Tips for work stress/first responder

I work as a police officer in Canada and deal with a lot of shitty people daily, and a lot of them are usually drunk or high, which I can tolerate for the most part. Usually it’s an off handed or snarky comment that sticks with me by the end of the shift and I try my best to attend meetings and that usually ends my day with 12 or more hours of work, going to a late meeting, and getting fast food because I have no time to cool a proper meal before I go back to bed for work tomorrow.

I keep some literature with me at work but I try my best to keep it out of sight from my coworkers and the public, going so far as changing the covers or covering them in tape, but there’s usually some smart ass that pushes me to the edge every once in awhile and I keep thinking how easy it is to fall off.

I have access to support groups through work but that’s usually only once a week for an appointment due to them being so busy, I try my best everyday but it gets hard.

Thankful for 1056 days so far and I’ll take another 24


Hey there! I can only imagine how stressful your work is. Being surrounded by inebriated people when you’re getting sober must be maddening. I am a psychotherapist and I work with people who have severe mental illness and 90% of them are also coming off drugs or alcohol. I am being referred to a TMJ specialist because my nighttime tooth grinding has become so severe since I started this work less than a year ago. What does your quality “me” time look like? Do you get to exercise, go outside, read, listen to music, see friends, attend to your hobbies? It is so important to put work away when work is over (easier said than done)…sometimes I visualize boxing up all the stress of my day and putting it into a closet. It’ll be there tomorrow!

Congratulations on getting sober - over 1,000 days!!! This forum is such a great support network.

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Also: sometimes it seems like I live and breathe work and I have to be really mindful to maximize productivity and get out of there on time. I assume you’re salaried and just work until it’s done…can you think of any ways you can streamline things?

I’ve been in the military and LE for over 20 yrs. 10-14 hrs days depending on what’s going on.

I meal prep all meals once a week, this keeps me somewhat healthy and prevents me from eating fast food every meal.

I hit the gym 2 hrs to before work, usually at 5am the gym is somewhat empty. Gives me time to listen to music do some self-reflection.

I really don’t have time for meetings, but my routine keeps me disciplined, don’t give myself free time alone and mentally keep my focus.

It works for me.

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I workout as well, it’s my main go to as a replacement for drinking, I’ve been going pretty steady in the mornings or at work during lunch. I can finish a 12 hour shift and get called on for something which can increase the work day by several more hours, sometimes making it a double shift. When I finish work I and am not working out I try to be outdoors and doing stuff, but a lot of the time I stay inside and watch random videos or play video games.

When I get overtime I can either bank it for days off or get time and a half, but I’d much rather be working. A lot of the guys at work unwind by going to the bar together too, and I always decline, but it makes me look a bit antisocial, and I try and avoid formal events if I can as well.

When I’m not working I try and volunteer

I’m a cop as well…21 years on the job and a couple more as a paramedic before that. It’s inspiring to see your 3+ years of sobriety…I wish I had reached that point earlier in my career, but we don’t get to live our lives in reverse, so I am driving onward with 12 days sober.

New to this app but not new to this struggles! LE in southern Ca and gotta retrain my brain for new coping mechs. @Asia91 @Shattered_dreams thanks guys. We have a small tight community. Hard finding LE who admit their issues and trying to do better! 358 days sober :pray:t3: stay safe!

Want to bring this up again since I’m newer to the forum – I definitely decompress after a long day at work or at the fire station by being alone… but alone is also when it’s easiest for me to start spiraling towards relapse. If I work too much I’ll burn out but if I relax too much I relapse.

Still trying to find my sweet spot I guess. Meetings have been helpful but I rarely have time to go in person and have no attention span for the online ones

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