Skip to content

Mariah lost her brother

According to an article in Business Insider magazine, one of the most stressful jobs in the US is being a 911 dispatcher. Out of 600 listed occupations, a 911 emergency operator’s job ranked at #13 for stress levels.

They’re trained to remain calm on every call, regardless of how panicked the caller might be, or what’s happening on the other end of that phone line. But what about when a call comes in, and the caller is someone you know?

Nate's funeral procession
Nate’s funeral procession

My conversation today is with Mariah. One day, she received a text message in which her brother, Nate, was threatening suicide. Mariah and her boyfriend immediately started driving to where Nate said he was, at the back of a local forestry. On the way, Mariah called 911 to get help – and the voice that answered “911, what is your emergency?” was a voice that she knew very well.

Nate on a fishing trip with friends
Nate on a fishing trip with friends

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call 800-273-8255 anytime night or day to talk with someone. Your life is worth living.

Get every episode ad-free, AND get all the Raw Audio exclusive episodes to binge, by joining the other listeners at What Was That Like PLUS.
Try it free:
iPhone: at the top of the What Was That Like podcast feed, click on “Try free”
Android: on your phone, go to WhatWasThatLike.com/PLUS and click to try it free on any app

Sponsor deals:

Go to storyworth.com/what to save $10 on your first purchase!

Get 15% off OneSkin with the code WHATWAS at https://www.oneskin.co/ #oneskinpod

Cancel your unwanted subscriptions by going to RocketMoney.com/whatwas.

This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at BetterHelp.com/whatwas and get on your way to being your best self.

Go to cookunity.com/What or enter code What before checkout for 50% off your first week.

Episode transcript (download transcript PDF):

Warning: today’s episode includes 911 call audio that might be upsetting for some listeners.

 

According to an article in Business Insider magazine, one of the most stressful jobs in the US is being a 911 dispatcher. Out of 600 listed occupations, a 911 emergency operator’s job ranked at #13 for stress levels.

 

They’re trained to remain calm on every call, regardless of how panicked the caller might be, or what’s happening on the other end of that phone line. But what about when a call comes in, and the caller is someone you know?

 

My conversation today is with Mariah. One day, she received a text message in which her brother, Nate, was threatening suicide. Mariah and her boyfriend immediately started driving to where Nate said he was, at the back of a local forestry. On the way, Mariah called 911 to get help – and the voice that answered “911, what is your emergency?” was a voice that she knew very well.

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Scott

Nate was your brother. Do you have any other siblings?

 

Mariah

Yes, I have a younger sister. Then, I have a stepbrother and a stepsister as well.

 

Scott

All right. Before we go into the whole story of what happened, I’d like you to just tell the listeners about Nate. Who was he? What was he like?

 

Mariah

Yes. Nate was my younger brother. He was 3 years younger than I was and he was 1 of the smartest people that I’ve ever met in my life. I remember during school, he was always coming home with A’s on his report cards. He always needed more work in class. I remember that he read all the books for the entire year in a very short amount of time, and the teachers would kind of look around trying to figure out what he should do.

 

Scott

So, he was kind of advanced.

 

Mariah

Oh, yes. Yeah, he was very smart. I also remember that he always had way more friends than I did. I was kind of jealous because he always had a group of people around him – both male and female – that just seemed to enjoy his company and wanted to do things with him, whereas it was a little bit harder for me. I don’t know if it was because I was a female or what but I always felt like he had so many more friends than I did.

 

Scott

He was a friendly person, then?

 

Mariah

Oh, definitely.

 

Scott

Do you remember your last conversation with him?

 

Mariah

Our last conversation was when we celebrated Christmas. It was on the 22nd that year. Because my mom had to work, we all planned to do it a little bit early. The last full conversation I remember having with him was when we were playing a Christmas game. It was something in regard to finding a dirty Christmas joke to tell the group. I can’t remember the joke completely. I actually have a recording of it. It was the last recording that I have of him. You can’t really understand what he says there either but I just remember him telling this joke. Then, we all erupted in laughter and you can hear me in the background saying, “Eww.” So, I can only imagine what the actual joke was but I remember that was the last conversation. It was actually kind of funny. In that same game, I remember he drew a card where we had to paint a Christmas tree on his face with green paint. I remember painting it on his face. Then, he couldn’t get it off and I remember him being so mad that his face was tinted green. He was livid.

