Today is the first day of the rest of Commander Grant Edwards' life. It's tough.
He has been a policeman for 34 years exactly to the day, much of those three decades in Canberra. On Monday, he left the force in which he has spent more than half his life.
In those years, he has seen the lowest levels of human depravity.
In the Australian Federal Police, Commander Edwards was one of a small team tracking dealers in children. His unrelenting task was trying to stop, and to catch, people selling obscene images and even trafficking the children themselves.
"We would just view the video. That's all I did day in, day out."
He likens it to having a branding iron on his brain. "You can't unsee what you've seen."
That particular duty has taken a huge toll on his mental state. Being a policeman in other fields has left its mark, too.
Commander Edwards is, for example, a suspicious man - when he goes into a restaurant he likes to have his back to the wall so he can see the room; or he needs a mirror on the wall; he works out where the entrances and exits are.
He is trying to unlearn the suspicion. He is trying to prevent himself from, for example, typecasting people by their looks. His wife tells him that two lads sloping down the street with hoods drawn up may just be teenagers and not bad teenagers bent on mischief.
Commander Edwards thinks this "deficit of trust" is a barely recognised problem in the police. In the military, there is more recognition of the effect of post-traumatic stress because everyone knows what soldiers do but the police we see on the streets around us don't seem to be in such troubled environments.
He thinks the overwhelming majority of police are good people doing a good job but that job can get to them and overwhelm them with mistrust of others. "The community needs to know that the police are there for them."
This problem occurs in forces all over the world because the police deal so often with people who do bad things. They live in a world where trusting the wrong person can have catastrophic, perhaps deadly, consequences. In the United States, the presence of guns ramps up mistrust.
The abrupt transition from the mistrustful world can be hard. "I've seen people who have struggled. One day you've got the badge and the next day you haven't."
For some months now, Commander Edwards has been preparing for this day when he doesn't have the badge.
His transition has been helped by counselling - he's learnt what triggers bad memories and learnt how to avoid the trigger.
He has learnt to live with his mental collapses. He copes by not fighting his mood but going with it. "I have days when I go down in a heap and I let that happen."
The bad days are fewer now but still there. He likens his disturbing memories to a series of boxes, each containing terrible mental stuff. Usually, only a few are open but occasionally "the Devil starts to open all the boxes".
Commander Edwards joined the police in 1985, serving in Sydney and Newcastle before coming to Canberra.
In 1998, he was posted to Los Angeles as the officer liaising with the police there.
And then, just before 9/11, he was posted back to Canberra where he worked countering cyber-attacks and also on the trafficking of women and children.
He spent two years in East Timor from 2010 before coming back to Australia and resuming work on child exploitation and hi-tech crime.
He served in Afghanistan and then the United States again, this time in Washington.
And now civilian life. Commander Edwards felt as though parting from the police was "like having a non-acrimonious divorce".
He has an advantage over other officers who split from the work they have lived and breathed throughout their adult lives: he recognises the difficulty of transition.
He has prepared for it. He is highly intelligent and he thinks a lot about it. He knew he needed help so he rejected what he thinks is a common macho police reluctance to seek it.
He thinks he's getting better - who knows, he may one day see teenagers on the street as just teenagers.
The signs are hopeful: "There are more good days than bad days. The bad dreams have really diminished."