22 a day – Happy Fucking New Years

**Trigger Warning: graphic content/Suicide

Personally, i had a good New Years eve – the festivities were muted, but fun with friends around, a few drinks… it was nice.

But not everyone had a good New Years… Besides the fact that there is a veteran suicide at the rate of approximately 22 a day, the suicide rate in general tends to fall around Christmas and then significantly rise again for New Years.

My sister, Finding Reverie, had a rough New Years Eve. At the moment I don’t know every specific and I imagine this will be something she’ll need to let out in her own writing… though she’s not ready to write current day stuff on her own blog yet, so I’ll give you the run down of what I was told by my mother. Finding Reverie can elaborate later if she wishes… or not. I hope either way that she doesn’t keep it bottled inside.

My sister lives in an apartment with her fiance – on the 3rd floor. A Marine has his apartment on the floor below.

On New Years Eve, she and her Fiance along with another friend, I understand, were starting their New Years plans… whatever they were… When they heard a gunshot and the sound of a woman screaming.

They ran downstairs when they heard the sound and found that the Marine had shot himself in the head and his girlfriend was there, screaming and sobbing. My sister’s fiance, as prior military, had emergency training and jumped in to hold the Marine’s brains in his head while my sister and her friend called 911 and I suppose handled the girlfriend.

While the Marine was taken to the hospital non-responsive, he was still alive when emergency responders took him away – at this point my sister is not yet aware if he survived or not.

My mother said that FR has been tearful all day, and her fiance is having a really hard time processing the events as well. Apparently they still see the blood all over the stairs…If you’re praying people, keep them along with the Marine and his family in your prayers please… Otherwise, in your thoughts or send them good vibes… whatever you’d have to offer, I guess.

I know the knee jerk reaction is to wonder what the hell was so bad that someone would do this to themselves, their family… Their neighbors even. For me, there’s a knee jerk reaction to want to protect my baby sister and think how selfish suicide is and how his actions affected her…

But then, I know a taste of depression. I know that depression lies and that suicidal thoughts can become uncontrollable. The decision to attempt it doesn’t come from a rational place.

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Image from the Veteran Vision Project

It also hurts my heart that veteran suicide is at such a high rate. They have a whole separate set of issues that contribute to their depression/PTSD. If you know a Veteran, check in with them once in awhile… check in around the holidays, offer to sit with them when they’re feeling low… There’s no real set of rules you can go by for preventing suicide that will be effective for everyone, so basically… just be there.

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Also from Veterans Vision Project

If you are a Veteran that needs help, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. If you don’t have a close friend or someone like that; reach out to other organizations.

I know it seems odd to say, but even though US Army WTF! Moments is in general a group that likes to talk BS and snark, the admins also have a heart for suicidal veterans. They’ve noted several times before they’ll talk to anyone who needs it. (They can be found on their website armywtfmoments.com or facebook and twitter )

You can also contact  stopsoldiersuicide.org  toll free on their crisis line: 1.800.273.8255.

To see other posts I’ve written regarding Veteran Depression/Suicides you can read about Rich here and there is a short paragraph at the end of this post here.

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Pingback: The memory lingers on | I Will Not Live in Vain

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