13 Reasons Why I Chose To Live, and Why You Should Too


I’ve felt it too. The unbearable pain and perpetual numbness all at once. The lingering sadness. The inescapable despair. Depression is a merciless overhead cloud. The blackness engulfs you, blocking out any glimpses of light and hope. It stays with you, never letting you forget the dark thoughts occupying your mind. There was a time when I thought that physical pain could take away from the emotional distress of my mental state. And there were several times I envisioned more permanent escape routes. But if I had followed through with those horrible things, my story would have ended. If my mind caved to those unthinkable thoughts, I would not be who I am or where I am today.

The following are 13 reasons why I chose to live through the suffocation and drowning of my inner thoughts, and why you should chose to live too:

1. To accomplish what I set out to do.

Before my mind was taken over by immense sorrow, I had aspirations. I chose to not let my overwhelming emotions interfere any longer. I chose to live, and in doing so, I accomplished one of my biggest goals: graduating college. What’s on your “to be achieved” list?

2. To see what lies ahead.

Dwelling on the past only dragged me down. I chose to live, to move forward and see what my future held. I am so grateful for where it has brought me today. I would have never seen the exciting and the new had I followed through with cutting my life short.

3. To get help.

There are so many options for treatment out there. I chose to live to find a treatment that worked and to see actual results. If you need a place to start, please don’t hesitate to speak with loved ones and your doctor about how you’re feeling, or call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. From different forms of therapy, to medication and even alternatives, there are ways to combat this awful disease.

4. To be able to experience the warmth of genuine happiness.

They always said there were happier days ahead. I had not believed a word of that bullshit until I was exposed to the pure bliss I endlessly yearned for. I know how much you’re hurting now, but I promise with my heart and soul that it’s going to pass. There will be so many reasons to smile if you stay.

5. This too shall pass.

This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. I chose to live because I knew it would pass. The evil you are facing is guaranteed to pass. It always does. Keep instilling that belief in yourself. I did, by having it forever placed on my body.

6. My family loves and cares about me so much.

It may not have seemed that way when my mind chose to just concentrate on the bad, but I’m able to see and feel it now. A family is like a puzzle. With my piece missing, they’d never be complete again. I chose to live so my family would never have to experience the devastating effects of my loss.

7. My friends love and care about me so much.

I chose to live so that my friends would not have to go through the anguish and agony of attending my funeral.

8. There are so many amazing people I still have not met.

I’m so young. You are still so young. There are so many faces you have not been introduced to yet. One of those faces may be the one who changes your life forever. I chose to live to let more special people enter my life, and they surely did.

9. And there are so many beautiful places I have yet to see.

The world has so much to offer. If you choose not to live, you’ll never be able to explore the plethora of stunning places you have yet to see.

10. To inspire others.

What kind of an example would I be if I had not had the strength to hold on? I chose to live to tell my story, and to inspire others to live. I’ll devote my life to making sure the stigma against mental illnesses is one day broken, that mental battles are one day no longer belittled and that mental diseases will never have to be fought alone. You have a powerful story to tell as well. You have a purpose. Help me inspire others.

11. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

When you turn to such a permanent action, you have a zero percent chance of getting better. Choose to live so there is a higher percent chance you will get better.

12. My story isn’t over yet, and neither is yours.

There is still so much to do — so many memories to be created, so many laughs to be had. Your story isn’t over. Our stories are not over. Project Semicolon lives by this motto. Feeling alone in this struggle of yours? Check out Project Semicolon, the most supportive mental health community I’ve found. They have helped more than 5.2 million people since 2013. Please let them help you.

Last but not least, reason number 13…

13. I love you and I’m not letting anything happen to you.

Through shared experiences, I already feel connected to you. I know what you’ve been through and the pain you’re feeling in this very moment. It’s so incredibly unfair. I wish I could wave a magic wand and take it all away. But the only power I have right now is words. Please listen to them. Read them again if you have to. I love and care about you so much, even if we’ll never meet. And I refuse to let anything happen to you. Choose to live, and if you’re ever having doubts about doing so please contact one of the following:

This piece was originally published on The Odyssey. 

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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