 

Scott

I have never heard of that game.

 

Mariah

I don’t remember where we found it but it was just random different things like that.

 

Scott

It does sound like fun. Were there any warning signs that he might be suicidal?

 

Mariah

He had just gone through a breakup with a girlfriend that he was with for several years. I knew that he was sad from that situation. Of course, looking back on it now, I might’ve seen possible warning signs but, at that time, no, I didn’t see anything that would have even made me think of that at all.

 

Scott

It seems like in a lot of cases, the mindset would be, “That happens to other people and other families. It wouldn’t happen to us.” So, you’re not really deliberately looking for signs.

 

Mariah

Right.

 

Scott

However, as you said in hindsight, you might be able to see that maybe there were signs.

 

Mariah

Oh, yeah. Knowing the things that I know now that were happening in his life, I can definitely understand. His life was pretty much just falling completely apart. So, yeah. Knowing the things I know now, 100%, it would have crossed my mind.

 

Scott

What was going on aside from the breakup?

 

Mariah

He had broken up with his girlfriend, and they were all in the same friend group. So, it kind of seemed to me that a couple of his friends had abandoned him. He was actually moving back to Seymour from Indianapolis where he lived with his friends. So he lost his girlfriend. Then, he pretty much lost his support system. Then, he move back home and he didn’t have a job. So, I think everything just kind of crumbled at once. He had nothing to grasp on to regular life or anything like that.

 

Scott

So, it’s like the perfect storm of bad life events all at the same time.

 

Mariah

Right.

 

Scott

Well, let’s talk about what happened on that day. What was your first knowledge of anything that was happening?

 

Mariah

I remember being in my living room, and I received a text message from his ex-girlfriend that she had forwarded me from my brother. It stated something along the lines of, “I’ve decided that my life isn’t worth living anymore. You can find me at this address. Don’t try to save me. I sent this text message on a 10-minute delay so by the time you get to me it’ll be too late”.

 

Scott

Nate’s ex-girlfriend’s name is Kinsey. Kinsey forwarded Nate’s text message to Mariah. Then, she immediately called 911. The 911 dispatcher on duty who took that call was Nate and Mariah’s mother.

 

 

Johnetta

911, where’s your emergency?

 

Kinsey

Hi. Is this Johnetta?

 

Johnetta

Yes

 

Kinsey

This is Kinsey. It’s Nate. He just sent me a message.

 

Johnetta

Where is he?

 

Kinsey

He was saying that he was gonna kill himself.

 

Johnetta

He what?!

 

Kinsey

He said he was gonna kill himself.

 

Johnetta

Where is he?

 

Kinsey

He sent me a message saying that he is gonna be at Lake Linda at the refuge. I tried to call you but I figured if you were at work. I called Mariah.

 

Johnetta

Alright. I will get out of it, Kinsey.

 

Kinsey

Thank you.

 

 

Mariah

I knew exactly where was the address and I knew exactly where to go. So, I grabbed my boyfriend at the time and we got in the car. I remember we were hustling and bustling around. Our dogs ended up getting out and they were running around the neighborhood. My neighbors tried to tell us that the dogs were out. We tried to explain to them, “Hey. We have an emergency. There’s nothing we can do.” We just drove as quickly as possible to get to the location that he was at. I remember it took forever. It wasn’t that long of a drive but I just remember thinking we were never going to get there. We are going to be too late. We’re never going to get there if there was a chance. There’s nothing we can do.

 

Scott

Can you just tell us, logistically, where were you in relation to the girlfriend and where Nate said he was?

 

Mariah

So, it was kind of almost like a triangular type situation. We were probably in the middle of town. The area that he chose was on the farthest side of town. It was as far as you could go back in the forestry of this little parking area. You literally have to drive until you couldn’t drive anymore. Then, she was maybe a mile away from that area. We knew she wasn’t gonna go. I knew that if he was there, she wouldn’t be able to find him. There was no way that she could do that.

 

Scott

It was because she wasn’t familiar with the park.

 

Mariah

I don’t think she could have done it mentally because she was already a mess. In her text message, she was like, “I can’t believe this. I don’t know what to do. What do we do?” She was already a mess. There was no logical thinking going on. So, even if she did find him, I don’t think she could have mentally handled it at all.

 

Scott

Okay. So, how far away were you?

