Sept. 27, 2022

How To Get Through PTSD- Chris Chandler-Yates

How To Get Through PTSD- Chris Chandler-Yates

Chris is a qualified NLP practitioner and life coach. He’s passionate about making sure you don't burn out by learning your true internal purpose and identity so your life serves you instead of always serving it..

In 2017, after a career as an NZ Police Officer, that culminated in VIP protection, he realized that he wasn’t fulfilled in the way he needed to be and so made a massive life shift. After diving into self-development and discovering his greater purpose, since 2018, he’s worked with current and future police officers on becoming the best version of themselves they can be. All by first identifying their real identity and internal driving purpose.

Chris is a qualified NLP practitioner and life coach. He’s passionate about making sure you don't burn out by learning your true internal purpose and identity so your life serves you instead of always serving it..

In 2017, after a career as an NZ Police Officer, that culminated in VIP protection, he realized that he wasn’t fulfilled in the way he needed to be and so made a massive life shift. After diving into self-development and discovering his greater purpose, since 2018, he’s worked with current and future police officers on becoming the best version of themselves they can be. All by first identifying their real identity and internal driving purpose.


Hi everyone. And welcome to this week's episode of Enduring the Badge Podcast. I'm host Jerry Dean one, and I don't want you to miss an upcoming episode. So please hit that subscribe button. And while your phone's out, please do me a favor and give us a review on iTunes, our apple podcast. It says, Hey, this podcast has a great message and we should send it out to more people.

So please take that 30 seconds to a minute to do that review. And just maybe by doing that, it'll push this up into someone's podcast feed that really needs this message. Hey. Before we jump into this next episode, I want to talk to you about my personal coaching program. My personal coaching program deals with two things.

Year one is your mindset. Two is your relationships, and I want to support you. And getting you to your greatest potential, uplifting you and assisting you in self discovery and creating that connection with your significant other. That just is gonna last a lifetime. We don't wanna be just moms and dads or in a relationship that's not gonna serve us and take it to the next level.

I also have a mindset program that helps you reach. The mindset of success in all areas of your life and a mindset that makes you successful personally, not just on the job, but off the job as well. If you're looking to do that, please just reach out to me on any of my social media platforms or go to the end during the badge website.

And there you'll find a little red icon at the bottom. It's a microphone and you can leave me a voice message there. So don't hesitate to reach out to me. My very special guest today is my very first international guest. And his name is Chris Chandler Yates. He spent seven plus years in New Zealand in the police force.

He's gonna talk about his experience. He's gonna talk about how he just shut down. During that time in law enforcement, he went through some terrible PT S D and he's gonna talk about how to get through that. And also, which is very important is how to communicate with others when you're going through stuff.

So let's jump right into this episode with my very special guess, Chris, how you doing Chris? Good man. Thanks for having me. It's good to, it's good to be here. Yeah, it's awesome to have you on, and guess what, Chris, you're really kind of the first international. Oh, I love it. I love it. Yeah. Yeah.  yeah. It's pretty awesome.

Coming in from New Zealand. Yep. That's good. Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. Chris, tell the audience a little bit about. Uh, yeah, so my background is I'm originally from California. Uh, lived, uh, there till I was about 13 and my parents decided to take my little brother and I on a sailboat, uh, a 40 foot cattle ran.

Um, it was a lot of trial and error in the beginning. My parents did have, we had houseboats and stuff in Northern California. Um, But, yeah, so we did that five years on the boat ended up here in New Zealand, um, kind of out of the blue. My mom got the Ben scuba diving. She's fine, but freak thing. And yeah, so we ended up here in New Zealand had never really planned on sailing down here, but ended up here.

And then a few years later I met my wife and was kind of trying to figure out what I wanted to do. And initially wanted to go work on super yachts and deliver boats and.  then I met her and I was like, okay, well I need a real job.  um,  and then, uh, kind of policing. I never really wanted to be a cop, but then kind of fell into it.

Uh, and then, so yeah, so became a cop here, uh, long, a bit of a battle to get into it because I'm just a white male and they wanted people of the ethnicity and stuff to bring to the, to the police scene. Sure. Uh, but yeah. And then did that for seven and a half.  and as the, uh, Demonn always does with a lot of us, it caught up to me and the PTSD and all that kind of overwhelmed me, burned me out and then a long journey back.

And now I help first responders get into the place, uh, and also, um, prevent burnout and in different ways. So, um, by working through that trauma and not having it on us. So that's me in a nutshell real quick.  yeah, that's great. That's perfect, Chris. So, you know, in your. Police career. And what kind of traumas did you experience?

Well, let's see. What don't you? Um, I, I, yeah, I know that was a fraud. I just threw that out. You  what don't you? Yeah, I mean, I remember seeing since I left, I think it was like last year, sometime I saw on LinkedIn, a, a, um, a research kind of thing that somebody had posted up showing research that I think it was on N Y P D.

Uh, and they, it showed. The N Y P D experience 18 times as much trauma. As a civilian will that's in their first year, 18 times, much trauma. And the first year of their policing as a civilian will in their entire life. Yeah, that's bad. And I was like, that makes total sense. I mean, I hadn't even graduated, did what they call station duty, where halfway through you get to go back to the station and where you're gonna work.

And as a recruit, you're not sworn yet and do stuff and went to a guy who had been dead for three, had been dead for three. Yeah. Yeah. First job, like out of the blue  right, right. No one wants to see that. And, but somebody does, right? Yeah. Oh. And every somebody has to, and you know, I remember, you know, you could smell the guy from the driveway.

Yeah. You know, my Sergeant had already got there. He had gotten the house, got the locksmith there and they had opened up the house and that you could smell the guy from the road, from the driveway. I still can't smell death and decay to this day. My wife has to tell me to take the trash out because I can't smell it.

