126 votes

The gun didn't fire!

I must have been sitting in the bathtub for hours. Condensation was building on the barrel of the Ruger .45 automatic that is shoved in my mouth. A trash bag is placed over my head with my arms through the drawstrings so my brains do not splatter against the wall. With a round chambered and the safety off, I watch the hammer pull back while slowly pulling the trigger. Click!

My heart skips a few beats as I try to gain my wits. Am I dead? Is this the afterlife? Gradually, I begin to realize the gun did not fire even though the hammer slammed forward. I franticly eject the round from the chamber, place the gun back into its box, and return it to the closet.

This haunting scene occurred on the afternoon of February 3rd. I was at rock bottom. I have been suffering from debilitating anxiety and depression since leaving the military over three years ago. For most of this time I would self-medicate the pain with alcohol. It seemed to efficiently numb my angst until I was busted for DWI last June. Sitting in jail for 48 hours resulted in a successful detox. Upon seeing the judge, I pled guilty and received probation. This meant no more drinking, no more self-medicating.

For the next six months I did what was required of me. I went to numerous substance abuse classes and group meetings. I paid my fine in full. I even had an ignition interlock installed in my truck. However, the sobriety came with unrestrained PTSD symptoms.

Around the middle of November was my tipping point. I quit everything- my job, visiting my probation officer and substance abuse counselor, even paying my bills. I isolated myself in my apartment for the next two months, ordering a pizza once a week for sustainment. The only social interaction I took part in was a bi-weekly trip to my dad’s house and the occasional comment on The Daily Paul. I spent most my time hyper-vigilant, anxiously pacing from room to room pondering how to end my life.

My dad came to check on me January 10th. I lied and told him I had been suffering from the flu. He asked if I had money for rent or food. He convinced me to move in with him; after all he had lived alone since my mother passed away in 2009. In the presence of my dad I would put on a smile, while still planning on killing myself. This culminated in the events of February 3rd.

Sobbing, I called my counselor and told her what I had attempted. She scheduled for me to meet her in the morning. Meanwhile, my dad arrived home from work and I informed him of what was going on. As we were wrapping up our conversation the doorbell rang. It was the police. My counselor had called in an emergency response.

The police took me to the emergency room where I was questioned by a doctor and social worker. The doctor ordered that I be transferred to a mental hospital nearly 500 miles away. Even though I explained I was uninsured, they evacuated me on an expensive medical flight. Upon arriving at the hospital, I was confused and irritated. During my intake, I was asked to retell my story to a therapist. I was then seen by a psychiatrist. He prescribed me a few medications and explained they would hold me for a week to monitor the effects.

As the medication began to work I felt an unfamiliar sensation, clear-headedness. During my stay, I met some very wonderful people who like me were in a dark place. We would sit in the halls and talk for hours about our lives. I began to realize my problems were not unique and it was possible that my brain could be fixed. I was not just a crazy person.

At my follow up appointment with the VA, I met with a therapist that specializes in counseling combat veterans. She spoke in very scientific terms. She explained how my brain gets stuck in flight or fight and its logical response that alleviates the anxiety and hyper-vigilance has been repressed by alcohol abuse. This was very reassuring for the reason that a scientific problem can have a scientific solution.

In conclusion, the gun did not fire! Every day from now to my optimistically natural death is a gift. I am excited to face whatever life brings my way. I do not know what exact purpose I have in this life, but I do know that I will not squander this second chance. My emotions are still raw at this point and still must primarily focus on recovery. However, as the wounds begin to heel I plan to seek a life of servitude to humanity. I am now playing with "house money" and will do my best to utilize this gift for the benefit of others.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

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Writing has always been a chore.

Until this post. I knocked it out in under 30 minutes. Never before have I wrote with such raw emotion. The words just flowed out and arranged themselves.

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
Thomas Paine

wistfulthinker has a keen eye

wistfulthinker has a keen eye for art.

Never be afraid to ask simple questions.

But when the night is

But when the night is falling
And you can not find the light
If you feel your dream is dying

Hold tight

You've got the music in you

----


http://youtu.be/uc6jd9P1X6w

Thought I had an incredibly bad day today, so I clicked on the DP to post this song in the, "Time for my nightly jam session," thread.

But I had to click on your post first, mingeem.

The title alone was brilliant.

I THOUGHT I had a bad day. Did suicide ever enter my mind? No, but what happened to me today was something a lot of people would end their lives over.

So glad you are still with us, mingeem. That gun didn't fire for more than one reason. You've got the music in you!

You are an excellent writer and I can't wait to see you post more here at the Daily Paul!

You are so not alone bro.

I don't know why, but I think an amazing woman will soon give you wings, a baby, and a time to begin again.

That is why you're still here.

Unfinished work. Your destiny is ahead of you.

Forget the past, kiss the future.

Walk on bro, held head up high and proud.

Kiss the sky, kiss life and dream out loud.

Tell the past to go off itself!

Never be afraid to ask simple questions.

What a great song!

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I am completely blown away by the amount love and support I have received from the members of this site. I am sorry you had a bad day and hope your troubles also pass.

