Thursday 6th July 2017 (3.47pm)
8/10 – I thought that I would actually blog about my day today. With my previous blogs I have been on catch up from my writing and journals from last year. I have some way to go to get up to date and don’t want to spoil the story of what happens too much (smiles).
Why have I decided to let you into my today’s world? Well, I guess that today is quite momentous in that I returned to work after being off for 15 months. The work system will tell me exactly how many days, hours, minutes and calculate my sickness score, but to me that now is not relevant. The important thing is that I got my butt though the door and managed a 4 hour shift. To some, this may not seem a massive deal but to me it signifies the start of something new. A fresh start. A new beginning. When I left last year, I left as a Temporary promoted Inspector. Today I returned to my Detective Sergeant role. This does not bother me, I am in an excellent position and I am extremely grateful for the team of people alongside me. They are friends and not just colleagues. Some who have been with me on this journey and to which I owe them so much.
I never thought I would be off work this long, but I suppose you can never put a time on a mental health illness. You mend in your own way at your own pace and for those who have messaged me about knowing when is the right time to return – you will just know. I did attempt a return in January but it did not work out. I do not want to dwell on that here as that will be blogged in time; all I will say is then did not feel right but today did.
I walked back in today a completely different person to when I left. So many things have happened in this time and I have learnt not to take life for granted. My job comes with daily pressures and stress, I am hoping now that I will be more equipped to handle what comes my way. I know when things are bad, and I am able to identify triggers. I just hope that due to my strong work ethic, desire to achieve, succeed, and do the very best, I can still remain on a mental level. Promotion was what I was driven by and maybe that will come back. As for the time being, I just have to settle back in and enjoy my job again with some stability.
My nights sleep didn’t go to plan, but who sleeps before that first day shift anyway? I put my school uniform and school bag ready in the hall last night as a reminder that I had to go to work. I set my alarm, jumped into bed and listened to my puppy quietly breathing beside me. Unfortunately said puppy, Olly, decided he wanted to go out at 2am, so I put on yesterdays shorts and t-shirt and trundled outside. Thankfully 5 mins later we were both back in bed, with Olly being slightly lighter! I was wrong to think that would be him settled for the night, but at 4.30am he was pawing me on the head again and making funny noises in my face. He must have known that it was a school night! I did not give in, as I knew all he wanted to do was go out hunting for snails. I lovingly told him that my alarm was due to go off in an hour so he could wait until then! Thankfully he listened, whether he understood I have no idea.
I arrived at work to start at 8am. I tried not to think about going in to the office too much as that would have spun by head around and made me anxious, so I just rocked up as normal. The welcome I had from people was lovely, there are many new faces and I am now based in a different office which I think helps if we are talking about a fresh start and moving on. A hot chocolate was made for me followed later by a bagel with Nutella. Love my colleagues. After a chat with my line manager regarding hours and settling back in etc I rang ICT (computer tech people) to have my password reset. I was pleasantly greeted with 1757 emails (many of which I could just delete), I have about 200 more to go through and then I think my trash can will be overflowing. South Wales Police colleagues – I met Bob for the first time!
I enjoyed my day back, it felt good to call myself a police officer again. It felt good to be called ‘Sarge’ again and laugh with colleagues. Yes, I have still got a long way to go. I have lots to learn and catch up on, but I have to go to the pace of my brain. Thankfully the people around me understand that and are fully supportive. I can handle being like the new kid at school (for a while anyway).
I have so many people to thank for getting me back to work today, and I would love to be able to do it individually. I will do by best. Big shout out to family, ‘A”, friends, colleagues, my GP, FMA and counsellor.
I also owe my life to a new group of people who have been significant in this journey, and that is my Mind Over Marathon crew, Jake, Sam, Paul, Steve, Rhian, Claudia, Mel, Poppy, SeSe. Not forgetting the incredible Chevy, Charley, Nick Knowles (who had the cheek to visit my place without a paintbrush – love you Nick), and production crew. You all will never know how much you helped. These friendships continue to grow stronger and the bond we have cannot be broken.
Such experience has saved and opened up my life to new things which I could never have imagined. Who would have thought only months after wanting to take my life I would be casually chatting to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry who all said such lovely words. I certainly never thought I would be running the London marathon let alone as part of a TV documentary. All of this because I knew I had to speak up about mental health. My media life continues. I will be featured in a pharmaceutical magazine next month and I am excited about blogging for Heads Together on something for next week. The fact that this face has been in Hello magazine twice is by the by really (smiles).
My social media world has catapulted and I have met so many wonderful and encouraging people. You are amazing and your words of support also play a massive part in my recovery.
My blog continues to grow, with readers from all around the world. I cannot wait to tell you what went on in my head last year; you may find it boring but I am going to tell you anyway. I find it hard to believe reading it back, but I decided to blog as a healing process and to help as many people as I can.
So what more can I say about today? I am proud of myself, I did it and hopefully further bricks can be built from here. I will continue my blog as I have so much to say (no sh*t) I hear you say. I hope you will all be there with me…… xx
Oh and I am not in work now until Tuesday! Tenby mates I will see you for Long Course Weekend!