with what is in front of you.
And in fairness, it is his job to be brutally honest. His honesty then inspired me to right the problems. All taken on board and amended. Thank you for the constructive criticism.
I have to admit this last book was a stumbling block for a while and as it is such a massive subject that will be scrutinised by Therapists and sufferers, I have had to be incredibly diplomatic in my findings and then how I wrote this down.
But like any journey, to reach the destination, you have to keep going. Then when I sat and thought about it, I guess it comes back to how I would advise my kids or crew. You listen and make an informed decision on the facts and then give only options. Ultimately, decisions are theirs and yours to make. So this is how I approached this book.
It has been an emotional journey, reliving many situations and emotions. Traumas witnessed and subsequent resulting emotions have been ignored and locked down for too long. It really is a strange feeling putting so much of yourself out there and being so vulnerable.
However, I have to keep reminding myself that, my writings and thoughts may be exactly what someone may need to help overcome what they are dealing with right now. Being able to identify and understand they are not alone in having intrusive thoughts coming out of nowhere for no reason. For someone to be able to see that there is hope and possibilities of healing.
The finishing line has been in sight for some time and yet pressing send and submitting it for print approval, seems like an anti-climax, I guess, it can be likened to having done an Ironman event to have found that everyone has finished and gone, leaving me to cross the finish line, and it is completely empty and quiet. No applause, no cheers, no tickertape. Just a quiet finish line.
No reason to celebrate, but I will take the time to stop and look back at what I have achieved at some point. Small steps forward taken daily will lead to long distances.
I am trying to make light of it, but it really is a strange feeling. The blog page has been looked at and read by many people in many countries far and wide around the world. Book and ebook sales continue to grow, so the awareness and growth in wanting to help are infectiously rising.
There is a huge part of me that now wants to quietly disappear, but I have removed the lid and others have noticed. I truly want the books to be used for helping others and to spread. For this, I need others to share and talk about it openly.
I have already had an interview and booked a film documentary for October this year here in Portugal, with plans being discussed, to do a 2-week tour in the UK next year visiting Firefighters and stations around the country. Funds raised will be helping Firefighters in the UK and Portugal. My way of continuing to help.
Just because I no longer wear a tunic, I am still the same person.
Anyone struggling or suffering from PTSD and Mental Health issues doesn't need a big crowd to celebrate or to cheer them on, but it does help. We all want recognition for achieving the smallest of gains in our healing journey. Remember to look back and see what you have achieved. Anyone who has recovered a casualty from a building just knows it was worth it, it's an unspoken look or wink from your mates and you just know. We don't expect anything and rarely get it, but if on your healing journey you get a 'well done,' or handshake, take it and know it is meant with all the best intentions.
Everyone is facing arduous days, remember to keep going and reach out if needed. A helping hand or words of encouragement is a huge boost. There to lift the spirits and acknowledge you. Tomorrow may be the breakthrough you were looking for.
To anyone who has read my books or my Instagram / FB pages, this is still not the complete me. I have much hidden so do not make the mistake of ever judging me or anyone else on the little evidence you have. Being open and honest, this is me. However, I have to completely trust the person I tell my deepest secrets to. But now hopefully, by my humble openness and honesty, you are more aware of what others are dealing with too.
Or maybe you are more aware of why you are having reoccurring thoughts and feelings.
These books were always my intention for helping others. I always thought I was doing fine and I was during Service. I began to notice when I was having no other distractions during a strict Lockdown that started it all. Writing has been a blessing for me. Allowing me time to ramble and reframe issues and process them through.
I can honestly say I am much better for it too.
Remember to check in on yourself as well as others.
And give yourself credit for all you have achieved.
Acknowledgement is huge.
I started my race and I have finished it, crossing the line in my silent fanfare. But this was always about others and I acknowledge that just making it through the day, is their daily finishing line.
Being outside of our comfort zone can feel horrible, but this is where progress can happen. I have entered a Cycling Race here in Portimao, on Sunday. 75km, but it is 82km! And with some very steep climbs so I will be challenging myself. Nervous? Yes, I have never competed in a cycling race before, but the only one I am competing with is me and the climbs. This finishing line will be a sight for sure and very welcome. If we don't try, we will never know. I then have to cycle home lol.
I have now set a new event and challenge in my mind, where my finish line next time will be grand and for many others to join me. Any race or journey is easier with company, support and encouragement.
Together we can make things happen. Positivity is infectious.
Thank you for your support and for joining the growing number of amazing people I know and have yet to meet.