What authority do I have to talk to others about suicide? Well let me tell as having failed twice at age 17 and thought about it on two other occasions I think I have the experience.
At 17 not thinking I had any future at anything, I wasn’t athletic, I wasn’t a popular guy, I didn’t have a great job or fancy clothes, s I saw no future.
First attempt I thought I would drive my car at high speed into a bridge abutment. SO I got in my car started it up and put it in drive. As soon as I hit the gas the drive shaft feel out, not one end but both ends.
Second attempt, I had a 22 rifle so I took a 22 long hollow point round and cut a dumb dumb head. Put it in my mouth pulled the trigger misfire. I opened the breach turned the round 1/4 turn went in the back yard pointed it at the ground and blew a hole in the ground.
I couldn’t even succeed at suicide.
Forward to the future, I had lost my first wife to cancer after having 2 children, I remarried but divorced after having 2 children. My career as an electronic engineer was over due to rampant and blatant age discrimination. I was in debt and living out of my 26 foot toyhauler. Lonely, depressed, and thinking the thought that many think. I contemplated it.
Here is what you think;
I am so screwed up it isn’t worth living
If I am gone nobody will care
I will not be missed by anybody
There is no way I can be normal again or have what I once had.
My family hates me or doesn’t understand me.
My 20 years of underwater recovery has changed me maybe permanently. I threw a switch that makes me impervious to death. I have zero emotion about death. I had to do this in order to perform my job. Well it has been 16 years since I was on the team and I haven’t figured out how to undo the switch. It bothers me that I can’t go back but I have resigned myself to the fact that I may not ever be able to. It makes me feel less human.
What keeps me going? The fact that my children love me and want me around even with all my faults. My brother and sisters want me around also.
So veterans families here is the deal unless you lived it you will not understand the horrors your loved one went through .Don’t try to get them to talk because it will only frustrate them worse. I went to a therapists about my issues from the dive team every time she tried to help it made it worse to the point I walked out. You have to accept the fact that they will never be the same person again just try to move forward and do not give up on them.
Veterans it takes a much stronger person to ask for help than it does to try to carry the load alone. Find other combat veterans and talk to them because they understand and it will help you all move forward. It will give you purpose helping your fellow vets and start you on the road to a better life for you and your family.
Teach your children how to fish and camp. Focus on the beauty of nature around you maybe take up photography because your view will be much different than others. Take up kayaking or bicycling.
I am kayaking the whole east coast for you guys why because I feel I am doing something to help my brothers and sisters heal also it is therapeutic for me.
I hope this helps those who read it understand that there is hope and that you need to move forward. Be the new you don’t dwell on the horrors look at the good things in your life and adapt and improvise.
2 thoughts on “Special Blog-Suicide”
Thanks for your personal story, Joseph. ( I hope to have the 20 “Mission 22” bracelets I ordered to distribute among veterans at the Vietnam War Memorial in D.C. this weekend. )
That would be awesome! Thank you for doing that.