Oh, wow. Yeah. And I didn't recognize that until like in the last few years I was like, wait a second. Actually, I can't. Wow. That's a trauma response. So that's the kind of trauma that I had seen, but the stuff that really got under my skin was the, um, notification jobs or the advising jobs, uh, and also the suicides going to the suicides.

And then I would go to the notification jobs and it just, that was about through two and a bit years into the job. And by that point I had suppressed so much emotion that I was just a. And that was the start. I did seven and a half years. And that was the start of me. Really? Just the trauma, just taking over me.

Yeah. Delivering. Well, I mean, going to suicides and that's a horrible experience in itself. Seeing someone take their, their own life, but dealing with a family is a whole nother level of, of trauma. Yep. And that's watching somebody. You know, somebody, I think he was in his mid fifties, he was actually a defense lawyer come to find out.

But in his fifties, just when we, we found his son, um, my partner found his son and I ended up having to tell the, tell him that he, his son had passed away because it just, it just, I was trying to get him back to the car, but it just didn't happen. You know how that is sometimes. Yeah. And. Telling him that his son, um, had actually passed away and watching him lit physically not be able to stand up.

Like he literally collapsed the ground, um, will stick to stick with me for the rest of my life. You know, watching a lady whose husband took it her own life and can't even dial a telephone.  to call her best friend who she knew the number off by heart. They couldn't even dial it.  yeah. Yeah. You know, those kinds of things they do, they stick with you and you have to work through and deal with them.

And if you don't then they, they do, they kind of just own you and destroy you in, in the long run. Right, right. That is a big part of, I think something that bothers me on the job is the, the sounds of people screaming and crying. Yeah. Um, that just for some reason takes a, a toll on, on me just hearing that, like, there's just something.

You know, just something about it. It's just the horrificness and tears. And like you said, people collapsing and there, I, I don't know how we're, we're built to, to like, do that repetitively. Well, we're not, we're not built our, the human mind is not designed to see as much trauma as we see. It's just not designed to do it.

And so if we're not vigilant on looking after ourselves in specific ways, then. We do. We lose ourselves. We lose ourselves within the, within the badge. We just ID start to identify at it because we want to use that as an excuse or a reason for it. But those things stick with us because I do not know one first responder or one police officer, especially that join the job for anything other than wanting to help people.

Right. Right. And so when you see somebody in that state, it is the thing of, there is nothing I can do. Nothing I can actually do in this moment to make this person feel better besides just be there for them. Yeah. Yeah. But our minds go, I have to help this person. I have to make a difference. Especially as guys males are we're different.

We, we, we, our thing, a masculine trait is that we want to fix things. We want to fix it. We wanna make it better. And when as first responders we normally bring out, even the females bring out that masculine side.  and if we can tap into that feminine side of just the compassion and not go, I have to fix this.

I just have to be here and be present. Right. Then it's a little bit easier, but it is, it's one of those things that there's certain ones you'll never forget. I mean, I'm five years out of the job now and there's things that I will never forget. Yeah. Um, I'm grateful for them because they drive me so hard right now.

but, but yeah, man, it's, it can be, it can be.  yeah. Yeah. How can we be? Well, I was gonna say, how can we be vigilant, you know, in taking care of ourselves, but I wanted to go back maybe just as you were talking about, you know, the masculine and feminine energies and stuff like that, I find people really don't want to embrace that.

they don't really want to feel like they have any feminine. Side of 'em or quality. I don't know if his qualities is probably not the right word, but you know, just traits, traits and traits. Yes. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. You know, we, we all have both and you have to have both, you need a yang and a yang and you know, I'm glad you brought this up because it's something that I talk about a bit, but actually not that much, I'm quite a feminine person.

Like I was raised quite feminine. I do it to a personal development thing with my mom and my wife. A Tony Robbins event. And he was talking about masculine in femininity, and he was talking about the different things than that and how we're at a core where one or the other doesn't really matter sex, but, you know, males are more, more commonly masculine and females, more commonly feminine.

Um, and my mom comes running over and she goes, I'm so sorry. I'm like, what the hell are you on? And she's like, she's like, I'm sorry, I raised you. So.  and like I'm sitting there in this seminar going, I actually feel like I'm probably my I'm more feminine that, and I, afterwards, after that day, I go to my wife and my, and my mom and I go, I think I'm more feminine.

I think I'm made core more feminine and they both turn to me and they go, hell no, , they're like, no, you are masculine to a core, but you can tap into that femininity a lot. And so where I'm going with this is as a police officer. We have a tendency to bring out the, that what they call toxic masculinity.

What it more is, is that ego? Yeah. It's that? I'm a, I'm hot shit. I'm doing this. I mean, a lot of times we joined at 1819. I joined it like 23. We joined quite young. We don't really know who we are. We don't have that much great maturity. Sorry guys. But we just don't. If it comes to you as a shocking, you should reconsider some of your thinking  yeah, yeah, exactly.

You know, we just don't have that much maturity. We wanna drive fast. We wanna shoot guns. We wanna have. Fun. I mean, that's, I don't know about you, but that was one of the main reasons I want to join the place. Hey, it's gonna be fun. I want that, that SWAT movie kind of version of place. It's nothing like that.

yeah. Yeah. Um, but as a, as with that, with the masculinity side, I'm very feminine. And so what ended up happening is I tapped into that toxic masculinity, because I was like, I've gotta push this femininity away. And so I started to become very ego driven and. Lost myself. And it was one of the way, one of the things that I lost myself in was I lost that feminine sensitivity because I just shut it away.

No, I can't be sensitive. I can't have that because that's gonna hurt me. Right. Right. When really, I remember that that lady who couldn't dial the phone, her 16 year old daughter came down and actually found the suicide note on the.  and she read it and I saw her leave the office. We had found it, but then her, her, her daughter found it well, went into the office and saw it, read it.

