Occasionally, times will get tough, especially as a veteran. There will be times when we will wonder “what the hell are we doing?” What are we trying to prove? Everything that you do is just one step away from being completely jacked up and not in a good way (if there is a good way to be jacked up?) Who the hell are you to think that you are good enough to create something or go to college? Whatever it is that we are trying to do, we begin to talk ourselves out of it. We start having that little negative voice start taunting us with everything we have done wrong in the past. It then begins to tell us how we are going to continue to mess things up for our future. You become worthless (in your mind), as you should, and you know it.
Then after you quit, whatever it was you were doing, because that voice talked you out of your passion. You begin thinking about how many wrong decisions you have made and how you became what you are now from being a Marine, Soldier or whatever it is you are deep down. You start fighting with everyone around you that’s close to you. The people that aren’t close to you think you have it all together because you can hide the pain and the real you from them. Then one day you lose it.
You have a rifle in your hand like you did while you were serving, instead this time, with that rifle, you want to harm yourself. Fuck this world and this life that you are living. The pain from your head pounding every day due to a TBI and the tension from always being on edge because of your anxiety or PTSD has been harassing you for years. The pain and mental anguish of living with your decisions never seem like they will go away. If you blow your brains out now, yeah, it’ll be tough for people to move on but only for a minute, right? You are just a worthless failure that will do better off dead than good. Once you are out of their lives and everyone else’s, they will be better off. Fuck it; you’re done, you put that rifle in your mouth and pull the trigger.
Your troubles are now finally over.
Remember those people the “they” at the end of that story? They are now dealing with the “what ifs” and wondering why and how they could have let this happen to you. How did they not see the signs? Your little Brother or random friend from High School that always looked up to you because you went on to serve your Nation. They no longer have you around to look up to, or for your Brother or family member, their loved one with them anymore. Instead, now all the trouble and bullshit that you couldn’t handle is in the hands and heads of everyone you cared for and the reason you pulled that trigger in the first place. You only made things worse for everyone around you. Killing yourself did the exact opposite, it only created more stress in your loved one’s lives.
Now imagine you didn’t pull that trigger. Your heart is pounding, and you don’t remember what the hell was going through your head. You begin to slow down your breathing and start to remember the people in your life that love you and care about you. No matter who you are, there is always someone in your life that loves you and will miss you. Not only will they miss you, but they will mourn you and not only once a year or every once in a while. They will think about you every day. How they could have possibly helped. If it’s someone that’s close to you, they will wish they were the ones dead instead of you.
When we kill ourselves, we just become another statistic in the books contributing to the 22 suicides a day or whatever new number comes out from the VA through their research. If you think that killing yourself is going to give others a better life or more opportunities, you are wrong. I know after reading this, you might believe that it’s just another “fluff” post about how you shouldn’t kill yourself. Even I kind of think that and I just wrote it. Who the hell am I to tell you who cares about you and who will miss you? I’m nobody to you. If you are thinking about taking that path and it’s something that you are contemplating. First, reflect on the next steps that must be made by your loved ones right after you take your life. From identifying your body, burial services, then the mental stress and confusion after you have died will go on forever. You have no idea who will be impacted by this decision and how it could affect them.
It’s possible that in killing yourself, you are killing a few others that have been looking up to you and using you as their support without you even knowing it. Instead of killing yourself, stop, think, and breathe. It’s not the solution to any problem. In a couple of days, something great will happen, and you will be happy that you decided to put that rifle down and chose to march on with life and beat the odds. You are a Veteran, someone that has gone through more than most. You can make it through this, and if you don’t believe you can, you don’t have to do it alone. Find a group or find a cool therapist that you can start talking to about your thoughts and conditions. You would be surprised at how excellent many therapist and psychiatrists are these days. Be proud of who you are and what you are doing. You are here, and you have a legacy to create and leave behind.