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
Thomas Paine

Thank you for sharing this incredibly moving story, mingeem.

My best wishes are going out to you!

Meanwhile, may this gift of song bring you happiness, light, and love:


http://youtu.be/AMOMgQCRAqM


http://youtu.be/NiARHsjiBq8

God is GOOD...

and my prayer is that He reveals Himself to you in a very real and personal way. He spared your life for a reason of that you can be sure. You are in my prayers.

Thank God for condensation?

I too had a similar experience when I was in my early 20's. I thank God most every day for not letting me fuck it all up. Your purpose will reveal itself. So glad you are still with us!

I told my story to a friend several years ago who told me how he thought the most amazing and unique trees on the planet were those along the coastline. He explained how they took the most wind, water, sun, and held on the longest, to become the strongest and most beautiful trees in the world. Carry on...

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".
--Voltaire

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

Touching story, Glad your still with

Us

Aaron Russo, Nikola Tesla, Ron Paul, I'm jus' sayin'

I wonder if divine intervention

Had anything to do with this. I am glad you are still with us bud.
Good days are still ahead.

Agenda 21, PNAC, CODEX ALIMENTARIUS and UN biodiversity study. Help me understand why I shouldn't think there is a big agenda against the wishes of the masses.

The brain can play mind games with the body

Glad you won out, and are here to tell your story...one that the *warmongers* don't like to acknowledge.... Hopefully you will be strong for any future engagements of the mind.

Find a hobby or distraction....maybe limit your time on the DP. We learn a lot here, but sometimes it can be overwhelming how much crap we dig up on the bad guys.

Do you have a pet? That helps a lot.

Again, very glad you're here to fight another day. Hope love finds a way to crowd out your heart of that stinkin thinkin...just helping others can make one feel better about themselves...a two'fer.

RP R3VOLution

Kathleen Gee's picture

Yes, EMDR & hypnosis can work

Congratulations on making the most of your second chance. :) My thoughts are with you.

You may want to contact a guy in NYC named Dave Parke for more information on PTSD support. He's a veteran (former Army Ranger and Navy diver) who has a life coaching practice that incorporates NLP and hypnosis.

He's not a therapist himself, but has taught seminars for licensed therapists on how to work with people who have had to kill someone in the line of duty, on the battlefield, etc. If he can't help you I bet he can refer you to someone.

917-513-0898
david (at) lifeafterfear.com

"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid." - Ronald Reagan

Public Relations Consulting

Glad to hear about the gun not firing

I was so inspired reading your story, have you ever thought about writing as a profession, I believe military vets and people with any sense of humanity would benefit from reading your story. It truly is incredible, the amount of military personnel who are taking their own lives now, and I really think your writing could wake a lot of them up. Thanks for reminding me that life is a gift, God bless you on your road to recovery!

I am happy to hear you are still fighting the good fight.

Your post is similar to the one I posted, and both of our experiences are wide spread among vets.

http://www.dailypaul.com/308951/my-personal-testimony-of-the...

To put it plainly, we got duped as pawns in a power game played by psychopaths. We thought we were doing the right thing, but we were not. Our sins are redeemable, and it only takes small things. A person can only influence what they can influence, as no one person is going to change the world alone.

If it wasn't for my little boy and wanting to be the good dad I never had, I wouldn't be here. A smile from him really cuts through my gruff exterior. Everyday is still a psychological struggle though. Love is the counter to the darkness. Love really is the most powerful force in this world.

I met this Vietnam vet once that picked up on my PTSD, and he told me a story about how when he got back from "Nam", he was in the waiting room sleeping on a couch while his wife was in the delivery room. His wife sent the doctor to go get him and told the doctor not to touch him when he was waking him up. The Doctor didn't listen and tapped his shoulder, he sprung up, grabbed the doctor's throat and pinned him against the wall. He let him go, but the point was that he told me that PTSD fades over time. I think he said a few years for him, and now he is seemingly a nice well adjusted guy. So healing can happen, and there is not a need to check out. There is hope to be had, the hopeless feelings are not justified.

Get well brother, the psychos in this world are the minority, there are a lot of good people out there, even a few at the DP, lol. We might have been duped and had our sense of honor harnessed for bad, but that doesn't change the fact that we were willing to fight for something. Bravery may include some stupidity, but the stupidity doesn't negate the bravery. If you ever need an ear to listen, feel free to message me.

Thank you brother for your kind words.

Our stories are very similar. I wonder how many more are out there going through the exact same scenario. Will they get help? Will their gun malfunction also? I know from the numbers(veteran suicides) a lot of them will not be as lucky I am.

I am currently reading the book "War and the Soul". It is described on Amazon.com as the book to end all wars. You are right when you said we were duped. Many of us cannot forgive ourselves, but we must.

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
Thomas Paine

I think in the grand scheme

I think in the grand scheme of things that less are dealing with the psychological aftermath than any previous wars. With a small volunteer force doing repeated tours, instead of a draft where many people do one tour, the numbers are smaller but the effects are greater to the individual. Not as many people know someone suffering, as compared to the past, which lets it fly under the radar, and prevents public pressure to correct the shortcomings.