And I saw her shoot out of the office and up the stairs. And I was like, Yeah, that just doesn't feel right. Yeah.  and you know how, you know, 16 year old, you know, teenagers in that emotional states anyways. Sure. So I told my partner, I'm gonna, you know, the daughters have just gone upstairs. I'm gonna go see, I remember being up there and she's sitting on the bed and she's saying all these things of it's my fault.

I should have done more, all these different, you know, you know, you've heard 'em and any first responders has heard 'em and I remember every cell in my body just wanted to give her a hug and say, it's not your fault. Yeah. All I did was I sit, I didn't even put my hand on her back because in my head I can't do that.

That's just not, that's not, I'm not allowed to as a cop. Right, right. But every cell in my body's going give her a hug, tell her it's not her fault. All I did was say, Hey, it's not your fault. And kind of tried to. Talker and talk that stuff and I'm, I guarantee it helped, but I know giving her a big ass hug from a cop.

Yeah. The, you know, big staunch cop got would've made an even bigger impact. Right, right. That moment was where I actually started to really just shut everything down emotionally wise. So when it comes into that masculine, feminine side, you've gotta have both. You've gotta let your sensitivity come in. Yes.

There's times where, you know, you can't sit there and ball your eyes outta a scene and you know, you've gotta hold it back some, but then let it out afterwards. Yeah. Talk to somebody, talk to your colleagues, talk to your team and just let that sensitive side come out because we have to have both  well, you know, I'm glad you brought that up.

Uh, do you feel like. First responders are able to do that with their peers without being judged. You know, it was interesting cause I'm doing this motorcycle retreat to help first responders here next year. And I was reading back through because when I did so I rewind a little bit when I left the police.

I did a motorcycle trip around the us. So I came back to the states. I actually had requested a divorce and my wife goes, we need counseling. Like you're coming to counseling one more time. And something into me said, okay, maybe it's just because I'm such a talkative guy. I was like, okay, whatever I gave it, one more shot, been to counseling before felt like it kind of worked, but not really.

Um, cause I was back worse than I was before. The first time I went to counseling. Um, and. She was like the counselor that recognized I was burned out. We came to a thing of, okay, I need a break. And so I didn't know if I was coming back. I didn't know if I was gonna stay with my wife, any of it. She put some kind of boundaries on it because my wife does and I'm glad she did.

And quickly I recognized that I was coming back, but I came back, did a motorcycle trip around the us.  and through the whole thing on my Instagram, on my social media, I literally was doing posts like whatever was coming up, I would take photos of my trip and all this. And I read one of the posts, uh, recently.

And it was about the fact of, I didn't feel like I could, I had a voice. I didn't feel like I had the support with my colleagues. Yeah, I didn't feel like I could talk about it. And so I'm a huge advocate for changing it. I feel like since then, which this was 2017 since then we've gotten a lot better, but we could do better.

Right, right. And yes, I believe that you can, but I don't believe that you can with everyone  yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, I was reading, uh, an, an article talking about, you know, we're at the stage of, we know a lot about. First responders, health and mental health. Um, and now it's actually time to start doing stuff about it.

And I'm like, and it was written a couple years ago and I'm like, eh, that's, that's pretty spot on. We do know a lot and we're learning a lot, you know, each year, but there has to be more steps taken by departments and course write our own individuality. Like we need to. Do stuff as well. We, we can't just and go to work and come back and come, you know, be in this repetitive cycle.

I'm I'm glad you touched on that because everybody like on LinkedIn, I'll post stuff up. And so many first responders blame everyone else. They're like, oh, it's the leadership. It's the management. It's the politics. It's the public. It's the, all these different things. Yeah. And they don't allow us to actually change.

I call BS  yeah. Yes. They have a, they have a aspect to it, but at the end of the day, if you want to change, you'll change. Yeah. Maybe it's in the job. Maybe it's not in the job, but you know, I look at some first responders, like there's some guys that I follow on LinkedIn and that, and even on just normal, you know, Instagram and things like that.

But especially on LinkedIn, I follow I'm connected with a lot of first responders and the ones that are the happiest and still love their job.  are the ones that do the work on themselves. They don't, yeah. They don't want the department to give 'em to give it to 'em they don't want that. Yes. I fullheartedly believe that the department should be, but also at the same time the departments have a job to do they're there to make sure that crime is taken care of.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. You wanna change? You change yourself. Um, but in saying that you, we can work, we can do so much better than we already are by just. Listening and actually touching into that feminine side of ourselves when we're in the station and we're in a safe place. Yeah. Yeah. You know, the station is a safe place in the grand scheme of things, but we bring the street to the, to the station.

And we see the station in the street when it's really not there. Yeah.  yeah. Yeah. When I always like, when guests are talking and stuff like that, I've always like fat flashbacks of, of stuff, you know, that goes on at work or different things. Um, hopefully I'll be able to get this out because without getting too emotional, um, I kind of had like a little breakdown last night, I was at a restaurant eating with my daughter having lunch and, and I generally don't sit my back to the door, but she sat across from me and it was just like, I didn't wanna make a, you know, a big deal about it.

And so I was sitting there and this lady just quietly comes up to me and she goes, do you know CPR? And I'm go. Yeah, I do. I do. So I like, and so I started walk. She's like Maning CPR over here. And I didn't like, so back to the whole screaming and yelling and everything like the chaos that was not there.

No, it was, it was really quiet and, and like, Calm, probably thank goodness. Um, so I went over and did CPR on him and, um, seems like right when you're doing, you're not expected to do something off duty, it seems like it takes forever, you know, for the first responders arrive. So I know exactly how that feels.

So I'm doing CPR on him and, uh, you know, they, they shock him and they end up taking him to the ambulance and I believe he's, he's going to, to make it, but awesome. I got choked up and my daughter just kind of like put her arm around me and comforted me. Yeah. And I, I got. You know, choked up about it. And then, you know, my wife's gonna listen to this and probably be like, wow, I can't believe you talked about this, but, uh, yeah, just last night they just broke down in a little bit of tears for a little bit and just like, good.

Like just, you know, I'm sure it's not just that call, but they're just, you know, things that are. Built up and, you know, so I just like, Hey, hate when that, you know, sneaks up, sneaks up on you.  ah, it it's, it's, it's true, but you know, it's, it's, it's, it's, it is interesting. I, I praise you for saying that here, because you know, this is your show and your, you know, you know, it's going, who it's going out to and who your common audience.

And so I praise you for that man, because that's, that's absolutely amazing that you've, that you've shared it. Um, But I want to add one thing. Good on you for actually letting the tears come. Because so many first responders just hold 'em back and they go, no, I can't let these out. Or these are weird.

These are bad. I can't have this. Like, no, I'm, I'm this image, this thing even off duty. And so my, um, my thing for you would be sorry, my dogs have decided they want to go crazy. Yeah. That's alright. Um, add to the environment. I don't know. I don't know if you can hear them, but yeah, they, how they wanna go crazy.

Um, because there's somebody. Um, and so, uh, but we, we have to, we have to recognize that tears are good. Tears are our body's way of releasing emotion. Yeah. And so when we let them go and we don't try and hold them back and we just let 'em flow.  then it's good. You know, and, and you're, you're my hallucination here is that as soon as your daughter put your arm around, you're like, wow, she's seen like me, like, because you would've gone straight into cop mode.

yeah, yeah. , I've done it. My wife's seen it and she's like, oh my God. Like, it's like when, when stuff is going off the rails. Then you like, you just get into this laser focused mode. Yeah. Yeah. And I'm like, I guess that's cop mode  yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And you're calm and every like, and so the, the, the, the, um, the tears are a good thing, man.

So I wanna say this to all the first responders out there. Tears are good things, let 'em out.  sorry. You're kidding. And, um, and then that way you can actually, you know, Feel cause when you actually let that emotion out, you're actually feeling yeah. And let it go. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, I would like to say, I would want to like, let him go, but I still was, you know, go fighting him back pretty, pretty hard, you know, it's, it's not something I, I do a lot and, uh, Yeah, I'll be interested to see the reaction, um, from talking about this on, on the show, but that's okay.

Like, you're right. Like when we shut ourselves down emotionally, we, we don't do ourselves any favor. We don't do our family any favor and we certainly don't do the people that we're trying to serve a favor either because it just makes us so hard. Yeah, it totally does. You know, because then we go home and our partners sit there and go, ah, why aren't you feeling anything?

Like, why aren't you, why aren't you present? Why, why, you know, where are you? Yeah. And you're just like, I'm right here, but really you're off in wallow land.  yeah, you're trying to be emotional. You're trying, you're trying. Yeah, I'm this person. Yeah. But all it does is detriment everybody. And this is why policing has the highest divorce right.

Out of any career, because we shut our emotions away. We are very, very good at com compartmentalizing things. Yeah. But the best thing to do is actually, yes, you've gotta be in that zone. Don't get me wrong when like I can, I can literally compartmentalize and be like, okay, cool. But now I'm very good at coming back and going.

Whoa, that one was, yeah, that wasn't fun. Yeah. And communicating it. Communication's the number. I mean, we're great communicators when we need to be right.  you know, at work, when we come home, we don't communicate anything.  yeah. Um, yeah. You know, that, that, that takes me to a, like the, one of the turning points in my career was went to a domestic, uh, violence, which.

Have, you know, I'm sure you've been to hundreds of thousands of domestic violence. It's one of the number one things we go to, uh, and went to that, dealt with stuff in that. And the offending kids had left already. And so then we ended up going to an address where we thought one of them was turned out.

The one that we thought was there, wasn't there. It was the other one was there. The brother was there. So we went to, I went to go arrest him and my partner was standing at the front door to, so, you know, obviously blocking the front door and he started running around the living room and I was sitting there going, like trying to grab him and that, and, you know, going through, you know, as you do going, trying to do all this stuff, but you're like, okay, is it really that big?

And then he goes for the front door and my partner goes to stop at, stop him. And she's a female she's been in the job quite a few, quite a few years. And we, um, he haymaker her like literally just smashes her D her cheekbone splits, her eye, splits her eye open. She stumbles back. I was fit as hell training, hardcore.

Uh, and so chased him up. The steep driveway, caught him, ended up spraying him and got him and everything. And so the importance of fitness is there, but I took that so much to heart that I was like, this was my fault. It was my fault. She got assaulted. It was my fault. I didn't do enough. I wasn't enough. I didn't, I didn't, I wasn't assertive enough.

I should have pounced on and all these I should have. Yeah. Yeah. And at that point I started to shut my emotions away because I didn't wanna feel them. I was like, no, I can't deal with this. And it brings me to the point of the communication. I was, we ended up running extremely late that night because we did oppositions to bail and all this stuff.

And we were supposed to finish at 2:00 AM. I don't think I got home till like seven or seven 30 in the morning because I was riding my mountain bike to work all the time. And I was riding down the hill and my wife's calling me going, where the hell are you? I feel my phone vibrating my in my pocket. And I came down.

I carried the bike around the back, past the boat that I had at the time, sat down on the back step. My wife goes, what's going on? And I'm gonna get choked up here. I know I am. And I sit down and she goes, what's going on? What are you? Okay. Is everything okay? Yep. See, here it is. And I go, no, B got assaulted last night and it, it was my fault and that's all I said.

And then I shut myself down and I went it's okay. And she goes, are you okay? And I just, I shut down completely to it and didn't tell her what happened. Didn't tell it. And didn't go into details and then left.  and never really dealt with again until like five years later.  yeah. Yeah. When I left the place and was going through stuff and, and it still, as you can tell it still chokes me up to this day.

Right, right. Yeah. Those, those are major events, importa. Yeah. Its major events that I'll never forget and change my trajectory of things, but if I could go back and redo, so.  it would be just to start to say it and talk about it and let it out and talk about how I was feeling with it, talking about how I was blaming myself, how I was, because then people could not ne not necessarily say, Hey, it's not your fault in that, which they would, but it just releases the power of it.

Yeah. It let you process it. Right. It's right. A lot of this. Being in the first responder world, you just keep filling that cup up. Right. Just filling it up and filling it up or whatever analogy you want to use is bottling it and put it on the shelf. But at some point they're just, you know, come back. Yeah.

It's gonna come back. It just does come back like yeah. And it will. And if it hasn't for anybody's listening, it's going to come back at some point or it's manifesting in this life in some other manner. Yeah. Current. I, I remember I, I did my motorcycle trip and I was posting about it and it was on my Facebook and that, and one of my sergeants that like, he hands down one of the best sergeants.

I'm still friends with him to this day and see him anytime I'm in, in the town where he lives, where he is moved to. And that, and I remember I came back from my motorcycle trip was in a much better place, but still not great. Still trying to figure out where I was at. And he goes, Chris, I wanna have lunch with you.

I was like, okay, cool, perfect, awesome. That'd be, that'd be cool. It'd be good to catch up. And he goes, and, and we sit down, we're having lunch and that, and he goes, you know, so amazing that you're doing what you're doing, that you're, you've gone and you've looked after yourself and that you've recognized these things and you're working on it.

And, and, um, I was like, oh, thanks for that. You know? Thanks. I appreciate that. And he's like, I know that one day I'll, I'll go to that. He's like, I hope I never do, but he is like one day that job might happen where it just puts me over the edge. And so like, and he's, he's a huge communicator. And he, he talks about his stuff and I mean, he's the guy who he, in the very beginning, when I was on his team and that he is like, you know, come in, talk to me anytime, like let's.

And he would ask how everybody was doing at the end of shifts and stuff like that. So he has good practices in place, but he, he turned to me and he goes, I know that it could be the next job that I go to. That puts me over that edge. Yeah. I hope that it never happens and that what I have in place works, but yeah.

And so that's the thing is, you know, it's, it's. It's not a matter of if it's a matter of when, and by doing specific tools like communicating and knowing who you are and having joy outside the job and, you know, really making sure that there's things that aren't tied to this job that you're doing to fill your cup up.

Like, I, I use the analogy. We've all gotta cut with a hole in it. Yeah. We need to block the hole up so we can fill the cup up, um, is doing all those things. So. That day is further and further away or never comes. Right. Right. Because last thing we want is that day  right. Yeah. Totally. Especially your, yeah.

Especially when you're not able to finish out your career. Right. And I think that's makes it even more, more traumatizing as well. Yeah. How can we be vigilant? About taking care of ourselves. So I was thinking about this, um, earlier today, um, because I know I was coming on and I was at the gym this morning that I was like, how do I put this really simple?

And I figured out a, and it turns into a word actually it's called it's off. And so it's outcome, it's focus and it's fun. . If you have the three of those, then you're gonna win. So the outcome, when I talk about the outcome, I'm very outcome driven person. Ever since I left the place, I realized everything I've always done is for an outcome.

And if that outcome is on point, cool, we're gonna win. If it's not, it could be destructive. My outcome for everything. When I was a cop was to be the best cop I could be. So everything I did in life had to do with some sort of policing, I built a massive GMC K five blazer for my dad's firearms business, because it's gonna make it would look cool as a swap vehicle.

yeah, that was the main purpose behind building it. That, and it, you know, it would make his business look good because it's very tactical looking. Yeah. Then we had, I would go shooting. I'd be in shooting comps than that. I didn't do it because it was fun. I did it because it would better me at. I was training because I wanted to get into our version of SWAT.

I wanted to do dip mic protection. I was doing it for that, not to just for myself, but to better my career. Yeah. You know, so those outcomes not so. , but that comes into the second thing of focus. So if you have a good outcome, like now I train because it makes me, it helps me actually see who I am like it's makes, helps me be a better person, a better husband, a better wife or not wife, better husband, a better, you know, friend a better, yeah.

All these different things. And it just is for me, I do these podcasts, the outcome of these podcasts is to get my message out there to then help somebody. Sure. Yes, byproduct is it might help my business, whatever, but it's all about just making a difference to somebody else. One person hears it might change their lives.

So the outcome is a huge thing. What's your outcome get really specific with that outcome. The next thing is the focus. What do you focused on? You know, a lot of times, especially as first responders, we see the crap of the world every single day. And if we're not vigilant, we start to focus on that is what we see.

Yeah. I remember, I remember my wife and I were looking for a new house to rent at the time. And she's like, because they're selling the house that we were in and she's like, she was sending me these listings of these houses and. And I was so focused on the crap of the world that my mind would instantly go to no three doors down.

There is a possible meth house. Nope. Two doors down. I went to, I went to a domestic there and they fight all the time. Nope. This and that. My wife ended up stopping, sending me stuff because she's like, you're just gonna constantly find and focus on. Negative thing. So she just was like, I'm picking one and we'll go look at it and just shut up about the cop stuff.

so be very vigilant on what you're focused on, you know, as a first responder you make, or as a police officer, you make the biggest difference. If you're focused on how do I make the biggest difference right now? How do I impact the most? Whether it's an offender, whether it's a victim, whether it's just a civilian, how do I make this person's life?

Amazing. Right. That's what I did in my first year, year and a half before I started to go downhill. I'd spend extra times with that domestic offender who beat up his misses and I'd sit there and have a conversation with him. I mean, they're in the car with you when you're driving him to jail. I mean to book 'em yeah, you have a, their ear.

