Today’s episode is a conversation I had with Shawn out of Virginia. He started his career as a volunteer in the Buffalo area, spending 12 years as volunteer before embarking on a journey. As a career firefighter,  he is currently assigned to a ladder truck, as he approaches his 30th year in the fire service. 

Shawn shares his thoughts on and experiences with trauma, PTSD, and recovery.

Stack: Thank you for joining me for another episode of the things we all carry. Today’s episode is a conversation I had with Shawn out of Virginia.

He started his career as a volunteer in the Buffalo area, spending 12 years as volunteer before embarking on a journey. As a career firefighter, he is currently assigned to a ladder truck, as he approaches his 30th year in the fire service.

This conversation was one I was looking forward to Shawn has always been someone I respect and look up to in the department. I first met Shawn. When I was a rookie in a neighboring first due I had to chance to work with him on details and a variety of calls.

He never shied away from speaking his mind in any situation, a trait that I both admire and share. he was as quick with a compliment as he was with the necessary critiques. A true Fireman’s fireman. If you may, and unfortunately, a dying breed. A quick reminder to please help us build a community which not only recognizes, but supports each other through the struggles and recovery. Reach out through instagram @thethingsweallcarry or email

To offer support and share your story. Please remember to leave a review on iTunes and give a shout out to any first responder, you know, love or care about. Y’all enjoy the show.

sounds good. Feel comfortable. I’m comfortable. Comfortable as can be at least cuz it’s weird to have a mic in front of your face. Yeah. It’s

Shawn: different kind of neat.

Stack: Yeah. It’s well, you’ll see. I always, I keep butchering stuff. So I sat here like 20 minutes, 30 minutes trying to do an intro for Marshall and Brian and it drives me crazy just talking to myself. all right. So we’ll go ahead and get started.

All right today, we’re sitting down with Sean he’s out of Virginia. He’s coming up on 30 years of total service in the fire department between career and volunteer. He volunteered in Buffalo for a few years and then came to Virginia to work as a career firefighter.

I’m gonna let him introduce himself, maybe give a little background on his family and his history, and then we’ll get into our discussion.

Shawn: How you doing Sean? I’m well, thank you. Yeah, I’ve I volunteer for 12 years and actually trained for four years before that as a junior fireman before going active at the age of 18.

So from 14 to 18 was drilling and training every week. And I just waiting for the chance to get, to do, to get to the show, if you will. And my dad was, my dad joined a volunteer fire department a couple years before I was old enough to be a junior. from soon as I was eligible and old enough I got involved.

Am I, actually, my mom joined the volunteer fire department as well, so it’s been a family affair for us all along. And it’s been it’s been a lot of fun, a lot of fun. And so in, in 2005, I always knew that I was meant to do this job. I always knew that that’s why I’m here.

I was hired by prince William county in 2005 and and here I am coming up on 17 years this month.

Stack: What’s the last 30 years been like, what kind of experiences? How do you find yourself?

Shawn: Yeah, it’s been different. It’s well, it’s, I’ve seen a lot of differences, I guess is what I’d say. It’s it been a lot that. that’s changed, not only with how we do things, tools, equipment, techniques I’ve seen so many things even come full circle back to how we used to do them after changing it.

And but one thing that’s been the constant really is the type of what we do. The incidents that we run, the things that we see, things that we see and and have to process and keep going.

Stack: Wouldn’t you were a junior, were you running calls or were you

Shawn: just training? No, we didn’t run calls.

We weren’t able to run calls until we’re 18. So we were just doing the training, like I said, at least once a month, at least every or once a week, rather, at least every Saturday sometimes, we were taking other classes, certified first responder, things like that.

Stack: And then 18, you slide into the volley house and you go full bore a hundred percent.

So what’s that as an 18 year old in a volunteer house in Buffalo? it was

Shawn: great. It really wasn’t, honestly, there really wasn’t any big surprises for me. Everything was how I thought it would be. I was hungry. I was aggressive. I wanted to run calls.

I wanted to learn. I wanted to train. I wanted to be part of as much as I possibly could in, in all aspects of that department. And I was a certified EMT, almost right outta high school. I got my diploma from high school and a little bit after that, I got my EMT card and I’ll never forget the very first call that I ran right after that I was the only EMT on board for that call.

And I was right away pushed into the lead guy at 18 years olds the very first call I ran.

Stack: It’s gig at 18.

Shawn: It was different. It’s, there was. A bit of a, of an oh shit moment there, cuz now I’m the person I’m not looking to somebody else to tell me what to do or show me what to do or, I’m the guy.

And and it was as scary as it was at the end. It was also pretty cool. It was pretty

Stack: cool. So is there anything that stands out in those 12 years in

Shawn: Buffalo? There’s pros and cons to everything, right? And I love being on the job and there’s certain things that, I feel are better about being on the job as a career firefighters and there’s certain things I feel a little bit better on the volunteer side.

And the one thing is on the volunteer side is I feel a more sense of a sense of family. It’s been 17 years since I’ve been part of that organization officially, but. They still consider me family and I still consider a lot of them family. And when I go back there to visit, I’m always welcome there with open arms and good times bad.

And then I, that’s one thing I really do love about it.

I got a little bit of experience under my belt from June. And when I got my EMT card, I ran a bunch of calls and with the volley company and then come January of 93, I was hired by. A private ambulance service in the area and they covered the city of Buffalo and one of the suburbs.

And I remember sitting there in that classroom going through new hire orientation and I didn’t know shit about the city really. And couple things they talking about just blew my mind. And I was like, what? I’m thinking. I remember thinking what am I doing here? What did I get myself into? And they’re talking about when you knock on someone’s door, where to stand in case they start shooting through it or come out with a knife, or when you’re walking down an alley at night, how to hold your flashlight.

So nobody, if they shoot at you, hopefully they’ll shoot at the light and miss you. And I we’re the good guys. What would somebody shoot at us? and I definitely wasn’t ready for all of that. I don’t think, but I got through the new hire, the orientation and everything.

And then there was, not even 19 years. Running calls in, in the inner city and seeing things that yeah, I just wasn’t used to seeing living conditions and the normal, and I say normal, but, the things that come along with the calls that we run and seeing the shape that these people are in, that they call for our help and everything.

But like I said, on top of all of that, I seen that more of that than I ever had before in my, six months of prior experience. And like I said, just going into the city, just so many times, just getting back in the ambulance afterwards or after the hospital taking first to the hospital and just trying to process what the hell I just saw

Stack: and what you saw, just because of the living conditions or call wise just all

Shawn: the above.

