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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
C.O.D.E: Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole Submerged in Tragedy, Trauma, and Death by Anita Agers-Brooks and Darren Dake is a nonfiction, pioneering work that pays great homage to the men and women who sacrifice a lot — family, personal happiness, self-preservation — to provide emergency services to their society. It’s a valuable tool that helps them find balance and avoid the psychological and emotional dangers that come with their service. They are people who witness the horrors of everyday life and this happens daily —firefighters, 911 Operators, investigators, EMS, the police and many others. In this book, the authors take readers to the untrodden, less thought about regions of their psyche and show what constant contact with the goriness of crime, accidents, and hazards does to them. What effects do the images of bloody, mangled bodies, murder and suicide, and man’s inhumanity to man have on these heroes fighting to protect everyone else?
The authors share real life stories from those serving in emergency services and let readers in on the damaging effects their work has on their physical, mental, and emotional health. While it is easy to get used to the routine without noticing these effects, the authors offer a path to healing that can help these professionals stay sane and beat conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and Compassion Fatigue. Anita Agers-Brooks and Darren Dake help readers see what happens in the lives of these men and women, and in a voice that is compelling, filled with compassion and love, unveiling the deep layers of hurt to which they inadvertently submit themselves. The writing is emotionally rich, the content researched and insightful, and the message clear. A compelling case study and an insightful book that will help readers — especially those witnessing traumatic situations on a daily basis — to protect their sanity while responding to the emergency needs of their communities. A rare gem, a well thought out gift to our heroes. Deeply moving and utterly inspiring.