I always want to offer some encouragement to my brothers and sisters still serving in whatever way I can. Waving as I drive by, saying thanks when I see them, or buying coffee. The little things that I can do. I do them.
And then I thought, “What got me through the rough times?”
When I was going through them, I didn’t think about it or actively pursue “mental health days”.
What I want to ask you is this: Do you know what you do to escape it all?
I got asked that by an instructor when I was in the academy. My answer was easy! “LOUD HEAVY METAL MUSIC!” I still do that once in a while. There is nothing wrong with distracting yourself with healthy coping skills.
But right now isn’t the time to get lost inside your own head. Or on social media. Or in the tv news. Or in video games. You can get sucked into the lies and the garbage too easily.
This is not the time to escape it all.
This is the time to enjoy family and friends.
The people who are genuine and positive for you.
The ones that take your mind off of cop work for a minute.
The ones you can laugh with, share adventures with. Go boating or hiking. Go to the gym or have a BBQ (I’m pretty sure that I am Traeger Grill master… even if it is just in my own mind 😂).
Remember, you are still the same person you were before Minneapolis happened. You are still compassionate. You are still caring. You are still working your hardest to make the world a better place.
That means those genuine friends know you aren’t one of the bad apples. They still care about you. So keep in touch with them.
And as always, if you can’t find someone you feel comfortable with talking to, reach out and find a professional.
Police Chief U. Renee Hall said it best:
“It’s okay to not be okay. It’s just not okay to stay there.”
God bless, brothers and sisters.
Officer Shawn R. Cavin
Retired, Manteca Police Department
Co-Founder of Code 3 Counseling