One Day At A Time10022013
Oh goodness. I feel a bit of an idiot to be honest.
When I wrote “au revoir” last week I meant every word. I had reached a point where I thought I was just shouting loudly to myself and getting myself worked up about things over which I had no control.
“Time to step back” I thought.
“Give up before you go insane.”
“You have become very angry”
I wrote it – I posted it – I meant it.
Then came a deluge of support I really wasn’t expecting. Messages so kind, so personal, so supportive that I was truly overwhelmed.
Messages from frontline officers, from senior officers, from members of the public, friends, followers, cops from the other side of the world.
They came on my timeline, via DM and on the blog itself.
I hadn’t posted the “au revoir” blog with a view to getting some kind of affirmation – but that’s exactly what I got.
I regretted the decision the following morning but decided to stand by it.
Although one reason for stepping away (I clearly wasn’t shouting alone after all) had been dismissed, the other, the need for a break, was still present.
In the more private messages I got there was a common theme. “You have been a bit angry of late” and this bothered me.
However, with me, I let things build up and up, I explode and then this is usually followed by a moment of astounding clarity where I suddenly realise what I have been doing wrong and how to avoid it in future. It isn’t the most healthy way of going about things but it is typical of me.
I realised that I had been taking it all far too personally. That things I read on my TL weren’t directed at ME and I had lost perspective. I may well have had valid points to make but they were coming from the wrong place.
So having made the decision my plan was to leave it for a month or two and see how I felt.
But I found that I was still spotting things, still commenting on things but I had no outlet. This is probably even less healthy.
Two things have been said to me which have resonated most (apart from all the kind messages of support and encouragement.)
1. From my sister who told me that I don’t need to fight every day and that I can choose my battles.
2. The second from a lovely twitter friend who noted that – in private conversations over the last few days – I was noticeably different.
I felt different too. I think it’s a watershed moment. I have recognised my limitations.
I hadn’t planned to turn Twitter back on tonight. I had set up a very small private account and wanted to share “Alive” by Pearl Jam via Spotify. Having posted it I realised I hadn’t reconfigured it to my new small account. I realised I had posted it as Nathan.
Having done this – it felt apt. There was a service yesterday in memory of a fine man who was taken from his family and policing far too soon. I wasn’t able to get to London but I was represented by @princessofvp and @thecustodysgt.
It struck me – I am alive. I am lucky. I can still speak up. If I want to.
I still feel I have something to contribute and self imposed exile isn’t going to help. Writing is a cathartic experience for me and it really doesn’t matter whether anyone reads it or not. The fact that people do is an honour and a privilege.
Sergeant Paul McKeever led the Federation with pride. He led more officers than any Chief Constable ever has or will. I am convinced that the effects of the pressure he faced took its toll and that he ultimately laid down his life for his friends.
If I can affect one person in the way Paul influenced, defended and led thousands then that will be more than enough reward for me. Even if that one person is actually myself.
Paul stood up – others have to try and follow. I would like to play my part however small that may be.
So – here I am. A bit sheepish and much earlier than anticipated but – accidental though it was – it feels right.
I cannot thank you all enough for what was said to me last week. It was uplifting and heart-warming. It was kindness and support I really wasn’t expecting.
There may be breaks, short periods of absence and I will take it one day at a time but let’s see how it goes.
We thankNathan Constable
for all the efforts and allowing us to place this brilliant blog on UKPO.
You too can follow