Okay. Like just everything, everything you go through, depending on, where you’re running these calls and where you’re, what actually, what section of the city you’re going. You just, you see everything you can possibly think of. And then some, as far as all of the call types, that’s the people the houses, the living conditions, the, everything,

Stack: anything that jumps out at you that I don’t know was more memorable than anything

Shawn: else, or I don’t really think so.

It, in the beginning, it cuz the whole thing was just mind blowing. It was just so much to take in and so much to absorb in the beginning, it was so much different from anything that I guess I really didn’t know what to expect. So the first number of years was simply just getting used to it, for lack of a better way to put it and coming to expect.

What, what you think you’re about to run into or what you’re gonna see every shift or every call or what, whatever the case might be. And like I said, more normalizing, getting more used to seeing it.

Stack: So normalizing desensitizing, maybe.

Shawn: Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. I would say desensitizing.

Yeah, for sure. So you

Stack: make the decision to, to apply for career department. What brings you to Virginia? How do you end up

Shawn: here? So friends of mine had already been on the job here for prince William, some only by a couple years and some by five or six at that point. And as hard as it is to move away from everything that you’ve ever known and loved, even one is for a job that you love and that you want to do.

And you’re meant to do like I did. It’s still hard. It’s still hard. And so honestly, one of the biggest draws to prince William county was having people there that I already knew and have known for a long. To make that much, that transition a bit easier and have somebody familiar faces there.

So was

Stack: prince William the one you targeted or it was

Shawn: okay. It was for that reason, large, mainly that reason.

Stack: You come to prince William a again, what, 2004, you mentioned 2005, 2005. . How’s that start? How’s what’s that look

Shawn: like for you? Again I, this wasn’t the first that wasn’t the first process I had been in it wasn’t the first test I had taken.

So I knew what to expect as far you going into it, as far as the process itself, every place I guess, does things just a little bit differently or, their own tweaks it to their own, what they’re looking for, Charlotte did things different than prince William, who does it differently than Fairfax or, whatever the case might be.

And so knew what to expect. And the thing is there. a lot less people, than when I tested in Charlotte, there were thousands. And so yeah I prepared I think I prepared myself as best I could knowing what to expect. And I felt like I was definitely going to be a benefit, definitely going to be an asset to whatever department I got hired by.

But this is where I wanted it to be. This is where I wanted to be.

Stack: How does your career progress in PrinceWilliam,

Shawn: Recruit school was tough, but it was a great experience. I think that you’ll find, and I’m sure most of most folks will, would agree that have been through it. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find some, anything like that, that, that forges the bonds.

That you do while you’re in recruit school, even the people that maybe you might not hang out with on a regular basis, but still there’s that bond there that you went through this together and you make lifelong friends. And I feel like those bonds just cannot be broken after that.

And it was, so that was a great experience. It was like a, like I said, there was tough at times, going home and thinking, the aches and pains and wondering, man, am I gonna make it through this? And but then you get outta recruit school. You do make it through it. You force your way through it and you make it out into the field.

And from there it only got better. And I was at a little bit of a slow station when I came outta recruit school. And, but I caught my first fire on the line. It what, two and a half weeks outta recruit school. And. And you hear it all the time and people say, this is the best job in the world.

I can’t believe I get paid for this. And there I am inside this house with a handline putting out fire in, and that thought literally cross runs through my mind, thinking to myself, this is awesome. I, this the only thing better than going into a house fire, like this is getting paid to do it. This is great.


Stack: I agree with that the first time you’re in one and you’re on that nozzle. It’s exhilarating. It

Shawn: is. It is. And I feel like the the adrenaline rush you get at that moment in time, just getting ready make the threshold of that, of the door going in.

It’s nothing like it.

Yeah. So yeah. Over the years here in prince William county run, hundreds and hundreds of calls of all nature.

And it wasn’t very long ago. Actually I run out station four now in Gainesville, and it wasn’t very long ago, actually just less than a year ago, I’d say, and we had this horrible accident. And before even getting out of the cab at the rig pulled up and I knew right away, it was one of the very few in my career here in prince William county, my volunteer career.

And as well as my professional EMS career, that before even pulling the break, I knew this was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Definitely top two or three. And I feel like for me anyway, that’s something that, that initial, holy shit kind. Feeling thought then is that doesn’t well at least hasn’t gone away for me and on those types of calls like that, and it takes a second for me to process what’s happening, what and then, alright, you got a job to do, go and do it.

And that’s just what you have to do. That’s what we’re here for, that’s the rumor at least. Yeah. Yeah. I That’s what I, how I always thought it was anyway.

Stack: I know when we first sat down, one of the things you said to me was that you realized it’s an accumulation thing, not necessarily a one call thing.

And what were you talking about and explain that to me.

Shawn: Yeah. When you think of, I think when a lot of people, at least, again, I can’t speak for everybody. I think when a lot of people think of PTSD and firefighters, fire rescue and paramedics, and you think of that one call that, that, that shit went sideways on that bad house, fire, that horrible car accident whatever the case might be.

And that’s what it is. And, but it isn’t, and it took me until just a few years ago to learn that, to that. It’s not those that one or two bad calls where I should have done this, could have done that. It’s five years. It’s 10 years. It’s 20 years of doing this job and seeing the shit that we see day in, day out, every shift, pretty much at

Stack: this point, you total of 30 years in are.

Do significant calls stand out to you or does everything run together for you right now?

Shawn: There’s a handful. There are a handful that definitely stick out in my mind. And that was just one thing to why I didn’t realize it when it comes to the whole PTSD thing. And I didn’t think that I, that was me.

I, I don’t wake up with the I don’t wake up from nightmares of seeing, seeing those calls in my sleep. I don’t anything like that. There’s definitely calls where I know that affected me more than others those calls, I remember very vividly, but nothing that really gave me, the classic symptoms or of PTSD.

And so I never even considered it. I never thought that was something that that I was going through. And like I said, I didn’t learn about that until just a few years ago that yeah it’s. Stuff piles up and piles up.

Stack: You said that you didn’t have the typical symptoms of PTSD.

What did your PTSD look like? Or what does your PTSD look like?

Shawn: I, that’s a tough one to answer. Yeah. I think mine is more I get more closed off, I guess I’ve gotten more closed off, it’s that’s a tough one.

