It has been about 11 months since I was found unresponsive in my bedroom, clinging to life. A day that many remember vividly, a day that could have been dark for everyone around me. With everything that has been going on in our generation, I feel that it is time to tell my story, time to come clean, let the weight drop off my shoulders. I feel that this could help others who are wearing the shoes that I once had worn.
As many of you know I suffer from depression, for a while, it basically has been a way of life for me. I have always been afraid to talk about my depression because I never wanted to be looked at as the weak man. I have so many people that look up to me that I didn’t want to let them down by really showing that I have a weakness. Another reason was that I feel that with my career that I am expected to deal with it, it’s part of the job basically.
Though I have come to realize that not talking about it has more negatives then if I was to open up about it. Until I realized this, my life was not in my control.In October of 2016 four months before I was found unresponsive I was involved in a rollover four-wheeler accident with my girlfriend at the time, Allison. It wasn’t until then that things really started to worsen for me or maybe I just didn’t start to notice until then. A lot of things were going wrong in that time, my life was a complete mess mentally, physically and emotionally. In those months many things happened… I was taken off the ambulance and had to stop doing EMS, the job that I had loved for what seemed like forever at that time, but no more than a few years.
Financially things got hard for me, I had to sell things just to make it, I had to borrow money which made me feel even more pathetic and I was stressing over every bill. In that time my relationship was rocky, the weight of the world kept me from loving her properly. I also had to leave the police academy, which hurt even more. I was getting frustrated and angry faster, I really stopped caring about the world around me and even stopped caring about myself. With all this, I still refused to talk to anyone and ignored the warning signs. I was in life’s roller coaster in a steep descent and nothing mattered, I felt as though nobody cared, that I was a waste of space and I honestly felt that I really wouldn’t be noticed if I was gone.
That was my mindset for several months, but it wasn’t until after the accident that I really noticed, but I felt it was already too late to do anything about it. This is how I honestly felt the rest of my life was going to go. That was until it escalated past that point, a point where my demons control had the best of me and I was tired, I was exhausted. The night of February 21st was just the worst I had. I was below rock bottom, the world was my enemy and I wanted out. That night is exactly what I tried to do, get out. I went and got a pizza, I had turned on some movie and had a drink in hand. I went into my closet, into my old suitcase and pulled out a few different medications I had. I googled each one, I found out what dose was needed and I put that amount plus some extra in a red solo cup.
I went downstairs, took a swig of alcohol and went back upstairs. I sat in my bed looking at this half a cup of medicine, wondering if this is what I really wanted to do. I started off slowly, one pill at a time, I sat and really thought about it, that’s when I took the cup and gulp by gulp swallowed the pills. After I finished I sat the cup down, I took my phone and turned on my music, I laid down and that was the last thing that I remembered. The next three days were a blur, I can’t tell you anything that happened, but to be honest, when I woke up I wasn’t thrilled, but I was anxious to get out of the hospital and not stick around.
That’s exactly what I did, I convinced the nurses and doctors I was good to go and I signed out. After I got out not much changed, except I didn’t feel the need to escape anymore, the weight of the world was still on me, things were still rough but in all of it I learned that people did care about me, I learned that others would notice if I was gone, I learned that even though the demons grab you and pull you down it does not mean that it has to end there. The death I wanted wasn’t to leave those around me but to escape the demons inside of me, I would run and they would follow. It all could have been prevented looking back now.
Everyone has their own book, their own story to write..everyone has dark chapters and chapters of happiness. Although every story is different it doesn’t mean that others do not want to help make those dark times better. Life will not always be dark, even though you may feel that way. Those of us who face obstacles, who face the demons, who have struggles know that this world is sometimes against us, but it doesn’t mean that every person is against us, it doesn’t mean there is only one way out.
If you are feeling like nobody cares, I promise you somebody does. If you feel that the anger never goes away, I promise you that it does. If you think that there is no light in this tunnel, I promise you that there is. If you feel that it won’t be noticed if you are gone or don’t think anyone would care if you were gone, I promise you that they will. It will get better, this struggle is only temporary. You only have one life, there are no restarts, you will have obstacles, you will be knocked down, you will have your moments but you can’t give up. If the thoughts are going through your head, get the help you need. Call someone, write it out, yell or scream, lift weights but whatever you do, don’t give up……..
– Story written by Samuel, 23 year old FF/EMT/Dispatcher from Missouri. 5 year on the job.