 

Mariah

At the most, it was probably, like, 7 or 8 miles away. It wasn’t far at all. It was maybe a 10-minute drive. A lot of that drive was trying to get from the start of the foresty till all the way to the back. It’s not a straight chute whatsoever. It’s all gravel road. I was trying to find a follow-up map that I found on Google really quickly to try to find where this lake was. We really didn’t know where it was at all. So, it was a lot of guessing.

 

Scott  

Was it daytime?

 

Mariah  

Yes. It was in the middle of the afternoon. I think it was around 1 o’clock. It was raining that day. I remember it raining. It was still sunny but it was raining, and it was so cold. On the way there, I called 911. My mother answered the phone because she’s a 911 dispatcher in our county. I explained to her the text messages I had gotten, that I didn’t know what to do, and that we were on our way. She was very composed. She said, “Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do until you get there and figure out what’s going on.”

 

 

Johnetta

911.

 

Mariah

Mom. Text Nate!

 

Johnetta

I know. I’m getting ready to send everybody that I can, Mariah. I can’t get a hold of him. He won’t answer me.

 

Mariah

Lake Linda. He sent a note to Kinsey saying he was gonna kill himself.

 

Johnetta

I know. I just got off with her.

 

Mariah

Okay.

 

Johnetta

I know. I know.

 

Mariah

Okay.

 

 

Mariah

So, we drove there. We finally got to the back of the forestry to the lake. I remember we got close enough to where I could see his car. I remember screaming a scream I had never screamed before. I knew, as soon as I saw the car, that he wasn’t lying, that everything was true. That’s when it finally hit me. There was something very wrong, so I called 911 again and the only thing I could say to my mom was, “Mom. He really did it.” I remember hearing her scream and then, someone took over the call.

 

 

Johnetta

911.

 

Mariah

Mom! He shot himself! We need somebody here now!

 

Johnetta

No! No! No!

 

Mariah

We need help now!

 

Johnetta

Are you there?

 

Mariah

Yes!

 

Johnetta

Oh my god! Oh my god! He shot himself! (Sobbing)

 

(Pause)

 

911 Operator

Hey.

 

Mariah

Hello?

 

911 Operator

Hi. Hey, just get Charlie over here now. No, you’re fine.

 

Mariah

He’s still alive. He’s still conscious.

 

911 Operator

He’s conscious.

 

Mariah

He was shot to the head.

 

911 Operator

He’s conscious. Okay, honey. We’re sending somebody to you. Is he still talking to you? I cannot hear them.

 

 

Mariah

So, we pulled up and stopped. My boyfriend at that time wouldn’t let me out of the car. I remember fighting him, screaming, and yelling. He just wouldn’t let me up to my brother’s car. He knew he didn’t want me to see that. By that time, my brother’s ex-girlfriend’s father showed up. I remember him going to the car and looking in the window. The only thing he said was, “Oh my god. Nate.” So, I knew it wasn’t good. Then slowly, through talking to him and talking to Evan, I realized that he had shot himself in the head. He was still breathing. His heart was still beating. So, at that point, it just became, “Okay. We need to get somebody here. We need to get them here as fast as possible. If he’s still breathing, there’s still a chance he could be alive or he may still be able to recover from this.” I didn’t know exactly where he shot himself or what happened exactly. It seemed like forever. I was yelling on the phone to the 911 dispatcher that they could land a helicopter in a place where no one on earth could ever land a helicopter, but I remember telling them 1000 times that they could land this helicopter here. She just kept saying, “We have an ambulance on the way.” I remember just sitting there crying and I don’t know how many times I tried to run up to the car after that.

 

 

911 Operator

Are you still there, hon?

 

Male 1

Yeah. Can you hear me?

 

911 Operator

Yes, I hear you. Is he still conscious?

 

Male 1

He is not conscious but he is breathing.

 

911 Operator

Okay. He has a gunshot wound to the head. Where’s the gun? Is there a gun there?

 

Male 1

I don’t know. I couldn’t see it in the car.

 

911 Operator

Okay, but he’s in the car?

 

Male 1

He is. It’s really bad.

 

911 Operator

Okay. We’ve got people almost to you.

 

Male 1

I know. I see them coming.

 

911 Operator

Okay. Medic 5, we need you to respond. It’s gonna be in Jennings County. Do you see anybody yet?

