“Every single human being deserves love. And if you think that nobody’s ever going to love you, I felt that. I felt that I was unlovable, did not mean that I was unlovable.”
Suicide Attempt Survivor
The following is a transcript of Jessica Paone’s video story.
Hi. I’m Jessica Paone, and I am a suicide attempt survivor.
When I look back now, I don’t think I had a bad childhood.
I think some bad things happened to me, but I really don’t know anybody that bad things haven’t happened to.
I had experienced sexual assault when I was young, so that kind of got molded into my sense of identity, that that was just what was supposed to happen to me. I thought that was completely normal.
It just it really went into the fact of, “this is all I’m good for.”
All the sexual assaults didn’t make me become an addict.
It was just, I don’t know any other way to deal with it. So the best way to deal with it was to not deal with it, which was to not feel.
So when I enlisted in the military, it was really because my friends went off to college, I was doing nothing at home, and my dad came home one day and he was like, “You’re going to get a full time job, or you’re going to go in the military.” And I was like, “Okay then, I’ll go in the military.”
Then three months later, I was gone and I was in the Air Force for almost nine years, and it gave me purpose.
The Air Force was my whole identity.
I was good at being a staff sergeant.
I had my brothers and sisters in arms, and I started to date this guy who would later end up being my husband and he was great. I have three kids with him.
My oldest I didn’t give birth to, but he’s my son. I’ve raised him since he’s four, my daughter, and then my youngest. Having three kids was great.
But then I had a severe pain issue.
I had endometriosis, so I was prescribed a lot of pain medication, and the military said they couldn’t deploy me anymore, so they medically retired me.
And that is where things got really, really bad.
Eventually, it got to the point where it was really tough for me to even like get up and take a shower, or take care of myself, or take care of the kids.
I had never wanted to just be my kid’s mom and Serge’s wife.
I had always made the choice to have my own identity.
So when I was a Staff Sergeant Laura, I was like really good at that. I thought I was really good at my job. I had purpose. I had, you know, meaning, but I had always wanted something for myself.
So when I lost that, my depression skyrocketed. My addiction skyrocketed. I couldn’t understand why I was so sad.
My husband would say to me all the time, like, what do you have to be so sad about? We have a house, we have these kids, we’re married.
And I would be like, I don’t have an answer for you.
And I thought that was all that my life was ever going to be like.
And on June 1st, I made a decision with my kids. I was like, We’re going to go out. We’re going to play on the slip and slide. We’re going to play in the water. We’re going to go get ice cream and eat all your favorite foods.
Because I knew the next day I was going to wake up and I was going to kill myself.
And then that’s exactly what happened.
I woke up, I went upstairs and I laid down because I thought it was going to be like it looks like on the movies, where I was just going to drift off into sleep. But that wasn’t my experience. My experience was [that] my body was paralyzed, I started choking on my own vomit, I was urinating and defecating on myself, and I couldn’t move until eventually I lost consciousness.
The only reason that I’m alive today is because my daughter got sent home from school with a stomach ache. My husband brought her home, and when he got upstairs, I was dead on the bed, and he had to give me CPR, and call 911, and started screaming. And my daughter came up and my daughter saw me in that position.
I would have sworn that my kids would be better off without me.
My husband would be better off without me.
My family would be better off without me.
All I am, is pain and sadness.
And I just wanted it to stop, and I couldn’t see any other way out.
I can still remember that pain and that desperation, you know?
And I remember just being so consumed by it that I just wanted everything to stop.
I just wanted the hurt to stop.
You know, I knew that there was a problem.
I was trying to take action with it. I went to all of my psychiatrist appointments, all my therapy appointments, and just nothing got better.
It’s pretty hard to understand it if you have never lived through it.
I was in a coma, and when I came out of the coma, they sent me to a psych hospital.
I didn’t realize how good of a manipulator I was. So I got to go home with all of my same scripts, all of the benzos, all the Ambien. I got to go home with all of it.
December came around. I decided to detox myself from a reckless amount of opiates and my brain snapped.
My mom and my husband came up and they said, you have to go to treatment or you’re going to be homeless.
I went to rehab.
I decided to start listening to people who are in rehab. They said, “Go to Recovery House.”
So I talked to my husband and I said, I want to go to a recovery house.
He said, “If you go to Recovery House, our marriage is over.”
So that’s when my marriage ended, when I was in rehab, because I made the decision to put myself first.
Now that I’ve been sober for five years, everything about me is changed. I’ve earned my bachelor’s, I earned my masters, and I’m now on my Ph.D. program.
I have a serious boyfriend.
My daughter, she moved in with me. She knows I’m going to be there for her because I’m her safe space.
And I work in treatment today. And that is where I find my new purpose.
And these are all things that if you would have told me, you know, five and a half years ago, I’d have been like, “Get lost! That’s not who I am,” but it is who I am today.
It’s who I’ve always been.
It’s just that that girl was buried behind a lot of sadness before.
I think it’s important to share my story because if there’s one person out in the open, sharing about it, there is at least ten to 20 people who are hiding in a closet.
I like to tell everybody that I possibly can because people need to know it can get better.
Because where I was five and a half, six years ago, I thought that there was no life out there for me.
I just want to say that if you’re sitting around and you think that you’re unlovable, you think that you don’t deserve love….
Every single human being deserves love.
And if you think that nobody’s ever going to love you, I felt that.
I felt that I was unlovable.
It did not mean that I was unlovable.
I now have such a strong foundation within myself, and the confidence within myself, but I needed to be completely broken in order to be built back up.
I could have never imagined the life that I live today.
One more moment to me means getting to be a part of not only my kids lives, but to help other people regain their lives.
I get to do this because I had one more moment.
One More Moment was developed with support from: