depressed detective

I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.. (written by Sophie)

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I am so glad that I have opened up my blog for you to contribute. Writing has helped me massively with my mental health and this gives others the opportunity to write and share their journey from a different perspective. I am truly inspired and encouraged by what I have read. I have no doubt you will too.

**Please remember local and national support services are available if help is required**

Thank you Sophie for your openness in ‘take over 5’

Years later, my husband said that it was like a black cloud had just descended into the room. No light, no joy. Imagine that after giving birth your first child. The baby was crying and I remember thinking he didn’t like me. I remember holding him in my arms and a thought that shook me to my core popped in my head; “I’m going to hurt you”. I struggled to look at him, to hold him and, as much as it hurts me to write now, to love him. I broke down to one of the doctors in the hospital, who contacted the mental health team in the hospital and told my husband. I ended up being moved to the children’s ward and put in my own room but this just filled me with anxiety and panic being left with my baby on my own. They moved my baby to a separate room and the nurses bottle fed him. You might think “oh she didn’t want her baby” or “she doesn’t deserve to be a mum”. The truth is I had a happy, planned pregnancy with a loving partner. Post-natal depression hit me and hit me hard. I was scared, ashamed, confused, felt guilty and in pain; emotional, physical pain. I had counselling, and very slowly things got a bit better. I refused anti-depressants because of the shame and the stigma attached to taking them. At the time, I saw them as a weakness and as a means of being labelled seriously mentally ill, which I didn’t want to be, even though I really was.

Two and a half years later we had our second child. The birth was so different, I felt happy afterwards. Six months later I tried to kill myself. Everything was ok to start with, then gradually negative thoughts started to creep in. I was so desperate to not be ill again, to be a good mummy, that any negative or dark thoughts I kept to myself. I buried how I was feeling deep, deep down, I hid how I really was from everyone and functioned on a physical level like a robot. The post-natal depression dug in, held on, my abnormal thoughts became my new “normal” and were constantly there, the exhaustion and pain of hiding how I really was became too much. You see that’s what depression does. it tricks you, it lies to you, and destroys the real you until there is nothing left to give and no light at the end of the tunnel, just a black abyss. As I sat giving my baby a cuddle at bedtime after bedtime, silent tears would stream down my face and plans formulated to end my own life. This was my illness talking.

Literally a week before I had planned to commit suicide I was at a friends wedding with my husband. Pretending, pretending and pretending. My dearest friends were there and I knew I wouldn’t be seeing them again after that. So I laughed with them, I danced with them, I hugged them and I told them I loved them. In a way, I was saying goodbye and I wanted them to remember me as a happy person. You might think that’s silly or selfish but again that’s what depression does; all logical thinking is replaced by this illness. I carried the plan out on November 5th 2014, a few days after my eldest’ third birthday. (That is extremely hard to write). I wont go into details but I was lucky enough to be saved by a retired doctor. The second time I begged for anti-depressants. I took all the help I could get.

Now I look after myself everyday, with exercise, healthy food, fresh air, medication, writing, talking, giving, being kind to myself and the people I love. I am extremely mindful of my thoughts and don’t hold on to negative ones. Thoughts are just that, thoughts. Acknowledge them then let them go, they are not you. I am so so much better than I was and have the tools to manage any signs of my depression. I still worry about the impact my post-natal depression has had on my husband and possible impact on my children. We have moved on. I have forgiven myself but depression will always be a part of me and I’ll never forget.

Like I said….I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy…

 

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Anxiety has no boundaries (written by Christina)

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I am so glad that I have opened up my blog for you to contribute. Writing has helped me massively with my mental health and this gives others the opportunity to write and share their journey from a different perspective. I am truly inspired and encouraged by what I have read. I have no doubt you will too.

**Please remember local and national support services are available if help is required**

Thank you Christina for your openness in ‘take over 4’

Last year I sat down one evening and watched a programme called ‘Mind Over Marathon’. The programme was amazing, inspirational, moving and has lead to me, yes me, running the London Marathon this year. I also discovered Georgie’s page on Instagram and followed her which is why I am sat writing this.

