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    One More Day - Suicide Prevention and Awareness Video

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    Video by Petty Officer 1st Class Jessica Bidwell 

    USS WASP (LHD 1)   

    Description: Sailors assigned to amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD1) talk about their experiences with suicide and the importance of suicide prevention. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jessica Bidwell)

    One more day.
    Mass Communication Specialist First Class Jessica Bidwell.
    The woman talking smiles when she talks, and alternates between making eye contact, and then looking at the floor. She sits straight, and has the military bearing of someone who has spent half of their life serving the country. Occasionally she chuckles. At other times she talks for minutes without blinking.
    “All the signs and symptoms were there and I think people were afraid or maybe thought that I wasn’t the type of person that would be suicidal,” said Senior Chief Information Specialist Jillian Cardoza. “It’s not always easy to come right out and say, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”
    And it can be even harder when someone is drifting away.
    “You don’t want to be around the people you think you are going to play a role in front of, especially if you are feeling that bad about yourself and your situation,” said Cardoza. “And that was where I didn’t trust in my own abilities to bounce back; I didn’t think there was anything that anyone could do and that there was only one thing that I could do to get out of the situation.”
    When Senior Chief Cardoza was going through the hardest part of her life she found it difficult to open up. She felt pathetic. “I thought I was weak for having those thoughts and that I was weak or if I said anything about it. I just let it consume me.”
    In fact, her family was clueless – until they found her.
    In many suicide attempts, this is sadly the case. Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class Marrissa Cross, was on deployment when she lost her best friend to suicide. She had no clue as to the “why” or the “what” behind his actions.
    “We ask ourselves why we think that they did this, but I saw no signs – nothing,” said Cross. “The fact that I had no clue for myself, that I didn’t even realize that all this was happening made me think, ‘does that make me a good best friend? Did that make me not care in a way?” There were just so many thoughts. I was just so confused.”
    It’s not just the fact that those left behind question the actions of those loved one who are lost, there is sometimes also a deep seeding of self-blame.
    Aviation Ordanceman First Class Jacob Learned lost his mother to suicide at the age of thirteen. “It made me not merely blame myself but it made me question, ‘Was I not worth sticking around for?’ The aftermath was just complete turmoil. I didn’t know where to go, I didn’t know if I should talk to anybody, if I should keep it locked up inside or if I did talk, how did I talk about it”
    To think there always has to be a single catalyst, or one major cause as to why those experiencing suicidal thoughts, or to think that only those who are feeble suffer, is absolutely incorrect.
    “From not having your family there, to working with other, different personalities, just trying to do your best and be the best… over time the stress starts to accumulate,” said Information Technician First Class Nicole Gallardo. “When it piles up and you don’t have the support or someone you trust, you hold on to it. [The feeling] comes to those who are strong, those who are strong to others, and those who help others. A thought can come into your head but it’s how you go about controlling those thoughts.”
    For those who have suffered the loss of a loved one to suicide, there is one consistent thought.
    “Talk to someone, anyone, a parent, a friend, a first class,” said Cross. “I think that if you were to just let that out for yourself, and admit to how you were feeling then at the end of it all, someone that cares about you, loves you - there’s probably multiple people - will still have you in their lives.”
    While for those contemplating suicide may feel there’s no end to the pain, those who have likewise contemplated – and survived – argue otherwise.
    “After you get your healing, life goes on, you will not be the same person,” said Gallardo. “You will be more aware of your surroundings, you will know when you need to talk, you will know that you can no longer just hold on to things and you realize that people do care. Thoughts are thoughts, but if you don’t deal with those thoughts they become actions.”
    Seeking the assistance of a therapist does not make a person weak. Rather, it makes that person a stronger individual. The action alone of admitting there is a problem, and actively working to solve it demonstrates a sincere recognition, said Cardoza.
    “After my suicide attempt, and then coming back to my family - it was difficult. It was gradual. You can’t expect that things are going to bounce back right away and you’re going to be okay, but really the light for me was my family and going to therapy.”
    For many, suicide represents a quick way to end the frustrations and pain – but in those actions, they ultimately deny themselves the opportunity to see one day, one week, and even one year down the road how things may have turned out differently.
    “If you are a parent who is thinking about [suicide], or even had a weak point in your life where you’ve thought it was the easiest way out, I can’t deny the fact that you are not wrong,” said Learned. “But the harder path is always the one that leads to the greater gift. If you go down the easy pathway, you’ll never get what you could have had.”
    AO3 Cross found herself underway when her best friend died by suicide. The helplessness of the distance and lack of communication took its toll both emotionally and physically.
    “It’s not like I could go on social media and see what was going on. It’s not like I could talk to anyone, it’s not like I could go to his own funeral and be there with him,” she said, noting also that the atmosphere of an underway naval vessel isn’t necessarily conducive to the sorrow that comes with things of this nature. “For anyone who hears news like that while underway, it can be difficult because you’re surrounded by people, and yet you feel so utterly alone. Find somewhere, go be with your emotions and take some time because you need to feel everything, and if you need to cry then cry, do what you need to do.”
    For those left behind when someone dies by suicide, the natural tendency is to feel selfish – after all, the pain they may feel at the loss of their loved one couldn’t possibly compare to the pain of the person who took their own life. And perhaps it is selfish – but for all the right reasons. To a person, every person who has been left behind just wants one more day, one more conversation, one more laugh, and one more chance.
    “The story that is going to be told to your kids, and your grandchildren, is the one you write for yourself,” said Learned. “If you take yourself out of it, there’s no one to tell that story.”



    Date Taken: 10.17.2018
    Date Posted: 10.30.2018 19:07
    Category: Package
    Video ID: 635999
    VIRIN: 181017-N-KK935-0003
    Filename: DOD_106164842
    Length: 00:02:31
    Location: EAST CHINA SEA

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