This is not about the cop. This is not about the thief.
This is about an EMT, that moment, and you.
This is about your Recovery.
Listen to the screaming pitch of the ambulance as it approaches the scene. Think back to the softening, deeper sound when an ambulance moves past you and fades into the distance.
Now think about that moment when the cop's bullet hits right below the knuckle on the thief's right hand between the index and middle finger. Think about three sausage-like fingers encased in human flesh, bones shattered, blood splattering, fingers dangling.
Skip ahead mere moments when the scene has been contained, the EMTs have arrived and the robber's unblemished hand, his left, has been handcuffed to the stretcher.
AN UNEXPECTED, UNNOTICED AND INSTANT REACTION: The EMT reacts as he has been trained to do. The wounded suspect lunges at him despite being chained to the stretcher. Instantly, the EMT stills him to prevent an even worse outcome for the guy. With calm certainty, he commands, "Don't move or you may lose all your fingers."
What could have escalated into an even bloodier scene has been contained. How the fuck could he have remained composed in the havoc this situation presented to everyone present?
Our cop's target stops in his tracks, somehow able to understand that despite his lashing out at the EMT that he is there to help him and that he must not move, or his entire hand might be in jeopardy. A frightened, injured and trapped animal might have reacted no differently than this man on a stretcher. A defiant act in an erratic attempt to somehow survive. How to live through this pain and chaos? How?
Is he even thinking?
Or is there only the pain of a lifetime congealing in his bloody hand? Maybe he's trying to escape his entire life of torment leading up to this moment? Am I being too kind?
Enough of this sense, this nonsense, this insanity. Freeze this moment in your head as you are reading this.
Let it sink in.
A thousand different outcomes were possible in this moment.
Our EMT could have easily and mercilessly pulverized this guy, damaging the hand even further. No one would have blamed him. He had every right to. He might have felt exactly that had he taken the time to feel. "Don't move or you may lose all your fingers." It came down to his training, the Hippocratic Oath, first, do no harm. Do his job. That's what he was here for.
This story reveals my own self-doubt. What would I have done? Would I have struck back at the perpetrator of a crime turned gunshot patient? Could I have simply done my job as an EMT, or would my kneejerk reaction have been less professional? Could I have made sure this guy's hand would be in worse shape than it already was? Would I be justified?
Little heroics often go unnoticed and unrewarded. Prevention of the potential escalation this whole bloody situation offered can so easily be overlooked.
Prevention is seldom rewarded.
What does this gruesome tale have to do with Addiction and Recovery (as of course you know it must)?
Be patient. You will find your own answer as my words continue to clean up this bloody crime scene. Remember, the cop is a hero here too. He could have easily shot the grocery store thief in the chest rather than disarming him with a bullet to the hand holding the gun. Likely had the cop hit the thief's chest with this single shot, all would be forgiven, and the neighborhood would resume its normal activities in no time flat, no questions asked.
No EMT would be carrying away a corpse today. Worse consequences averted.
Let me offer full disclosure here. I zoomed in on this narrowest of situations. More went on than my focus so far has portrayed. Dozens of participants and onlookers. Other ambulances, more cop cars, traffic at a standstill, onlookers second guessing everything. Other shots fired. Four cops wounded by shrapnel. No direct hits but for our man on the stretcher. More. Much more than this transpired here.
This whole little story could have gone wrong in a hundred different directions than it had.
This is about this cop, an EMT, that moment and you. What would you have done were you the cop, were you the EMT, were you the gunman?
Cop, EMT or gunman, in my drinking days, I'd be drinking like a motherfucker afterwards even if I had been merely a witness.
Not drinking or drugging is Heroic, too. What bad or worse has happened, could still happen, should you pick up a drink or drug today?
If your living in Recovery has helped prevent you from picking up a drink or drug today, you are a Hero. By living in Recovery, what tragic outcomes have you prevented? What catastrophic consequences have you headed off by remaining clean and sober?
What would you have done in your dis-ease?
What have you prevented from happening by not being in one of your thousand addicted states of mind today?
If you haven't picked up a drink or drug today, you're a Hero in my book.
An Unsung Hero No Longer.
Cop, EMT, You.
Clean & Sober Heroes ALL.
Think before you drink or drug. Avoid Catastrophe. Don't pick up.
Clean and Serene, Be Your Own Constant Hero.
Clean and Serene in Long-Term Recovery.
Be. Heroes. All.
My job is to remain Clean and Sober.
No. Better. Outcome.
Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal
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I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)