Stack: Yeah. I, cuz there has to be something that, that I identifies it as PTSD, correct.

Shawn: Yeah. And again, that’s what I have a therapist for that’s why they were able to identify and I couldn’t

Stack: All right, so here we’ll rephrase that a little bit. What are the things that have happened to you in life that maybe have been stemmed from your PTSD, et S D

Shawn: yeah. At some point or another, and I can’t really place my, I can’t really put my finger on when it was, I just started feeling just bitter.

A lot of bitterness I become, had become very cynical of so much almost everything and questioning so much and just, and then anger and it started having anger issues and that’s when things really started going downhill for me is I noticed I was getting more angry more often.

And that was like I said, that was especially now looking back, love the saying hindsight’s 20, 20, always 2020. And looking back, you could clearly, you see what was going on and where things were headed. And, but at the time it’s a different story, but yeah, it’s.

just I, I just said it was harder, I guess I was becoming harder and harder to be around.

Stack: And do you identify a time where you noticed that happening?

Shawn: I, no, like I said, I wish I did. And I really can’t. And my ex-wife said to me, once we were having a conversation and she asked me, do you remember that one call?

And it was a call that I ran back home and I said, oh yeah, that was a snot Slinger. That was a, you know what we called out? Yeah. That was a good one, accident. And oh yeah, I remember that one. And she says you were different after that. And I said, really? She said, yeah, something hap something changed.

And I, and she says to me, do you remember this call? And this was one where I definitely placed top two worst ever. And I saw, yeah, I remember that one that was bad. That was bad for a number of different reasons. And and she said you were more different after that one. I said I said, why didn’t you tell me that earlier?

Why didn’t you ever bring that up to me sooner? Not in, in a, I wasn’t angry about it that she, didn’t just wondered, and it’s, but circles back to what I was talking about with my anger and everything. And she was afraid to bring it up to me because she was afraid how she didn’t know how I’d react to that.

She didn’t know how I would, what I’d say, or if it would make me pissed off at her or whatever. And I understand that now definitely get what she wouldn’t want. She wouldn’t have wanted to. And but it was definitely something that made me take a step back and think about.

and it’s what it’s funny. You’d know, we know ourselves, they say, you know yourself better than anybody. But I don’t know the people who are with like that. They’re the ones that see the changes more than we do.

Stack: I think that kind of makes sense. It’s we don’t like to admit those changes and we definitely don’t like to admit that the things we see affect us.

Sure. Thankfully that starting to change. So I can see where someone that’s close to you would be the first one to see the changes beside you. Yeah. So you mentioned ex-wife how long were you married?

Shawn: So I was married. We were married for seven years, seven years. And we were dating for about seven years before we got married and we’ve been friends for a very long time.

Fortunately, we still are. And . And

Stack: Do you attribute to divorce to the job or is it outside of the job?

Shawn: I think probably a combination of things. A little bit of both. Yeah, I became, again I became very difficult to be around and knowing what I did, what I know now, it wasn’t just when I come home from work and go and just lay on the couch and veg until it was time to go to bed, wasn’t just necessarily cuz I was tired.

There was more going on there that I just didn’t realize didn’t know about at the time. And I don’t think that she did either, the resentment starts to build, then you have a child and you throw that into the mix and she’s the one she’s working a full time job and she’s cooking dinner.

She’s given the baby, she’s feeding the baby. And then here I come home from work and I say, hello and that’s about it. And I go to the couch and I lay down and watch TV until. It’s dinner time and then it’s time to go to bed. And, I definitely understand how that would that would build some, some angst, if you will.

And and again, at the time, it’s just tired this day work schedule sucks. Just let me lay down. And now looking back, like I said, I realized that was maybe a little bit more going on than just that.

Stack: What year did you get divorced? 14. ,

Shawn: after that, I was on my own for a little bit and things really never got any better. As far as all that was concerned, I had a couple of longer term relationships that uh, even.

and ended and were ruined because all those things were getting worse. I’m more angry on a regular basis and it just doesn’t take anything to set me off now. And, you hurt, they say you hurt the ones you love. And so it, it’s so unfortunate for those because that’s exactly how it goes.

These are the people you see every day. And so they’re on the receiving end, a lot of whatever it is, it we’re pissed off about, or if we’re not, or if we’re pissed off, if not nothing at all. And they’re the ones that have to deal with that attitude, that anger, the yelling, the swearing, the anything that comes along with that.

And, it’s tough on it’s just as tough on them as it is on us, in some ways. And those two relationships that I’ve had since then, Have now since both ended and it’s because I have such a hard time still and getting a handle on things.

And for me, my PTSD my depression and my anxiety manifests itself in anger a lot UN unfortunately. And so who really, who the hell wants to be around that on a daily basis. It’s, I, one of the things that I, again, that I didn’t understand or couldn’t understand is why are you upset?

How does it, I’m pissed off about this or that, which has nothing to do with you. So what are you getting bent outta shape for what’s what are you? So I, it’s got nothing to do with you, but just being around someone like that, it wears on you, it catches up to you and it’s to the point where it makes that person hard to function, and it makes them hard to do their job during the day.

And. Just live their life day to day. And when it comes to a point where instead of looking forward to seeing your significant other person, you love, you maybe don’t really want to, or aren’t that excited anymore. That’s obviously that’s not a good thing.

Stack: When does this start to come to a head for you?

Shawn: I think things really came to a head in, in 2018 and now the drinking is on a regular basis and I’m drinking more. And in terms of times a week, I’m drinking more in terms of how much I drink when I go out drinking, or even if I’m just sitting at home drinking.

And it’s funny that. Us as medical professionals, if you will, that it, we realize that we know alcohol is a depressant and we realize that the effects of alcohol are not good either. They’re not good on our body. They’re not good on our brain and they’re not, they’re even worse for our emotions.

And we all know that, but yet for some reason or another, that’s what so many of us reach for and go to the second things, get bad, or the second you’re upset about something or mad or having a hard time dealing with something or processing something, grab a beer, go and have a couple beers with your friends, go out to a bar and it, it doesn’t help.

It only makes it so much worse.

Stack: Yeah. And we had that discussion before we quote unquote, came on air here. Sure. That we talked about how. We turned to drinking because it’s the acceptable manner. It’s always been the accept acceptable method to, to

Shawn: know that, but only recommend almost recommended,

Stack: not yet recommended because you’re almost an outcast if you’re not drinking in these situations.

