If you are are Michael Jackson fan then the image probably triggered the song Smooth Criminal to play fall blast in your mind. It was some years after the songs initial release that I learned that the line "Annie are you Ok?" was indeed inspired by the name of the first aid doll and one of the protocols - who knew?
Yesterday I was on a First Aid Course run by First Aid Training Organisation The course was filled to capacity, with practitioners from all walks of life, from personal trainers, massage therapists, teachers, to those working with the vulnerable. It was easily one of the best first courses I had attended, but half way through the course something happened that I had not expected, or was ready for.
We were pressure tested from the start, given various scenarios to see how we would respond. One of them was an example of an Road Traffic Accident (RTC) as we spoke about the scenario and as I looked a the dummy laying on the floor I began to have flash backs.
In May 2018 I was witness to an RTC where the person died. There is an ongoing investigation which I am a part of. I thought I had dealt with the situation, but it was clear that I hadn't one hundred percent. I began to get emotional as my mind played back the scenario, but I had the awareness to allow myself to feel the emotion and acknowledge it, while still staying present to what was happening right now, in front of me.
Why did I do this, continue, and not stop?
See, as someone who is First Aid qualified there will always be situations that trigger things and in the moment, and I need to be able to manage my emotional state so that I can be of assistance to others (as long as it's in my scope of practice).
My daily practice of mindfulness meditation, and the work I have recently been doing with Mood Cards have been paying off. I was able to hold a space where I could allow myself to experience and acknowledge the past trauma and still function in the present moment, carrying out the first aid.
Processing those emotions and taking care of myself afterwards is equally important - and if you ever experience something similar I urge you to find what works for you. While I had addressed the situation cognitively, I still had all this restless physical energy, so after the course I took myself to the gym to lift heavy, put on some tunes and got stuck it, utilising that physical energy for my benefit. I then went home to journal, utilising the mood cards and them meditated.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because our brain is a fascinating thing, and has evolved over time to protect us in various ways. Sometimes, even when we think we have dealt completely with something cognitively, emotional residue can still show up. This doesn't mean that anything is necessarily wrong. It just gives us the opportunity to get help if we need it, or practice our self care strategies. That day, because I was able to put those things in place, Annie remained ok.