In reading this, know that next to your own journeys, I mean no disrespect. We all must find, our own unique resolutions to the tragedy of the trauma experiences, and it's resulting conditions that trauma brought to us in our personal lives.
And I mean no further disrespect to anyone in this world. In fact, I've found my way, finally. I am forgiving it all. Herein, lies the lesson of my journey about stigma, I today feel compelled to share.
In Canada, we've simply lost too many this past eleven weeks. Sixteen reported deaths to suicide now. From my brethren, working still in Emergency Services. This, through my resolution process, is what I now stand with and believe.
I believe, strongly, that we are rejected for 'catching' PTSD, Addiction and many other mental health challenges, because the world believes, we are insane. Pardon the real language, but this bullshit assumption, is why we feel the stigma of this. We need to stop doing this, to ourselves and to our fellow man. Life is an adventure. It isn't race. It comes with both pleasure and pain and none of us are immune from the potential of experiencing psychological trauma in our lives.
My belief in all this now, is that we've learned in society, therefore, to stigmatize one another, bully behaviour. Having learned that this is acceptable and expected societal practice, we've therefore learned how to bully and to stigmatize, ourselves. We call this inner torment, this self-bullying ourselves out of the precious world we so love, isolation. Depression ensues when we bully. Needing to escape this inner-torment, we now have, sixteen fallen brothers and sisters in Canada, who have chosen to end the bullying torture, by taking from all of us, their own, brilliant and so valuable lives.
Inside of myself? Personally? I don't stand for bullying from me any longer. I hope to find in resolving all of this, that there is only self-compassion towards myself from inside anymore. AND I CERTAINLY WON'T ACCEPT THIS ASSUMPTION OF INSANITY FROM THE WORLD. IT HAS UNDERESTIMATED ME, AND I'VE BULLIED MYSELF IN THE SAME WAY INSIDE. THIS ENDS! FOR ME, FOREVER.
So, ALL WHO LOVE ME KNOW, that wasn't anger, the bold print, by the way. I need to bold that for myself. For those inevitable and unwelcome times, my condition tries to push me back towards, all it has taught me over 20 years, about living in my darkness. I'm choosing today, to live, in trauma's light.
Today, for only today. I am ME. And really? That is simply, from here, good enough for me. IF IT ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR ANYONE IN THE WORLD? THEN, I'M SORRY WORLD: KEEP LIVING IN YOUR OWN HELL. Like I said in the beginning, I mean none who read this, any personal disrespect. Your decisions to live or die, and how you might choose to do both, are your own, and I respect that. But, in sharing this now resolved truth, my intent as well is to perhaps save, just one more human life.
This article, is written to myself as well, and to three specific people, who I believe, sincerely believe, now together have the best shot at convincing Government in the Province of British Columbia, to add presumption of illness language in the Workers Compensation Act for PTSD in Emergency First Responders, moving forward.
I've personally carried this burden, long enough. This SHOULD NEVER have been my burden to carry. It was the responsibility of My Union, to ensure protection for all of us in Emergency Services with our Employer. They both in my case refused to take this condition seriously, for now far to long.
And, I am publicly stating so, without fear of them or of Government, out of dignity for my own life and journey and for the dignity and life of my fallen brothers and sisters, who, maybe one of them at this very moment, is contemplating suicide. It is for the sake of my own health, moving forward, that I publicly acknowledge the truth of this claim.
I apologize, to my family and friends, for attempting so verbally violently, to get you on my side. You all, let me down, frankly. I suggest, with me in our relationship. You don't make that mistake with me again, and buy into the bullshit the world teaches about how to care for fallen men.
I resolve, with this, my entire past. Anyone out there suffering in silence, I suggest you do the same before you end up in such a dark, never spoken to anyone place, you choose through the lies of depression, to take your own life.
I'm sorry too, for this forthright and blunt, public display of what most of us view as Another's Drama. Not My Circus. Not My Monkeys. This, my family, friends, and those who live with PTSD, THIS KIND OF THINKING, IS ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT TOO.
We have a DUTY of care for our fallen men, from whatever walk of life they may come. AND IT IS OUR OWN, INNER FEAR, OF OUR OWN, INNER DEMONS, that sets us up on earth, to choose to bully one another in order to feel powerful. When INSIDE we are actually feeling fear and weakness and our bully ways, are our own bullshit learned coping mechanisms, that are no longer serving us as a society on whole.
Living like this, is NOTHING BUT ABSOLUTE CRAP, AS DINNER FOR OUR SOULS NOURISHMENT. So, you three that I've now asked to carry my burden? You all need to get to know one another from here, on the issue stated above. You have my input in hand. It's written, right here.
