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My heart skips a few beats as I try to gain my wits. Am I dead? Is this the afterlife? Gradually, I begin to realize the gun did not fire even though the hammer slammed forward. I franticly eject the round from the chamber, place the gun back into its box, and return it to the closet.
This haunting scene occurred on the afternoon of February 3rd. I was at rock bottom. I have been suffering from debilitating anxiety and depression since leaving the military over three years ago. For most of this time I would self-medicate the pain with alcohol. It seemed to efficiently numb my angst until I was busted for DWI last June. Sitting in jail for 48 hours resulted in a successful detox. Upon seeing the judge, I pled guilty and received probation. This meant no more drinking, no more self-medicating.
For the next six months I did what was required of me. I went to numerous substance abuse classes and group meetings. I paid my fine in full. I even had an ignition interlock installed in my truck. However, the sobriety came with unrestrained PTSD symptoms.
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