I haven’t thought about killing myself in a long time. I spend time on Facebook talking with other veterans who sound like they are or may be suicidal. I try to get them to choose life. So you can imagine how surprised I was to find myself seriously thinking about getting my gun and eating it.
I wasn’t aware of feeling surprised until much later. I only felt a deep black hole of despair growing inside my chest, and the certainty that I would never be okay, I would never be unbroken, and the people in my life were better off without me.
It can sneak up on you like that. Even years later. Even after therapy. Even during therapy.
To be frank, I’m going through Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) group and individual therapy for issues related to military rape (MST) and post traumatic stress (PTS). I was writing the details of that rape for the first time when I spiraled down that dark hole of despair.
I was able to pull myself out. I have reasons to live, those who depend on me. It was enough to get me through. Others have not been so lucky.
Daily, an average of 22 of my sister and brother veterans successfully commit suicide. This has to stop. If you are a veteran and there’s any chance you may feel depressed or suicidal, please take the Spartan Pledge with me, or with your battle buddy:
Next, if you can’t reach your Battle Buddy, or if you don’t have one, call this number (1-800-273-8255, press 1) and talk to someone, or go online to chat with someone at (https://www.veteranscrisisline.net).
Reach out. Please. Even if you don’t feel like it right now: you are valuable, you are lovable, you are worthy, you are wanted, you are needed, YOU MATTER … just exactly as you are right now.