The Day I Got Shot Was Not My Worst Day… The Day After Was!!!

By Steven Smith – Retired Assistant Chief

So what do you do when it happens? When the worst happens, what do you do? Have you ever wondered or asked that question? I wondered, but never allowed myself to delve too deep into it. That is until the worst happened.

Now I have had a lot of bad days and bad calls that have stayed with me and they probably always will. You know the ones, the ones that never quite go away, then become a part of you, even change the way you do things, but what do you do when you are the bad call? When the call goes bad and you become the call.

My worst happened on Dec 13, 2011. I became the call for help after my partner and I were ambushed. I was down and it was bad. Multiple bullet holes, broken bones, severe blood loss. The worst happened. You might think that would be the worst day, I used to think the same thing.

Dec. 13th was terrible, but the day after marked the worst day of my life. While that night was bad, the day after was worse. It took this long to realize that. The day after is when you come to realize everything has changed. The next day you see that nothing will ever be the same. The next day you realize you will never be like you were or what you were. The next day is when the real pain begins the pain that comes from working to get better. The next day is when the struggle begins, the struggle to find yourself, because the old you is no longer there. The next day is when you learn, you have to learn new ways to do everything. The next day is when the real battle begins. While you battled to survive that night, the war to live starts the next day. The next day you realize you will do all of these things for rest of your next days.

So the question is no longer what do you do when the worst happens, it’s how do you handle these next days, because there will still be a lot. Almost 8 years later I’m still having next day moments.

Next day moments can range from something as simple as avoiding grocery store because the parking lot is crowded and you really don’t feel like dealing or managing your way through that many people, to totally avoiding something because you know it will just trigger you and ruin your day. Next day moments can be a million different things.

You just have realize that those next days do not always have to remain bad days. You have a choice. Next days can be what you make them. Next days are just that, next days. Its up to you what you do with them.

If you, someone you love or someone you know needs help, call:

Safe Call Now:  24 Hour Confidential Hotline:  206-459-3020

For more information on the First Responders program:  Click here

Or call Shannon Clairemont at 661-466-6352 or Vanessa Stapleton at 304-651-3008