Tuesday 10th May 2016 (10.56am)

6/10 – I did not feel too bad waking up this morning. I guess I was looking forward to going swimming and having a day of reading and writing. You will notice two things about me. (1) I like to spend time in coffee shops, even though I dont like coffee. My drink which is well known in my locals is a soy hot chocolate, extra hot with extra chocolate. (2) I spend a lot of time in the gym or out on my bike. I have always been fit and active, not even the 11 operations on my knees can stop me. I strive for a challenge and as such, next month I will enter my first triathlon.

I have had a couple of messages today from friends which I have replied to, admittedly, not in my usual depth or style, but I guess that it is better than my last week of ignoring people and isolation. I could not be bothered to reply, I just thought it was polite to.

I have posted on both Facebook and Twitter which has encouraged conversation and ‘likes’ but I am not after that. I have not directly come out on social media regarding any mental health issues, but if people ask then I openly say. I am not ashamed, but at the moment I need it to be right for me. I have linked into many mental health groups and have started sharing posts.

Suffering from a mental illness is something I thought would never happen to me. As a cop I have dealt with hundreds of people experiencing some sort of mental illness. I have taken people threatening self-harm or suicide to hospital, I have talked somebody down from the top of a car park and I have attended suicides and had the heartbreaking task of breaking news to relatives. Whilst, there is a scale or continuum that we are all on, I always believed I was at the low risk, low suffering end. How wrong was I?!

Looking back, it is only now that I see or recognise periods of depression, low mood, anger, suicidal thoughts for many years. It has literally taken this long to realise. Perhaps because it has hit me full force and I have had to accept, admit and face up to it that I can only now see it. The fact that I have taken time out of work which has forced me to slow down, think, reflect on things has also been positive.

The problem I see at the moment is that I have a fear of failure or you can call it being unsuccessful – call it what you want, it still feels the same. Whatever it is I cant seem to deal with it. What is the big deal with failing? Surely you can learn from it, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and become a better, stronger person? Yes….. but I sense a BUT ….

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