Sure. And other avenues are not allowed and it won’t get on a soap box, but obviously we could use different medications such as cannabis. Sure. If they would start to allow it. So you’re drinking a schedule allows you to drink quite

Shawn: a bit. It does.

Stack: What starts happening with your drinking?

Shawn: What starts happening is, again that the frequency and the amount of drinking continues to increase. So consequently I’m drunk more. And

and then when I am drunk, whether it’s at home by myself or I. Regardless of where I was coming from and I was drinking. I was getting into my car and I was going home. And you hurt all so many times. That’s stupid. What have you got pulled over? What have you got one accident? Doesn’t that?

Doesn’t that make a difference to you? And at the time it was, I don’t fucking care if it happens. If I get pulled over, fuck it. If I get into an accident, fuck it. I don’t care. Lose my job. Fuck it. I don’t care. So just a

Stack: sense of recklessness,

Shawn: a hundred percent. And I’ve learned that another thing I learned recently is that’s some call passively being passively suicidal.

And I don’t know if I, I don’t know if I agree with that or can say that’s where I was. I wasn’t wishing to die. I wasn’t even thinking to myself, if I did. Whatever who cares, but I was definitely as far as the job and as far as my license, as far as all that other stuff, I didn’t care.

And it’s indirect self-destructive behavior, you don’t think that way rationally, right? When things are quote unquote normal during the day or whatever, and, but you take what’s going on in, in your brain already with depression and everything else. And then you throw alcohol and it’s, throwing a can of gas on the fire and it just magnifies everything so much and makes it so much worse.

But you don’t at the time, you don’t think of it that way. You don’t look at it that way, quite frankly, you don’t even care. And so that was, that became the norm for me and in 2018 that the combination of it all came to head on the side of the, on the side of the road, get into a, I’m pissed off at this guy for the way he’s driving.

And we go back and forth for a while motherfucking each other. We go back and forth a while before he pulls off the side of the road and I pull off the side of the road and we get out of the cars and we go at it on the side of the road and hammer it out right there.

What time of day is this? This is in the middle of the night, again, coming home from a bar coming home drunk, shouldn’t have been driving it all. And then again, it was one of those. It was one of the busiest, main roads in the county here. it would’ve been so easy to, for a cop to come by and, but again, it was like, ah, fuck it.

I don’t care. I don’t care. And so this guy and I, we have a roadside fight right there and. when it ends, he gets in his car and drives away. I get in my car and drive away and I feel like that’s it’s over with and everything. And but it wasn’t for me. I somehow managed to break my foot while in that fight.

And so that puts me out of work for however long X number of months till I, I needed surgery to fix it, then I needed rehab and so on and so forth. And so now I’m already at a dangerous level. I’m already running in the red and it’s and so now all I got is more time to sit there by myself with my thoughts and drink and it just, again it only gets worse.

And in that time my uncle, my godfather, who really meant a lot to me, who I looked up to very much passed away, unexpectedly. . He got sick and passed away and really, like I said, I, he meant a lot to me. I really looked up to him and I always wanted him to be proud of me.

I always hoped that he was proud of me and and where I was at right there at that point in time. And I think shit, who the hell would be proud of this? Look at me. And so I go to his funeral and his wife was hoping that I would be one of the Paul bears for him. And she sees me hobble in on crutches.

now I can’t be up all bear. Now. I feel like I feel even worse. I feel I don’t know if I hoped that, that I made him proud. I hoped that he was proud to call me his godson, but I don’t know. And now I can’t do this. And I feel like I, I can’t be his Paul bear now. I feel I let him down.

I totally let him down. And that was something that I really, that only made things worse. I really had a hard time dealing with, I had a hard time dealing with just him, his passing, and then putting that on myself that I’m not, I let him down. And that was it was very difficult on me.

It was very tough. And I had a I felt like I just couldn’t. Recover from that on top of other things that, that was, it was a pretty short period of time where it could seemingly a lot of things added up or maybe not a lot of things, but in looking back now with the big steaming pile of shit that was already there.

And now you throw a couple of acute things, the ending of a relationship, my uncle passing away, the broken foot all of these things and it just, it got to the point where it just became too much. It just became too much. And again, things I keep using the phrase that kind come to a head, but here’s where I really did.

And thank God for the friends that I have. Typical day off drinking. Of course there’s a day off cause I had a broken foot sitting around the house cleaning. Doing stuff around the house drinking and basically continu drinking throughout the day. And this was the day before I was supposed to be going to, to Brad Clark’s funeral line of Def duty for those who aren’t familiar with the name down in the Richmond area and dance all day long, just I think with everything else that’s going on and the anxiety of going to that the next day, it’s just, I needed something and I needed something I needed to calm down.

I needed to try to make the what’s going on in my head, all this haywired, I felt like everything was just haywired. I, and I just needed it to slow down. I just needed to get a. Sleep for a change, cuz of course wasn’t sleeping very well. And so I take a decide, I’m gonna take a warm bath and not before making another drink though.

so I bring that over, bring that with me and I just can’t, I just can’t come down and I’m starting to feel like more and more like things are out of control. And if I take a Xanax, this will help. This is what this is for. It’s and I think, , when I was in that state I felt like time was really compressed, and what seemed like 20 minutes, 30 minutes was probably five or 10 and that didn’t help. I’m taking another one with alcohol, of course. And before I know it. Again it’s not working this isn’t helping and clear, rational thinking was out the fucking window already by a long time. And so before I know it, I don’t know how many of a combination of Xanax and valium I had.

I had taken just to try to calm down, just to try to slow the shit down in my head. And now add to the fact that I’ve been drinking all day and taking these drugs with alcohol. Now I’m in trouble. And I don’t realize it. And like I said God bless that. The friends having good friends that picked up on from text messages throughout the day that things just weren’t right with me.

And of course, what really, threw up the big red flag where they knew something need, somebody needs to go. There was when I stopped replying to text to leave me to fuck alone, I’m fine. Text. And that was it. I’m done. I’m done texting. I’m done talking. I’m not answering my phone. Now I’m pissed off at that too.

That people seemingly I’m pissed off at people care, I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense. But like I said, fortunately, these guys, they knew something was, they knew something was wrong. And and it just probably at just the right time Adam shows up and all I remember is looking up and seeing him and I was already probably just about up to my nose in the water fading man.

