I am not sure if you can say I have experienced suicide attempts, I guess you could say I witnessed the result. See, for many years in the U.S., I was working at a Paramedic.
I witnessed suicide attempts, I saw many who survived their attempt and I saw those who did not survive. I saw the aftermath – the torn families, the witnesses who found the body, the friends who were shocked. I saw firsthand the condition the person was in and our attempts to resuscitate the person.
For those who survived, I could see the pain in their eyes – the cry for help without words and others, we did not know their story. One thing all had in common, each appeared to be the person next door, the smile you see at the grocery store, the person you see every day walking down the street.
There are a few people who stick out to me – even today. I won’t go into details, but during a call, sometimes there is a word, comment, sight that rings within you and does not go away. One certain call, my ears cannot unhear what I heard, even today, almost 20-year later.
Everyone has a story. I loved my career as a Paramedic, yet today, I am far from that career. Through various calls and being a “brave first-responder” I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The subject of suicide needs to be in the open along with other mental health topics such as PTSD. I have friends in public service who have attempted suicide which I feel was part of PTSD. Today, I live with PTSD. At times, I experience flashbacks, hypervigilance, and living in what I call being in my partial fight or flight mode – sort of half-throttle, although today, this is better. Through therapy, talking, and writing, I am better today.
I want to share what I remind myself each day, regardless of what is going on in our world, we are all human, built the same. We can all experience the same emotions, feelings, excitement, sadness, and uncomfortable times. We are also built to communicate with one another. Communication brings light and health. Humans can talk, share, listen, and reach out. These do not cost money and can save a person.
The first step is talking – saying something – anything. Once that first step is made, trust me, it becomes easier.
– by Scott