To the EMT Who Transported Me After My Overdose

You probably don’t remember me, but you transported me after my suicide attempt. I had been in the hospital for at least 12 hours on observation. When you arrived around 1 a.m., I expected you would be cranky as it was so early. I was not looking forward to it.

When you entered, I realized I struck EMT gold.

You were compassionate and comforting. It was a tough time for me, and you must have sensed that. You started talking to me for the hour-and-a-half ride. We talked about me, my back story and music. You told me so many things that helped me hang on. I talked about my eating disorder, my attempt and the far-from-invisible cuts on my arm. You looked me in the eyes and told me I was too beautiful for this. I had a better life ahead of me. Your words somehow got past my eating disorder thought process, and I was lucky enough to hear them as the truth you intended.

It’s nearly been four years, and those words still stick with me.

Music was the only thing that was helping me to any degree, so you asked what bands I liked, what my favorite song was. I ranted on about Evanescence and Amy Lee’s hauntingly beautiful voice, Paramore and Mayday Parade, the artists of my favorite song at the time, Stay. I wasn’t used to people knowing these bands, but you knew and
when you didn’t, you asked me to tell you about it. You told me about some of your favorite bands and songs; you even told me to listen to a specific song, which I had forgotten by the time I had access to a computer. The thought, though, it meant everything.

In the ER I had been treated as a sick kid, but I was finally connecting with someone
who treated me as if I was on the same level as them. That transport healed me more than my 12 hours in the ER, and I want to thank you.

Today, I am getting better. I am learning to enjoy life again; I am overcoming my addictions one by one. When I struggle with my eating disorder, I think of my encounter with you. I am taking classes to be an EMT. I am planning on becoming a paramedic. I learned a lot from my interactions with you in how to treat psychiatric patients; the book does a terrible job teaching it. Thank you for teaching me and inspiring me.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

The Mighty is for the following: Write a thank you note to someone who helped you through your mental illness. What about that person makes him or her a good ally? What do you want them to know? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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