And . I don’t know if I if he didn’t show up when he did, if those guys didn’t come there, I don’t know what, would’ve could’ve happened. I don’t know if I would’ve made it out of that tub. And when I sobered up it, that was a really terrifying thought to me for a couple of reasons.

And for me, I’ve got a 12 year old son, and he’s the first thing that, that comes to mind in what if he, what would’ve happened if he was never able to see his dad again, after that that there’s no, and there’s no doubt in my mind because of events leading up to that, not just that day, but over, over the course of time, recent time that.

there’s no doubt in my mind that would’ve been ruled a suicide. And I can tell you, I could tell you this day, swear on my kid, that, that wasn’t the intent. I wasn’t trying to hurt myself. I wasn’t trying to end it all. I didn’t, I never even thought about that could be being a hundred percent honest.

I was just trying to gain control over the thoughts in my head, and I just couldn’t do it. And I clearly wasn’t doing the right thing and to try to do that. But and that really weighed on me a lot. I thought about it so many times that what if that happened? What would my, as what my, what would my son have thought of me as he got older?

What would the guys, my, my closest friends and family, what would they have thought about me? What were all my brothers and sisters on the job, what would they have thought about me? And I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it when Marcello saw no other, no way out and took his own life. I, I saw it.

I couldn’t believe it. How many people got so angry and he should have done this. I was there. He knew he could call. He should have called. He should have gotten help. He should have so easy for all these people that aren’t in the situation to say what you should have done and what, and all that.

And to have all the fucking answers, but at the time, there’s like I said, you get to a point where a really rational thought is gone. And fortunately for me, I don’t think that I was at that point. But to be honest with you, man, that scares the shit out of me. It scares the shit out of me because Marcello and I are very much alike.

And I like to think in, in a sense of, a lot of people, they see the person that’s cracking jokes, that’s making us laugh. That’s having fun around the firehouse. That’s making the mood lighter. And I think of myself like that a lot. And so knowing that it got to that point for him, that, like I said that rational thinking was gone completely gone.

There was some short circuit, some kind of a disconnect scares me. It scares me because I don’t know if you can see that coming. I don’t know if right before you get to that point, if there’s something that that, oh, some kind of a warning or something, but yeah it’s scares the shit out of me.

It really does.

Stack: So your friend finds you in the tub. Yeah.

Shawn: And what, what transpires? So they literally fish me out of there and they, they quickly realized that this is more than, this is more than just an acute thing. This is, this, there’s something more going on here than just one day of drinking and getting upset and going, getting to this point.

And Adam knew some folks from the union that, that run the IFF Center of Excellence in Maryland. And he made a couple phone calls right there on the spot and stayed on the line with them when he explained to me what it was, I didn’t really know I knew of it, but I really didn’t know exactly what it was and that.

he thinks they think, we all think that you need help. And they think that this is the best way to, to go with this that I should, that I need this center. And I do remember agreeing to that. And so pretty much right there. We get in a car and we’re off to Maryland at whatever the hell time of the night it was.

And it was all such a blur to me, the ride there when I first got there and they do a very detailed health screening when you get there, , I don’t remember it, but they did. And I they got me a bed put me in it apparently. Passed out. And when I woke up, when I woke up the next morning I knew where I was.

I remember going there, but it, I didn’t recognize anything and I get up and I’m looking around and I feel like shit, physically. I feel like shit emotionally. I just feel like shit . And on top of that now I’m scared. I don’t know what to expect here. I don’t know what I’m doing there. And uh,

fortunately there was a guy from the Boston area that evidently SP spent the whole entire night sitting by my bedside because Mike and Adam wouldn’t leave if he didn’t . And big guy, big burly guy, and. He takes me, starts to show me around a little bit. And we comic relief is such a good thing.

And just what’s snapped me out of things a little bit is he said to me, when he told me he sat there at my bedside I, he promised those guys that he would, he said, and that Boston accent, if I’d have, if I’d have showed up for you on a call, he said, I’d have fucking tubed.

You, he said, when you were breathing, you were only statting at about 82% and then maybe people wouldn’t think that’s very funny, but it’s, like I said, for me is what snapped me out a little bit and I was able to relax a little. And so then you start getting your feet under you a little bit with the center and you.

see, what’s you start learning what’s going on. And there’s clinicians there that steer you in the right direction, as far as your treatment is concerned, which way you’re gonna go, as far as mental health, strictly mental health, or, there’s substance abuse involved there.

And so you get a program, I guess that’s developed for you and which can includes group sessions during the afternoon, every single day, you’re doing something there. And so you have couple group sessions in the morning or one in the morning, two in the afternoon, however it works out, but you also have one on one sessions with your clinicians during the week.

And it’s great. It’s, it is in my opinion. Is the absolute best place on earth for people like us to go to that, that need that help. And they, they work magic there. They really do. And not only the staff, it’s, the group sessions are great. You learn a lot about each other.

You learn a lot about yourself in these sessions, but after dinner, it’s a, it’s it’s like the firehouse a lot. There’s a day room, there’s recliners. And, that’s where the real therapy, I think takes place. You get to talk into guys and you re you know, you find the common thread between, and there’s a common thread with all of us there.

And you find out what it is with this guy or this woman. And the. The things that, the one thing, the one biggest thing though that we all have in common there is that everybody wants to get better, but they all, we all wanna see everybody else around us get better as well.

And it’s such a great environment to be in. And there’s the support is just overwhelming. Unbelievable. I thought that for the most part maybe that the brotherhood of the fire department was dead, but it was definitely on life support. I thought, and this completely renewed my faith in the brotherhood of the fire service and I’ve never seen anything like it before then.

And I’ve never seen anything. I haven’t seen anything like it since to be quite honest. And that’s where the real healing takes place after the sessions during the day at night, in the day room around the fire, and getting to know the guys and hearing their stories and you telling your story and yeah it’s an amazing place.

I I can’t say enough good things about it. I really can’t. And the thing I tell people that maybe are having a hard time that are struggling is, or whether they are, or not, to be honest, I said, I hope that you don’t get to the point where that’s the type of care that you need.

But if you do, please go there because there’s not a better place on earth to get the help that you need. And you won’t be, you won’t regret it. You won’t be sorry. So many good things come out, come from there. It really does.

Stack: When we sat down, I don’t, that was a few weeks ago. Now we first sat down to do an interview and talk about the show.

You mentioned something that stood out to me and you said it was about comparing trauma.