When I started running a few years ago I didn’t realise that not only would it help my physical strength but also help me to tackle some issues in my head. Mental Health is something that I have always been aware of in others, friends and family, but never something that I thought would touch me. Before I had my children I was the logical one, with a much more masculine mindset than many of my friends or female family members. When I first started suffering with anxiety it was a huge shock. How could I be behaving in such an illogical manner and being so emotional? I was the LOGICAL one! However, mental health has no boundaries and doesn’t discriminate, it can effect any one of us at any time.

It turns out that I suffer from Anxiety. I had a traumatic pregnancy and birth with my youngest child. I suffered the loss of three of my grandparents in 6 months. I was consumed by it. I could see accidents happening everywhere to everyone I loved. If my husband was a few minutes late home, I would cry and shake, believing that he had been in a accident and died. The park, once a place of fun and laughter for my children, was now a death trap, a place waiting to cause harm or death to my children.

The day I realised I needed some help was when I had my first ‘vision’ where I ‘saw’ (in my head only) my son falling down some escalators. I had never experienced this before, but the vision was incredibly real and stopped me in my tracks.

After talking to a great friend whilst on a run, and my brother who is a mental health nurse, I realised I wasn’t the only one experiencing this. They made me see that by being honest about how I was feeling and talking about it was the only way forward. I went to the GP and got some fantastic advice. I was referred for Talking Therapy, counselling and CBT. I was also advised to keep active and keep running.

After an eight week course of CBT, some sessions with a counsellor, lots of support from my family and friends my anxiety has improved.

Sometimes I think I have a complete hold on it. Sometimes not, but that is ok. I have learnt about my triggers. Tiredness, emotional stress, alcohol, overload of social media are some of them. Equally and as importantly, I have learnt what helps me when I do feel anxious. Fresh air, family time, my dog (one of the biggest stress relievers ever) and running are all so positive in my battle against anxiety.

If I could give anyone some helpful advice regarding mental health, it would be to talk to anyone you think might help. Be honest at all times about how you are feeling. So many people are fighting these battles and we know nothing about it without sharing first. Surround yourself with what makes you feel better and by people you love. This is a fight we can all win.

Hiding behind the Laugh (written by Guy)

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I am so glad that I have opened up my blog for you to contribute. Writing has helped me massively with my mental health and this gives others the opportunity to write and share their journey from a different perspective. I am truly inspired and encouraged by what I have read. I have no doubt you will too.

**Please remember local and national support services are available if help is required** 

Thank you Guy for your openness in ‘take over 3’

This is me, stripped of the armour and the mask that I put on every day to face the world. Stripped of all of things that outwardly make me, me.

The bravado, the laugh and the big show of confidence, silent.

If you asked those who know me to ‘describe Guy’, most would at some point mention my laugh – it is a ridiculously loud (like really, really loud) belly laugh that fills a room. At a company management training session a year or so ago we were asked to share something about ourselves that no one else in the room knew. This is what I shared;

“Everyone knows me for my laugh, sometimes people call it fake and I guess in someway it is. I suffered from depression for the most part of my 20’s. As a way to deal with it, I created a mask to hide behind so no one would know I was hurting. I wanted to be and appear to be happy and so I created the laugh. I got the help I needed but the laugh stayed and I guess like the depression it’s just part of who I am now”.

As I said, in my late teens I found myself struggling, struggling to be at ease with myself, my body and my place in the world. I lacked confidence and I was wracked with self-doubt, insecurity and anxiety. I didn’t know what I was feeling or why and as such I didn’t know how to talk about it. I simply learnt to bury and hide it. I forced myself to be an extrovert, a clown, an optimist and the life of the party to prove to everyone I was ok. I hoped I would simply become ok as a result, but being something I was not was killing me. I felt like I was moving through water and on the worst days I felt engulfed by feelings of hate, anger, frustration, disappointment and a deep hurt that made it hard to breath. I survived that way for a long time. Alcohol ‘helped’, it became a crutch and I used it to obliterate all of the nasty internal voices and thoughts. The problem with alcohol is the next day – the hangover and the feelings of regret, shame and so you end up repeating the cycle to the point where its not longer a crutch.

