Something I am sure everyone not just fire wives/gf go through is negative self talk. But of course I am going to focus it down to the fire life. We spend all this time whether we are working, at home, have kids or don’t have kids, alone. When our firefighters are gone it is so easy to get into our own minds and fall victim to the vicious cycle of self doubt and self sabotage. This is why communication with our firefighter is so important! And sometimes we just don’t get that. Their shift may take over and keep them busy from any type of communication with us.
It can cause conflicts and disrupts our normal. Getting in my head can cause my emotional side to take residence and give logical thinking the boot. Not all the time but I would be lying to say if it didn’t happen. When the emotions take over it’s easy to be short or annoyed faster. When my firefighter comes home it’s a recipe for conflict. So what can we do to take care of our minds and break those habits of self doubt or sabotage? We practice self care. Taking a moment in your day to realign your thoughts and allow logical thinking to be a part of your thought process. It can be easier said then done.
Every relationship is unique in itself and yet we all have these things in the fire life we relate on. Figuring out how to communicate with your firefighter while they are on or off shift is imperative. When you have a good handle on where they’re at it can help you have deeper understanding and help your mind not get so into itself when they’re not there to communicate with you. But trust me I get it, that loneliness can be hard to escape and like I said kicks out all logic.
Things that help with this are distracting yourself. Turn your attention to something else. By doing this you’re training your brain to change its process to something else when that self doubt creeps in. Working out can be a good distraction and give you a much needed endorphins boost. Watching a tv show, listening to a happy playlist of music. Reading a book, art, journaling, calling a family member or friend asking about their day. And the one of my personal favorites start saying or writing down things you’re thankful for. That puts your mind back on the right track. And of course if it is something that is a much deeper issue, not being afraid to reach out to someone to talk to whether it be a family member, friend, fellow fire wife/gf or therapist.
I want to see our relationships survive and sometimes it can be as simple as learning how not to get into our own heads and allowing that self sabotage thing to get the best of us. To practice talking and communicating with our firefighters on and off shift. And to remember when you’re feeling alone in those moments that I can guarantee there’s another fire wife/gf feeling the exact same as you. You are not alone. I obviously wouldn’t be writing about this unless I have felt it and go through it too. And another thing I feel is super important to remember is your firefighter is working hard to support YOU and give YOU a wonderful life. It may not feel like it at times, but if you ask any one of them why they do what they do it most likely will be because it’s for the ones at home who support them. Support each other and communicate.