Creative Writing or being personable was never my strong suit; I was always a more analytical person; For the longest time, I struggled to understand others, and even today, I am not the most empathetic person, and I struggle to know how others feel. Growing up, this caused me to outcast myself; however, I still yearned for acknowledgment and friendship. Unfortunately, this, combined with being so desperate to please, I was used by people, and they would steal my stuff, and I wouldn’t fight it due to my ineptitude with emotions and social cues.
I found my first true friends through gaming. Three guys who I loved like brothers. Disturbed, Howdy and Pyro were true friends. We cared for each other, and I learned how to be friends through them. Over several years of gaming as kids, we eventually talked about joining the Military simultaneously. I was excited to have the opportunity and trusted them with everything in my life.
Two weeks after High school graduation, I was on a bus going to basic training for the army. It would be a little more time for Howdy and Pyro to get into the Military, but I was proud to have this experience with these men. Unfortunately, the Military, growing up, and time apart led to us communicating less. As for Disturbed, he could not join due to family issues, and over the years, he became more self-hating. We continued to play together, but we slowly started getting on less. Except for Disturbed, he was on daily, hoping we would be able to get on.
I can’t help but feel responsible for the outcome. I don’t remember why but I was able to get everyone on to play the new beta build of 7 days to die. We stayed on it for a whole day. We were building it up and seeing everything this world had to offer. We trenched around the gas station near Diersville using rockets and dynamite we had as it was easier to make in the day. Draw bridges and everything. This was a fort, our fort. It was on my Xbox, but I left it running cause Disturbed was dedicated to it and would fall asleep playing. He was happy, and I didn’t want to take away from his fun.
Unfortunately, this would end with a fight in part due to exhaustion, and we all agreed to take a break. A few days later, I got a call from disturbed. It was 4 am my time, so I intentionally missed it and texted him. He then explained he was going to take his life. I tried so hard to take it back and call. I tried to postpone the act and get the police there, but I had no clue where he was. We talked. I thought I had him talked down, but I was wrong. He then took his life right before 5 am, and I was in denial for a day. When it stuck to me, I messaged everyone on his Facebook friends. Eventually remembered his old number was his sister’s now. That is when they gave me the confirmation; I was devastated, and to this day, I miss him, and the blame falls on me. This burden is why I stream for suicide prevention and try so hard to make others smile. I wish to never feel like this again. Once is enough.
I have survived my battle twice to date, and with a brand-new daughter, I owe a lot to that group. Oddly enough, I met my wife playing video games. Games like the ones we used to play, without their impact, I likely wouldn’t be who I am today. I still love those three, and I support this mission to stop veteran suicide because of my and Disturbed’s struggles. He may not have joined but took his life because he couldn’t serve with us. I wish he could have. For all that lost their fights, rest easy.