Shawn: Yeah. That was a huge hurdle for me to have to overcome. And it was very evident to me early. That was something that if I was gonna start to get better myself, that I was going to have to get over, because every session in the beginning after got there, I find myself doing just that shit.

What am I even doing here? What I’m going through? Is it nearly as bad as what that guy’s got going on? Oh, this poor guy. Geez, God, I can’t believe that here. What am I even doing here? I shouldn’t even be here. And through those conversations, after sessions in the recliners, around the fire pit, whatever the case might be is how you start to, to learn or how I started to learn.

You really can’t do that because you’re never gonna, we’re all entitled to our own feelings. And maybe I wasn’t there in the pile on nine 11, like this guy was, but this is where I started to learn. PTSD and the accumulative effects, okay. I wasn’t there in a pile like this guy, I didn’t lose a fireman.

That I went into a house with this guy. I didn’t go through what this guy did, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. I’m there because I need help. He’s there cuz he needs help for his reason. He’s there, she’s there, we’re all there for our own reasons that we need help. And once I was able to understand that better and stop that, that comparison and it made things a lot better, a lot easier for me to start to get to start to heal.

I was able to get by that the constantly comparing it really got things rolling for me more, as far as he treatment and healing and feeling better. And

it’s, and it’s mostly from the other guys that are there, the other folks that are there and helping each other through all that. And I’ve never, ever seen the pay it forward concept. Like it is there and again, it’s, and it’s all for the right reasons, it’s they just want you to be okay.

When I showed up there, it’s funny now to think about, but when I showed up there, because I wasn’t planning on being there, I get there. I would have a zipper down hoodie, a t-shirt a pair of gym shorts and one shoe, one fucking shoe because my other foot’s in. And that’s all I had. And this was in the, this was in the fall.

This was in what? September, no, October. This was in October. So it’s still nice out during the day for the most part, but it got cold out during the night. And, but the longer my stay there, it started getting cooler even during the day. And I made mention of that to, I call him chick the Boston guy who took me under his wing.

And I said yeah, man, this is all I got, oh, and a toothbrush that they gave me at the medical tooth. At least you had a toothbrush. Yeah. I guess it could have been worse. And after that, man, there was so many times I come back from a session in the afternoon and I find that literally I find a pile of clothes on my bed that, that chick went and told people, this guy’s, this guy needs help.

That’s all he got. He wasn’t planning on being here. Friends brought ’em in da, and that’s all it took. And these. Sweat pants. T-shirts a guy gave me a brand new pair of Nikes because it was a half size, too small for him. And his wife sent him there, take them, I don’t need him. And I said to, to Chick, I said, I don’t know where any of this came from.

I don’t know who to think. And he said, no, nobody needs nobody here wants that. Nobody needs that. They just everybody’s here for each other. And that, that went so such a long way with me, man. It really choked me up cuz I’m not worthy of that. I’m not why would those guys, why would anybody do that for me?

Thats a point I was at, I wasn’t deserving of all that. And I was, I am, and it took things like. that For me to realize that, that I am worthy, that I do deserve good things to happen to me too. And and again, thanks to all those guys there that they helped me with that. And like I said, it went such, such an incredible long way to, it seems may not seem like much, but man, it was a huge, it was a huge thing in my recovery there.

It really was.

Stack: So how long do you stay at the

Shawn: center? So I stay there for a little over a month 35 days to be exact and

just get the absolute best care treatment that that you can. And one of the things I love about it, about that place, the center of excellence is we all refer to it as is the bubble. It’s your safe place. And. If you just want to be there and you don’t want to know anything that’s happening in the outside world for as long as you’re there, you can very easily do that.

You don’t look at a TV, you don’t look at anything else. You don’t, you just focus on what you need to work on and get done. And, but even if you do know about shit, that’s going on outside in the outside world, you still have the bubble where you can feel safe, where there’s never a shortage of people to talk to people just to sit down with and people just, even if you don’t feel like you want to talk it and to just, there’s gonna be someone there that will be perfectly happy to just sit there with you to let you cry on their shoulder and not want anything in return.

And it’s it was like an extended shift at work, right? The only difference being, of course you’re not running calls, but the biggest difference is you don’t have to worry about you don’t even think about when you walk out of that room, if someone’s gonna talk shit about you and behind your back, or somebody’s gonna have something negative to say anything.

And cuz that’s, it ain’t like that there. And it’s just this amazing feeling to be there surrounded by that kind of love and understanding all 24 days or 20, 24 hours a day, seven days a week the whole time you’re there. It really is. And I, I spoke of the bonds that you make when you’re in recruit school and everything and you believe me those are incredibly strong bonds.

And, but now having been through both recruit school and the center of excellence man, it pales in comparison, it really does these guys. It. It’s almost indescribable. Really? It is. But I will also say this as, as good as the car is that you get there and the treatment and everything else. It’s, that’s not a, that’s not the silver bullet, right?

That’s not a fix all, that’s just the beginning and it’s not easy. Once you get outta there, once you’re outta that bubble and the safety of the bubble, and now it’s, you’re on your own. Now it’s incumbent upon you. There’s no one saying you got this session that you have to be at two o’clock or whatever the hell time, or you got this meeting with your clinician.

It’s up to you now to do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You gotta use the tools that they gave you to help yourself. And for me, fortunately, they front loaded us about when you leave there. For me, it was when the first little bit, week, two weeks, three weeks, man. It was tough. I’m not gonna lie.

It was tough for me. I’m glad that they front loaded me with that information saying that it is going, gonna be easy right away. And it wasn’t and man, it started it, it started right off the bat for me when I got home and I walked into my house after 35, 36 days. And it was funny to me because the last thing I remember was I had, I was off that day and I was cleaning the house.

I was tidying up around the house, doing stuff. And when I walked into the place, it was a fucking disaster area. It was a mess. And again, knowing what I do now, it makes sense. Cause you’re that funk, that depression and you don’t now, whatever, I’ll get to those clothes tomorrow.

I’ll put those dishes away later a later. For me, it was coming. It was waking up whenever the hell. I felt like it, cuz I didn’t have to, I didn’t have work to go to and coming down and going from bed to the couch and then pretty much back up to bed and all day, every day and it and is, but I that’s, one thing I remember being surprised about is I thought that I remembered cleaning and one, the place was like such a mess.

And it was a, I don’t know, type of moment where I thought that I was, I remember seeing so differently, and then but on top of that, so this was, I got out two days before Thanksgiving and my place is a mess. I don’t have the bubble and it’s it almost started. It almost started all over again right away.

