I had been back to work for awhile and most of my worries about being able to my job properly were gone. I still haven’t had the really big one that would test me to the limits physically, and I was ok with that. I would rather never fight another fire for the rest of my career. I don’t say that because I am afraid or because I don’t want to, I say that because like I have said before, when we are doing our job, someone else is having one of the worst days of their life. This job is very rewarding to the soul, but at the same time it is very hurtful to the heart. There are things that we see that are unfit for human eyes. We do this not because it is fun, we do it so someone else doesn’t have to. I know that if any firefighters are out there reading this you may say out loud “can you believe this crap?” I understand that because I have lived it for many years. The big bad firefighter is not phased by anything. Well that is not true. Some may be better at putting those memories deep in to their brain’s storage so they don’t think about them often, and others may just have a better coping mechanism than others. What I do know for sure is we all feel this in one way or another. I come from a small career fire dept. and have the utmost respect for the larger city departments that deal with these type of calls multiple times a day.
The point that I am trying to make is that after I got back to work I found that I had changed in such a way that I said what was on my mind. Sometimes it is a good thing and sometimes it is a bad thing. I am no longer going to fall in to the stereotypical fireman while on the job, and I was no longer going to allow statements and unprofessional actions to slide by with just a “well you know you should have done this”.
I did not make the change over night because I knew that it would not be accepted very well. Instead I slowly began to correct someone when they were saying something about someone else or another shift. I would tell them that if they have a problem with something that is going on to man up and tactfully address the problem with the person that you think is causing it. The other quote that I started to say alot was “It’s not my business so I stay out of it.” If it was my business, you be your butt I would be in it, if not I would stay out of it.
It took some time to see if any results were coming from this new found way of thinking. I know some of the guys were probably calling me all kinds of nice things when I wasn’t around, but I don’t care about that. I was put in the position I am in to right the ship when it starts to tilt, and that is what I am going to try and do.
The down side to this was that my word filter or sentence filter if you will had not returned all the way to my brain. It still hasn’t to this day, but for the most part I can say only the things I want to. There are still times to this day that I know what I am going to say may not be the best way to say it, but it cannot be stopped until it comes out. It is by far one of the weirdest things that has happened to me in this entire journey. Imagine speaking a sentence while in your mind you are literally saying it in another way. Unfortunately you cannot change your word mid sentence. I guess the best way to describe it is looking into the sky at a thunderstorm or snowfall coming tour way. You can see it coming to you, but there is no way that you can stop it from happening. i am not saying that I say inappropriate things, I just say things that I would like to say a little differently. All in all it just makes me feel embarrassed because I feel like I sound stupid. Most of the time it is so minor that it goes unnoticed by anyone but me. Either that or everyone is good at playing it off as if they didn’t. My Fall to Life still has some challenges, but the hurdles are getting shorter.