For Some, Its NOT the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Part Two

Earlier my good friend TransportJockey posted about his experience and thoughts about suicide and depression. This is a touchy topic over the holidays. Studies have proven that people struggle more with this during the holidays. Is it due to holiday stress, or family? Is it due to the crowds of people or the lack of sunshine? Does it matter?

I, like TransportJockey, am an advocate on seeking help. I want others to understand this problem. People who do not know me personally do not get it, don’t get why I care, don’t get why I understand it when they cannot seem to get it. That ends today with me explaining it as best as I can to you…

When I was seventeen years old my best friend hung himself. We hadn’t spoken in a few days because I was out of town for an EMT competition for my state. I had forgotten my phone charger at home, and was unreachable for awhile. On the bus ride home another kid from my school approached me to tell me the news. I was in shock. I didn’t understand it. That night when my phone charged I found something nearly more painful. Voicemails from him. Six of them. He was crying, asking for help. He sought help and I wasn’t there to help him. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how I could’ve saved his life.

Days later I picked our mutual friend up from his home. We wore black and were going to the funeral home for the viewing. Nothing was more awkward, realizing that we were the only ones there that actually knew him. His dad pushed us to the front of the line and embraced us, warm tears streaming down both of our faces. He explained that after months of being bullied and hurt by others at school, he had enough.

I asked his dad if there was anything I could do. I talked with his mom. Their words have never left my mind. “He wanted it this way. He is finally out of pain. He isn’t hurting anymore.” As true as it is, I cant help wondering what could’ve happened if he didn’t do it. Nothing is more painful than realizing that right now he could be married, with a baby, with a job, and memories past high school.


With my job I deal with psych patients. I do lots of 1:1’s, sitting next to the patients bedside while they sleep off an overdose, or while they fight the soft restraints that have them bound to a bed. They do it for many reasons. Someone they loved left them, their life is a mess, drugs, accidental ODs, there are so many different reasons. With work it is easy to become desensitized to it, but for me, I refuse to. I remember every patient that I’ve had to sit with. I remember all their stories. I remember their pain. It’s not easy to carry that on my shoulders, but I feel it makes me a better person.

I will never forget the patient that changed my life. I had been struggling with depression myself for a long time now. Being assigned to this patient seemed like a hassle, he seemed legitimately crazy. He had “psychosis” and made claims everyone thought was insane. After a few hours, something amazing happened. Just when the patient and I had enough, when he was doing everything he could to commit suicide (in front of me, having me literally fight him to stop him), and I was trying my best to try to calm this poor man down, a miracle happened.

His friends came. They had a guitar and they sat on the furnace in his hospital room. They laughed, they joked, they proved to us that we were wrong, he didn’t have “psychosis”, he was telling the truth. I will never forget the song they played to him that caused us all to smile…

The patient made it through, and made it out of the dark. Last I heard he is touring with a band and is very happy. People went to help him, and he made it through.


My husbands good friend (his brother, for lack of a better term) committed suicide a few months ago now. Nothing is more depressing than having to deal with that again, so close to home. People tell you not to place blame, but when it comes to people who have good hearts, who are trying their best, people that are legitimately amazing people taking their lives, there is blame to place. The blame isn’t with his friends or family. The blame runs deeper than that.

Nothing is more painful than having to relive it all. Walking through the cemetery that my friend is buried in, visiting the funeral home all over again, seeing the tears from parents. Nothing is more painful than having to explain it all to others… to try to explain to them what their loved one has been feeling.

The only reason I know is because I’ve been there. I’ve been the person feeling lost and hopeless. The only reason I am still here today is thanks to my husband and my mother in law. They don’t get it, but have supported me through it.

People struggle with depression, its not uncommon. In my normal day of seeing patients 9 out of 10 patients have it. The difference is how people deal with it.  Some choose to medicate, to medicate with drugs, alcohol, antidepressants, with food. Medicating makes the pain go away, even for a little while. Some choose to self inflict pain upon themselves, to cut. People cut because the physical pain hurts more than the emotional pain, it makes you feel something other than the emotional pain youve been struggling with. Some people realize that feeling the way they do has been going on for too long, and they have had enough pain for one lifetime. They’ve tried other methods, with no success… they want to be out of pain. Sometimes people love too much, and their hearts cannot hold it anymore. I’ve never known anyone who struggled with suicide and depression that wasn’t a wonderful person. Sometimes their hearts are just too full, and the world is just too dark.

I’m not saying that suicide is okay. I’m not saying that it is acceptable by any means. But to those that are dealing with the loss of someone, you have to understand their side of it- you have to understand their pain and misery. And for those suffering with depression, you need to realize why people do what they do.

