Stress helps me

This is weird to say but stress helps me from dissociating. My career field is very traumatizing in the first responder world. I find myself able to do my job perfectly while under a large amount of stress ut when I am not doing anything rather if I'm at home watching TV or out with friends at dinner, I dissociate & have to snap myself out of it or be snapped out of it.


Definitely. I had a sports psychologist for a while who didn't mesh the whole ptsd stress cup thing too well, because for athletes, they aim to get to that peak stress level that brings about their best performance, without tipping over the threshold.

But...with ptsd on board, the stress cup is a relevant consideration!


Yep --- I did 23 years in dispatch and the adrenaline (ok, stress) was what kept me going. Give me a 4 alarm fire or a mass shooting and I'm totally on top of it! Ya baby!

Give me dinner with friends? ugh.
Staying present was a constant challenge - and i didn't even realize it

But one thing I've come to see is that in the FR world we actually teach how to dissociate. It's how we survive the stress, function in the shit, and keep going

So in my world not dissociating = people dying.
Plus it keeps me from thinking about "me".

No words of wisdom, other than to say that yep - what you are feeling is a "real" thing


Yep yep.

Certain KINDS of stress are delightful, clarifying, grounding/centering, personifying? (I’m very much more myself), relaxing, envigorating, symptom smashing (did you know a helluva lotta combat vets become “normal”/IE asymptomatic, when they go back into combat?), blissful even.

As an adrenaline junkie? That’s ALSO how I ground & blow off steam/lower my stress-cup levels / manage my overall stress levels; surfing, snowboarding, horseback riding, gymnastics, crew, etc.

Other kinds of stress? Shred me. Things most people wouldn’t find stressful at all just gut me, or are flat out impossible for me to attempt without massive support before/during/after.

Give me a sucking chest wound over filling out paperwork any day of the week. I’d rather be shot at than go shopping. Shrug.


I need some stress to function. If I'm not stressed enough my mental health collapse in crisis.

But most responsibility stress just kills me. Having a job, any kind of job is out of question for me in a close future. Just the idea of it is too much to handle for me.


I definitely agree with @Friday . Even on a normal ('not-normal') day I'm ok- lose power at work and work in the dark, no equipment working; noxious gas; up to my waist pumping water outside in an electrical storm, I'm calm, calm others down. Get nearly hit by a truck- the people who see it need de-briefing, I am fine. Deal with someone dying I go through the motions. Have a person with a large knife near me I am calm. But if I have to make a phone call, or go shopping (especially clothes), or visit a neighbour or work meeting or deal with a wasp nest I'm shaking and feel like I could faint or throw up. Even paperwork I must do every 2 weeks I end up procrastinating til midnight the night before. I could keep up with it daily but I just can't face it.

I believe, at least for me, it's a couple of things: being used to crises and having no options, too much sustained adrenaline for too long (my kidneys are crappy), and sheer exhaustion. Which is why sitting down with friends and the like ends up with zooming out unless something sets off an alarm bell (likely not even the threat my mind pops too). bUt the energy breeds energy too and it's harder to hit a moving target. 😉

Welcome to you.


I know I am more depressed since retiring. No more major crisis! My brain has turned to mush because I don't have to troubleshoot and anticipate breakdowns. I stay dissociated more than present. Retirement is going to kill me.


@ladee nearly everyone seems to say, it can start that way but in a few years they say "I should have retired earlier". I am fully confident you will find your groove, and hopefully your tribe (even if it's a select few), and relaxing or resting will become a beautiful thing.

Hugs to you. xoxoxox


Definitely agree! Its part of why I last minute EVERYTHING. I do it successfully, I pretty much always do what I’m supposed to but I’m right up to the finish line completing it. I teach so luckily my day is consumed with a million decisions to make. Summers are HARD I have a love/hate relationship with all breaks, I need them and yet wish I didn’t have them.