 

Male 1

No. It’s just a fucking–

 

911 Operator

Okay. There should be one coming up.

 

Male 1

Who is that?

 

911 Operator

Do you see them now? There should be a cop car coming up.

 

Male 1

No. I see no cars.

 

911 Operator

Okay. They’re getting ready to turn to where you guys are at. Do you see the officer?

 

Male 1

I got it. I got 2 trucks and a car. There are no emergency vehicles. Okay.

 

911 Operator

Do you see them? I’ve got them coming to you.

 

Male 1

Okay.

 

911 Operator

Medic 5. Gunshot to the head. The patient is still breathing.

 

Male 1

There’s a car! There’s a car!

 

Male 2

M’am, are you still there?

 

911 Operator

I am. Hang on just a second. I’m still here, hon. I just got to talking to everybody up, okay?

 

Male 2

I understand.

 

911 Operator

They’re pulling in. They just passed the refuge. They’re pulling in off highway 50 so they’re not too far.

 

Male 2

Okay, is the helicopter in the air?

 

911 Operator

Yeah.

 

Male 2

I don’t think they’re going to be able to do much. Okay.

 

911 Operator

Yep. We got them. You said he was still in a vehicle though.

 

Male 2

He’s still in the vehicle there. I’m with him right now.

 

911 Operator

Okay.

 

Male 2

It’s just labored breathing but he’s breathing so we need somebody.

 

911 Operator

You should be seeing or hearing an ambulance. Do you hear them at all?

 

Male 2

I think so, only when I try. All you can do is wait and pray. How do you pray? Okay.

 

911 Operator

When they get there, I know you guys will let them attend to him. Then, you guys can follow. Just don’t drive wild to the hospital. We don’t need you guys hurt either.

 

 

Mariah

My father ended up showing up at some point. I’m assuming my mother contacted him. I remember my dad pulling up. He just parked in a ditch and got out. I looked at him and I said, “Dad, he did it.” My dad started crying but then I said, “Hey, he’s still breathing.” Then, something clicked in my dad and he turned into someone else. He went straight into survival mode. He ran over there. He got in the car with my brother. He put a towel where it needed to go. He was talking to him and trying to calm him down, if he could hear. My father was in the army. I think the army training kicked in once I said, “He’s still breathing.” It kind of became a recovery mission at that point. Several minutes later – I know it took a while – the ambulance showed up. I remember my mom was right behind the ambulance and she was jumping out of the car trying to help them because she also used to be an EMT. I remember them just telling her to stop. They were like, “It’s not your job right now to try to do this.” We need to get him in here as quickly as possible to get him going. I remember my ex-boyfriend, Evan, standing in front of me trying to shield me from them extracting him from the car, so that I couldn’t see.

 

Scott

Evan was very protective of you this whole time, wasn’t he?

 

Mariah

Oh, yeah, definitely. He took the brunt of everything. He saw everything and wouldn’t let me see anything which I’m grateful for now. I don’t know what I would do if I had those images in my head, that’s for sure. So, they got him in the ambulance. We followed the ambulance. I don’t know how many red lights we went through. The hospital told the ambulance not to bring him because there wasn’t anything they could do, so they drove him to the tarmac. The helicopter was waiting. We were standing there. He flatlined once and they brought him back. Then, they put him in the helicopter and took off. They told us they were going to a hospital in Indianapolis about an hour away. They said we could meet them there and they would be prepared for us when we got there. So, a friend of ours showed up. I don’t really know who contacted who at that point. A friend of ours showed up and they actually drove me, Evan, and my father to the hospital.

 

Scott

So, you all went in the same car but your friend was driving?

 

Mariah

Yes.

 

Scott

That was probably a good thing. You don’t want to be driving in a mental state like that, really.

 

Mariah

Right, definitely not. There’s no way I could have made it there focused on driving.

 

Scott

You said that was an hour?

 

Mariah

Yes. It was an hour’s drive.

 

Scott

So, what did you do when you were driving to the hospital for an hour? What did you do in the car the whole time?