They cannot run away.  they might not want to hear it. They might scream right? Tell you to shut up, but guess what? Eventually it will. And I've seen it happen. There was one guy that I was seeing all the time.  and one job I went to, I went and I turned up and he goes, sorry, Chris, I should have walked away and gone for a walk.

And I was like, I'm winning   because that's what I kept telling him to do. Instead of beating up the house or, you know, that just go for a walk man, take a big deep breath. And he instantly told me what he knew that I, I was gonna say, so it was already there, but yeah, he didn't wanna listen all the other times.

So it's really focusing on what you have control of. And what you want to get. And then the fun side is literally just make sure you're having fun, like a life without fun is sadly I'm gonna say it life. Not worth living  yeah, yeah. Yeah. So have fun with it. You join this job because you wanted to have fun focus on the fun, you know, of what you're doing and have the fun outside the place.

Like now, like, you know, I run a business and I'm bringing motorcycle into my business and stuff like that. And I ride a motorcycle all the time and I constantly think about, okay, this is not for work. I'm doing this because it's fun. Yeah, I do this because I love it. I paraglide, and I make a conscious effort of not talking about my business when I'm paragliding.

I'm like, no, I'm here to just Paragon and have fun.  yeah. And so it's, it's, it's that fun. So those are the three things that I say, like really, um, focus on what's the outcome. Have a good outcome, focus on focus on the good and positive things. Um, you know, police all the time, say, oh, the political crap, the busts don't care about us all this.

Well, what do you have control over? Focus on that focus on right now, what you're doing right now, how you're impacting and then have fun. Just have fun with it, you know? Yeah, first responders have, uh, they can focus on a lot of different things and be very tunneled in on the, the negativity because they're a lot of times surrounded by a lot of, yeah.

A lot of negative things that are happening in society. But yeah, I think getting out and having fun is, is important. And especially like you're saying not tied to your job, I think it's, it's one of those things that's. I think we all maybe know we should do that, but maybe we do, don't take the time to do that.

Well, it's just like, you know, business people, like I work, I'm in a lot of groups and a lot of circles where it's, you know, businesses in that. And when they're in a, a launch mode or you know, where they've got a deadline, same as one were police, you know, we've got a, an operation that's coming up. What goes out the window?

Our self care. Yeah. Looking after ourselves, going to the gym training, things like that. Cuz you've got this big operation, you know, you're working 14 hour days, 15 hour days, maybe more. And you're doing this, all this stuff and all of your training of any kind or your meditation or your journaling or whatever, your self care thing is that you do, you know, you're eating it all goes out the window and you wonder why after four days you're like.

I just wanna kill someone  yeah, yeah.  yeah, this job sucks. And I just wanna kill someone because it's taken EV you know, subconsciously your mind is going, it's taken everything from me. Right, right. It hasn't taken everything from you. You've just given up on all the things that matter to you.  yeah. It's a good point.

It's a good, yeah, that's a good point. That's a good point. I don't, I think it's, uh, people probably don't realize. Truly how much, you know, the, like what they're feeding themselves and what they're taking in and stuff affects their mood and performance. Oh, it, it affects everything because it, it affects your hormones, which then affects your mood, affects your hormones, which then affects, you know, your, your adrenals.

It affects your, how your, your muscle development, your, the, all of that. It, you know, nutrition is. I use this analogy a lot. You know, you, everybody knows of a Ferrari, you know, you got a Ferrari or even a F1 car or NASCAR, you know, whatever, one of those top high performing cars, you don't put 87 octane gas in a Fu in a Ferrari or NASCAR or anything like that, do you?

No, they don't. Why are you doing it to yourself? Yeah, , it's easy. Shouldn't because it is, it's easy. It's easy. It's easy. And it's but I call, I actually call BS on that and I used to say the same exact.  McDonald's at 2:00 AM is easier than me making some food. But if you, once you learn the habits of meal prep, especially as a first responder.

Yeah. It changes everything. Like the food that I eat now, I wish I had known about on the street. Cause you know, they say, oh, you can't leave chicken out. If it's, you know, it'll go bad and rice will go bad, blah, blah. I call B. I, I have, I, I, I cook rice, so I'll cook a pot of rice that covers me for two meals.

I'll cook it at lunchtime. And then a lot of times I'll eat dinner at a different dinner with my wife and I'll eat and the rice will sit on the stove in summer. I'll normally put in the fridge, but it'll sit on the stove in the pot for 24 hours till I eat the next day. I'm still alive guys.  must be something else you're putting into your system to help you

But, but like, even like I'll do, because I do, I do chicken rice and veggies is my kind of go-to during the week because it's easy and fast. I precooked all the chicken and then I just make the rice every day. And so like, when I was working, when I first left the place and I was doing personal training, so I was at the gym all day long.

Sometimes I had a fridge. Sometimes I didn't, depending on the gym I was in. My chicken, rice and frozen and vegetables were sitting on the bench all day long in the gym or in my locker. I'm still alive guys and never got sick. You know? So if you're in the heat of Texas or the heat of New Mexico or the heat of Utah, yeah.

Probably not get, get a chiller bag, get a, get a little, a little, some ice, you know, frozen ice things and put it in a chiller bag and put it in the, in the. So you have it with you. Yeah. It's real. It's actually quite simple to do. You just have to put a little bit of effort, just like you gotta put effort into yourself.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It . It comes, really comes, always comes down the effort, just taking that little bit extra effort. Um, yeah. I always tell my kids just don't be a 99 percenter. You know,  just, just do the job a hundred percent. And I tell my guys at work, dude, just do the job. Uh, do a hundred percent, like don't step over things, like just do it, right?