I needed help and I just couldn’t ask for it – I knew I wanted and needed it but I just couldn’t ask. I know this is a strange a thing to say, and it is, but depression created a cloudy bubble and I couldn’t see out of it.

For years I suffered and buried all of that blackness deeper and deeper inside. One day, drunk and at a low ebb, I crashed. My life got to the point where I stood at the edge of something and I could only see one path laid out in front of me. But I am lucky, my lowest point was the point at which I was caught, pulled back from that edge and was forced, and if I am honest, shamed in to getting the help I so desperately needed.

Fingers weren’t clicked and things didn’t magically change, it took time and it was hard. But I wanted to change and that I think is the most important thing. I will be forever grateful to the NHS and to Bournemouth University, for the individuals who were there for me at my lowest point. The people who gave me the tools and the confidence to change.

Please, do not underestimate the power of a conversation. Counselling. Having someone with whom I could entrust all of the bleurgh to, helped me so much. Looking back, had I had a conversation earlier with someone I loved I may never have got so low. Who knows.

Back to my laugh – I am who I am because of depression – I am stronger, more self-aware and more confident. I haven’t beaten it but I have learnt to live with my ‘black dog’, so I know the low days and I can manage them. I don’t regret or begrudge my journey because in my heart I know that when I laugh, its for the right reason.

Its not easy, but remember that I am here if you ever want to talk. Guy x

A Message of Hope (written by Claire)

BLOG TAKE OVER

I am so glad that I have opened up my blog for you to contribute. Writing has helped me massively with my mental health and this gives others the opportunity to write and share their journey from a different perspective. I am truly inspired and encouraged by what I have read. I have no doubt you will too.

**Please remember local and national support services are available if help is required** 

Thank you Claire for your openness in ‘take over 2’

Two weeks ago two significant things happened which had a huge effect on my state of mind. The first was my GP decided I had reached the point where she couldn’t manage my Bipolar relapse by herself anymore and she referred me back to mental health services. The other was that I lost a good friend to suicide. Neither were directly connected yet they were both so intricately woven together as I tried to grieve my friend I was also battling my own suicidal thoughts.

I am no stranger to mental health services. I was first referred to them when I was nine. I had witnessed things most adults would shy away from, it wasn’t any surprise that my traumatised mind needed support. I started to show the signs of Bipolar at about fourteen, although everybody was convinced I was still emotionally traumatised so missed the warning signs, I wasn’t formally diagnosed until I was 25. Thirteen years later and I’m in the best place I’ve ever been, well except for this pesky relapse I’m having.

Losing a friend to suicide is one of the worst things you will ever experience. The feeling of helplessness, guilt, and devastation and beautiful life lost are consuming. But then there is the realisation of how many times it could have been you, and your friends and family feeling those things. I have tried to take my life over a dozen times. The last time I almost succeeded, my heart was struggling to cope with the pressure being put on it, my liver and kidneys were both toxic. My Husband had to sit by my bedside while A&E staff fought to keep me alive. There’s a guilt that will never go away.

And here I am back in an episode where I am experiencing psychosis in full technicolour, I currently have four voices, each one telling me different things, each of those things is gruesome and violent. It’s like being in a torture chamber where you are being conditioned by being shouted at continuously, and there is a part of you that thinks “if I just do that maybe it will stop” it doesn’t, I know that, so I have to keep my wits about me and ignore them.