 

Mariah

I remember we were calling a lot of people because I have a huge family. My father is the youngest of 6 children. So, we were just calling aunts, uncles, and my sister. I was trying to figure out where my sister was. I was trying to make sure she could get to the hospital and that she heard what was going on, that she was taken care of. It was just a lot of trying to explain to people what was going on but also trying to do it quickly enough. You’re kind of shushing a lot of people trying to tell them to calm down so that you can make sure to call everybody that needs to be called. That way, we could make sure that our family was able to get to the hospital on time to make sure everything was okay. We were probably about halfway there when I was sitting in the car and I just turned to Evan. I said, “He’s gone. I felt something. He’s gone. There’s nothing that we can do.” Of course, Evan looked at me and was like, “Don’t say that. We’re not even there yet. We don’t know what’s going on. Everything could be okay.” I just remember almost a sense of relief like, “Okay. He’s gone. He’s not suffering anymore. He’s not in any more pain. We can kind of slow down.”

 

Scott

I’ve heard some people say that you can just sense that their spirit is no longer on the earth.

 

Mariah

Yeah, that’s exactly what it was. I was sitting there and something left my body. It was like I watched a part of him leave my body. Then, I was okay. I was so much calmer. Everybody else around me, as you know, was freaking out. Everybody was trying to get there as soon as possible. I was just kind of calm like, “Okay. We can’t do anything at this point. He’s gone.”

 

Scott

Of course. There’s no scientific explanation for that but it’s just something that you knew.

 

Mariah  

Oh yes, definitely. I’d never felt it since or before. We did get to the hospital. They were ready for us. They had a little room in the back. That’s how I knew it was really bad. I think they already had a room for all the family in the back. I had never been to the hospital before where they’re like, “Oh yeah. Come back here. Sit down. We’re prepared for you. Is there anything we can get you?” It was almost like they had almost some kind of hospitality, almost. They were like, “Let’s make sure everybody’s comfortable.” A lot of my family had already gotten there, somehow. They were coming from different areas too so there were different lengths of time to get there. My aunts, cousins, and my uncle were there. I just remember us all. We just sat down for what seemed like an eternity in that room. Nobody would tell us anything. We didn’t know where the plane was. We didn’t know where Nate was. We didn’t know if he was in surgery. Nobody knew what was going on. I don’t know how long we ended up sitting in there. It felt like days.

 

I remember someone coming and getting my mom and dad. They were gone for a while and they came back. My mom just shook her head to tell us he didn’t make it. He was gone. I never heard a rush of silence so loud. There was no sound in that entire room. I don’t know how to explain it. It was like everything completely stopped. People stopped breathing. We were all just so quiet. We just looked at each other like, “Is this really happening? Are we all really actually here?”

 

My mom came and sat next to me and my sister. She asked us if we wanted to see him. She said, “Of course.” He looked bad. They hadn’t removed anything. They had wrapped his head but he was in rough shape. Both of us decided that we did want to go back and see him. So, we did go back to the area there and he just looked peaceful. He looked horrible, as far as all the tubes coming out of him and his head being wrapped. There was blood everywhere but his face was so relaxed and his eyes were shut. He was just at peace. Then, I touched his hand and it was just so cold. I think that was the hardest part. I just sat there. Finally, I had to get up. I couldn’t sit there any longer without being able to hug him. I wanted to scream for him to wake up but I knew he wasn’t gonna wake up. That was very rough. After that, I just walked around the hospital by myself for a while. I ended up getting lost a little bit, actually. I had to have someone show me back to where we were. When we got back, they told us some more information altogether about what had happened. We did learn that halfway there and the helicopter, he did pass and they couldn’t revive him. In a case like this, when they fly someone, if they pass away, it’s no longer considered an emergency. So, they did land the helicopter at a local hospital that was nearby.

 

Scott

This was not the hospital you went to?

 

Mariah

No, they’d stopped at a hospital that was halfway between where we were and the hospital we were going to. They put him in an ambulance and drove him the rest of the way to the hospital we were located at.

 

Scott  

So, that’s why you were waiting all that time.

 

Mariah

Right. Yeah.

 

Scott

He hadn’t even gotten there yet.

 

Mariah

Right, yeah. So, for the majority of the time, we were waiting. He wasn’t even there which I found a little bit odd for that situation. I later learned that’s just how they do things. Out in the front area where his friends were – because they just let family members come in the back where we were all sitting – I did have to tell his friends that he was gone. I remember them all just breaking down and hugging me. His ex-girlfriend just kept telling me that she was sorry. That’s kind of when I decided that I was going to have to man up, if you will, and that I couldn’t be emotional. I had things to do and people to inform. I had to get things done now that I felt like I needed to take on the responsibility as the next of kin because I was the oldest sibling. I kind of held on to that through the funeral. I remember when we were actually in the funeral home, I did break down at one point. I told my parents that I didn’t want them to worry about everything. It wasn’t their responsibility because no parent is supposed to bury their child. I felt that I was the one that was supposed to be taking care of it, not them. So, that was a very hard part for me to not want to completely take over everything because I felt like it was my responsibility and if I didn’t, I was almost a bad sister.

