In the past recent years, veteran suicides have increased significantly with an insinuation that it’s linked to wars in Iraq or Afghanistan coupled with the use pf prescribed medications.
In the civilian sector, more than a week ago, two-successful well-known celebrities committed suicide within 48hrs of one another. I can’t help but believe that the world sees this in a similar aspects as the way I see it; “what triggered these two successful people in self-annihilation when they seemed to have it all?”
I know that the majority of the world sees things different. More of the world views this through a sight that sees through a lens a little different as most of us aren’t rich or famous. We see this in the ways of living the “average American life”; “realizing that we will probably never be famous”; “knowing that unless a miracle happen, we will never be rich”; “what do rich people have to be miserable about, they can buy it all” or simply THINKING “I just want to be happy”.
The first ideas of rich and famous, yes we as common folk think that way. However we also know that being rich is predicated on one thing or another happening. However “I just want to be happy”, that’s not JUST the result of being rich or famous. But, it means something different to everyone regardless of social status, regardless or race, regardless of creed, regardless of gender, regardless of the way others perceive it should be.” Being happy is what we ALL desire for our lives.
On the other end of the spectrum, those that choose suicide, I CANT help but to wonder what were the burdens they carried; what are the things they’ve seen; what were their internal wounds and scars that wouldn’t disappear; or, what were their external wounds and scars that were constant reminders?
I know that regardless of whats uncovered or the opinions that are thrown around, no-one will EVER KNOW and no one will EVER UNDERSTAND the choice of suicide.
Most people truly don’t understand “that many veterans struggle to fit into the civilian world once they exit the military.” They struggled to find “who they are” and “how they can make a great life for their families in addition to coping with the repercussions of war?” or “struggling to revamp their institutionalized mindset.”
OR simply “learning to rethink on our own while we fear the unknown.” Hey world, did you know we struggle with that?
As I rethink the suicides of the well-known people, I can’t help but to relate it to my own life as a veteran learning to walk in THE WORLD that is now, again, NEW TO ME.
To be honest, these two suicides along with the constant #22vets a day forces me as a veteran to evaluate my life and where my journey may take me?
The military community is challenged with #22vets a day attempting and/or succeeding in being responsible for their own deaths. From my book, titled “The Realization of Irrelevance” (pg 31) below is a quote speaking of suicide:
(pg 31, para 1) “In 2012 the suicide rates was higher amongst veterans then lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraq during that same year”
(pg. 31, para 2) “Sadly, veterans have a suicide rare 50% higher than those who have never served.”
As I venture into the world of post-military and become a business owner, I can’t help but to wonder “if those two successful people struggled, what does all this mean for me?’ “How do I fight to make sure the thought of suicide or the attempt or the succeeding of suicide doesn’t come knocking on my door? I venture to say that everyone at one time or another has conceptualized the idea of suicide. This isn’t to say that it was a long-term thought or a reoccurring thought. However, at some point we have at least allowed the idea to enter our mind even if just to say, “naw, I couldn’t imagine” or ” I couldn’t do that because I’m afraid of…” or “I hope I never get to that point”
I’d be naive to believe Im immune. I’d be naive to believe that all my failures will make me stronger, not make me believe Im a failure. I’d be naive to believe that my children are the reason to not do it. I’d be naive to believe that “I could never”. I’d be naive to believe that the thought happens over time and its never a “one-event-tragic deal-ever”. I’d be naive to believe that it could never be me.
I’m sure a few of my battle-buddies didn’t ever think they’d be part of the #22vets.
How do we come together as a society to combat this from happening?
This preventable tragedy happens in all societies, in all groups, in all societal classes.
Regardless, rather a veteran or a well-known person this “cry of “IM ALL OUT-I CHOOSE DEATH” is a rising problem that needs Everyones attention, constantly. Not just when a famous person does it.
I pray for solutions.
I pray that people will feel as though they have PEOPLE and THINGS to live for.
As a Veteran Focused Purpose and Vision Coach I hope that I can make the difference in lives of others. I want them to realize their vision and help them as they walk in their purpose.
I know “If we take One More Step TODAY, then we did YESTERDAY, imagine what TOMORROW brings!”
Please remember if you feel as though you need to reach out,
please call 1-800-273-8255,
if you are a Veteran, call the same number and press #1.
YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!