Thursday, October 22, 2009

Confession Time

This might not be the smartest thing in the world that I have posted, but here it goes.

I am worried that some will judge me and will try to use this against, me although those might use it already know. I will tell you first and foremost, I am happier than I have ever been and my life is GREAT!! There is nothing that will bring me down. I also want you to know this is going to be very hard to write. I am telling it so that it might help some one else out there. I want others to know they are not alone.

As most of you know, I was married to Tessa very fast without knowing her very well. I was very happy and thought I finally had the girl of my dreams. I was wrong and almost paid the ultimate price for it. I am not going to point fingers by giving all the details, but I am going to share a lot.

It started with things going downhill with Tessa and me. I was getting depressed and letting a lot things worry me that should not. Eventually, Tessa cried wolf and it got me sent to a mental health facility in Hopkinsville for ten days in late March. I was released from there good to go. I got out and things just keeping getting worse. A week later, Tessa left me. In the end it was for another soldier that she met only two days prior. It can be denied all they want, but everyone is not as stupid as we look. Trying not to rant on that, but you don't just buy a "friend" a new car.

At the news that she was leaving me, I started to loose control of my thoughts. I was having crazy and random thoughts running through my head that if something were to happen to me she would come back. Boy was I wrong. That was the dumbest thing to ever think.

That night, I was taken to the hospital to be checked and make sure I was OK. Of course I was because she was crying wolf again, but in the end she was right.

I was put on suicide watch, although they trusted me that I was OK, they should never trust some one in that situation. I was left with my car keys and all my belongings. Not good. I do not blame those who made those decisions. I thought I was fine and convinced them I was.

The next morning, Tessa finally called and told me how horrible of a person I am and how terrible of a father I was. Not realizing what she was doing, I did not realize how wrong she was. She told me I, along with others, would be better off if I was dead. The short of the very long, I took two bottles of pills (one was sleeping pills, the other to lower blood pressure) in the parking lot on post. I managed to drive home and make it in the house. The next thing I remember I was sitting on my steps smoking a cigarette and there were police everywhere, along with an ambulance. I remember trying to stand and that was it.

I woke up in the hospital a couple days later with IVs and machines all over the place, and my parents by my side. I could not believe what I had done. My mom kept on and on about Courtney how would some one explain to a four year old that her daddy was gone forever. It really touched me and set some things in motion in my life.

I was then transported to Nashville for recovery and continued care. Come to find out, the anti depressant that Hopkinsville had me was making me worse and making me more suicidal. I was changed meds, sent to therapy for a few months and here I am happier than ever. I realize my mistakes and bad decisions I have made. There is NOTHING in this world that makes it OK or with it to do what I did. I have a family to think about. And I have a God and Country to serve.

I am here at Fort Campbell where the suicide rate is the highest of any US post in the world. The numbers you hear are those that die. You do not hear how many have tried and failed, thankfully. I have met some that got drunk, and drove into buildings and trees to make it look like an accident. Some of those are like me and realize how stupid it was and that there is help out there. No one should look down on some one for admitting they are having problems and need some help. Just last week I knew a friend was having a bad time and I started to talking to them and was seeing some signs that were in me. I got together and talked for hours. Who knows, I might have saved a life that night because I was not judging like their chain of command was. That is a huge problem with suicide at Fort Campbell. Or any where for that matter. People want to judge those that say they need help think they are weak. They are not weak. They are strong for admitting they need and seeking help. Keep that in mind the next time you talk to some one that you know is depressed and feeling down. I was almost was a statistic and will not let some one I know become one.

In my experience, I know that God wanted me here for a reason. I am still seeking that reason and I know that with time, God will show it to me if I let him. I am no angel, but I am good person. I am truly happy, and I have nothing to complain about, and if I do, I can fix it. Nothing is worth the mistakes I made in April.

Like I said, I did my therapy and the doctor decided I did not need it anymore and encouraged me to talk to others about what has happened to me. I am here to tell you, that if you need help, find a friend, find some one and talk to them. My friends come to me on a regular basis seeking help and I give them my time no matter what I am doing. I have even canceled dates among other things to help my friends because I know what it is like.

Pray for our soldiers. Their is not as easy as you think. A friend put it a good way when she said that marriage is no longer an institution, it is a drive thru now. We can walk away from marriage too easily now. The military is hard marriage and lives involved. Pray for them. Pray hard. We all need it.

Once again, thank you to all that have supported us. I hope that this helps one person. If it does, it was worth it. I hope that I am not judged and I am sorry if you feel the need to judge me because of a mistake I have made. We have all made them, some are just greater than others.

SGT John Strader

Family, I am sorry that you did not know and find out this way. Please do not worry. ALL IS GOOD!!!!! See ya deer hunting next month!!!!!


Love, Melissa said...

John, there's no doubt that God has you here for a specific reason - He has great & mighty things in store for you, things that you cannot even imagine!
Anyone that judge you for what happened to you & what took place in your life is ignorant! I've learned to weed out those that tear down and surround myself with those that build up & encourage! You are such an amazing guy & the things that you have survived only make you stronger and more amazing!
There's so much I'd like to share with you, but I'll send it in an email so I won't take up too much room on here.
Keep pressing forward and know that I'm always here for you!

MOM said...

John is definitely a stronger person and our family has grown even more now and through this year.
I see a big change in John and it is for the good.
I thank each and every soldier for their service and struggles and I thank GOD for miracles and blessings we received undeserving.
John and Jeremy both have miracles in their lives and I thank GOD each day for them.

Katherine said...

Wow! I had no idea you had been going through so much. It takes so much strength and courage to come out and be honest like that with everyone. I applaud you! You are not lying when you say you take the time out to talk with friends when you think they need someone to talk to. You have done it with me on more than one occasion. It has meant the world to me. (that is going on our strange like/hate relationship we have always had) You have matured so much in the last couple of years, I am proud to know you and be a part of your life. I just want to say thank you.

MOM said...

I ask that before you panic after reading what John has told you in this post and the one before and after it, please take the time to read it as it is printed and not what you think it says.
John is GREAT in the eyes of his family and friends that are close to him.
John I think your posts are great.
thank you

Hilary Jacobs said...

You are a hero abroad and at home. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to share your story. I am sure you have helped others by simply showing and telling them your story. Perhaps working with those that have these hidden wounds would be a way to culivate this gift you have shared with the blogosphere.