Going home was all a blur. I came home way too early. My wife was there and thought I had taken the rest of the day off. Not knowing she would be seeing a lot more of me from then on…

First of all, telling my wife was very hard. How do you explain to someone who has never seen such sorrow, what it is, that you keep seeing? How do you tell someone you love so deeply, the stuff nightmares are made out of?

So without going into details, even with the one, I share everything with, just because I didn’t want her to feel the same, to feel that agony. I tried telling her what happened. I told her about the breakdown at work, I told her about my emotions, and I told her about the flashbacks. I just never went into the severity of it all. I think mostly because I didn’t want to be seen as a victim and I didn’t want to burden her with all that baggage.

Since I’ve been small I had to do a lot on my own. I took care of myself and my sister when no one else did. I didn’t think anything was wrong with that. But that made me into a very stubborn man. I always feel I have to soldier on and keep on going even when it hurts. Do everything myself and keep everything to myself. Breaking down like this was so out of character for me, that I began questioning myself. What did I do wrong? How to fix this. Not knowing it would only get worse…

The next day the flashbacks hit me like a brick again. This time they got gradually worse. I was just sitting at home. The kids were playing around and screaming as kids do. It triggered a flashback from another suicide. In this case, it was an even older incident where a driver committed suicide by ramming his car into a truck, both of them going around 80-100km an hour.

Me fresh out of the academy, one of the first on the scene. Let me paint this scene for you. A big truck with tons of damage on the front. Several people standing next to it with faces full of shock. A small car flipped upside down next to the road. I saw this car still had someone stuck upside down on the driver’s seat. Obviously, this person needed my help.

When I got to the car, there was someone talking to the driver through the driverside window. I heard him shouting, this man just passed out. I climbed in through the passenger side and felt his heartbeat. There was none! We tried pulling the man out, but he was stuck underneath the dashboard. That’s when I started doing CPR. Anyone familiar with CPR knows how difficult it is to do it right. Try doing it upside down in a car with just one hand because you can’t reach it. Long story short. We were unable to save the driver.

Do you know the worst thing about this? It felt like I was there again. Right beside the driver, giving him CPR I knew wouldn’t work, but I was trying anyway. The emotional rollercoaster got so bad that I had tears streaming down my face and I didn’t know why…

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