So how do you see it coming – it’s in your lifestyle. I was always committed to the job too much.
I worked excessive hours for years on end, never saying no to any job and ploughing on regardless. Yes I got results and was surviving but cracks began to show eventually.
You get very snappy over the little things, but go into autopilot for the big jobs still producing when required. I think I noticed I was losing it when I gave both barrels to a local councillor over the phone. He’d been slagging off the local community police team, which I ran. One of the residents grassed him up to me. So I of course put it to him and gave him a hard time. Not very professional but couldn’t help myself. These politicians really are two faced snakes.
I thought I’d take an office job in intelligence. That is what you call a knee-jerk reaction. I’ve noticed a lot of people do that and move jobs instead of dealing with the issues. On my first day I noticed I was the only sergeant. Other units would have had at least 4. I’d already been warned my intell officer was sick all the time. True to form he was sick on my first day. So for the next four months I was doing the work of five people.
I was working a 6 day week, and not for extra cash just time back, just to keep afloat. No sleep, couldn’t turn the brain off, very irritable taking it out on everybody at home. Did the management care, no they just piled more on top. I felt like sitting in the corner and crying. This is called burn out. You also think about topping yourself but not in a serious way. It’s an extreme option don’t you think, and rather too permanent.
So things were not going to change. I told them I was leaving; I think they knew as I’d had a couple of stress rants. I also think they were rather embarrassed for leaving me in that mess. Still they’d got their product from me, but at what price. I self referred myself for help.