The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind! I will mention more about it later, but it has been a few weeks of trying to overcome fears. I wouldn't say I am overcoming PTSD but I am getting more in control of it. I would say that my symptoms haven't really changed over the course of 3 years. I just control them better.
Today was a huge milestone. Last week I attended the Netley Police Headquarters to speak with an officer who is doing some amazing work in helping Police officers with their mental health. This Officer (Alyson West) truly did listen. Listening is key and finding someone to be able to talk too with that honest and true ability really helped me step out of my comfort zone. I have spent 3 years feeling bitter towards Hampshire Police but I realised there was no-one else that it affected other than me. (oh and my husband who listens to me time and time again rant on about it!) I wanted to channel it into something more positive to help educate and encourage more learning on the matter. To help others. I feel strongly that more needs to be done to support Officers battling with their mental health.
So a week ago, I gave a raw account of what had happened throughout the last ten years of my career. It is a huge stepping stone for me. It was recorded and today it was played.
I climbed into the car and immediately thought to to myself "what on earth are you doing Kerry?" I panicked. A full on panic attack, but I sat with Bert. I turned the radio on to try and distract myself and sat stroking Bert. The radio played " Titanium". What a song!! What a nudge!! "You're ok Kerry" I picked myself up. Gave Bert a little hug and drove to Netley.
I arrived and just went for it. The song was timely!
I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose Fire away, fire away Ricochet, you take your aim Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down, but I won't fall I am titanium You shoot me down, but I won't fall I am titanium
The delivery of the video went well and I could see the Officers actively listening to it. (the visual aspect wouldn't work) but I could see them listening. They actively engaged in questioning after, which I felt was very cathartic. I could see that they wanted to understand what had happened to me. I am so thankful for their engagement. Two ladies came to me afterwards to talk to me personally about their journeys. I am not alone in how I feel. It was the beginning of learning to suck up the bitterness and to channel this energy as I could see the benefit of talking today. Not only for me but for others.
Back there again tomorrow! I hope for more of the same. Talking is key in Mental Health, it really is. Finding a focus and a purpose is the beginning of healing. Bitterness just affects you the person, not anyone else. You can let it define you, or you can take back control of some elements of PTSD and don't let it win.
Kerry Snuggs BEM.