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ABOUT THE RIDE

Why am I doing it?

I’ve always questioned Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I still do. I don’t like labels. What I do know is that the horrors of Policing fosters mental torture in even the most resilient and hardened officers.

I accept that I am a completely different person from the fresh faced and idealistic police officer that I was in 1996. Although the therapists suspect that I started suffering from PTSD as early as 1997 my mental health has suffered it’s greatest decline since my medical retirement in 2014.

With my retirement came my true battle with this disorder. I no longer know who I am or what I stand for. I live in a constant state of depression with anxiety running a close second. I no longer like to socialise and being in crowded environments is hell. It is lonely beyond belief, even with the love and support of wonderful friends and family.

It’s for these reasons that I will embrace the suffering of my ride across our beautiful country. I am not a cyclist and until last week I had only ever ridden my mountain bike to and from work or alongside my kelpies as they took me for runs. I will do it alone and unassisted as it best depicts my very own struggles. I choose to do it for myself and for all who suffer.

The present is all we have so that’s what I’m trying to live. Not in the past, not with regret and not with great sadness. I will fight to move forward, to be better for me, for the family I love, for my friends and former colleagues. I hope to raise much needed funds for my charity, Quest For Life.

After thousands of hours of therapy and a couple of psych hospital incarcerations my amazing friend and counsellor, psychologist Roz Hamilton, suggested that I attend a five day course at Quest For Life. This course has changed my life and my perspective. It is positive and forward focused. It’s not regressive and negative like so many treatment programmes. It’s not about reliving your traumas constantly until you’re so sick of them that they go away. We all know that doesn’t work and hopefully one day all will discover that they are not the gold standard treatment strategies that they are perceived to be.

I aim to cover around 100 kilometres per day for over forty days. I welcome the adversity that I will face so long as it benefits others. My quest in life is to be the best person I can be and to serve others as best I can.