This morning (23rd) I woke up to the horrific news that there had been an explosion at a pop concert in Manchester and at least 22 people, including children had died with many more injured.
I had worked a set of night shifts over the weekend and last night was my first night off. I had gone to bed early to try and catch up my sleep to recover for the next set of day shifts. The first clue that something was wrong was when I looked at my phone and there was a text from my son during the night asking if I was at work. Strange, but I thought no more about it, it was still early so I went to make the first coffee of the day and brought it back to bed. Like most people, while drinking my brew I idly flicked through social media on my phone. I couldn’t believe it. Horrific reports from the local news sites had been posted all over the site, along with lots of posts from my friends offering support and a friendly ear to colleagues who had been on duty during the night.
I can’t imagine the horror that families and loved ones of the dead and injured are going through, my heart really goes out to you. Please, please ask for help and support to deal with this, no one should try to handle this alone. Talk to loved ones, find a counsellor or go to your GP for help. Keep talking.
I know what my colleagues in the police, fire and ambulance service will be going through now and hope that you all get the support you deserve and need – don’t be afraid to ask for help! Talk to your colleagues and team leaders. A series of debriefs will be held – use these as a first step in coming to terms with your feelings. Over the next few days a low mood may settle, it’s important not to just ignore this and try to carry on, from experience this can spiral down to depression. Talk things through with your friends and keep talking until you find a way to deal with the low mood. You can even contact me through this site if you want. Use the counselling service or seek your own through your GP. It can sometimes be hard to spot the low mood when you’re in the middle of it. Colleagues, keep an eye on your mates. If you spot your mate becoming withdrawn, moody or unhappy get them talking!
It’s hard to see the positives at times like these, but lots of stories are coming through: Members of the public helping to save lives immediately after the explosion instead of just looking out for themselves, local pubs and hotels offering free shelter and emergency accommodation, local businesses offering free food, local taxis switching meters off and offering free lifts home, people with transport offering strangers lifts home, strangers comforting and supporting strangers, counselling services offering a free consultation, the list goes on of human kindness shining through.
It seems that the worst atrocities bring out the best in humanity, it’s just a shame that sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring out the inherent kindness.
Once again my heartfelt best wishes to those affected by the horrific event.