My Story 2016

Head over Heart

Previous Post:  A Lesson Learn’t….Nope

In 2010 Katrina and I decided to move to Wellington, it was for no apparent reason but Katrina was from there and I spent the first 13 years of my life in Wainuiomata the home of Chloe and the Flying Jug.  I was pretty excited about making a new start in a new city and returning to the place where I played football and learned to do those things that had you hunting out your Dad’s playboys.  I had no intention of settling in Wainuiomata as it’s in a time warp and going back there was like going back to when I was a child and that was an era of my life that probably contributed to some of the psychological problems I have today.  I should thank my lucky stars that I’m not sleeping with a close relative like some of the others that now live there.

I made the trip to Wellington on my own and took up a position at Police National Headquarters, affectionately known as “Bullshit Castle”.  I went there with an open mind and an open mouth and soon found out that in this castle you keep your mouth shut until you learn to socialise your thoughts. “Socialise your thoughts” is a term that frequents the halls of PNHQ because you never speak your mind unless you sit amongst the tops of the tree and have a coffee cup sitting on the eighth floor.  Socialising your thoughts means that you talk about what you want to do before you make that commitment  to paper or an  email, the object of this unusual practice being that you don’t make an arse of yourself by telling the hierarchy to suck eggs.

I entered the National Intelligence Centre under the auspices of an Intelligence Collection Co-ordinator.  I had no idea what that entailed but I was willing to learn and I was going to drive the role into the forefront of every Intelligence Officer’s mind.  As it happened I found out that it was a rebrand of what I had been doing for years without having the staff to do it. Arriving at PNHQ I was introduced into the world of politics and the fat cats that haunt the halls looking for a mouse to catch to justify their existence.   Being a Detective Sergeant at PNHQ is like being a sperm without a tail, you wriggle around looking like you are trying hard but you actually go nowhere and eventually you either die or are swamped by another tidal wave of new recruits who have far more energy than you do.  Some make it to their goal but most wither and die or try to get back to where they came from.  I should have done that a lot sooner than I did and although I met some wonderful people it chipped away at my confidence year by year.

Shortly after arriving at PNHQ the person who recruited me took the decision to leave.  Him leaving was all fine but that plunged me into a world that was completely foreign to me. I had neither the finesse or the diplomacy to try and break down walls that had been built on years of political bullshit.  I was left in charge of a unit that wasn’t wanted and wasn’t needed and no matter what socialising I did I was always a small fish in a big pond.  I got a couple of things through and I met some wonderful people but in reality I struggled to get any sense of achievement from the work I was doing.   For me I was a long way away from the frontline and although I had moments where I thought I was doing some good I felt pretty useless.  I comforted myself by supporting the plethora of good staff that were there and making the most of my time by getting some lessons on how to “feather  my own nest”.

After a few months I was struggling to get comfortable about where I was and what I was doing.  It was strange because I loved the people I worked with, loved the social scene that came with it, but I was a lost soul when it came to the current role I was doing.  I knew I was in trouble because every time someone asked me what I did I couldn’t answer them without chewing on my tongue.  I took the bull by the horns and engaged the services of a psychologist to help me get some semblance of order into my work. horse-to-water I’m really good when I’m with psychologists because they let me talk without interruptions or judgement and that helps me of sorts.  I say “of sorts” because ultimately the decision to change was mine and no-one else’s and I wasn’t brave enough to leave. That old saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink” was true for me…the psychologist led me to water but I wasn’t thirsty and went back to what I thought was making me unsettled “bullshit castle”.  PNHQ wasn’t making me unsettled I was making me un-settled and I used it as an excuse.

I bumbled along until 2013 when in August Katrina and I travelled to Europe and America with some good friends. The respite from work cleared my mind and I found I became a person that I liked.  My travelling companions may tell you different but I felt relaxed and happy and as a result I began to write about our travels.  That travel diary had me tapping into a part of myself that I didn’t’ know I had.  I enjoyed writing and I realised that a clear mind could have me focusing on the positives instead of the negatives and when I did that I could discover things about myself I didn’t know.   I liked myself again and liked who I was and that was important because over the next 4 years I tried to cast my mind back to that time and strived to be in that space again.   Whats was stopping me….me, my mind, my over-thinking, my over analysis and a character assassination of myself.  I’ve always  been my biggest critic and until I got over that I was always going to continue of that rollercoaster ride that depression takes you on.

We returned from overseas in October 2013 and I slumped back into the routine of what I believed was a dead-end job.  PNHQ offered a lot of experiences and a lot of opportunities but I didn’t see them because I was too busy thinking about the negatives.  I always do that, I become blinkered on what I want and forget tquote-brain-hearthe positives. To this day I still think about the negatives of my childhood and they tend to consume me when I think about that time.  If I stop, breathe and think from my heart about that childhood there are a lot of positives, but I don’t think with my heart I think with my head and my head controls everything to the point where I become consumed and as a result negative.

Why do I try to think from my heart ?  Because if I concentrate on my heart first I realise it’s still pumping and if it’s pumping I’m still alive and if I’m alive I’m happy.  What do I think about when I think of the heart ? Love, and that thought concentrates me on the good things in my life and that’s important.  My problem…I spend too little time thinking from the heart and way too much time thinking from the brain.  I still have no control over it and my brain was going to wreak havoc on me for the next three years.

I gave PNHQ another year but to be honest its four years of my career I won’t get back.  Nothing I could do was going to change what happened and I decided to look after myself and took some sort of control and a role at Wellington Central.  I loved the role but I was in for a shock and I was to spend the next 18 months heading down a collision path with myself and that point where I took way too many pills.

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