Welcome Jonathan Lopez - TuffWraps Sponsored Athlete
I achieved my dreams at an early age... I signed my contract at 17 but had to wait 2 months to be shipped to Ft Benning GA to become an infantryman. My military career was my passion, my life, everything I ever wanted.
After basic and AIT I attended Airborne school and Ranger Indoctrination Program than just as an E-2 I was selected by one of my instructors to transfer to his unit, C co 1/18th Infantry to be part of a small sniper unit serving the first infantry division. everything was going according to my plans.
I deployed with the 1st infantry division during the Yugoslav Wars in the late 90s and with the united Nations to patrol their newly established borders.
My life was good, I continued my training to reach my goals. I attended Belgium Commando School and I was finally an E-4...time for my next step!
SFAS, Special Forces Assessment and selection, I made it!!! this is where I wanted to be. upon returning to my unit in Germany the winter was finally over so it was time to take out my motorcycle and go out for a ride.
I remember a helicopter, I remember bright lights and people wearing masks over their face then I remember a soldier telling me that I was going to be ok, that I was going home.
I regained consciousness in Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC but, this wasn't home! Home was with my brothers. I was told that I had been involved in a terrible accident. I was hit by a drunk driver and they had to amputate my left arm, quickly I moved my fingers, they were all there, maybe they got the wrong guy??? but then they removed the sheets that were covering me and i realized they were right,I was too high on morphine to understand.
my arm was gone but i had bigger problems, my left leg was so damaged that they even talked to me about amputating because i was never going to be able to put any weight on it... i refused that offer... many surgeries later and after inserting titanium rods from hip to ankle they also needed to do a bone graft to fill the empty spaces... whatever!
it was time for rehab, i started to walk again but i didn't know where i was walking to. The medical evaluation board had my papers, they said i could finish rehab at home but as I said before, my home was with my brothers and I couldn't go back. As much as I argued and try to stay I couldn't... i had to retire.
I left to NY, it was a new city for me to start a new life. Enrolled in college and started a life i never wanted. Im trying to live everything I loved behind... Oxycontin and anti depressants were great help!
I tried to continue my life, pain got worse, prescriptions got stronger...
This was my story for many years things kept getting worse until one day i decided that was it... I was convinced things would never get better... it was only logical to ended there. Why continue living in pain, what good was I for others? I wasn't going to be able to care for my kids, I needed 80 mg of Oxycontin just to get out of bed.
Once again I woke up in a hospital... as i pulled a tube out of my mouth I couldn't believe I had failed at this, suicide is supposed to be easy! now things were much worse. I was forced into a psych unit for a few weeks and then I was told that they wanted me to complete a 3-month residential program on the 5th floor in the VA Hospital... fuck it, i had nowhere else to be. at least i had a bed and 3 meals.
I used to look down at people like this but being there made me realized what the problem was. I couldn't hide behind meds anymore. As miserable as I was there I felt like I was home again, i was with my people.
We all struggled with different demons but we understood each other.
that was the beginning of a new life for me, i knew what i needed to do. Today,i fight side by side with my brothers and sisters that are going through something similar because I know how it feels to be there. I'm constantly reaching out and trying to help. I am a strong advocate for depression, PTSD and i try to motivate others to continue the fight.
this is not a fairy tail, it's a constant battle but if I want a happy ending i now know that giving up is not a fucking option!
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