Feeling isolated

I was diagnosed in 2017 and medically retired from a 22yr career in law enforcement. Over the years in LE, the friends I had before I started the job pretty much disappeared. Those that have worked in LE will understand this. Well since retirement, I've tried reaching out to make new acquaintances by joining a local clubs and working part time. I can't seem to find significant friendships. Sort of beginning to think somethings wrong with me.....any advice?
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
yep. I totally get this. And no - there is nothing wrong with you. I think we lose that connection to "normal" people after we get into emergency services because they don't want to know what we face each day. So it leaves us with this small group of people who get it. Until they are gone too

I played around with some different volunteer stuff that was still somehow attached to emergency services, but it didn't stick. So I had to expand my horizons, and ended up in equine therapy of all places. I love being around the animals - it's really calming. And that also led me to some like-minded people. But building those new relationships has been hard because, well, no frame of reference in life meets ptsd

Plus, I think it's just tough as adults to build new friendships.
But hard doesn't mean impossible.
Keep looking -- you will find them. It just might take a while.😊
 
yep. I totally get this. And no - there is nothing wrong with you. I think we lose that connection to "normal" people after we get into emergency services because they don't want to know what we face each day. So it leaves us with this small group of people who get it. Until they are gone too

I played around with some different volunteer stuff that was still somehow attached to emergency services, but it didn't stick. So I had to expand my horizons, and ended up in equine therapy of all places. I love being around the animals - it's really calming. And that also led me to some like-minded people. But building those new relationships has been hard because, well, no frame of reference in life meets ptsd

Plus, I think it's just tough as adults to build new friendships.
But hard doesn't mean impossible.
Keep looking -- you will find them. It just might take a while.😊

Very well explained and much appreciated
 

FFwife

Sponsor
Hello @Peaceful Warrior - thank you for posting. My husband is a 25+ year firefighter, was recently dx, and it looks like he'll end up medically retired. I joined him in his therapy today, and we discussed this very issue. He has no one to talk to, no close friendships. I don't think its you, no. Careers like yours are very isolating, especially when ptsd is the result.

I guess I don't have a whole lot to "answer" your question, but wanted you to know your question resonated with me.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i've never worked LE or anything remotely similar, but the friends i had before i got busy with my career and raising a family disappeared, all the same. ditto for friendly coworkers i had lots in common with when we worked together, but not so much after retirement. i don't have any good advice beyond what you (and i) are already using. i'm **just** working to be gentle with myself and patient with the process. some days that is easier than others.

and thank you for your service and sacrifice. i mostly believe the undeclared wars on our city streets are far more brutal than the politically sanctioned wars. i thank you for being there for all of us and i grieve the high price you had to pay. i hope healing happens here.
 
Hello @Peaceful Warrior - thank you for posting. My husband is a 25+ year firefighter, was recently dx, and it looks like he'll end up medically retired. I joined him in his therapy today, and we discussed this very issue. He has no one to talk to, no close friendships. I don't think its you, no. Careers like yours are very isolating, especially when ptsd is the result.

I guess I don't have a whole lot to "answer" your question, but wanted you to know your question resonated with me.
Tell him one day at a time and he will be in my prayers
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
I dont think there is anything wrong with you at all.
I think we go through the stages of life and make friends accordingly, and often they align with career choices.
Young, we have school or college friends
Start a family, and often friends are parents of our children friends, where we do family things together.
In our work environment, we often have people we become close with due to interest.
When we retire....hmm. If we were avid golfers or something, we would probably continue with those friends. I think that for many that have not set aside time for their own passions, have a loss in this area, and its harder to meet friends with common interests. Adding ptsd to the mix may make it more difficult, but not impossible. Never five up and dont forget the friend in the mirror.
 
