Surviving Suicide: Beginning Again

“John? John Haynes?” the City of Charleston cop said my name and my veins went cold. “Boy am I happy to see you!” I wasn’t happy to see him, however.

Moments before, I had walked into a garage in downtown Charleston, South Carolina completely hammered with the intention of jumping off. I said my good byes rather publicly and tried to explain my reasoning, but despite everything I wanted and expected hundreds of friends and family members left their jobs and lives behind temporarily to search for me.

“You’ve got so many people that care about you!” “You are a great person!” “You’ve done so much to help me!” “We need you!” “Don’t make a permanent solution.” Those were a few of the words I heard and read in my voicemail and message inbox (I still haven’t got through all of them). What people find hard to understand about PTSD, depression and suicide however is that at that moment in time, I just wanted to end the pain and I didn’t care about anyone else. Thankfully as I’ve learned in recent days, lots of folks care about me. I got out of the hospital just over 2 weeks ago and my phone hasn’t stopped buzzing with phone calls and messages from friends.

So what now? The million dollar question. How do you go back to facing the everyday world when you weren’t even planning on being alive tomorrow? It’s a strange feeling, truly. People won’t ever look at you the same again, and you have to figure out how to slowly reintegrate yourself back into society and the activities you planned on leaving behind for good. So for now while I pick up the pieces, I’ve turned to writing.

For awhile at least, I’ll be sharing my struggle with PTSD, depression, and suicide with anyone who cares to read it. I’m sharing my story simply in hopes that it will help those around me understand me a bit more, and hopefully inspire others that were in my shoes to share their stories and get the help they need.

If you are in need of assistance, of course dial 911, or you can call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1–800–273–8255. Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing more of my story soon.

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