I’m struggling to stay motivated, my daily gym visits are turning into every other day or every three days. I have to really kick myself up the backside to get out the front door. Physical activity really does me a lot of good. I swear by it and I don’t want to slip from the routine because the only person that suffers is me. I work out hard, I push my body physically to its limit every time I go to the gym, but it helps in ways I can’t even begin to understand.

My diet suffers, Like with the physical activity, I always eat a really healthy diet, but a big sign things are not good with me is my diet slips and I start eating things which are unhealthy and full of fats and sugars. Two things I normally avoid as much as possible. I am prone to putting weight on fast and it’s incredibly unhealthy for the mind and body to eat junk food.

I meditate every day, it started with me learning mindfulness, and then I switched to learning about different types of meditation and I got into the habit of meditating each day. When I am where I am mentally at the moment it’s a wonderful thing to do if things start getting too much so that I can start pulling my thoughts back to a centre and remembering that things aren’t as bad as I imagined.

It’s easy when you have a relapse to feel like it’s the end of the world, I certainly had a few days of feeling that way. But for many of us, we live with a lifelong mental illness. It is inevitable that we will have relapses from time to time, but that isn’t what our life is about, and it certainly doesn’t have to dictate our lives. My life is about so much more than my bipolar and while I have to take a short break to get well again, my entire life is still there for me. My job at a mental health charity is still there, my writing and blog are still there, as are my friends, my family, my circuits crew, the gym, travelling and everything else in my life that I want to embrace. Always hold onto hope even when things feel hopeless.

Staring into the abyss (written by Amy)

BLOG TAKE OVER

I am so glad that I have opened up my blog for you to contribute. Writing has helped me massively with my mental health and this gives others the opportunity to write and share their journey from a different perspective. I am truly inspired and encouraged by what I have read. I have no doubt you will too.

**Please remember local and national support services are available if help is required** 

Thank you Amy for your openness in ‘take over 1’

When I was little, I’d have a recurring nightmare where a malevolent force, an invisible dementor, would enter my childhood living room and levitate me away. I was paralysed, I was mute, I couldn’t call for help. I always woke before I found out what terrible thing it wanted from me, but I knew it wasn’t friendly. The nightmare would morph into different forms. In one, it took my mother away, swallowing her up in a sink in a burning hot room. I was four when I had that one. In another, it became a giant eye in the window, watching me and my brother. But as I encountered the nightmare over and over again, I gave up being frozen with terror. As soon as I felt that invisible force coming to get me, that malign manifestation intent on taking me away from all that was familiar and safe, I surrendered instead of trying to fight it. I gave in, letting myself be consumed by whatever it was. It could do its worst. I always woke up safe in my bed.

Now, after many years of suffering on and off from vile depressions that started in my teenage years, I see that the nightmares were almost a premonition of how the illness, and how I deal with it, would evolve. I learned to recognise it coming. I’d feel it as a creeping spectre, growing in strength. Easy enough to ignore at first; surely it won’t be as bad this time? Surely it will leave me alone? But it never did. It always grew, getting bigger as the vast dementor crept up on me, pushing me to stand at the edge of a colossal abyss. The inevitability of it so exhausting, knowing what’s in store, and that each time, this could be the one to break me.

Those recurring patterns occurred throughout school, then university, then work, then after my babies were born, as I tried to behave like a ‘normal’ person who gets up in the morning without having to first negotiate the crippling feeling of dread that is the depressive’s breakfast in bed. A ‘normal’ person who can simply get showered, dressed, and leave the house without feeling exhausted before you’ve put your shoes on. But each time, as I felt myself tipping over into the abyss, as the dementor shoved me closer with its creeping cold fingers, a small voice told me that I would see daylight again. That I would survive. That I would wake up safe in my bed again.