I dont think there is anything wrong with you at all.
I think we go through the stages of life and make friends accordingly, and often they align with career choices.
Young, we have school or college friends
Start a family, and often friends are parents of our children friends, where we do family things together.
In our work environment, we often have people we become close with due to interest.
When we retire....hmm. If we were avid golfers or something, we would probably continue with those friends. I think that for many that have not set aside time for their own passions, have a loss in this area, and its harder to meet friends with common interests. Adding ptsd to the mix may make it more difficult, but not impossible. Never five up and dont forget the friend in the mirror.
Very true, thank you 👍

🙂

👍

i've never worked LE or anything remotely similar, but the friends i had before i got busy with my career and raising a family disappeared, all the same. ditto for friendly coworkers i had lots in common with when we worked together, but not so much after retirement. i don't have any good advice beyond what you (and i) are already using. i'm **just** working to be gentle with myself and patient with the process. some days that is easier than others.

and thank you for your service and sacrifice. i mostly believe the undeclared wars on our city streets are far more brutal than the politically sanctioned wars. i thank you for being there for all of us and i grieve the high price you had to pay. i hope healing happens here.

🙂
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I was an ER nurse and when I went out on disability for PTSD, it was like I had a disease that everyone could catch. No one would really talk to me. I moved during the Covid lockdown and it was hard to meet new friends. Now that things are opening up, I will try the volunteer things. I also agree there's nothing wrong with you, it's just hard to manage friendships and life with PTSD.
 
I was an ER nurse and when I went out on disability for PTSD, it was like I had a disease that everyone could catch. No one would really talk to me. I moved during the Covid lockdown and it was hard to meet new friends. Now that things are opening up, I will try the volunteer things. I also agree there's nothing wrong with you, it's just hard to manage friendships and life with PTSD.
I can understand that. People don't understand hidden injuries or worse, don't believe they exist, so there's usually no support from work peers.
 

FFwife

Sponsor
I can understand that. People don't understand hidden injuries or worse, don't believe they exist, so there's usually no support from work peers.
It's interesting, this. I do actually believe several of the folks he was closest to on the dept believe him. But, beyond wishing him well, and checking in (with me) very periodically, I don't think they have any idea how to support. His "straw that broke his back" was a terrible but actually fairly routine call. It wasn't some "oh my god, once in a career, tragedy" call. It was simply the one he couldn't come back from. He's seen worse. WAY worse. But this was the "one".

And I think that makes this invisible disease so much more.... embarrassing? For him, I mean. He doesn't feel it even should've broken him. And I think his peers, without trying to, probably maybe feel a bit that way too.

I feel guilty but..... I wish he had broken his leg or wrenched his back or any of a million other physical injuries, instead of this.

I so empathize with what you are going through. Loneliness is so difficult.
 
It's interesting, this. I do actually believe several of the folks he was closest to on the dept believe him. But, beyond wishing him well, and checking in (with me) very periodically, I don't think they have any idea how to support. His "straw that broke his back" was a terrible but actually fairly routine call. It wasn't some "oh my god, once in a career, tragedy" call. It was simply the one he couldn't come back from. He's seen worse. WAY worse. But this was the "one".

And I think that makes this invisible disease so much more.... embarrassing? For him, I mean. He doesn't feel it even should've broken him. And I think his peers, without trying to, probably maybe feel a bit that way too.

I feel guilty but..... I wish he had broken his leg or wrenched his back or any of a million other physical injuries, instead of this.

I so empathize with what you are going through. Loneliness is so difficult.
This is unfortunately the norm. If I had the choice, I would have rather had a physical injury also. I had a horrible incident in 2011 and it took 6yrs to catch up to me. My final event was our staff trying to discipline an employee who was protected under ADA. What finally got my attention was my body gave out and I wasn't able to physically work an entire shift. Took a while, but a PA who had been trained in the air force finally Only way I can describe it is dieing in the line of duty, but still living. I finally bought a motorcycle and I find riding that very therapeutic. It's a big adjustment, but it gets better as time goes on.
 
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