Disclaimer – possible trigger warning.
All of the situations I never thought I would see myself in.
* “Mother ♡” screen reads as my phone rings*
“Hey, I was just about to call y-”
“MIRIAM!!! MIRIAM!!!” *screaming and voice breaking behind the sobs*
My heart sank. Something was clearly wrong. Very wrong. I paused a moment.
“Who is it, Mom? What happened?”
“My daddy. Oh daddy!”, she sobbed, “He shot himself.”
The silence that followed inside my spirit was deafening.
I have dealt with suicide in my younger years. A kid I knew from another High School.
I have dealt with suicides in a professional sense. You see, working in EMS it’s inevitable that you will eventually run on someone either in the mindset, in the process, and the aftermath.
I have dealt with suicide in the work place. I have had six… six coworkers and friends, fellow EMT’s and Paramedics, Brother’s in the field, who could no longer stay in this world.
Now my Granddad. My grandfather. A retired police officer and an army veteran. My old fashioned grandpa who fully embraced his lesbian granddaughter and her wife with open arms.
The healthcare system failed him. Over and over and over again. Three months prior threw medications at issues and then threw more medications at the side-effects of the first medication.
It’s been 5 months since he couldn’t take another sleepless night. The torment he faced inside his head. The medication induced PTSD type episodes from his policing days that he had never had before. He held me crying softly three days before he went through with his decision. When he hugged me and held onto me…. I think he knew what he was doing, I think he knew he was saying goodbye to me.
My older brother has struggled long and hard with the fight against suicide. After grandpa’s funeral he said he promised to stay.
My story? It’s a continuing story but that’s the important thing right? That it continues. I haven’t brought myself to actually click the link on OH to Pinky Promise to Stay;
It’s been one year in 5 days since I was hospitalized. I advocate for ending the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide and I encourage and listen to others. I have talked someone off a literal edge. I have been an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. But when it comes to opening up? Oof, this one’s a hard one to write. I won’t be able to bring myself to share all the details of my past right now. I have struggled and struggled since my adolescent years and into my adulthoood. I get embarrassed of the scars that are not yet hidden under tattoos. My patients ask, my coworkers ask, strangers ask. I am embarrassed of my past.
When I got out of high school, I immediately moved over seas to do missionary work. I felt so fulfilled there. Helping others. But when I decided to fully come “back” out as a lesbian I could no longer continue where I was. So I had to relocate back to the USA and decided to get into EMS. I am out and proud and in my element helping people but out of my element surrounded by some unhappy, grouchy, burnt out medics. As a whole, EMS personnel tend to have poor coping mechanisms, twisted humor, excessive alcohol consumption, suppressing memories and emotions. I have no real community of healthy humans in my life anymore.
I found Only Human, I want to say a little over a year ago, on Instagram and I was blown away that a group of humans like this existed. I have literally always said (even since I was a young 5 year old) that why can’t people just love people? And when I was doing missionary work I was with a host family who had very similar relational values as me and a very simple yet complex mindset of LOVING OTHERS. PERIOD. I’m glad I have discovered Only Human. Humans simply loving other humans and doing good. Bettering themselves and others. I haven’t introduced myself and I have only recently brought myself to become an advocate but I gotta tell you, I have already been so encouraged by the posts and people on here.
Through all of the good times and laughs and high moments…. and through the daily battles and struggles and the long nights when the silence is deafening…a good start is that I Pinky Promise to Stay;
Thanks for the read, friends.
Story submitted by Miriam.