The officer reached inside and pulled the keys out of the ignition. It was now that I realised that I was the subject of this police call-out and I now had to comply. For 33 years I was always on the opposite side, I was always the one controlling what others did and took the action when they failed to do what I told them, now those roles were reversed and for the first time in my life I now knew what it was like to be on the other side of the law.
I had known the officer for several years and I now felt embarrassed about him seeing me in the state I was now in. I was gushing water from my eyes as I tried to talk to Katrina in an effort to tell her what had happened. I was holding the phone and trying to talk to both her and the officer as I struggled to keep hold of my fragile emotions. I was incoherent and wasn’t really making too much sense as the drugs and the realisation of the moment took hold. I handed the officer the phone so that he could convey some common sense to Katrina. I never spoke to her again until I saw her several hours later.
As I sat there contemplating what was happening a marked police vehicle arrived. I struggled to grasp the reality and couldn’t work out what all the fuss was about. I knew that a marked police car turning up meant that what I had done had been escalated up and this was no longer just about finding Mike but involved more people than I was comfortable with.
The officer asked me how many pills I had taken. I frantically tried to switch on my serious side so that at least I sounded as if I had some control of my faculties. It was useless really because he believed nothing I told him. I was doing what I had been doing most of my life…trivialising the serious side of life so that the hard decisions got avoided. I tried to down play the number of pills I had taken by saying I couldn’t really remember. It was a pathetic effort to avoid the ignominy of being carted off in an ambulance in front of my police colleague’s.
I realised that the staff present had concerns for me and inevitably they advised me they had called an ambulance to take me to hospital. They took possession of my drugs and other items that would be required for any investigation. While waiting for the ambulance I recall another colleague sat in the passenger seat. She was one of my staff and I found it really difficult to explain to her how I had got to this point. I was crying but I tried hopelessly to gain some dignity by trying to have what I thought was a normal conversation.
As the conversation petered out I began to pass the time waiting for the ambulance by staring vacantly out the drivers window in an effort to avoid looking at anyone and giving them the chance to see what was going on in my head through my eyes. In a way I was looking forward to the sanctuary of the ambulance so that it rescued me from the gaze of the officers at the scene and I didn’t have to worry about what they thought of me.
The ambulance turned up and after giving them a run down of what had happened and how many tablets I had taking they decided to take me to Wellington Hospital. The enormity of what was happening then took hold and I began to have feelings of guilt. Surely they had better things to do than cart me off to Wellington Hospital, nope, I was it and I was now on my way. I managed to get myself out of the car and walk assisted to the ambulance. I tried not to look at anyone and my gaze was transfixed on the ambulance as I was led to the rear doors. I got inside and lay down on the stretcher.
The doors closed behind me and I got this weird sense that my career in Wellington had just slammed shut behind me. The colleague who had sat with me in the car was now in the ambulance and I thought that she was probably there to take notes about what I said. I was wrong because she held my hand all the way to the hospital and was a great comfort to me as I contemplated the poor decisions I had made and the repercussions of those choices.
I was emotionally distraught and was crying sporadically as my thoughts went back to my time in the car. I spent the trip trying to comprehend what was happening. Now all the problems I had before today were still there and they were going to be compounded by the days decisions and subsequent events. While suicide was never contemplated throughout the day it became a real factor in my thoughts after the event as embarrassment, guilt and depression began to take a hold and tighten their grip on my head.
After about half an hour we arrived at Wellington Hospital where I was taken to the emergency department. They did me the ignominy of putting me in Resus One on admission something that didn’t do much for my current frame of mind. ED was going to be my home for several hours until I was taken to the ward and I was not going to have any control on anything while I was there. I was subject to the usual checks but couldn’t help feeling I was just taking up a bed and keeping it from someone who really needed it.
Ultimately they decided that although I had taken more pills than I should have there was no need to shove a pipe down my oesophagus and pump my stomach. I was thankful for that as I tend to retch when I stick a toothbrush in my mouth so having a pipe impregnated into the gateway of my duodenum was likely to send me into some sort of fit.
I managed to gain some semblance of control once at hospital although I had a meltdown when my Aunty arrived. Julie is only a couple of years older than me and we have been close for years. Seeing a familiar face was like having the plug pulled from the sink and all my pent-up emotions were released in a torrent of tears. It was probably something I needed because I remember having what I thought was a hint of control until Katrina arrived a couple of hours later. I think being at the hospital and surrounded by family and colleagues meant that my mind received temporary relief from the thoughts that had been plaguing my mind for the last few hours and weeks. I was probably too distracted and spent my time questioning some of the things that were happening around me rather than reminiscing on the things that got me there.
Katrina arrived later in the evening after the police flew her down from Auckland. By the time she arrived I was physically and mentally drained and most of my emotions had put themselves to bed so as to get some rest for the rocky road that lay ahead. You see when I got to this point I felt like I had been slowly falling into this hole, as if I had a parachute attached. I had no control over which way I was going, I was going down, but it was a slow gentle fall. The events of today cut those strings and my journey into depression was about to get a lot quicker.
I spent my last hour or two with Katrina and Julie running through the events of the day. Everything was now in a state of calm and I had some idea of what the next few days ahead had in store for me. As for my future well that was another matter. I kissed both ladies goodbye and said “I love you.” They walked out and drew the curtain. I was now alone and my thoughts began to get restless.
I started to contemplate my life and career…all those thoughts about whether this was the right job came flooding back….why am I here, what has got me to this point in my life. Ultimately I asked myself all those questions but in reality deep down I knew…I knew what had got me to this point….. I had been here before …18 years ago I had gone through all this….it was all Déjà vu. !!
Categories: My Story 2016
Firstly – marvellous writing Mike. I’ve binge read your story so far and I’m very impressed. Sad, gripping, heart racingly scary and police humourly funny at times. I believe you could write a page turner book.
I never really saw behind your “happy mask” when we worked together for a short time. We had some laughs and lived through/worked through some interesting office politics.
Looking forward to your next blog instalment.
I’ll shout you a mocca if you want a catch up.
Take care my friend.
Thanks Steve for you kind words. I did enjoy those days working with you. One of my problems is I have trouble remembering those good times and good people. I’m now in Auckland so would be keen to catch up anytime. Just finalising my next blog…should be done by tonight. Thanks again and take care….