I had a lot of low points, but the worst came at a time when I thought I was cracking this ‘normal’ person thing. I was 35, a mum with two young kids, working part-time as a website editor with a great bunch of people. Then that part of me that always drives me to push myself further decided I could do better than this. That the balance I’d achieved after many years of striving needed to be tested. So I applied for, and was offered, a position as editor of a membership magazine for a major UK charity. This was my big break since qualifying as a journalist a decade before while pregnant with my first child. I was nervous, but I could do this, just like a ‘normal’ person. I ignored that part of me that was warning me that this time, I might be pushing myself a bit too hard.

The last day came, out for leaving drinks with my fabulous team. I’d miss them but my career must come first. On the way home, a nightmare journey that should have taken one train and a taxi ride but turned into train cancellations and replacement buses that took four hours, I was attacked by a drunk woman. She’d been yelling her head off in the bus, annoying everyone, and I asked her to please keep the noise down. I shouldn’t have done that. As I stood up to get off the bus at Brighton station, she appeared behind me, then kneed me in the back all the way down the stairs. Outside, I moved away from her as fast as I could, heading for the taxi rank as she and her mates yelled abuse. As I got in the taxi, she rushed forwards and slammed the door on my head. I fell into the taxi, confused and shocked, and he drove away. No one called the police. I suffered a concussion. Then it didn’t get better, but I was starting the new job in a week. So I carried on, acting like a ‘normal’ person, while post-concussion syndrome took hold, leaving me confused and anxious, unable to string a thought together for more than a few seconds. The depression dementor, strengthened by my weakened state, pushed me towards the abyss. I took leave from the dream job, explaining what had happened. “But you seem so normal!” said my boss. I’ve always been good at hiding it.

I realised I couldn’t go back. As I lay curled up in the dark, no one was able to reach me. I was being taken away again. It came to a head one night as I sat on the floor by my bed, sobbing, calculating if I had enough paracetamol in my bedside drawer to do the job. I could feel the dementor opening the drawer, inviting me to fall into the abyss. I thought of my children and I got up and walked away. I recovered by nurturing myself and my loved ones by obsessively cooking for them to satisfy the part of me that still had to achieve something every day. The dementor lost strength as mine grew. And I woke up safe in my bed again.

It hasn’t broken me. Each time I am better prepared for all that it can throw at me. Because it will happen again, I know that. But I also know I’ll come out the other side. And so will you.

Mental and Physical Challenges with the Inspector board chucked in

Wednesday 14th March 2018 (6pm)

I took this photo at 8.04am on 14th March 2016. Exactly two years ago I was in hospital waiting for two bolts to be removed from my left knee. Ironically, I decided to read 220 Triathlon whilst waiting. I knew one day that I would be taking part in a triathlon. Goals. Challenges.

Roll back to September 2014 when I had a tibial osteotomy which resulted in my left shin being broken, moved and bolted back together to help with osteoarthritis of the knee. Later, the bolts became problematic and needed to be removed.

As I think back to two years ago I had began the biggest challenge that I would ever face. I did not know that then. I had already experienced suicidal and destructive thoughts but little did I know how my mental health would manifest itself and destroy who I thought I was. I was kept in hospital that night but I remember the pain in my head being worse than in my leg.

I was not coping but I was trying to keep strong and remain focused. One week later I knew that I would be sitting my Inspector board. I had studied hard, I was well prepared, I was doing the job after a temporary promotion. Yet behind the success of what I was doing in work, my world was broken, I was broken. I had been for a long time. I just did not accept or realise how much.

As I lay in my hospital bed that night, I had some lovely messages from friends, offering help, support, visits, doing stuff for me at home. I still remember those people and the kindness that was offered. I remember the following morning after an awful night, when a friend took time out of work and came to pick me up. My head was all over the place, I felt physically and mentally drained but all I wanted to do was go to Costa. So we went. I did not want to go home. I did not want emptiness as that is how I felt. I did not want to see my file of work for my boards. I could not face it. I wanted to hide, yet I wanted success. I was hoping that revision would be my distraction but I could not even look at my notes. My head was so sore, my knee was painful and the person who I wanted by my side was not there.

