I received a message from an old friend today. We’ve known each other since we were about 12 years old, playing little league baseball together.
Nearly 20 years later, he told me that he’d just quit being a cop. Below is his message:“I was up-tight ALL the time, tense and found myself sighing almost un-controllably just to relieve tension. I’ve seen some shitty stuff man, I’ve held people as they died and I’ve faced my own mortality head-on. It was a lot of weight on my soul and after seven years I had stopped enjoying any aspect of the job. I was jaded and I had started to hate everyone. I didn’t trust anybody and it sucked. Being a cop had become my identity and although I knew it was killing me, I was terrified of losing the “this is the SWAT guy” introduction at parties, ya know?One night, I read Play It Away on my phone during a graveyard shift. I parked in a parking lot and read it start to finish. It took awhile, but I incorporated play into my life more and more over the last year. It allowed me to come back to my roots and who I am as a person. It made me realize that I had to get out of the law enforcement career.Now I’m as stress-free as a new dad can be, haha. I enjoy the little things and I’m taking time to just appreciate life.”