SO PLEASE, CARRY IT WELL, SO I KNOW I'VE BEEN HEARD YOU THREE. FOR NO OTHER REASON, BUT OUT OF RESPECT FOR MY 20 YEARS OF SUFFERING, ATTEMPTING THROUGH THE LAST EIGHT, TO SAVE HUMAN LIFE. TO SAVE MY OWN LIFE. WHICH BELONGS NOW ONLY TO ME.
AND FOR ALL WHO HATE RELIGION, FROM WHATEVER EVIL IN LIFE HAS CAUSED YOU TO FEEL THIS. MY LIFE BELONGS TO GOD AS WELL AND ALWAYS HAS. AND TO WHOMEVER IN MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY, WHO NOW CHOOSE TO RESPECT MY JOURNEY, BY STAYING IN MY LIFE. YOU NEED TO KNOW, DON'T YOU EVER AGAIN, TRY TO TAKE MY GOD AWAY FROM ME, OUT OF YOUR OWN, SELFISH PAIN.
I'M DONE WITH THIS FIGHT AND I'M DONE TRYING TO PERSUADE THIS WORLD, TO ACCEPT THEIR COLLECTIVE DUTY TO CARE FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. AND I'M DONE WITH FIRST RESPONDERS, OTHER THAN MY NOW PROFESSIONAL DUTIES OF SUPPORT, WHO WISH TO KEEP THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND.
Moving forward. I commit to myself, to only live my own life. And if anyone values me enough, to ask directly for my PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. I would be honoured to be trusted enough to help. I DO, FROM HERE FORWARD. STAND READY TO SERVE. MY PERSONAL LIFE? IS NO LONGER ANYONE ELSE'S BUSINESS, UNLESS MY JOURNEY AND SHARING CAN HELP. I DIE TODAY TO MY OLD LIFE IN FULL. WITHOUT SUICIDE, ONCE AND FOR ALL. LET NEW LIFE, FINALLY BEGIN FOR ME, AND HOPEFULLY TOO FOR MY NOW ESTRANGED LIFE-PARTNER. MY WIFE, MY LOVER AND MY BEST FRIEND.
The rest of my friends and family? Please, hear me. I sincerely mean you, no disrespect. You've been there with me. I know that. I love you dearly, even though I felt often, none of you were willing to love me back, and I know you couldn't do a thing to help me through. This was my own battle and mine alone. I understand that, fully now.
You make your own decisions about recovering from your own, broken pasts. But I do need to tell you, my personal truth in this. I'm through, trying to coax others I love and care so deeply for, to take FULL INNER RESPONSIBILITY for your own lives. I do love you. But, know this as well, please. I've been carrying the burden of your suffering on your behalf too. I know this is true, because now, I far too often see suffering in your eyes.
You couldn't lie to me anymore about that if you tried. BUT YOUR JOURNEY, IS YOURS AND GODS TO CHERISH. So, I apologize and seek forgiveness, for not following my own, verbose and often frustrating, frequent advice.
That ends today, too. I trust my knowledge, fully now. If you need questions answered ever, my brethren or my family. Privately and respectfully, I'm here still, thank God, for any one of you, as I often demanded, you weren't there enough for me.
These suicides across Canada, must now end. People, look at me. Choosing suicide would be throwing fully away from us all, very valuable and empathic to the needs of others, precious human life.
Suicide is a choice. Know, you are not alone. Listen to your soul and find way through treatment and recovery to set that spirit, fully free. The gift of trauma in our lives is real. This truth can easily be discarded, through much I agree, painful and often defeating hard work. The truth of accepting treatment is this. It sets us, once and for all time, completely physically and spiritually free.
We all need at least to live each moment of our lives, out of our duty to man-kind to try to make it through. If I were asked today, as the American Revolution once proclaimed. Give me Liberty? Or, Give Me Death? I can tell you all, in my journey, I've many times, chosen both. Today, my dear friends out there in the world, now struggling with so much unwelcome pain. I need to end today, with this one piece of hard-fought and now personal advice.
If I had it to do, all over again? I would choose, Liberty over Death, any time. Be Well, my fellow humanity. God Bless, us all together. Through all of our collective and very human journeys of both pleasures and through life's also, many pains. May God grant peace, through all of our earth's, fragile and vulnerable, collective human-life.
I thank you, my God Inside Of Me, for carrying me, all the way.
Darren Michael Gregory, Trauma Recovery Specialist, Creston, British Columbia, Canada. August 2nd, 2014
Tom Hanks: Contact the Filmmakers on IMDbPro » Top 5000 Cast Away (2000) 143 min - Adventure | Drama - 22 December 2000 (USA)
Certified: Community & Workplace Trauma Educator Traumatology Institute.
Associate Member American Academy Of Experts In Traumatic Stress.