Hello. My name is Amy and once contemplated suicide. Not easy, but it needed to be said.
Six years ago I had just come back to the USS Essex (LHD 2) from leave…and I was miserable! So miserable, it cost me my job, my sanity, and my freedom.
For months, I dealt with horrible anxiety- like couldn’t have people behind me or blocking doors anxiety. Everything was nerve wracking! My workspace became a dungeon. Waiting for a bathroom stall was like being locked in a closet with 20 not-so-close friends. Just thinking of waiting in line on the mess decks where we ate was enough to give me anxiety attacks.
My anxiety—along with some not-so-great decisions—lead me to losing my job in the Navy and being sent to Deck department, were I basically went from an in-depth analytical job to painting walls and hauling chains for 14 hours a day. From there I spiraled. I was depressed, which lead me to insomnia, which made me more depressed.
At my lowest I was considering suicide by jumping off the back of the ship. It was an all time low and it scared me!
So I made the choice to go to medical crying uncontrollably as I told the doctor what I had been thinking. I was sure he was going to yell at me and tell my mom.
From there I was put on Suicide Watch, which means someone had to watch me 24/7. They wrote down when I ate, slept, read, even when I went to the bathroom. It was humiliating and gave me a new appreciation for zoo animals. One of the people who watched made sure to tell me what a waste of time it was for him to sit there watching me sleep. Another thought it was a joke and made light of my situation by saying things like “don’t hang yourself with that cord while I go to the bathroom”.
I was removed from the ship and sent back to our home base to await the ship’s return. When the ship came back I was unceremoniously told I was being forced discharged from the Navy. A few weeks later I was in San Diego, being processed out. My discharge however wasn’t classified as medical, but rather administrative seperation for behavioral reasons.
During those months of anxiety and depression, my close friends and family could tell there was something wrong. I was a whole different person. I acted, spoke and even dressed differently.
Looking back on this is super difficult for me, It’s hard to imagine that if I hadn’t gotten help I wouldn’t be here to take care of my beautiful daughter and capture intimate moments for families. Not to say my life is perfect, far from it, but it is definitely 100x better than it was 5 years ago!
Because of these experiences and my near brush with suicide, I have decided to join the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and few dear friends in the Out of the Darkness Walk. The walk will be on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at Ala Moana Beach Park. Registration will begin at 8:00am with the walk will starting at 9:30am. My goal this year is to raise $400 in donations.
Click here to make your donation and help us raise suicide awareness! Because the life you save could be someone you know,