Like the first time don't, don't walk away and hope somebody else is gonna take care of it because generally they don't. No. Um, and sometimes they don't because they just don't see what you see is what I'm, I'm trying to yeah. Um, figure out and, you know, and it's, it's integrity is what it is. You know, we joined the, we joined the job because we're honest and integral people don't lose that, you know, really, really know yourself.

I remember. My wife's always had tattoos in that. And I remember I wanted one and my wife goes, it's gonna be on you forever, or make sure that you actually get a good one. One, that means something to you. And I remember we were on, on an overseas trip and I was like, I think it was a couple years into the place, maybe about a year into the place.

And I, it just hit me honor and family. So I literally have the first tattoo was honor and family on the inside of my forearm. Because it's so important to me to be honorable at that time. It was honor for everybody else. But now I've learned actually is be honor honorable to yourself. Number one, and then be honorable to everybody else.

Because if you're not honorable to yourself, you can't actually even show up to everyone else.  yeah. Yeah. That's, that's important.  it kinda is, especially in our, and you know, well, my old line of work, but your line of work  yeah. Tell us about like some of the programs that you're, you're working. So I've got a, um, a police preparation program, or it's a lot about fitness side of stuff, uh, because fitness saved my life and I know the importance of it.

It's kind of like that whole thing of, you know, you take a Ferrari and you leave in the garage all the time and you never run it. Well, it's gonna kind of be pretty. Pretty broken down. Uh, whereas if you actually go out and you use it, um, and you use your muscles, you use your body, you're actually gonna be a lot better.

So it's that same thing. So it's all about that fitness prep. Uh, so it's called police fitness prep. Uh, and so it's all about just, um, prepping you for any kind of tests. Now, sometimes we just have to create those tests in our lives. Like as a first responder, if you don't have a fitness test requirement that you have to pass, like here in New Zealand, you do every two years, uh, Okay, well, let's come up with something.

Do you want to be able to, you know, not have that back hurting because of that damn vest  do you wanna, you know, do you wanna just look good in the mirror, whatever that goal is. So we kind of do. Uh, but a real huge passion of mine that I'm currently running, uh, at the moment is called lean into it. Uh, when I left this, when I kind of left the job, I went and did that motorcycle trip around the us did 8,000 miles on a motorcycle started in Northern California, came through Utah, came through that area, like did the whole four corners area.

So what I'm doing is I'm reenacting it, but then teaching all my burnout prevention tools. So when we're burned out, we're more prone to PTSD. Because our mind just cannot work through it. The definition of burnout and the definition of PTSD, pretty much the same, it's recurring stress or PTSD from a stressful event.

Now there's recurring or, you know, um, PTSD, all that is, is a higher level of burnout, honestly. Yeah. Um,  to major traumatic things. Burnout's the same thing. Just continuous stress of some sort. Well, we can change that. Our mind is more powerful than we. Even believe. And so I'm teaching all of those while we ride, um, six days, seven days, six nights around actually, won't be far from you, but we're gonna go through MOLAB and that.

So we start in Sedona and we ride through so seven days and that's in may next year. So that's a big passion thing of mine at the moment. Uh, for first responders also inviting business professionals so that you can network with them so that you can recognize that, Hey, there is life after this job. So when you do decide, Hey, it's not that I hate this job, but it's that, Hey, it's my time to move on.

Uh, you, you know, that there's other options out there. Um, so yeah, so that's, those are the two things that we're running at the moment. You can come find me on social medias. Just my name.  Chris C Yates, all of it. Um, so Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, just look up Chris, Chaney dash Yates, and you'll find me.

Yeah, I, uh, I come across you on, on Instagram and. Uh, I was like, ah, I like what this guy's saying, I gotta get him on the podcast. Like he's very down to earth and just saying what people need to hear. Yeah. I'm very, I'm very blunt. Like a lot of people don't like it, but I'm like, Hey, I'd rather tell you how it is.

So you know how it is.  yeah. And then you can decide what you wanna do with it.  yeah. On your ride. Are you going to be, so you're gonna go. Be by the grand canyon area or the, so we're gonna start, we're starting in Sedona, then we'll go up through, um, Moab area. Then we're gonna go through like, uh, MEA, uh, through like the end of that Western edge of Colorado through the Hills there then go down through by San dun national park, down into, um, Santa Fe kind of area and then cut through petrified forest and back to Sedona.

So, um, Think it's about 1600 miles. Um, and the other nice thing with it is it's a full VIP experience. You get to Sedona and as soon as you get there on the 20th of May and after like anytime after 12. It's full everything's covered. So we cover food, accommodation, fuel the bike rental, all of it. Uh, and that's impressive.

You just, yeah. So it's fully inclusive doing everything, uh, with it. You just have to go to create from I I USA and yeah, all the details are there. It's, it's, um, it's taking people through what really made the biggest difference for my life. Um, and so we can grow, we can ride grow and.  yeah, just have fun.

yeah.  I was like, wow, man, I have a Airbnb in Canna and I'm like, oh, they've, they're come through that area. Catch up with you.  yeah. Yeah. Well, if you're anywhere in the, if you're in the area or you're in that kind of area, just let us know. Um, I'm gonna go see some friends and stuff afterwards in Vegas. Um, some other first responders that I know.

Um, yeah, but. This is just the first of many of these that I'm gonna run, but this is the first one. So it's gonna be, I personally think it's gonna be the biggest one.  yeah, I'm gonna give it, it is gonna be given the most because it's that first one. And then I'm gonna start to, then we'll start to hone in on things.

Right, right, right. But yeah. Get to do it on the back of Harley's and yeah. It's pretty fun. Yeah. Chris, before I let you go, is there any other things that you feel like you need or should recommend to first responders? The biggest thing is that I always say is just communicate, man. Like if I could change one thing in all police forces, it would be mandatory debriefs at the end of every shift.