If you see anyone struggling with depression, you need to take action before it gets worse. There is no better time than the present to take action. There is no better time to try to save a life than now. And nothing, nothing in the world feels better than knowing you saved a life by doing the smallest of things.

My husband said it best. “I’m so glad I can hold you in my arms. I am so glad I can feel you. I am so glad you are still here. Please, don’t ever be the person in the casket. Please let me help you.”

If you have depression or have attempted suicide, seek help. There are so many people you know that can help you out. If you know someone who is struggling with this you need to take action, whether they ask for your help or not. Just do it.


For Some, Its NOT the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Part One

A look at Suicide and depression…

I asked a good friend of mine to help me co-author a post on suicide and depression. He is a certified EMT-I (almost a Paramedic!) and is an advocate of seeking help and other methods to cope when you are feeling low.

Yes the topic is dark and twisty. Yes its no fun to read about during the holidays, but it is something we ALL need to read.
Part One, written by TransportJockey:

You think you’re all alone? You think no one cares? You think it’ll be easier to just end everything? You think it’ll be better for everyone you leave behind? Trust me. It’s not. When I was asked to help write a guest post for this blog, I had no idea how to start it. but those questions popped into my mind. They’re questions I wish I could ask someone, ask someone if they thought it was true. And for anyone thinking about hurting themselves, or trying to kill themselves, those are questions someone is going to ask about you. Every single person has at least one person who cares about them. One of my supervisors at work terms it like this: “Suicide is a very permanent solution to a temporary problem”. And he’s right. I know a lot of people who are considering it think that nothing can ever get better, that nothing can help what they’re going through. I know it seems like you’re feeling the most alone and there’s no one you can ever talk to. But that’s all not true. Why do I think so?

Well… two reasons… three really.

I’ve been where you are. That’s the biggest reason I know. I have even tried before to end things. I was lucky in that I had an amazing friend who realized what was happening and came to me and stopped me from doing anything further. It’s not a fun place to be, and I know it really does seem like there’s nothing there to live for. But life can be hard, and one of the hardest things is pressing forward to keep going. In five, ten, twenty years you are most likely not even remember what was causing you such pain at this point in your life. The girl who dumped you and you felt life wasn’t living anymore? She’ll turn into a stupid whore and get fat. The jocks who tease you day after day? They top out in High School and never go anywhere with their lives. Just try to remember that this pain isn’t who you are, it isn’t what defines you. Take that pain and turn it into energy, turn it into strength, and determination. It can be useful to you.

The second reason? I see all of this on a regular basis. With my job a lot of the time people don’t know who to turn to, or their families get scared and dial 911. We come and try and talk and reason to people. Unfortunately in my state we are required to take anyone who makes threats of hurting themselves to the hospital. I had one last night that said we only did that because we wanted to make his life even worse. That couldn’t be any farther from the truth. The truth? We care. A lot of us care way more than is good for us. I hate seeing a young life wasted. I hate not being able to do something to help someone. And we have seen what happens in a moment of carelessness. We have seen lives that had so much promise, so much potential, just like yours, wasted. We don’t want that to happen to you. All of us do this because we genuinely want to help      people, and to be honest, I treat the calls I run for patients that want to hurt themselves more seriously than any other I run. Why? Because you deserve it. EMTs and Paramedics have become kind of like a safety net when someone is having mental problems. Use us. If you have no one else to call, call those three little numbers, call 9-1-1, talk to us. We are always willing to listen and help you. And if we can’t do anything to help you right then, we will get you to someone who can help you.

And third… Well, this is the hardest reason for me to write. I have been one that has been left behind when someone decides this life is just too much for them. Every day I wake up wondering what I did that someone I loved that much would do something like that. I wake up wondering why she didn’t  come to me and talk to me. I feel guilty I didn’t see something happening, take notice of what was going on. I am, after all, at      least slightly trained in that. The feeling that you get inside when you lose someone you love… it’s… well, put it this way, it broke me in a way that I didn’t think I could be broken. It almost pushed me to the point of following her. Do you really want to do that to your loved ones? Please don’t.

I have no idea if this will help anyone.. but I just want you all to know that there are people who care about you. People who love you more than life itself. People who would do anything to make you smile again. Open your eyes and look around. They are most likely waiting for you to notice them, and would be more than willing to help. If you are ever feeling to the point of harming yourself, please talk to someone, anyone. Hell, poke me on twitter if you are at the breaking point and just can’t take it.

No one deserves to end their life on this world like that. Like I have said, trust me, it doesn’t make things any easier for anyone. Everyone is special, everyone is amazing, and everyone deserves a chance to live to their fullest.

-TransportJockey, EMT-I


Don’t ever hesitate to call or ask for help. . . here are some of the numbers you can call…

Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433
Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272
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