The thoughts in my head. And I want I, I called my ex-wife and I said I don’t have anything to offer Tyler for Thanksgiving. I’m not gonna make a dinner. I couldn’t even sit at the table if I wanted to right now to eat. There’s so much crap all over it. And so just, I want him to have a good Thanksgiving.

I’d keep him with you. And fortunately, she was very persistent saying, no, I think that you need to spend the time with him. And I know he needs to spend the time with his dad. And so finally I agreed. I said all you’re right. Okay. And so I decided that I was gonna take him for Thanksgiving, even though I had nothing planned.

I didn’t have any idea what. What I was gonna do or what we were gonna have to eat and it wasn’t gonna be the traditional Thanksgiving meal, of course. So in the meantime though my good friend, Mike invites me to have Thanksgiving with him and his family. And at first again, it’s so it was so easy to start falling back into the same old habits.

No I don’t wanna impose I don’t wanna put you guys out I’m and again, he was very insistent. I finally agree. And I was so glad that I did, again, it was welcomed, treated like family, me and my son, and it ended up being a really good Thanksgiving. And, I, there was a lot for me to be thankful for.

And, I continued to see it in the support and port and. The willingness for people to, to be there for me. And then it helps so much. It really does.

Stack: What’s it look like today? I know you had some things you wanted to talk about the fire service and mental health, but what’s it look like today for you?

Shawn: It’s it doesn’t it doesn’t end. It’s sometimes are better. Some days are better than others, and sometimes you get, you, you fall back into a funk and again, it’s all on you. It’s all on me to you to utilize the tools that, that were given to me at the center. And I consider, I continue to see a therapist on my own and, but some days are just tougher than others.

They really are. And it’s not, you don’t come out of there free and. And with no worries ever again, it’s sometimes it’s a struggle still. One of the things I, yeah, one of the things I learned, or I’ve, I picked up on over the years in this field though, is I’m a huge, don’t get me wrong.

I’m a huge proponent talking about things, get it off your chest. Even if it’s not something that you know is keeping you awake at night. Obviously, when you see something that you’re not used to seeing, and that your brain is not used to seeing that, that you shouldn’t be seeing, you shouldn’t be seeing people burnt up.

You shouldn’t be seeing people’s bodies contorted in this, from any accident or whatever the case might be. And even if it doesn’t necessarily quote, unquote bother you, those are the things I feel like you need to at least talk about because you recognize, wow. That’s never seen anything like that before.

But I don’t like the fact that it seems like everything needs to be so formal. Everything needs to have a title, everything needs, the hot wash, they’re gonna hot wash this. When we get back to the firehouse, it doesn’t need to be so formal. And I’ll never forget the first time I went through that, they took, we had, it was back home and, the one accident that I mentioned earlier, they took all of us outta service and took us some place.

And they, I remember walking in and chairs are in a circle and, again, God bless the people that were there trying to help us because they truly want to help. They want to do something to, to just be there , and so they, they talk a little bit about. Getting things out and what just happened and, they want us to share.

And when they open up the floor to us, you got all of us looking at each other.

Nobody wants to say anything. And this is back shit, 20 years ago now, or so. And so it’s not it’s a long time ago, but not in eternity ago where, but that was still what we knew or thought was handle it on your own. And so what, so we did, nobody said shit there at the critical incident stress debriefing, because we gotta call it something and.

We all walked out there together and said eight o’clock crab, apples, eight o’clock crab, apples. We all went home, showered, got ready, went out and got shit faced together. And, but we were all there together. We cried on each other’s shoulders. We, did what we did. Did what people what people in our profession did back then, when something bad happened like that.

And you saw something, not having any idea really of how bad it was, it’s not good, but not knowing how bad it was for us. And so since then I have, I’ve really paid a lot of attention to things like that to the critical incident, stress debriefing team the peer support team the hot washes and all that stuff.

And I, I see the same thing, we’re, I don’t know what we’re, if it’s just the way we’re built, the way we’re wired or what, but when you put a group of us together and you more or less are trying to force us to talk, it’s just not gonna happen. Very few of us are gonna be willing to do that.

Even if you have the very best of intentions, whether you are one of us and you’ve been in the fire service, or you’re a therapist that doesn’t have no shit about the fire service, it’s, you’ve gotta get the same results really, for the most part. And I get it. I’m not trying to say that, we don’t need to do that.

Hot Washe is stupid or anything like that, but I just feel like you’re more likely to get results by just bringing it up a, in a more nonchalant matter, get on the truck. If you’re the officer and. You don’t even need to be the officer and that it wasn’t, that was a bad call that, that it affected your guys or, that, that’s something that that you don’t see very often.

And it could be something as simple as over the headsets, on the way back to the station. Boy, that was pretty fucked up. Huh. And so I’ve learned it over the years. Sometimes that’s all that it takes a lot of times is that’s all that it takes little bit of comic relief maybe, but just a comment going, holy shit, that was bad to get people to be like, yeah, man, I never saw anything like that before what’s with the blah.

Is that normal? That, and before you know it, everybody’s talking, it’s not a therapy session, it’s not a formal thing, but everyone’s talking, they’re getting whether they realize it or not of getting stuff off their chest and it’s helping. But I think too, a big part of it is front loading.

These new people that are coming in to the fire service and letting them know that not only is it okay to have those conversations, to talk about the things that you see, that it’s a good thing, too. You should do that. It’s necessary because if you don’t like, I now knowing what I do, it just builds and builds and builds.

And it’ll come to a point it’s, at some point it, things will come to a head. There’ll be that hair that breaks the Campbell’s back, where you just can’t, you just can’t keep going. You can’t keep that shit gets heavy, man. And it there’ll come a point where you will fall. and I hope that doesn’t happen for you, for anybody that’s listening.

And it, it have a support group know who you can, who you feel comfortable with, who you can count on, who you can depend on no matter what, the time of day or night that you can reach out to and say at three in the morning, man, I just ran this really shitty call. And I just need to talk to someone.

I just need to get it off my chest, cuz it really bothered me. Or your crew or your mom, your significant other, or a therapist. I don’t care who it is. Have somebody I will be there. I’ve put out there since as long as I can remember, I’ve had someone call me at one point that just showed up as a number on my screen.