Not ideal timing, but I needed the operation if I wanted to get promoted. I had to prove that I was physically fit and in compliance with my fitness test. I wanted it so much.

I arrived at my Inspector board on crutches. Physically broken. Mentally doomed. I held it together and I was pleased with how I performed considering everything at the time.

I missed out on the board. I was not going to be promoted to a substantive Inspector. No excuse. My world around me crumbled. For those of you who have followed my journey you will know that this was the final straw. I tried to carry on in my role. I tried to be ‘happy smiley George’. I couldn’t. I packed up my things and left the office.

Failing the Inspector broad was the best outcome. I can see that now. I would have broken at some point. I was a ticking time bomb. I was a world of crazy waiting to happen. I was able to get the help and support I needed at the right time.

Two years on, mentally I am in a better place. There have been lots of battles along the way but I am doing ok. There will always be ‘blips’ and this I accept, just like I have ‘blips’ with knee pain. There is no difference. I just deal with it.

Physically, I am turning into a machine (laughs). I am fitter and stronger than ever. I am doing things that I never thought I would be doing. I believe I have smashed my biggest mental challenge, now it is just a matter of smashing my biggest physical challenge.

Ironman Wales I am coming to get you.

Rock. Hard Place.

Tuesday 13th March 2018 (7.53pm)

I am off work sick.

I am receiving no pay from my employers.

I have been referred to the SMP (Selected Medical Practitioner) process*

I have been told there is a backlog and this process can take months to complete.

I have a Psychiatrist report which states that any return to the police force could result in self harm or worse.

It has been advised that I do not return to the police.

I have a sickness insurance policy.

This policy covers a percentage of my monthly bills (not including food).

I have received a letter from my insurance company reviewing my current status.

They are asking if I can undertake any work (away from the police force).

I cannot do this. I am not allowed.

My Federation Rep has asked for discretion regarding my pay.

This has been refused.

Today I spoke with my Fed Rep and said I have no other option but to return.

My Fed Rep is looking at other avenues.

The stress of being off with no pay.

The stress of the thought of a return to work.

I do not need this stress.

I may not be allowed to return.

I am stuck in a process (which is out of my control and could take a long time).

I am stuck.

Rock.

Hard place.

*Referral to Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP)

When considering whether to retire you on grounds of ill-health, your Police Pension Authority must follow set procedures and will take all relevant information into account. As part of this process, the Police Pension Authority must refer the following questions to the SMP:

Whether you are medically unfit for the ordinary duties of a member of the police force;

b) Whether such medical unfitness is likely to be permanent;

c) Whether you are also medically unfit for engaging in any regular employment otherwise than as a member of the police force; and

d) Whether such medical unfitness is likely to be permanent.

http://www.polfed.org

** Photo courtesy of BBC Wales

Thankful for some kind words and a chance meeting

Thursday 8th March 2018 (8.51pm)

2/10 – No other words for it, today as been utter shite and I have not felt like this for a long time. It started at around 1 am when I was wide awake planning on just taking Olly and going somewhere for a few days where I could not be contacted. I have planned this before and I was logistically working things out on how not to be found.

Then reality kicks in, I look at Olly who is horizontally stretched out on my king size bed, so I am falling off the edge (literally). As he sleeps, I listen to his breath and the cute noises he makes and for that moment in time, I am reminded of the joy he brings and my responsibility towards him. I think of family and friends worrying.

I am impulsive, I have written about this before and this is where danger lies for me. The switch in my brain goes from rational to irrational in a split second. There is no immediate middle ground. The middle ground comes afterwards, when I somehow have reframed my brain. This can take a while. It is what goes on in this ‘heightened’ state that concerns me and  for all of the health professionals I have met. The switch will always be there, and no amount of mindfulness or CBT will work in such circumstances. Something does work though. At the moment it is Olly.

I have no idea what time I got to sleep. I know I did, because I am getting the weirdest dreams. Olly then woke me up at 7am sneezing in my face. This is his thing and it means that it is time to get up human. Thanks Olly.

