Mountain Home AFB sex affair

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Suicide has been a part of my Air Force journey. It took a conversation with someone I trust and respect greatly, who also happens to be a mental health professional, to realize that suicide came nearer to defining my own story than I'd been willing to admit. I had been using words to avoid the one that I was afraid of I have been an ambassador for suicide prevention for over a decade. I have been on the other end of the phone line as a support system. I have been the shoulder to cry Mountain Home AFB sex affair at more funerals than I'd like to count.

I have been the last known conversation. I have sprinted to my car to chase the ambulance to the room where it happened. I have been on the phone with the person who walked in as they discovered the aftermath. I've been asked to describe every interaction and memory leading up to the incident, for parents and friends looking for answers, who gave their loved one to the military and never got them back.

I cared deeply, answered every call, listened, and became a fierce advocate for prevention. I could say the word, suicidal, and it held a profound meaning to me. I knew what it looked like on someone else. I knew what it sounded like, but I couldn't understand "why.

For the first 13 years of my career, although suicide was a part of my Air Force journey, I never understood what suicidal ideations felt like.

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After I had my son inI spent a year fighting severe postpartum depression, severe postpartum anxiety and suicidal ideations. Although I had seen it on others, I didn't recognize it within my own mind. I spent a year battling suicidal thoughts, every minute of every day and I couldn't identify them for what they were.

The word ideation meant something different to me once.

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I thought an ideation was a pre-determined plan. A conscious, active thought process that led you to a decision.

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Now, I understand that suicidal ideations don't always formulate as a clear, conscious desire to take your own life. Sometimes they are the wandering thoughts of a person who believes deep down that the world would be better off without them. What it Felt Like: A view from the inside out. During that year, the involuntary images flashing across the backdrop of my mind didn't match my original definition of ideations.

The flash of an oncoming car crossing into my lane, head on. A phantom feeling of falling while I stood on a balcony, followed by an odd sense of calm when I imagined falling to the ground below. Idle thoughts crossed my mind without a specific trigger or reason, and they felt like a simpler, more comforting path than the one I was on. I didn't believe I was useless, or that I didn't have a purpose, but I Mountain Home AFB sex affair believe that the world would be better off without me.

In hindsight, there wasn't a rational structure to these thoughts, but in the moment, they felt rational. Meanwhile, I was suffering from severe postpartum depression and anxiety. Together they consumed most of my attention and focus, allowing the suicidal ideations to drift past quietly, like passing daydreams. At times, the depression covered everything in darkness and made it quiet, too quiet. When the depression was dominant, I couldn't see clearly enough to allow the ideations to capture my attention.

More often, the anxiety drowned everything else out with images and noise, forcing my focus to the irrational nightmares that played nonstop in my mind. The anxiety, in a twisted way, saved me from the darkness on many occasions. It shocked me out of the nothingness into something much harder to cope with, but also compelled me to put one foot in front of the other, keeping my ideations from becoming something more.

The ideations were always there, capturing a small piece of my attention, threatening to pull me away with them if they caught me at the right moment. Suicidal Ideations: Falling down the rabbit hole. I now understand why the term "committed" suicide carries such pain. Suicide takes someone, but it's not always a plan laid out by a rational mind to commit an act. What I now recognize as suicidal ideations did not shock my system at the time. In fact, they didn't solicit much of an emotional response at all.

That's what made them dangerous. I had no plan, no intent, just an idle reinforcement of the "fact" that the world would be better off without me.

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Passing thoughts that detached me from what my own life meant to me. When you can consider your own death with the same passing indifference as choosing Mountain Home AFB sex affair pair of shoes to wear, or watching a bird fly by, it becomes easier to turn toward unhealthy coping mechanisms. I was breastfeeding my son at the time, which meant that substances weren't an option. I'm not a person who is prone to substance abuse, but if I had found that either alcohol, or painkillers, quieted the noise, or brightened the darkness, I'm not sure if I would have been able to turn away from that relief.

Reflecting on my own experience, I now understand that suicide isn't always a predetermined decision or plan. Sometimes, it's a rabbit hole you find yourself falling down, and you can't find your way back out. Behind the Smile: Fighting to see past the noise. I could still put a smile on my face, I still had a sense of humor and I could still fight through the thoughts that consumed me to find small slivers of purpose in my job.

The fleeting moments of humor and sense of purpose gave me a healthy, and much needed, relief. They provided me a tether to normalcy, and a distraction at times. These moments were authentic, even if they were never able to capture my full attention, as I constantly fought to see past the noise and the darkness, through whatever pinhole of consciousness was left.

Every ounce of strength I had was reserved to lift the heaviest burden I've ever carried while trying to see the path in front of me clearly enough not to stumble and fall. There's a point where depression becomes more than a feeling and a threshold where anxiety becomes an unhealthy obsession.

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People don't generally talk about the severe ends of the spectrum when it comes to postpartum mental illness, and it's hard to find the words to express something you've never heard described by another person.

I can count on one hand the of times in a year that my mind was quiet enough to wander Mountain Home AFB sex affair clear reflection. One of those moments was with my son, 12 weeks old at the time, on my last day of maternity leave. I was sitting in front of the Washington Monument. He was in a front carrier, staring up at me as I described to him what I saw, my words flowing aimlessly as I just sat there talking to him for about 30 minutes. I took a picture of him that I didn't even look at it until a week later, I saw him sitting there He managed to clear my focus a few times in that first year, as if he understood I needed a moment of reflection.

The Aftermath: Reluctance to embrace helping agencies. When Logan was just over a year old, something in me started to stabilize and the burden of depression and anxiety lessened, bit by bit. Eventually, I saw clearly enough to seek help, and made an appointment to speak with a mental health counselor. I was terrified of the appointment, and almost cancelled it several times. By the time I checked in for my first-ever mental health appointment, I was "better," past the point where I needed medication or treatment for severe mental illness. The provider recognized what I had been through, and noted that I was lucky to have gotten through it alone.

I only shared a sliver of what I had been through. When they asked if I needed medication or other resources, Mountain Home AFB sex affair paused. The person before me presented an easier path, an "out," and I took it. I told them I would come back if things got worse again, thanked them for their time, and walked away. The stigma associated with seeking medical treatment for mental illness is strong in the military, and I was afraid for a million reasons.

Looking back now, none of them should have stopped me. I found out later, the hard way, that I didn't have the tools to put my life back together. I thought I could walk away from it all and re my life like nothing had happened. Bracing for Impact: Fearing the birth of my second. Less than a year later I found myself finally taking a breath, but I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to rebuild the foundation of my life as strong as it was before.

I was pregnant with my daughter, and my son was now approaching the "terrible" twos. We had a miscarriage a month earlier, and didn't expect to find ourselves pregnant again so soon. I was trying hard to look forward and create distance from what I'd been through.

I refused to slow down and reflect on that year, hoping it would just continue to fade away into the past. Deep down I was terrified I was going to descend into darkness again once my daughter was born. My husband and I talked honestly about my struggles; that I wasn't ok for a time.

Mountain Home AFB sex affair

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