Ten years ago, my husband took an oath when he was sworn in as a Police Officer to Serve and Protect.
I’m going to be honest and admit that I didn’t fully understand the impact this statement meant at the time. I was so proud of him on his graduation day. Excited and full of all positive thoughts.
We were always the first to offer our help to others.
We were always the first to offer our help to others. Wasn’t his new job an extension of that?
On one hand it was, but the stakes go up when you put on that uniform.
To a point where even though I live with an officer, I may never fully understand what putting on a uniform truly feels like because I have never put that uniform on myself and reported for active duty.
Something happens on that first day of active duty.
Protecting everyone but yourself
Another layer is added that we don’t see with our naked eye. If we could see it, I assume it would look like an ironman suit.
Except for one big difference.
This suit protects everyone on the outside, instead of the person inside wearing the suit. It doesn’t come with special bullets and jet propulsors or a forcefield to repel every attack placed on it. The parts can’t be swapped out with others that will better protect them from different attackers.
This suit holds all of the evil in to protect the outside world from everything that they see and experience on the job.
It stays on even after the uniform comes off.
Even when they are at a point where they know they need to take it off to save them self, it doesn’t always want to come off.
To Serve and Protect
This oath goes deeper than most people realize. And comes at a cost to many who take it.
This week is Police Memorial Week. A week where we remember the fallen.
I’d like you to pause right now and give your respects to not only the online duty deaths, but the deaths that occur off duty as well.
Thank you for all that you do to keep us safe. Know that you are human and it is ok to take that armour off and ask for help.
If you are an officer or first responder who is struggling know that you are not alone. If you are a spouse or family member of a first responder, know that you are not alone either.
You Are Not Alone
There are resources.
My expertise is in helping you sleep again, gain your energy back, calm the anger and short fuse that has crept in over time, anxiety, depression, digestive issues through physically supporting your stress response system and prevent or reverse burnout. .
There are many others with expertise in their zone of genius that are here to help you as well.
List of Support Resources
I am continually adding to a list for you from all over North America for PTSD support. Everything from social and financial assistance for prescriptions, treatment, family support, retreats and everything in between.
Email me and I will send you that list.
If you know of any other resources please pass them along and I will add them.
We are always stronger when we work together.
The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.
About the Author
Andi Clark is a mom, wife of a Police Officer and the founder of 911 Lifestyle.
Andi suffers from a genetic stress condition that puts her body in an increased stress response state all the time, similar to what Police Officers and First Responders experience when they put on their uniform and have to mentally prepare for whatever may happen in their day.
Through years of research and studying, Andi formulated a completely different way to look at and handle burnout. One where it is possible to reverse and prevent an officer from getting to a point where they struggle to get through their days by taking a preventative approach instead of a reactive one. And one that reduces the negative effects of shift work on the body.
Through her husbands career as an officer her focus has been on preventing burnout, exhaustion and tanked immune system that she knew can result from poorly managed stress, not to mention the toll things take on family life.
As she watched his co-workers struggle with everything from sleep, exhaustion and anger leading to divorce, PTSD and even suicide it became apparent how LIFE-SAVING the foundations she was laying down for her husband actually were, because not only was he tolerating the shiftwork lifestyle, he was thriving in it.
Andi knew that the strategies her husband was using MUST become available to all Police Officers and other First Responders. She couldn’t watch others suffering when she knew there was a solution. And 911 Lifestyle was born.