Meet Sharelle

Hi my name is Sharelle, and I’m here to tell you…. PTSD sucks!

One day I was strong, confident, doing my thing… then “WHAM!!!!!” out of nowhere, the world fell in on top of me. 

What I thought I knew, no longer made sense.

I felt anxious, frightened and out of control. Every noise made me jump and I was having flashbacks to events from my past.

Is this what “crazy” feels like?

This couldn’t be happening to me, after all I’m an Ambo, I’m strong, capable and look after other people. 

Others rely on me to help them, not vice versa. 

Well guess what, it was happening to me and it hurt like hell!!

I’d been a Nurse and Paramedic for 30 odd years and in my mind, I had a special room that I sent all traumatic jobs to.   

Each job had its own box with a ribbon around it to keep the lid on.                                                                                  

Every now and then I’d pull a box out, open it and have a look. Even though the contents where painful, I thought by putting it safely back with the lid on, all was well. 

Apparently not.

I literally woke up one morning and every lid from those neatly stacked trauma boxes was off. It was total chaos in that room in my mind.

I’d always been especially proactive with my mental health, with a keen interest in PTSD. I was even a Peer Support! 

The more I tried to rationalize what was happening and argue that I was far too resilient to get PTSD, the more out of control and scared I felt.   

Interestingly, the week prior to my world turning to chaos I had two traumatic personal events occur. 

A friend was diagnosed with cancer, and another friend’s daughter committed suicide. 

At the time, I remember thinking, wow that’s way too close to home.

Looking back several years prior……I had begun to feel unsettled on days off when thinking about going back to work.

I had started to feel anxious about accepting Remote Rural shifts. Even though I knew I had the knowledge and experience my confidence was taking a hit.

I’d began to feel edgy all the time and unable to completely relax even out of work. Throw in a relationship breakdown and a back injury and I had the perfect storm for PTSD.

I was lucky to have good support from my managers and was offered Stress Leave.

Of course, I was too stubborn to accept it. Heaven help I would be judged as weak by my fellow work mates and bosses.

Instead I used up several weeks of hard-earned Long Service leave.

I sought to really understand what was happening. I got the whole Fight/Flight/Freeze response that is naturally triggered by the nervous system when we are faced with danger.

The physical reactions like the inability to concentrate, chest pain, anxiety I could understand. That’s a normal response by the body to an abnormal event at the time of trauma. Tick.   

Why then was I still feeling those symptoms so acutely, so long after the jobs? I really wanted to understand why some jobs in particular bothered me so much more than others.

Why did I feel so emotionally connected to them?

I dug deep and acknowledged that I had developed some very strong beliefs about myself and the world at the time they happened.                                                     

Not only did I feel helpless and overwhelmed, but I had the belief “I wasn’t good enough, capable enough, I should have done more”

Not surprisingly this belief was a common thread to all the jobs that where triggering me.

What an eye opener that was!

It explained why I still felt emotionally attached to something that happened so long ago, in some cases, many years beforehand.

But there was a shining light to this explanation…. It meant I could do something about it.

 

My Recovery Journey

“My recovery was nothing short of astounding” I’d have to say.

I utilized the Energy Psychology modalities that are known as Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping) and Matrix Reimprinting, which directly address the energy imbalances in the body by reducing emotional and physical distress.

EFT, or Tapping, is a technique that involves tapping on specific meridian points on the body while focusing on a negative event or issue. This sends electromagnetic impulses to the parts of the brain, the cortical and limbic regions which control fear and stress. These impulses disrupt the conditioned response to fear and distress.

Matrix Reimprinting combined with EFT is a powerful therapy which uses visualization to process and release past trauma(s) from the subconscious mind. It works by acknowledging and releasing the emotional charge from the trauma and identifying the negative beliefs taken on at the time of the trauma.

 

Very gently and very quickly, I was able to release the emotional connection I had to the trauma from my past. I no longer felt anxious or scared. I began to think clearly and felt back in control. It cleared the back log of trauma and allowed me to return to work within two weeks.

 

My Learning Journey

The awesome thing about EFT and MR is that it is easy to learn and do. Following the initial trauma release work with a Practitioner, it can be used anytime, anywhere to self-mange trauma stress and anxiety associated with PTSD.

I certainly believe if I had acknowledged and responded to the signs and symptoms of subclinical PTSD much earlier, I would never had progressed to full blown PTSD. 

 

My Growth

Yes! I am so grateful for the experience I went through. It has empowered me to take control of my life and emotional wellbeing.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I am way more resilient to what life has to throw at me now, than ever before.

 

Qualifications

Ambulance Paramedic - (Diploma of Ambulance Paramedic Studies) 

Emotional Freedom Techniques & Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner - (EFT & Matrix Reimprinting Academy-Karl Dawson, EFT Master) 

Previous Division One, Registered Nurse