Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:56 pm
I know this is an old thread, but it pops up from time to time and this time I feel compelled to contribute.
I think what everyone needs to keep in mind is that the strongest and most important instrument you have in your tool kit is YOU. Your mind, your intellect, your conscience, your soul. We need to realize that under the stress of this job; every now and then that tool may need readjustment, just like any other tool. If you had a tool, a piece of software or equipment, that started to act or react differently, you wouldn't just continue to use it until it broke. You would fix it. YOU are no different.
Recognizing that you're starting to be affected isn't a sign of weakness or a flaw. It's an indicator that you need to do something.
Talk to a wife or girlfriend if you are so blessed as to have one that can relate to where you are.
Talk to a friend, a co-worker or a supervisor, if you can. Sometimes it doesn't need to be anything other than a quiet heart to heart talk over a beer. Many of them have been there before and if nothing else, you'll realize that behind all of those defense mechanisms, you're not any different than others.
Seek spiritual guidance if that's within your belief system.
Seek professional help. There are many counselors out there who are trained to help with workplace stress.
Whatever you do, remember to take care of the most valuable tool in your inventory. YOU. If you’re smart enough to do this job, you’re smart enough to recognize when you have a problem and how to deal with it.
By contributing this, I’m not trying to get all warm and fuzzy with you. I’m a retired LE manager and I’m not really the warm and fuzzy type. What I’m trying to do is give you a technique for dealing with a common workplace problem to protect your investment in time, training, experience and sanity.
Michael W. Picone, EnCE
Reserve Deputy Sheriff
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department