I felt lost this morning. I had no training planned. It was a rest day. I could not cope with it being a rest day, so I packed up my swimming kit and had some Olly time. It was like he knew something was up as he did not want me to go. Olly was going out with the dog walker so I knew I could just go and hide somewhere, knowing that he was cared for and having fun.

My head was all over the place, at 9 am I made the 20 minute drive to the pool. I did not even know if I was actually going to the pool. I was toying with going to the supermarket, buying wine and pills and going somewhere. I don’t even like wine. I don’t even drink FFS. What the hell was my head doing? I was even wondering if I would get through the tills with what I had in my basket. I had my story ready. I don’t look like someone on a mad mission. I was dressed in sports kit which costs more than my monthly mortgage and I can talk a good game. Once again, scheming and planning.

The fitness freak and alcohol hater got the better of me and at the last moment I turned off into the swimming pool car park. I messaged a friend who I had pencilled in to meet at lunchtime and said I would not be there then turned off my phone (something which I never do). I went swimming.

Afterwards I went to the nearby Starbucks and turned on my phone. Social media notifications, emails, message beeped through and one in particular caught my eye. It was on Twitter from one of my followers saying that I should have been in the top 10 list of 100 most inspirational women which was on Wales on line. Such a lovely thing to say from someone who I had never met, this got me all emotional. Thank you Jackie x

On leaving Starbucks I had no idea where I was heading. Phone had been turned back off and thoughts still all over the place. I still could not get this alcohol thing out of my head. I had to head down the retail park to Next, knowing that if I really wanted to I could walk in to the Asda next door.

It was then my day took on a different direction. Kind of like a sliding doors moment. I went to Next before Asda and whilst there a lady came up to me and said,

‘Hi, you used to go to the gym, I saw you on the TV. I said to my husband that it was you and he said …. No, it was you wasn’t it, on Alfie’s Angels?’ I laughed, explained that she was half right but it wasn’t Alfie’s Angels.

I recognised the lady as we always used to chat when I was a member of a gym that I have now moved on from. It must be more than 5 or 6 years since I have seen her, yet for about 15 minutes there we were standing by the shoes in Next talking about mental health and our experiences of depression.

At the time, this just felt like an incredible meeting. I don’t believe in fate yet by seeing and chatting with Pam my mindset shifted. I was not out of the woods yet but I knew that my feet were on firmer ground. Phone still off I headed home to my boy. Thanks Pam x

Returned home – checked phone …. beep, beep, beep… notifications galore. Phone straight back off. I could not cope with nice messages. People know me, they know when something is up. Apart from Twitter this morning and only now a quick look on Facebook I have avoided all forms of social media. Usually by now I have chucked a couple of pictures on Instagram and some random crap on Twitter.

Now I am doing ok, I am safe, Olly is snoring beside me. I have had some messages back and forth with friends and I have plans for tomorrow.

After posting this I am off to bed and wont be going anywhere until the crazy one sneezes on my face in the morning. Thanks Olly x

Not sure what is going on

Sunday 4th March 2018 (1.47pm)

It has been a while since I last wrote and there are a number of reasons for this. I have been busy working on a project for me. Not only does this help with my mental health but I am looking and planning ahead. It has put some life back into me and most of all some hope, some hope that there is a future out there after all.

In the main I have been doing ok, I have met some more friends thanks to Olly and at times have glimpsed happiness. My training for the London Marathon, Ironman Wales and the bits in between is going well. It keeps me busy, gives me something to do each day and physically I feel fitter and stronger than ever. There are days when I struggle to motivate myself to get on the bike as my head talks me out of it but so far I have not given in to the demon who does not want me to succeed. Ironically, at this moment I should be in London. This morning I should have been running the Big Half Marathon but due to snow and travel disruption I had to pull the plug on my plans. Obviously gutted by this as I quite fancied my chances against Mo Farrah.