 

Scott

That’s an interesting way to look at it. Do you still feel that way now?

 

Mariah

I somewhat do. I still felt like he was my responsibility like I should have seen something. There had to have been something that I missed. I’ve thought that if I had only said this or that or,  been a part of his life more in this aspect, things would be a little bit different. Mentally, I know that there was nothing I could do. It just seems like, every once in a while, I just go into that train of thought of, “Well. What if this would have happened? How different would our life be now? If we knew this or that, would that have made a difference?” I was going to get married. Actually, at that time, I had just gotten engaged a few months before. I remember kicking myself because we hadn’t really talked to him about the wedding or got him excited about it. So, I know that was one thing that bothered me for a while. I wondered, if he knew he was going to be at my wedding, would he have just pushed through a little bit longer or anything like that? I know now that those thoughts are unfounded but they come now and then.

 

Scott

This happened the day after Christmas.

 

Mariah

Yes. 26 December 2016. Christmas is a disaster for our family now. Shortly after my brother passed away, we found out my sister was pregnant. She did have my nephew shortly before my brother’s birthday, actually. It was just a week or so before my brother’s birthday. I always say that Miles saved my family because it took the pressure off of being a family that had someone who died by suicide to one with this little person that we need to take care of and spoil. So, we were able to focus more on taking care of Miles, making sure that he was okay so that Christmas could be joyful for him too. We could still remember Nate. She has another child now, but both of them know who Nate is or was. They know that he’s in heaven and that he was their uncle. So, she makes sure that he still lives on in them, but Miles was our angel at the time. He kind of made sure we were all still grounded.

 

Scott

Yeah, you could refocus positive energy in that direction.

 

Mariah

Right.

 

Scott

Even though it doesn’t take away the grieving process, the holidays can be a depressing time for some people. Did you ever sense that he felt sad about Christmas or the holidays?

 

Mariah

It seemed like a lot of my cousins were of the same age. So, we all kind of have really goofy kind of holidays every time we get together. We don’t see each other very often but we do get together during Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, those always felt like the best times we had, but it was a little bit different. Because there weren’t things happening on Christmas Day that year, everything was a little bit different. On Christmas Day, we didn’t have anything going on. So, I could see where that could have been sad. He didn’t have anywhere to go exactly on Christmas because we’d already celebrated it.

 

Scott

Has this whole experience changed you in any way?

 

Mariah

I definitely think so. I, personally, struggled with depression. For a little while, I did suffer from suicidal ideation – it took me a while to not feel depressed and not want to necessarily die myself – but I tried to go away for a little while. I remember thinking that a lot. Having gone through this now – seeing how it really does affect people, how I felt, how my parents felt, how people that knew him felt – I realized that even when we feel like we’re completely alone, we’re not. Someone somewhere is concerned about you. Suicide isn’t the answer. There are things that we can fix. I know there was a quote when I was in a treatment center for a little while right after this because I had a little bit of trouble coping with everything that had happened. I found a quote that said, “Suicide doesn’t take the pain away. It gives it to somebody else.” That really spoke to me because I saw the pain in my parents’ eyes that I had never seen before. I saw my dad cry for the first time. I saw how it hurt my sister and my cousins. Then, I saw just the flood of people that came in that Nate had just touched in some little way. It could have been 10 years ago but it made a difference to them. Now that we don’t have him, we can’t have those moments anymore. So it made me really realize that, even if I don’t think I’m making a difference somewhere, I am, every time I interact with somebody.

 

Scott  

Someone may be listening to this right now, who may be considering suicide. What would you say to that person?

 

Mariah

Call someone. I know now they have texting. There are online resources now. Reach out. It’s tough. It really is tough but reaching out to someone for help can make you realize that there’s so much more ahead of you. You may feel bad right now but there’s always the chance that you could be happy in the future. By deciding to end everything now, you have no chance to be happy in the future at all. You end things on a depressing note. Then, you leave your family to have to deal with it. Also, I think some people don’t realize that they’re not alone. There are so many people around the world dealing with problems right now that feel suicidal. There are so many resources out there. Someone does want to help you. You do matter. Every life is worth living.

