All my worldly possession’s were now in a basic sports hold-all. All my belongings had been delivered to Auckland and I was now one of those people living out of a suitcase, not quite homeless but near as damn it. I grabbed my bag from the back seat and looked for the plethora of pills that I was now in possession of. I had three months supply….Aspirin and Atorvastatin for my heart, Citalopram for stress and Temazepam to help me sleep. I had a fleeting thought of taking the lot but I kept saying to myself I just want to sleep, I just wanted some respite from what was tumbling through my head and I thought it was sleep that could do that.
I remember saying to myself that I haven’t had my daily dose of tablets for the day. I grabbed one Aspirin, one Atorvastatin and my Citalopram. They were all good for my diagnosed ailments but they didn’t help me sleep and I needed to. I grabbed my packet of Temazapam and took out two tablets. I looked at the packet and for some reason took out two more. I had the seven pills in my hand and I looked down at them and thought…that should do it.
It was now about 8.30am and I’d had nothing to eat. I then realised that I didn’t have any water. I was never one for dry swallowing tablets and a form of panic took hold as I tried to think of where to get some water that wasn’t impregnated with salt. I then suddenly remembered I bought a 1.5 litre bottle of Pump when I drove back from Auckland on Monday. I hurriedly scampered around in the foot-well of the passengers seat, hitting my head on the dashboard on the way down. I fondled my way around under the seat until my hand managed to grab the plastic container. A sense of relief came over me and it was probably the happiest I’d been for hours. I took the tablets and layback waiting for them to take effect. I lay back looking out the window contemplating what I had just done.
I lay there waiting for the pills to take affect but lack of sleep and constant crying meant that they didn’t have time to do their job and I fell asleep within minutes. Popping those drugs meant that now time became an invisible companion for me as I lost all concept of it over the next few hours.
I remember waking and hearing a car drive in and park a few metres away. I was cold and I got my coat and put it over me. I reached for the Temazapam and took two more tablets, the first lot were not working ! It was at this stage that I started crying again. I remember looking at the two tablets again and thought that maybe if I took the packet and went for a walk I could find a place to lie down and just be on my own. I thought of heading off down the coast to find the fur seals in a effort to distract my mind from my septic thoughts. I figured I would be safe as long as there wasn’t any All Blacks around with a shotgun. I decided against it as I was cold and really couldnt be bothered doing anything except drift off into unconsciousness . Eventually I fell back to sleep. When I woke again I started to get anxious as I realised I wasn’t sleeping. I was waking and as soon as I did my mind catapulted back to all that stuff that brought me here. I grabbed all my tablets again and for some reason took another Aspirin, Atorvastapin and Citalopram. I then popped out another four Temazepam from the blister pack. I remember looking at the pills in my hand before I took them. I thought about taking a load more but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I remember blubbering uncontrollaby and eventually throwing the pills into my mouth and swigging the last of the water. That picture of those pills in my hand and what I thought still haunts me and is a constant reminder of what I did or didn’t do.
A short time later I must have fallen asleep but for how long I’m unsure. Next I was rudely awoken when Vodafone must of got their act together for a split second because I heard my phone ring. I was in a bit of a stupor but I reached for my Samsung phone and saw that I’d had a missed call from Katrina. By this time I think it was about 3pm and although not fully aware of where I was I tried to call her back. Vodafone resumed normal service as there was no connection but that trigger made me want to speak to her. I needed to tell her what was happening.
I turned the ignition on and turned the car around. I shouldn’t have been driving but I’d been making bad decisions all day so one more wasn’t going to make any difference. I remember nothing of the drive, I don’t remember it and I don’t remember what I was thinking. The whole trip was a blur until I saw the Coast Road church…the place we got married 3 years earlier. I stopped outside and checked my phone…2 bars…not bad for Wainuiomata. I phoned Katrina and started crying as soon as I heard her voice. As she frantically asked me questions I looked out of the window and saw a Holden Commodore driving the other way. I hoped they would drive straight past me but I realised it was my work collegues and watched as the car spun round and parked behind me. I couldn’t speak to Katrina as I was crying uncontrollably. The passenger door opened….”give me the keys Mike”……
Categories: My Story 2016
Mike its late at night and I’m mucking around on my laptop and I open up facebook ‘as you do’ to see what frivolous comments have been made by friends or friends of friends or some unknowns who you have never met and wonder how the hell their posts ended up on your facebook page. Why…. who knows, perhaps looking for that something special, that post you can really relate to, something so powerful that it makes you stop and read the post again. Perhaps powerful enough to take your breath away and question its authenticity. Surely this is a wind up why would a senior police officer put himself out there as you have and take the risk as to what this might do to his career. in the other breath, however, I’m thinking I wish had your courage to do what you have done. I am also a police officer and for the last 6 years have been fighting anxiety / depression on a daily basis. I have had the breakdown and are now on an assortment of drugs which keep me on a level playing field. Some days are good other days are a real battle. Thankfully I have systems I fall back on, whether that’s mind games to change my thought process, to clonazepam if things get real bad. So far I have been able to continue to work and that is a good thing because been active and keeping the brain stimulated means less time for that evil little bastard ‘excuse my french’ in the back of my brain trying to take control. Although I still see my myself as a normal jo blo the hidden demons I face each day can be exhausting I thankfully have great friends and with work and sport make sure those dark times are limited. In saying that I have kept my demons a hidden secret and only those close to me know truly the daily battle I face. Thank you for your blog as this has enabled me to express for the first time in a public forum how I feel. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one out there dealing with this as sometimes it does feel very lonely.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Your input is something that I would love to encourage from police throughout the world in an effort to get some insight into what officers go through and how they deal with the issue of depression. The purpose is to help others who think they are alone and to offer some advice by others who are going or have been through the same condition we have. Your comments have given me other ideas which I will post later on….just want to say thank you. Why have I done it you ask….because I’m tired of hiding…I expect a lot of others are as well.
Mike your honesty and the manner in which you have articulated what you are going through leaves me speechless. I wish I had the guts to come out and share what people like you , me and others are going thru. For me however the stigma of been labelled as someone affected by mental illness combined with the fear of losing my job, the respect of my colleagues / family and friends keeps me struggling with this disease very much alone. Your latest blog detailing the incident at work and been taken to hospital is a scenario that I have often thought about when feeling down and desperate and looking for a safe way out. Suicide is not an option and I am definitely stronger mentally to give in to those demons however I can understand how some people make those decisions. Its not want they want but they see it as solution to their torment. I will never judge anyone for that but only say those feelings are only temporary where death is permanent. Stay strong, those feelings are like waves they come and go, you have to let them wash over you. Tomorrow will be a beautiful day.
Thanks again PJ…..I probably hit rock bottom about four weeks ago but feel I’m on the improve. What life holds in store I’m not quite sure. Hearing from people like yourself helps me and so your comments are much appreciated.
PJ…how are things going with you….are you still in the job ??