Every story needs an ending
I still work for the same department. A lot of smaller changes have come about and in a lot of ways it's a better place then it was just a few years ago. Of course, it's not without it's problems. There are still things that bother me tremendously that could be solved with something as simple as terminating an incompetent, uncaring, vindictive, unstable employee. I'm told there's paperwork in to do just that in this case. I don't know how valid that is, I only hear back channel chatter. The relationship and trust between the patrolmen and the supervisors still isn't there. It's a slight bit better, but still severely lacking.
About a year and a half ago I was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance for what I thought was a heart attack. A thousand tests later and multiple visits to multiple specialists offices and I was told I experienced a panic attack. Not a run of the mill panic attack, but a 10 on a scale of 10, terror driven, heart racing, shock inducing incident. All the years of acute stress, constant shifts of hyper-awareness, and general unhappiness had caught up with me and manifested itself in the only way my body could figure out how to deal with it - anxiety. I can't begin to tell you how upsetting and scary that time in my life was. I've never dealt with anxiety in this fashion and I didn't want to be forced out of my job and be a pill popping zombie.
I was lucky enough to find a great doctor nearby who had worked for a number of years with the state police hostage negotiators and tactical units. He knows what police work is, the dirty underbelly of society that people pretend doesn't exist. I'm thankful to have met him and continue to see him periodically. With his help I was able to get a good hold on the anxiety, and all without taking a single medication. Aside from a few close friends at work, they don't know my issue and my doctor has promised me he'll keep it that way.
I also don't think I would've been able to do it without the love and support of my wife. Yeah, I didn't see that coming either, haha. But she's the woman of my dreams and the best thing to ever happen to me. I won't go into too much about her, since I need to protect her identity here as well.
So that's basically it. Hopefully that gives you some closure if you've been reading all these years and still care. So, as I ride off into the sunset, I'll leave you with this: Treat each other well, enjoy the little things in life, and be thankful for what you have, every single day.
All the best,