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Just Wait. Suicide Isn’t The Answer

Just Wait. Suicide Isn’t The Answer

 

Military suicides have risen to rates none of us want to see.† Last week, while still mourning the loss of 31 in the Chinook incident, and the daily news of more casualties that added up to 10 more KIA (Killed in Action) in that week and unknown numbers wounded; we reeled from the release of the military suicide numbers for July.† 32 Active and Guard soldiers killed themselves in July.† These figures are staggering, the highest since we started keeping records of Army suicides.

Suicide has also become a hidden epidemic among family members of those in the military.† A few months ago, the military spouse social media world was rocked by a farewell message written by an Army Spouse named Jessica.† Her ďif you are reading this, I am deadĒ post on her blog sent an enormous shudder through our world.† Jessica got help, and is carrying on a new life.† I canít link you to her note: she took it down as a celebration of her new life.† A New York Times piece about this by Alison Buckholtz brought this to a larger audience.

This isnít an isolated incident. Many of us have stories about talking someone down, or know of a military spouse who has decided this life is too painful and cannot go on.† The wife who was admitted for attempting to commit suicide and then released a few days later to go home to an empty home and finished what she started; the wife who got into her car in the garage and left it running; the ones who try, but donít succeed. †As Shawn Gourley has written on her site †Military With PTSD, the numbers are growing.

Those of us in the military spouse community are starting to speak out.† We refuse to be quiet anymore.† We refuse to pretend that all is just peachy keen and hunky dory Ė while some of our community are drowning in despair in the middle of another deployment or while trying to deal with the distress of reintegration with our spouses.† Those of us who can, are reaching out.† Since many of us are scattered all over the world, we stay in contact as best we can: email, chat, skype, facebook.† And this is also where we find our support.

A military spouse support network HerWarHerVoice has produced a PSA,†Just Wait.

Just Wait

Just Wait is a place for military spouses to read stories and view art created by other military spouses who thought about suicide and chose to wait. So often we feel trapped, and we think the only way out is to take full control of our lives by ending them.

But you have other choices. There is light beyond the dark. There is hope.

Hope that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, hope that we can get to the end of the road.† Hope that when we get there, our families are intact; hope that we can survive another deployment, another reintegration, another move, another holiday without our spouse.† There is Hope — and if you understand that, you can pull yourself out, you take that step, you can keep reaching out.

Please Ė donít say we knew what we were getting into.† Donít say you know how we feel because your husband goes on a fishing trip or your wife was gone for a whole 3 weeks on a business trip.† Just. †Donít.

Related Stories:

31 US Special Forces, 7 Afghans Killed in Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan

Obama Lifts Ban on Condolence Letters for Military Suicides

The Love of a Good Dog: Service Dogs fro PTSD

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Photo from Just Wait - used with permission

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85 comments

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3:15PM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

Just another reason why we need to end war.

2:21AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

To say suicide is not the answer is a dangerous thing to say, because for so many people it's not true. To make comments like that is akin to saying that the colour of a person's skin doesn't matter. If the latter were true, and everyone believed that, there would be no laws to protect black people.
Suicide is the answer to many problems, but it is also an act that will have survivors (relatives and friends) wondering why they didn't see the signs of an impending suicide and why the victim didn't approach and speak to them. Of course, there's a possiblility that if the victim had spoken of their wish to kill themselves, they would have heard the response 'Don't be silly. Suicide is not the answer.'
One of the feelings that seem to cause suicide is the belief that the inability to cope is unnatural. Maybe it's happening in a military setting because those people don't know what tomorrow will bring for them, or how they'll cope with whatever it will be. Maybe suicide is becoming more prevalent in that setting, because discussing emotions is not paramount.

9:12AM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

Wanting to commit suicide is a natural reaction to military service during war. You cannot kill inoccent people just because "you defend our freedom" or whatever other dumb lies the military feeds you. When you join the military you ruin lives period.

1:06AM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

When a person wants out from life suicides the only way - [It is what they wanted]
Peace to them - and to you.

Av pinched your last line Jelka as its so true.

6:11AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Thanks.

9:29AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

We must always remember We blessed is so many ways. Things do get better. We just need to find that spark there is always that someone that will help you NEVER NEVER GIVE UP

6:28AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.
-E. M. Cioran

4:14AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

There IS always hope!!!!!!! I was suicidal but have such a fire burning in me to save the environment and our ecosystem that it has truely given me a successfull life. I feel fulfilled in all that I do to save the ecosystem. My husband and I have a happy life now. I just couldn't leave the planet behind knowing I could do so much. @Brian M. you are right,,PTSD is running rampant in America, if we can heal those that are traumatized, we can heal the universe,

4:19PM PDT on Aug 24, 2011

People in the military are killing themselves because they realise they are commiting horrible and immoral acts in the name of country and patriotism. If we want to stop soldiers from killing themselves, the only solution is to stop sending them to fight immoral wars which kill innocent people. Most military suicides are the result of witnessing the horrors of war firsthand and knowing it does not "defend freedom " or "protect liberty", in fact it does the opposite. Suicide is a rational reaction to an irrational set of circumstances.

7:05PM PDT on Aug 23, 2011

very sad

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