Tim Linder’s gear locker.

EPISODE THIRTY FIVE 📷 December 2018 🎥 My PTSD diagnosis and how it limited my functioning was finally sinking in. I was awarded a medical retirement based on my job-related injury. I resigned my position at the department on December 7th. Money would start coming in. I thought this would alleviate anxiety. It seemed to increase it. My medications for PTSD and anxiety were difficult to ascertain their effectiveness. Treatments of talk therapy did not seem to be as helpful as before. There were discussions about a therapy called EMDR but with so much acute anxiety this was not initiated. I was attempting to incorporate some gentle yoga, walking meditation, and relaxation/breathing techniques into my daily routine. I still felt so “jacked up” as if I were still on the job. Not having a regular routine was my worst enemy. It used to be that I had my regular 24 hour firefighter shifts and the three week rotations as a metronome for my life. My schedule used to dictate my family’s schedule. It was as if there was a family that existed when I was home and a separate one that existed when I was away at work. My wife had become used to this routine over the years. There was shared excitement when I would come home after a long stretch of days. It was fairly short lived as the hustle and bustle of the house usually did me in within a day or two. I’m not sure if I liked being off work or being at work better. Both were triggering the same reactions of fear, anger, and anxiety for the last few years. It came to feel like I was always working even when I was not. The ways that I found to alleviate anxiety during this December of 2018 were to spend limited time with my girls, usually outside. I would wait for them to get home from school and make them snacks, and I exercised lightly. I felt so limited. I was embarrassed. I had fallen so far. I now know that spending time with my girls and the brief exposure to yoga, meditation, and relaxation/breathing were the very things that were slowly building a hope and strength inside me to handle whatever may come … as always, I am here. And we are in this together 💕❤️🙏

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