I don't care if you've done 15 hours. I don't care if you've done eight hours, a mandatory 20 to 30 minute debrief with everybody. Just like, almost like the, the AA circle. Mm-hmm  um,  yeah. And you just go through, then you get to know each other, but also you just get to say, Hey, what's going on? What jobs did you go to?

And how did you feel. Right. How do they make you feel? And some guys in the beginning, you know, you won't, but then you'll eventually get to a point where you're like, actually that job I've been thinking about that job from three weeks ago a lot. And I don't know why, but it just, just, I'm just not feeling good about it.

Yeah. And you, you change that culture of, we can't talk about this stuff where it's not good, or they're gonna judge me to, Hey, Steve, over there is having an issue. Susie, over there is having the same things are going on. They're not issues. They're just, we're processing we're humans. Yeah. We're processing we're humans, we're humans, processing stuff, just humans processing stuff.

And that would be probably the biggest thing is just create some sort of debrief guys, even if it's just with your partner, um, you know, depending on. Do you guys over there, most places are all one up, but just sitting and having a coffee in the middle of the night when something's, you know, when it's that kind of, that keyword that we don't like to say.

Um, right, right, right. You know, when you catch up, that's the biggest way to do it, but don't just talk crap. I actually talk about something meaningful. Um, it's one thing that I've learned since I left the left, the place is I don't talk a whole lot of, as you can probably tell, I don't talk a whole lot of crap anymore.

Like I don't just lip service anything anymore. It's like, let's have a heart to heart or let's just chill and just relax. Yeah.  yeah. Yeah. I think something that you get from the after action reviews is perspective. You get everybody's perspective because. Nobody sees it the way you see it. No, as first responders, we should recognize that the most, you know, how many times have you been to a job and you interviewed four different people that were standing right next to each other and it is four different statements.

yeah. Yeah. It's, you know, never surprising. Never surprising. No. And it, what it is, is it's pass. It's actually past people's trauma coming out in different. So we all have trauma that we come in with. Uh, and so once we recognize that we can deal through that, then we can actually see what's real. And so when you're actually talking to a SU you know, to a, to, um, to a witness, a lot of times they will bring in their past traumas and it overlays without them knowing it overlays onto it.

And so, you know, if you, if it's a, if it's a murder or something like that, it'll be a past assault or something that they had or seen or dealt with. And so a lot of times that gets projected onto that scene in some little. And that's why you have to give as get as much evidence from all different directions and preferably camera footage in that, because that's actually more true  than what somebody actually interprets through their eyes, through the filter of their brain.

Yeah. Uh, so  yeah, that's all I would say is debrief yourself in some way. If it's not with your colleagues, do it with your partner, let them know what's going on. So then they can actually understand. Chris is actually having a crap day, most likely, possibly from that, that job that he went to last night, you know, or that restaurant that, you know, had to do the CPR and it actually has come up, it's actually coming up for him and then they can actually go.

So Jerry is it, is, is something going on from that, from that CPR last night? Is that why you're kind of quiet in that. I'm just getting this feel of this kind of thing of, and then you can go, no, no, it's not  and they'll go. I know you better than that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's that communication? My wife does it to me now.

She'll constantly be like, she'll be like Chris, what's going on? And I'll be like, nothing. She's like. Bullshit.  and yeah. So yeah, just that to find somewhere that you can debrief and talk about it, you know, there's lots of different groups around and, and that, that, that are doing it. I know, I don't know if you're familiar with power of our story.

They're all about, um, it's a free group that you can come for first responders and they've got veteran groups and stuff as well, where you just come and we just have chats like. Conversations. And sometimes somebody comes and shares their story and yeah, it's actually quite good. I yeah. Was turned onto it a couple years ago and it's cool to just current retired.

Yeah. All sorts of different people in there. And it's pretty cool. So there's different groups out there, guys, if you feel like you can't do it in your station, but I would, I would put it out to the stations to start creating that or sergeants to start doing it with our team just at the end of the day.

Just take five. Touch base with everybody. Yeah. Yeah. That's that's great advice. Great advice. I hope some people take that  so do I, I know, well, there's lots of departments that I'm talking to, that they're huge on the mental health stuff. Um, and I'm working with a few to get some of my trainings into the departments.

Um, so there are departments out there that do care. And if you feel like your department doesn't care, either be the difference.  or guess what? Go find a different department. You can do it. Yeah. Yeah. It's scary. But you can do it.  yeah, they're out there. That's for sure. Well, Chris, thank you so much for being on today.

I appreciate your wisdom and insight. Um, you know, I think you're, you're on to something, you know, with your programs and I hope you have a very successful and safe ride. And, uh, I hope I get the opportunity today to, to meet up with you somewhere along the way or see you. Definitely definitely, man. It, it sounds good.

And, um, yeah. Thanks everybody for listening. Appreciate it. As I always say on my podcast, um, which is called fight the burnout. Um, is that just take one thing away? I know I've given a whole bunch tonight. We've talked about a whole bunch today. Just one thing, just take one thing and start putting it into action because we have Google university out there and you can find a lot of this stuff, but it's just putting it into action.

That's actually the hardest. Yeah. Yeah. Totally agree with you. Well, thank you so much. Thank you.

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Chris Chandler-YatesProfile Photo

Chris Chandler-Yates


Chris is an American-Kiwi, who arrived in
NZ in 2004. He joined the NZ Police in 2011
and after a seven-year career, during which
time he protected The Rt Hon Sir John Key
(New Zealand's Prime Minister), he
experienced severe burnout that caused
him to leave the job he once loved.
After a journey of self-care, recovery, and
personal development, he's now hyper
passionate about helping officers take
charge of their mental health and
significantly reduce the chance of burnout.
He lives to ensure others learn to see
themselves so they don't go through the
pain he once experienced.