 

Scott

I’ve heard so many stories of people who would say, “Yeah. A few years ago, I tried to kill myself more than once because it just didn’t seem like there was any possible way the situation could turn out to be positive or happy. Now, looking back a few years later – maybe not even a few years but a few months – things have changed. They become so happy that they aren’t able to go through with it, but it’s hard to see that at that time when you’re in that spot.

 

Mariah

Definitely. It’s almost like you’re in a hole with no ladder. There’s no way to get out but there is always a way to get out. I had to walk into a hospital alone, telling them that I wanted to hurt myself. It was the hardest thing I had ever done but it was also the best thing that I had ever done. I’m really glad that I did it.

 

Scott  

When you say that’s the hardest thing you’d ever done, I can imagine that being the case. How did you prepare yourself or work yourself up to have the courage to do that?

 

Mariah

Well, I looked at it like I didn’t want to feel this way anymore. What do you do when you’re sick and you don’t want to feel that way anymore? You go to the hospital or you go to a doctor. I just thought, “I don’t want to feel this way anymore. There has to be another way besides ending everything. This can be fixed.” I’ve kind of looked at it like that since then. This was a problem that I had but there was always also a solution.

 

Scott

You might recall that recently I put out a listener survey. And part of that was that anyone who completed the survey could be included in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. Well – after the drawing I announced that the winner was Maria, and of course, she got the gift card. But that’s not the whole story! Listen to what she told me –

 

Maria

Hey, Scott, this is Maria, the winner of the $50 amazon gift card. I wanted to give you a quick update. I am a second-grade teacher. This year, we have been fully remote since August. My 6 and 7 year old students need a lot of visuals and it’s been difficult this year, to say the least. Well, thanks to you and the podcast, I was able to use my $50 gift card to purchase a document camera for my class. My students and I are so excited and grateful to you and to the podcast for making our learning a little easier. Thanks again.

 

Scott

So I have to say that I think that is really awesome! And really – isn’t that just like a teacher? Maria could have just gotten something for herself at Amazon. But her first thought was, how can I use this to benefit the students in my classroom? That’s just how a lot of teachers think. So congratulations again Maria, and your students are lucky to have you as a teacher.

 

And if you’re a fan of the 911 audio calls, and the stories that go with them, you need to become a patron of the podcast. It’s just $5 a month, and that gets you access to the extra episodes that are exclusive to those patrons. The extra episodes are called Raw Audio, and Raw Audio episode 8 was just released. In this new episode –

 

A woman is awakened late at night by someone trying to break into her house –

 

Woman 1

One of them standing on my front porch.

 

911 Operator

What’s the other one doing?

 

Woman 1

I don’t know.

 

911 Operator

Are you home alone?

 

Woman 1

Well, I have my 4 children.

 

Scott

A 911 dispatcher remains calm while taking a horrific emergency call –

 

911 Operator
Where are the children at?

 

Woman 2

In my daughter’s room on the floor.

 

911 Operator

In your daughter’s room on the floor. Okay.

 

Scott

And a man calls 911 because he is really angry with his wife –

 

Man 3

I deserve to go to jail for murder. I want to kill her.

 

Scott

You can get access to those full bonus episodes by becoming a patron, at WhatWasThatLike.com/support.

 

And if you want to help the podcast, don’t worry about leaving a rating or a review. You might notice, I never ask for reviews, because they have absolutely no effect on how well a podcast shows up in search results. It’s a common misconception by a lot of podcasters. You’re welcome to leave a review if you want, that’s fine, but if you really want to help the show grow, here’s what you do. Right now, think of someone you know who listens to podcasts. Just think of someone in your head. Okay, you got that person pictured in your mind? Now, make a plan to tell that person about this podcast. The majority of people who hear one episode of this show end up subscribing and then they download all the past episodes. So just go tell that one person about the show, because that is a huge thing! I appreciate it!

 

So that’s a wrap for this episode. And I have to tell you, I have some shows coming up that I am REALLY excited about. So I’m looking forward to putting those out. Please – keep yourself safe, and I’ll see you next time.