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Robert Arrieta

First Responder Advocate & Liaison

During my 18 year career as a Paramedic/Firefighter, I have had the opportunity to see and do so many amazing things. With that, I have also unfortunately seen many terrible things and experienced situations that led me to seek therapy after being diagnosed with PTSD and realizing I had an addiction to alcohol which I was using as a form of self medication. I unfortunately hit rock bottom multiple times and have had many regrets including hurting others during my journey.

Through the process of dealing with the thoughts, images, going to rehab, I was finally able to confront what had haunted my mind and began my healing through new-found faith and trust in God, foundation of sobriety, and leaning on friends and family.

Through this journey I have had discovered my own type of therapy... I began making mala bead bracelets as a hobby. The creative journey helps me deal with my personal experiences and start the healing process by acknowledging that it happened and then letting it go. Every bracelet made has one thing in common... the Skull Mala bead. The Skull Mala bead is meant to have its wearer reflect on death and the impermanence of life; to recognize

that death is a fact and the more we can relate to death and embrace it, the sooner we can start living life to the fullest with love and compassion. It has helped me process my own emotions and has greatly influenced the healing process for me. If I can do the same for just one other person I will feel fulfilled in what we at Skulls For Hope are trying to accomplish.

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