I think back often to my early days of Policing. Those memories are fond and bring a smile to my face. I’m not referring to the countless situations of trauma that I was exposed to, I’m referring to the mateship, the camaraderie, the sense of service I was privileged to experience.
I worked in a busy metropolitan station, South West of Sydney. My duties were vast and varied, the police radio rarely silent. Shift after shift of non stop grind. It was all consuming and monopolised my life. After some time, I found it difficult to maintain a regular social life or my previous hobbies, due to the shift work, but life goes on. It actually didn’t cross my mind at that point, as I was enjoying my work and I made new connections with like minded people who understood what I did for a living.
The funny thing is, I still sit and type about my fond memories as a Police Officer. I also talk about them with tears in my eyes after a few glasses of wine. It’s almost like I grieve the loss of my career.
What is silly about grieving the loss of my career, is that I could also sit here and type for you a detailed version of countless incidents I attended. I could describe for you the smells, the sounds, the feelings, the responses, my actions, just like it was yesterday. In fact, as I write this, my heart is racing, my armpits and hands are sweating, I’m typing faster and the adrenaline is pumping in my legs. I relive those incidents over and over, like I’m in a movie.
So, you could say it’s silly to grieve the loss of something that causes hypervigilance, flashbacks and nightmares to name a few. In actual fact, it’s not the loss of career that I grieve, it’s the loss of self worth. It’s the loss of a childhood dream. It’s the loss of not being able to live the prime years of my life as any person should be able to live them. It’s the loss of relationships, time, compassion, opportunity, life enjoyment, among other things.