Apart from the busyness of my project and training, my head has not wanted to write. It has not been in the place where I could string sentences together. It very much feels like that now but I need to make an effort. My headaches which I have wrote about before appear to be back with a vengeance. No idea what the cause is. I am not over exercising, I am sufficiently hydrating, and I am eating well. Not sure if it’s the medication? I have had conversations with GP many times about this and it was previously suggested that I have a brain scan. I don’t think that is necessary. I have not seen her for a few weeks but I will see her this week.

Last week I started a 1-2-1 session with Mind and it looks as if we are going to work on my ‘perfectionist’ trait and how I deal with things. I was referred by CMHT ages ago but now I don’t think that this is for me. I have had so much treatment and therapy that I can’t see me going anywhere different with this. I have another appointment on Tuesday so I will mention it then. Not in the mood or place for time wasting. For me I don’t have the patience and someone else would make better use out of such a valuable service.

Currently I have had a rubbish few days, really not helped by my headaches. The snow has prevented me from going swimming and running. I am fortunate enough to have a Wattbike at home so I have ticked over with training sessions. Both yesterday and today I pedalled my distance with my eyes shut most of the time.

I have no idea why, but I am sitting here in a coffee shop feeling somewhat emotional. I feel that there are things going on around me but everything is fuzzy. People come and go, families chat, friends embrace, students work, but it’s like I am away from the situation. It’s a strange feeling to have, it’s like there is an alien inside my head.

At the moment I feel that there is something missing and I do not know what. I have of course missed Olly dog who has been staying with his grandhumans since Tuesday due to my plans and trip to London. He has been spoilt and enjoying the snow in Tenby. I am hoping to collect the little badass tomorrow or Tuesday. I plan to run the half marathon I missed today on Tuesday morning as if I do before the 11th I still get my Big Half medal. Not the same as being there but it’s another one to add to the collection. It’s only 48 days to the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon. I still can’t believe I was part of this years launch.

Things have over this last week progressed with work but I will write about this separately over the next day or two hopefully.

Now I am off on a walk down Penarth for some fresh air – let’s hope that helps the head.

 

Two sides of policing

Monday 12th February 2018 (7.21pm)

I had a bit of a strange feeling driving to the pool this morning. I was stuck in traffic and a police car was right behind me. As I looked in my rear view mirror I noticed two PCs and many thoughts quickly spun through my mind. Response officers or NPT? Where were the going? Enquiries? Calls? What would they face today?

My day seemed easy in comparison. My day was planned with a swim and a bike session. I knew I would have a coffee shop stop at some point and have a walk with Olly. Apart from that, my day involved very little decision making, no pressure and no stress. I would not encounter incidents of violence, death and vulnerability. I would return home and not rerun what I have seen and how I have dealt with incidents in my head. Did I do everything I could for that victim? Did I put all safety measures in place? Did I submit the relevant paperwork? Were my incident updates good enough to avoid scrutiny? How is that person that I conveyed for assessment at the mental health unit? What does the future hold for the child with non accidental bruising? As a supervisor, how are my staff? what is motivation like? Am I missing something? What are my resources like for tomorrow?

I then remembered the team I worked with in Cardiff Central and the picture shown popped into my head. All of a sudden I started laughing to myself. This was taken in July 2012. I had just retuned from my honeymoon and I was happy. I loved my team, I was enjoying my job. At this point I was sill a PC, I was to be promoted to Sergeant at the end of the year. Whilst patrolling the city centre in the police van I spotted Jamie Roberts, the Welsh rugby legend. I have no idea how, but I ended up jumping out of the van and asking him for a picture. My male colleague, who is a massive rugby fan looked mortified but he laughed with his head in his hands. It was just one of those funny moments, just one of the many that we had. As a team we were good, we worked hard, we locked people up and we looked after the vulnerable. We got results. The role of the PC is the best in the job and as I continued on my journey smiling, I knew I was doing so with a sense of sadness.