“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always
spring up if thou wilt always look.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Life sucks and we know it.
Most of us are prepared to deal with that fact. But, what about those who just aren’t really equipped to handle it? You know, those who need a little push – or hell a shove – in the right direction.
Most law enforcement officers have dealt with suicide dozens of times before they retire or leave the profession. We are accustomed to dealing with the people who attempt it, threaten it or unfortunately, who succeed. We learn all types of de-escalation techniques and words to soothe the minds of those who linger at the edge of the abyss.
The truth is that dealing with this shit just plain SUCKS out loud.
The truth is that it is so shitty, that it makes many of us have the same types of hopeless thoughts. Does that make us weak or does it mean that we are crazy? Umm … no!!
We must realize that the job really sucks at times and we must find a way of handling it without jumping off the proverbial cliff, too. That is often easier said than done.
Regrettably just this year alone more police officers and corrections officers have committed suicide than have been killed in the line of duty. It’s not becoming a crisis; it already is a fucking epidemic.
Don’t get me wrong, I spent my whole career as a hard-ass trying to appear as if I had no feelings whatsoever. My most common emotion was: NO emotion at all. I wouldn’t open my mouth unless I absolutely had to speak. I acted as if nothing ever bothered me.
What a bunch of garbage that turned out to be. If you walk around and only speak when you absolutely must, you are teetering on the edge of crazy. However, that was my go-to way of dealing with crap I didn’t want to face or that I was unable to handle, at all.
My second-favorite emotion to show was my complete disdain for practically everything and everyone on the planet. This is probably known as ‘angry cop syndrome.’
I may have just made-up that term, to be honest. I’m not sure but if I did, but it damn sure fits the way I felt at the time. I was seriously pissed-off at the people who took advantage of others. I remember that I took great relish in crushing them as much as the law would allow – in new and creative ways.
It could be said that I took the shit personally and I was going to work on making sure they got what I thought they deserved. Looking back, I must admit that neither of these go-to emotions were especially healthy.
I know, you are on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how this asshole (me) made it to the end of his career without flinging himself off a ledge somewhere.
The way that I did it was to surround myself with people who cared about me.
I found people who understood what I was going through. I hung with people who understood the job AND felt the same way I did – or at least very close to it.
You might say they had chewed some of the same dirt that I did.
Embrace the SUCK, don’t GIVE UP and don’t let it BEAT you down. Remember to lean on your fellow warriors to get you through.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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