I will look into that book you mentioned, sounds interesting. I get very frustrated with how we were all used, and thinking about the (willful?) ignorance of the general public that enables history to repeat time and time again. Faith is the hope that I look to, which is not a way that I previously viewed this existence having been raised in a secular household. I just don't let man made organized religions get between God and I.

I have thought my experiences as kind of like the story how Eve in the Garden of Eden eats the apple and has the knowledge of good and evil, loosing her blissful ignorance. I feel like I am isolated in my knowledge, from most people. Fortunately I do have a few good people around, which is very good because I have cut ties with a lot of friends and relatives that found their discomfort with being supportive, trumped being good people.

Speaking of which, if you read my post and remember the part about how I was in such a hateful place I wanted to line up the guys rocket attacking, there has to be something to the fact that it happened when I was in the place where the garden of eden is said to be. It was near the home town of Abraham as well (Camp Cedar 2). I also used to think that place was so barren and nasty with sand storms, that if God was going to make a paradise desolate, he did a damn good job. Anyways, don't mean to get too spiritual on you if that is not your thing, but it is how I look at things.

I have a close friend with the exact same story

are your initials ko? I honestly do not know what to do -love helps but it's still troubled water.

I'd be interested in the thoughts of a good psychiatrist

Hopefully in the future no more beautiful people will consider suicide -it really seems torturous

Government is supposed to protect our freedom, our property, our privacy, not invade it. Ron Paul 2007

psychiatrists drug and compounds the problem

This is a conflict of the soul, resolved with love and understanding, not drugs.

As someone that has played

As someone that has played with gun barrels in his mouth, I can confirm what you said is right on. Drugs only compounded my problem, along with the lack of a support network of friends and family.

Hope you find your network of support.

If you don't, then create it. You are never alone. First, love yourself.

The underlying problem is malnutrititon.

counseling, family and friends are important to provide a sound perspective.

See my comment: Now for something completely different.

Working with a malnourished brain, is a challenge.

Free includes debt-free!

A malnourished brain is not

A malnourished brain is not the primary problem. Counselors, family, and friends that have not been to war, provide absolutely no valued perspective.

The best person a vet with PTSD can talk to is another vet that has come out the other side. How can some counselor or family member have an informed opinion? They can't.

It is like getting advice on what sights to see on a vacation to London, from someone that has never been to London, but read a lot of books about it. You need to talk to the guy that knows about the corner pub that is not in any reference books.

Nutrition built the brain,

Nutrition can rebuild a traumatized brain.

You are correct, I cannot have an informed opinion of another person's trauma.

It's easy to prove me wrong about nutrition. What nutrition can't fix are the realities of war.

Free includes debt-free!

A person with better nutrition tends to have better

mental stability. Lack of B vitamins particularly Niacin, for example, can create psychosis. Schizophrenia had been successfully treated with Niacin and improved nutrition. Sugar is a drug that can drive people insane. Try eating a lot of it on an empty stomach and observe how you fee.

Wish I could give you a hug in person

Wherever you are...Close your eyes...feel the thousands of arms warmly encircling you and gently embracing your emotionally tired soul, wiping away all fear, anger, reget. Feel the rays of golden light filling you with joy and remembrance of who you are and why you're here....

robot999's picture

With this story

and you're sharing of it with us here at the DP...

Do you realize how many people you have actually helped?

I read all of the comments, and thought about this myself, and realized that maybe the gun didn't work so that you could contribute your story to the world, and reach other people in need. You have done a great thing.

Thank You!

"Government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex". - Frank Zappa

WHO KNEW?

The DP family was such good medicine, just waiting to be taken?
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WHO KNEW?
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WHO KNEW?
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WHO KNEW?
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WHO KNEW?
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WHO KNEW?
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WHO KNEW?
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WHO KNEW?
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WHO KNEW?
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WHO KNEW?
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https://www.facebook.com/BattleInDistress

Alcohol is the WORST drug of all to abuse

I've used nearly every drug anyone could name at some point in my life and the ONLY drug that EVER caused me to say things and do things that were completely out of my control was alcohol. There seems to be a line with alcohol that when crossed...your brain just gets pickled and your decisions and actions become really really bad.

I've also got a very bad opinion of anti-depressants because for most people they eventually stop working but withdrawl from them creates massive sucide risk and a hopeless and often times violent crash.

There are lots of good recreational drugs that can help you out...I'd reccommend you stay away from alcohol and psychotropics.

I'm so glad you posted this

Amidst all the terrible news it's great to see a story like this. Perhaps you can even use this experience to help others down the road who are suffering with the same problems. Continue to get better and remember your friends at the DP are here for you. Thank you for posting!

A Blessing....

That it wasn't a revolver...

All Rights Reserved, c 1791
RP 2012 and beyond....

I wanted to

write something last night but nothing felt right but maybe there is no right thing to say. I've had personal experience with a suicide and I've stood on that abyss myself but never actually looked down into it so I'm glad life stepped in for you.

Have you ever heard of EMDS.. eye movement desensitization and reprocessing? I've heard some good things about its use for depression and ptsd.

wishing you all good things~

Garnet
Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists