Marine Veteran With PTSD Wants To Commit Suicide. After Reading This, He Decides To Keep Fighting
June 14, 2017
A US Marine Corp. veteran suffering from PTSD posted on an online forum that he was planning to end his journey.
"I have PTSD and Bipolar Disorder, and I've been fighting this battle for ten years," he begins. "I've sought help, I've called the hotlines, I've been on meds, I've been in hospitals, I really did give it my all. Tonight, I'm going to OD on meds and finally be at peace."
He continues on in his post about how his wife is leaving him, how he believes he's a bad role model for his kids and does not want to hurt his family any longer.
Thankfully, he didn't go through with it after reading this response from another Marine, who nearly ended his life years ago due to PTSD and hitting "rock bottom." What he said moved me to tears...
"Look man I dunno if this shit will mean anything to you. I wrote this a couple years ago, when I first crested the hill out of my own hell. I don't know you but I hope to hell you're on your way up and out. This shits long AF but the TLDR is this: if you think no one cares, you're wrong. Look at this list of people commenting. Every one of us cares. And those of us that have been in that dark place are remembering it with you right now. We're here for you brother.
I'm not here for sympathy. I'm not here for accolades or attaboys or any of that shit. I'm sitting here writing this because 22 a day is atrocious. I'm writing this because one day not too long ago, I was almost one of the 22. I'm writing this because I want you to stop before you become one of the 22. I'm writing this because someone, somewhere, loves you. I can say that, because I love you, and even if I'm the only one, that's one more than you're thinking right now.
I know because I was there. I sat on my floor with a knife. I wondered how long it would take to bleed out. I knew I couldn't do enough damage to make it fast, but I wondered if I could at least do it enough that I'd be beyond saving when the EMT's showed up. I know because I sat on my couch with the barrel of my gun in my mouth, savoring the taste of CLP on its freshly cleaned barrel. I wondered if I could at least do this thing right, make sure that my final act wasn't a failure like everything else was. Marriage crumbling. Massive drinking. Working terrible hours at terrible jobs because it was all I could get, and because I'd done worse in worse places, and how bad could it really be.
I drank myself to sleep 6 nights a week, and even then only for a few hours at a time. I woke up and dragged myself to college where I had no friends because I ostracized myself, permanently afraid of one day snapping and saying what I really felt. I dragged myself to work where I would ignore everyone around me because I felt like that was the only way I could get through the night. Inside my head, sometimes I'd hear the voices and talk of war, the brothers and sisters I served with. Sometimes I'd hear rockets whistling and peppering our tent with rocks, even though that was years ago and miles away. I'd hear and see the sights and sounds of war like the highest definition movie ever made, right there between my ears. I'd hear my college student peers saying things about me like I wasn't there: People in the military are too stupid to vote. Joined the service, huh, I guess he couldn't get into college. He must be too poor to afford school that's why he enlisted.
I started to feel like I didn't fit in anywhere, and it started to become true. I distanced myself from my kids, my wife hated me, and I hated myself. My parents and I had always had a tough relationship, and my mother blamed me for everything that had ever happened bad in her life. I kicked my wife out of the house, forced her to move back in with her parents, taking the kids with her.
I wish I could tell you I found God, or that some magical person stepped into my life and rescued me. I wish I could tell you that it gets easier. I wish I could tell you that once you've hit bottom there's nowhere to go but up. But that's a lie. The truth is, once you hit bottom, you start to lie to yourself and everyone around you. And then the bottom falls away and once again you're falling, only this time no one knows because you're hiding your feelings behind this face, this emotional wall. No one knows what's going on inside you, even the ones you try to confide in. Because you can't really confide, not like you need to. You're ashamed. You're scared. You're embarrassed and alone and there is no magic and there is no God, there is only the hope that tomorrow you might not wake up and you might not have to feel this way ever again.
And everyone thinks you've finally adjusted, and you're finally happy. And they say things like I'm so glad to see you finally in a better place and you want to scream CAN'T YOU SEE I'M DYING. But you won't. You can't. It's not in you to tell someone you're hurt. You're the guy that ran the obstacle course with a broken foot. You're the guy who broke a rib and didn't tell Doc until after you got home. You're the guy who carried the only guy in the unit bigger than you on a sprained knee. You won't tell anyone.
You wonder, what will everyone say? No one will cry, but what will they think? Will they call me a coward? Will they say It's always the ones that seem the happiest? Will they say some other thing that everyone always said when someone finally can't take it anymore?
Suicide. Even the word itself seems romantic sometimes, especially when you're at the bottom and can't see the way out anymore.
That's not what I want my kids to remember. Their daddy, the coward. Their daddy, who was so afraid of hurting that he took his own life instead of loving them the way they deserve.
That's not what I want my wife to remember. Her husband, the weak one. So broken he didn't even know how to ask for help.
That's not what I want my stone to say. Here lies a man crushed by his own demons.
Demons? What demons? I never watched my friends die. I never put my knife through a man's throat and watched the life fade from his eyes. I never washed my brother's blood out of a humvee. I don't deserve demons. I didn't earn that title. I'm nothing
Truth. You need it, you deserve it, so I will give it to you. Suicide is not a weakness, nor is it cowardice. It is not self serving. It is a way out, of course it is. No one can debate that once you're dead, the problems aren't yours anymore. But it is not the right way out. There are men and women all around the world that care about you and need you in their lives. There are family members, friends, lovers, children, siblings, parents, that don't want you to die. There are people like me. People who you have never met, who are trying to reach you.
You deserve life. You deserve another chance. You deserve understanding and caring and faith that you will make it. You can't find it in God. You can't find it your family. You can't find it in the bottom of a bottle or a needle or a bump. You know that because you've already tried to find it there.
You can find it in yourself though. I know because I was there. I know because I did. I know because even now I have it in myself. I can't help you find it. I can only help you look. When you hear Taps and get choked up for our fallen brothers, it's in you. When you see the flag whipping in the breeze and are moved, it's in you. When you pick up the phone and see a text from an old buddy, or a quick call from someone special. When you watch your kid totter around the house, or someone else's kid, or someone else, it's in you.
You have done something that very few can claim. You've stood tall and swore an oath. You swore to protect America, and her people, from all enemies foreign and domestic. You swore it before whatever God you believe in, if you believe in one. You swore it to yourself and to your brothers and sisters. You trained and fought and worked and sweat, you may have even bled and shot and cried. You may have taken lives, or watched others give theirs. And now I am asking you to do one more very hard thing, one more thing that you think you can't do.
I need you to walk with me. I need you to finish this hike, this hump, this march with me. What I found in myself wasn't God or angels or faith. I found you. I found my brothers and sisters. I found a hand reaching down to me from the top of the hole. I found the pack, the tribe, the crew, the squad, the fireteam. I found that I might not be able to do this for myself, but I could do it for you. I could hurt for the rest of my life, if it helped one of my brothers or sisters. And as I've carried on for them, I'm asking you to carry on for me.
The hike has gotten easier, and the pack has gotten lighter. I can't promise it will ever be truly easy. I can't promise you'll never have another hard day, and I won't lie to you and tell you that it'll get better right away. It probably won't. It took me a long time to lighten my load. I can tell you that every step gets more promising, more hopeful, and more positive. I can promise you that every step you take with us is a step that is both for you, and for me.
Don't be one of today's 22. Don't be one of this year's 8,000. Honor the fallen, and honor the living, by continuing the fight. Walk with me, brothers and sisters, and we can make this hike together. The hike to Valhalla is meant to be life long. Walk with me and make sure that it is also long lived."
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