Why finish today? Well I made the decision ages ago but my mild OCD wouldn't let me go unless the blog was symmetrical. It is two years since I started and you don't know the agonising I've been through whether to finish yesterday or today. I finally took the plunge for 23rd May, but you know what it doesn't really matter it's just my thoughts that have caused this illogical turmoil.
I've had a good look at myself through the last two years and want to examine further how I can progress along my journey. A narrative has been useful up to now but it is I think a negative influence in my life. I wouldn't leave it and just close without comment like one of my favourite stress blogs Intelligence Detective, I'm going on a positive. Whatever did happen to the General?
I've got a few stress monkey followers and to you I say stick with it and try reading the above book by Jon Kabat-Zinn which I've found very useful. I could go on about it but that would be my judgement, so be open and see if it helps you too.
I've had to get my head around how I go about being a police officer. I have always been a high achieving productive individual and that's before the target culture of recent years. I pushed myself to near destruction to the detriment of my personal life and for what? I think what is happening in policing is unhelpful and gets away from what it's about. Policing should be about compassion and fairness things that are generally lacking in society today. Unfortunately especially on the front line people are driven from higher up to produce more and more, never having time to actually take a moment and think. All these performance departments get caught up in this madness too - when actually if we took a breath and became more open we'd see it was all crap. Policing is simple - just let us police as individuals - all these figures don't matter because they are lies anyway.
I have hopefully managed to break the cycle. I have seen the light and no longer have the desire to be at work all the time striving to be the best and competitive in the extreme. The financial rewards of doing that for years have enabled me to pay my clever daughter through university. No debt for her, paid for through me taking all overtime available over the years. You can call it performance related pay.
So it wasn't being a policeman that done for me I did it to myself, and all the negative stuff was I think just a reaction to job pressure. It would have been the same in whatever job I'd done as that's the way I'm wired up. I think the technical term is emotionally intelligent. I accept that label and all that's happened in my past including a difficult personal life. I'm still here so the past is irrelevant and the future an illusion, all that matters is now.
I'm back in the Zone and have learnt that one can make judgements and decisions in the right way. This needs to be done without automation where we as police officers often fall into the trap of labelling jobs. There is no such thing as just another domestic or just another call about problem kids. I approach things with a beginner's open mind and I've found that connection with my old self. I'm happier in my life and am now only a slightly stressed cop. When Ian Blair left the Met on his last day he said "You have good days and You have bad days". That really does sum up policing for me, in fact it can be applied to life itself. It's how you cope with things that matters.
In my new role I find myself dealing with countless officers suffering from stress in one form or another. Currently 25% of my people have got issues ranging from total Burnout to bereavement problems. I line manage over 20 so that's alot at one time. I'm best placed to deal with it having been there myself. When is somebody going to wake up and look at this within the police? I suspect the baseline data would be shocking if my team is replicated across the force area.
I'll pop into the usual places now and again just to be sociable but for now it's Goodbye. I don't intend to come back but you can never say never. Not had a video up for a while so enjoy ..... just a few more years then I can grow my hair like Kurt's again !!