This is not how I imagined any of this being. Why didn’t they ever talk about this at career day? Is this what my heroes live with every day? As a kid I would have never thought there was such things to effect us psychologically. Why didn’t they give us the full truth?
Then again not everyone wanted to be a first responder of some sort, but I did. I knew at such a young age what I wanted to do, kind of like it was in my blood. Now it is all I know. It is all i breath. I have been on thousands of calls; good and bad, happy and sad. Ive seen life end, Ive seen it begin, I have seen it start again. Each call so different. Some leaving impressions way bigger then others.
At the end of the day it all sets in. At the end of the day my demons set in. My mind starts to think, it overwhelms me sometimes. I often feel chained down by the memories. Through all I have seen the taking of ones own life has haunted me the most. Sometimes I wonder if they were like me, I wont ever know there stories. I remember the pain in each face, I remember seeing the tear stains running down them. What led them to this point?
I often wonder if this is what will become of me… As a guy asking for help seems weak but being a responder who is a guy makes me feel weaker trying to get help. What would people say? We live in a ugly society where everything you do is watched and judged. Imagine how worse id feel with the comments of others. Their judgment would ring in my ears. Why does it have to be like this? What if the outcome is I gotta leave it all? I couldn’t handle that.
My life is empty without emergency services and helping others. It would basically put me as a walking corpse mentally…then what…. I often wonder if I can ever have a normal life. Will I be able to fully love and be loved back? Will I be able to fully be the man of the household? What if they don’t understand why things are taken me down the way they do?
There are just so many questions that I could ask, so many that can never be answered. But what if the day comes and I can no longer be helped, than what? No one knows beyond this “mask” is someone screaming. Screaming because of all the pain. Everyone is so fooled but if they knew the me that I am now it would not be good.
Helping others is who I am, it is what I do. It is what keeps me alive, but I feel it is also what will cause my end, it is what will leave a dark silence for all who know me. But for now I am still fighting…but the demons have grown stronger and slowly I become weak…is this how it will all end?…
– Story written by Sam, 22 year old EMT/FF/911 dispatcher