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NEWS | Oct. 17, 2014

Two months ago, I wanted to die

By Staff Sgt. Katie Maricle Air Combat Command Public Affairs

Editor's Note: The following commentary was written in observance of Depression Awareness Month.

Two months ago, I wanted to die.

Allow me to clarify - I was not suicidal on that dark, August night when I hit rock bottom. I did not want to take a razor to my wrists. I did not want to swallow a bottle of pills. I did not want to fire a gun. I did not want to end my life by my own hands. But God help me, I wanted to die. I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again.

The depression and anxiety that made me feel this way hit me like a ton of bricks in a short amount of time. I felt sluggish for two weeks before then, but I shook it off, thinking nothing was wrong with me - I had been through a divorce, a deployment and the loss of a parent, all without feeling like this, so surely whatever was going through my mind would go away soon, right?


I could barely keep my head up at work that Tuesday. Everyone from my supervisor to my best friend said I looked tired and sad. When I left work, I had to go to the grocery store, but couldn't focus enough to stock my cart.

When I finally made it home, I sat down on my couch and cried for an hour. I wanted to die. I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again.

Luckily, one of my best friends knew how that felt, and the first thing he did was give me the number to the 633rd Medical Group Mental Health clinic. He stayed on the phone with me until I felt better, ready at a moment's notice to bring me to the emergency room in case I became suicidal. He told me time and time again that I would get the help I needed - I just had to hang on for a little while longer.

After making my first appointment with Mental Health, I did the unthinkable; I did something that no one I knew had ever done. I told everyone I knew that I suffered from depression.

I was upfront, honest and forthcoming to those I cared about. I figured if the stigma of getting mental health treatment was going to go away, I had to act like it was already gone. Luckily, my friends and family felt the same way. Tons of "get well soon" and "proud of you for speaking up" messages flooded my Facebook wall. I was going to get better, and I had the support of everyone I knew.

And get better, I did. The Mental Health Clinic is exactly what I needed to get through my tough time. I've learned so much about myself, ways to combat daily stresses, and most importantly, how to keep depression and anxiety at bay. I've taken group classes, in addition to one-on-one sessions. I'm not ashamed of my treatment. I'm not embarrassed, and I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. There's a silent camaraderie in that clinic waiting room. We're not broken. We're not crazy. We just need a little bit of a tune-up.

Depression and anxiety are conditions that I'm going to live with for the rest of my life. I'm also going to face a lot of struggles in the future. Now, though, I know I can get through it. I have the tools I need to make sure that I never have a repeat of that dark August night.

Two months ago, I wanted to die.

Today, I've never felt more alive.

For more information about Joint Base Langley-Eustis Mental Health services, visit