I don’t know who it was. I was talking to , you know it, and when I came out of the center, I’ve been very open a about my experience and I try to be as open and honest and transparent about what got me there and. In hopes that I remember thinking in hopes that if this helps just one or two people, if it makes a couple people look in the mirror and say, man, maybe I should talk to somebody.

Maybe I should do things differently or something then that’s, that’s all I hope for the most that I’d hoped for, and it wasn’t, but shit week after I got out and I stopped by one of the firehouses just to say hello. And before I found myself having a conversation with just a couple of people before I know it, more people are moving chairs over and more people are listening.

And one of ’em actually texted me the day after that, thanking me for being there, thanking for me for sharing my story and what I had been through. And that not only did it make that person realize that, I’ve been going through a lot of shit and I could probably use some help, but apparently the entire shift all talked about it that night.

man. I can’t describe how good that made me feel. That’s all I want. I want try to help get the message out there. Try to let people know not to sound cliche, but that it’s okay to not be okay. We always talk about, and you hear about the stigma, and me personally, I think when it comes to the quote unquote stigma, that it really has nothing to do with anybody else around you that I’m not afraid that by me sharing my story, that someone’s gonna think less of me.

Somebody’s gonna, think I’m less of a man or less of a fireman. But when I was going through all that, and again, the irrational thinking was really hard to come by that, the stigma was in, was my own in my own head. what the hell does the matter with me? Why am I having so much trouble with whatever, when that guy was with me again, the comparison, right?

That guy was with me on that call. These guys have all moved down from Buffalo, just the same as I, they’re not struggling. Like I am, what the hell? A, what the hell kind of a role model am I to, to my son? What the hell kind of boy, Andy should never have chosen me to be his son’s godfather because what the hell kind of a role model am I to him?

And the stigma’s more in your own head, things like that. Things like I, I don’t want to, I don’t wanna bother him or her when I’m feeling bad. When I’m having a hard time, they got enough to, they got enough going on. They’ve got this to about, they’ve got that to about blah, blah, and you’ll come up with a thousand goddamn reasons to not call somebody.

But. and it and, but you gotta force yourself to do it sometimes because it’s so easy. Like I said, to come up with this, that, and the other reason, or excuse to not do it, just oh, I’ll get to it tomorrow. I’ll get to that the next day and everything. And it’s all, like I said, it’s all part of it, man.

It’s all in your head. It’s all in your own head because there are people out there. Trust me no matter who you are, no matter who your friends and family are. Trust me. When I tell you there are people out there that will be there for you. There are people out there that want you to call them when you’re having a hard time.

There are people out there that you may not even know that. Like I said, myself, you can always call me. You can always text me. That will listen. That want to be there because yeah, I’ve had a very, I had a close friend of mine take his own life and. I don’t want to go to that funeral again ever again.

And that’s another thing with ever being, since being at the center has really resonated that much more with me because there was, there were two firefighter suicides that took place while I was in there that had direct connections to guys that I was there with. And it sucks. It sucks. I remember thinking, I remember feeling so bad, almost guilty because I’m there where I need to be getting the help that, that I know that I need getting the best help care possible.

And I felt so bad. So awful for these guys that didn’t make it there.

They didn’t get the help that they needed. Maybe they didn’t know it, where to go. And that, that was when I made the conscious decision that I will do whatever I can to help get the word out to be there, to listen to. If I don’t have answers for you, you’ve got questions and I don’t have the answers to I’ll find the answers.

I’ll help. Anyway, I can, I don’t wanna go through that again. I don’t want to go to that funeral, man.

Stack: Yeah. None of us want to go to that funeral again. Yeah,

Shawn: none of us. And like I said, the, they say a lot of time that the first step is admitting that you have a problem or that’s, and that is true. The first step is admitting that there’s a problem that you have a problem that, that’s just something not, I don’t wanna say they’re a problem that some’s not right.

The things are not good, but the biggest step is then putting the wheels in motion is doing something about it is making that call, reaching out to somebody. And again, you’ll find so many different reasons to not do it. Find the one, just find the one reason that gets you to do it helps you do it, makes you do it because it’s worth it.

Stack: I think that’s a good spot to, to end that story right there. I know you’ve listened to bits and pieces of my show. Yeah. Have you listened to the ends of any shows? Yeah. All right. I’m gonna ask, now I’m gonna ask about an everyday Carrie, because we call the show, the things we all carry the sh the stuff we take into a fire stuff we take into any call , we bring stuff out with us.

We bring stuff out with us just by going to work as well. Sure. Not even having to go on a call. Yeah. So what’s something that is a physical item that you carry with you every day or something that you want to have with you all the time.

Shawn: Are you talking like call related or something that just helps

Stack: me?

Yeah. Just something that you maybe in your pocket or in the car or wherever.

Shawn: For the longest time, I, when you graduate from the center of excellence, they give you a challenge coin. And on the back of that challenge, coin is the the serenity prayer. Okay. And so I keep that on my wallpaper, my phone.

And I try to look at that. I try to look at that every day, early in a day, as a kind of a reminder. I can’t change everything, but to gimme the strength to change what I can and accept what I can and basically just be able to move on. So yeah, that’s

Stack: and then the second thing I’d like to ask about is a book or a, it could be a podcast, it could be music, it could be a person the, that the audience should be aware of.

What’s something you have

Shawn: for us. So the book, there’s a book called the rescuer and I’m right in the middle of it now. And I wish I could remember the name of the author, but I haven’t yet completed it, but it’s called the rescuer. And I’m not, first of all, I will say, I will qualify this by saying I’m not much of a reader.

I don’t I’m not the kind of guy that can sit there and read a, read an entire novel in a few days or whatever, but. The thing I love about this book is it’s by a fireman, fire and fire paramedic from San Francisco and banners spend so much in that book that I’ve thought either, either exactly word for word myself, or if I haven’t, a lot that I can identify with what this guy what this guy has to say and struggles that he’s, that he has had.

And when you get to that realization that I need help. And that’s what this book is about. And I, it’s a great book. I highly recommend that.

Stack: I just looked it up and it’s the rescuer. I will link it into the show notes for your episode and they’ll have access to it. Cool.

Alright that’s it. Man I appreciate the conversation.

Shawn: I appreciate you having me. And I’m just, like I said, I’m just happy to this is a great thing that you got here and how, hopefully it helps get the word out to more people and just know that it’s worth it.

You are worth. Talk to somebody, get the help that you need. Get the ball rolling. It’s worth it. You’re worth it.

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