It was a funny feeling walking out of respite care….I needed to be there but I was glad to leave….as I left my mood was probably higher than it had been for some time. For the second time in a few weeks I felt relief when I hopped into my car. Katrina was glad to have me back and in a way that was strange in itself. I thought that me being in respite would have given her some relief from the pressure of having to tip-toe around me, but, as I was about to find out the last 24 hours had been as bad for her as it had been for me. In reality the last three weeks had been a nightmare for her…I was just swilling around in my pity and thinking everything and everybody was against me. Katrina had to deal with the real issues of our life and she was the one who had to tread on eggshells to keep me from spinning out completely. Tt wasn’t easy for her, in fact, if I was honest I probably just about dragged her down with me.
I got into the car and said to her…I don’t want to go there again. I wasn’t talking about respite care I was talking about the darkest place that I had ever been to and a place that finally made me realise that I can’t keep mucking around with my life. I can’t keep thinking about the past, I can’t keep thinking about the assholes of this world, I can’t keep worrying about things that in reality don’t matter. For me I had to start thinking about the moment I was in and enjoying it…whatever that moment is. For too long I would spend my moments lamenting about my past or worrying about what the future held…..meanwhile nothing got done…..thats where I didn’t want to go again.
I gave Katrina a hug and we decided that we needed something to eat…well I did anyway…I hadn’t eaten for 24 hours and my stomach thought my throat had been cut….no pun intended. I needed something to lift my spirits and we decided to frequent a favourite curry house of ours where I could scoff till my heart…or stomach… was content. I remember feeling completely washed out and I wasn’t the best of company but I was in the company of someone who I loved and that was enough…we didnt have to speak….I knew I was where I wanted to be…with her.
As I sat across the table chewing away on a chicken tikka and cheese naan I realised what I had been missing, what I had been ignoring these last few weeks. It had been staring me in the face and in reality she had been my light, the only problem was I had switched it off like a lot of other things. You see for me I was always talking about that hole and that darkness I was falling into but in reality it was just a nightmare and in a way being in respite had just woke me up. I sat there and looked at Katrina and realised that she was my steadying light, she had always been there but, for some reason I had shut her out to the point where I couldn’t see the light that had been there all this time. I had been consumed with so much negativity and it had blinded me to the point that I couldn’t see all the good things and people in my life.
I washed the last of the basmati rice down with a couple of Kingfisher beers and we made out way home. I was very tired and it wasn’t long before I was wrapped up in my brush cotton pyjamas and reverberating a sound around the house that would have woken the neighbours.
The following morning I woke to coffee and breakfast in bed….I was extremely tired and my day wasn’t going to get anymore exciting than sitting on the couch and trying to get my head around where I was now and what the future held. I made a conscious decision to concentrate on something that I knew would keep me focused on positive thoughts and that was Katrina. I was in no fit state to make decisions about my life, my future, my work…I couldnt yet see a way out of my predicament and everything was still very much a blur. What I wanted to do was to concentrate on her and all those people who had helped me over the last three weeks. All those friends and family who knew what I was going through and who had supported Katrina through her own turmoil. Katrina and those family and friends were to be my one positive thought for the next few weeks, my one positive thought that I always went back to when I felt myself slipping back into my own dark hole.
Over the next couple of weeks my thoughts were constantly peppered with negativity and anxiousness as timeframes for going back to work came around and visits to the mental health centre were on my schedule. I was a mess really with an inability to make any decisions, do anything constructive, have a meaningful conversation or in fact contribute anything to life at all. As the weeks went by I began to have thoughts about my police career and the instances that had impacted me to the point where they were as clear as this computer screen I’m sitting in front of. I started to analyse them one by one in an effort to assess their impact on my life and put some perspective into them. It was something that I shouldn’t have done but I needed to do it so that I could move forward and for some reason it was where my mind wanted to be because I couldn’t make a decision about my future. The thoughts eventually drove me back to another breakdown I had in 1999 and the circumstances that drove me to deal with this episode completely differently…..
Categories: My Story 2016