42 Reasons People Who Were Once Suicidal Are Glad They Stayed
As part of National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 10 to Sept. 16), we honor and remember the thousands of lives that have been impacted by suicide — those lost, those left, those in pain, those rediscovered, those still finding their way and those who have stayed.
In whatever capacity suicide has affected you, it can be hard to find the silver lining in a topic that’s often so raw and painful. That is why we must continue to remind both ourselves and others why we should stay. Because these little reminders — and the resources that are available — can make a difference.
This year, in honor of To Write Love on Her Arms’ theme for National Suicide Prevention Week — “Stay. Find what you were made for” — we asked people affected by suicide, suicide loss survivors and suicide attempt survivors alike, to share reasons they are glad they stayed, despite their struggles.
Because you matter and we want you to stay.
I’m glad I stayed because…
1. “I’m glad I stayed because my beautiful wife is pregnant, I’m going to be a dad in December. This is something I didn’t think would ever happen 10 years ago, but I’m here and I’m going to enjoy every minute.” — Ian M.
2. “I’m glad I stayed to realize that one mistake in a lifetime does not define you. I’m glad I stayed to have the joy of being a mother. I’m glad I stayed to see how much better life can get.” — Angie S.
3. “I’m glad I stayed for myself. I realized I didn’t need attention or people to make me happy. I could create it on my own, and when I started doing that, I realized I could do better and have better.” — Ashely C.
4. “I’m glad I stayed for my fresh start. I moved states to live by the ocean, so I can breathe. My childhood crush and I are now expecting our fourth child. I’m so glad I stayed.” — Angel W.
5. “I’m glad I stayed for her. She is the only one I could think of as I thought of dying. My human. My person. She stood by my side through all kinds of stuff… She is everything to me and I am everything for her. If I cant even fathom the idea to live without her, how would she be able to survive without me?” — Sania Z.
6. “I’m glad I stayed around to hear my brother say that I inspire him. I’m glad I stayed around to meet a new friend while chasing a monkey outside. I’m glad I stayed around to see my friends (whom I had forgotten about in a blinding wave of depression) throw me a friendship party when I lost my job. I was surrounded by people telling me how much they appreciate and love me.
7. “I’m glad I stayed around to see the truths that the dark clouds of depression had hid from me. The truth that I do have friends and family who would be devastated if I was gone. People who love the random adventures that follow me around. People who remember me from elementary school and say how much I influenced them. I’m glad I stuck around to witness the release of Reese’s peanut butter cup doughnuts! I’m glad I stayed to taste peanut butter cup coffee creamer. I’m glad I stayed because if I didn’t, there would be a classroom of preschoolers without a teacher. A room full of college students without a mentor. A praise band with one less vocalist. A puppy with one less puppy scratch. A brother without his sister. A community with one less encourager. I make a difference. I matter to people, even when I can’t see it. I’m glad I stayed.” — Tamika B.
8. “I’m glad I stayed to see how much better my life got. I’m happily married to the man who convinced me to stop cutting. I have a wonderful son who keeps me going and makes me smile every day and I’m pregnant with another little boy. It’s hard for me to even think about how low I was. And I can’t imagine being that low again. While I still struggle with depression, I’m aware through just looking into my son’s eyes that tomorrow is a new day and I am very much loved, wanted and needed. And even tiny little me in Montana is making a difference in this world just by being here.” — Jessie P.
9. “I’m glad I stayed because if I killed myself there would be no one to take care of my beautiful flowers. They need a lot of love and a lot of nurturing. I know they would notice I am gone — Caroline P.
10. “I’m glad I stayed because I found out how good life can actually be. I found out how bright the stars are at night, how the moon sparkles against the sea, how the grass tingles with the wind. How fireworks explode into the nights sky like personified happy thoughts. That love doesn’t just come from humans — it can also come from the world.” — Natasha J.
11. “I’m glad I stayed because I was able to live out a lifelong dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. I’m glad I stayed to stand on hundreds of mountaintops, to experience the wilderness and to know and realize that I am worth living. To think that I almost missed out on a grand adventure… I’m glad I stayed.” — Ashley S.
12. “I’m glad I stayed for my life after 30! I struggled to find myself until I turned 30, and then it was like a light bulb went off and I have found everything that makes life worthwhile. I found my horse who brings me so much joy and has led me to new adventures with new friends. I found a new job that has a positive atmosphere, and although it’s not exactly what I want to be doing, I have good people around me. I found archery which is a great outlet for my stress. Its been a whole new world where I can be me and Im much happier.” — Carrie B.
13. “I’m glad I stayed because I want to live to see a cure for multiple sclerosis. I didn’t feel like living after I was diagnosed because I didn’t want to bother people or have people deal with me as it gets worse. I felt that I was going to cause people trouble for not being able to do everything that was expected of me.” — Jenna M.
14. “I’m glad I stayed for my cat. Nobody will be able to explain to him why mama doesn’t come home, and the thought of that breaks my heart.” — Sarah T.
15. “I’m glad I stayed, purely to experience life without depression. For a long time, the good things in life just seemed like distant ideologies that I wouldn’t get to feel or live. They were always things that were just meant for other people and not for me. Depression tricked me into believing I didn’t deserve experiencing pleasure or happiness, because I was a bad person. Ten years on and I’m so thankful that I’m here. I’ve been lucky enough to gain everything that I truly wished for, that I genuinely never thought I’d have. And I feel safe in the knowledge that if my depression ever decides to return, that I have the strength to do it all over again, because I want to stick around for all the other good things that are yet to come.” — Vicky K.
16. “I’m glad I stayed to find my passion. I am making my passion my purpose. Sport psychology and working with coaches and athletes is what I was made to do. I am glad I stayed to find the place for me. I can make a difference in people’s lives. Every day I am thankful for the waking up knowing that through all my struggles, I have a place I can share my love of the mental game in sport.” — Bernadette C.
17. “I’m glad I stayed so others may live. I went to school to become a paramedic. I’ve been a paramedic for nearly two years. I’ve seen many lives lost in my young career. But, I’ve also seen lives not lost because of the knowledge and skills I now have because I’m still alive. That’s why I’m glad I stayed.” — Heather P.
18. “I became the mother to three beautiful babies. I realized there was so much more to life than the demons inside of me trying to take me down. Becoming a mother saved my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I was given a second chance in life to help others and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I realized I am so much more than the thoughts I had racing in my head. I now have the chance to become the woman I’ve always wanted to be, the mother my mom taught me to be and to be somebody’s special someone.” — Caitlin H.
19. “I’m glad I stayed for the things that have little meaning but would be greatly missed; like the way wind feels in your hair or when the leaves start to change and you can feel the air you breathe or the way the person you love eyes light up when they see you. I stayed for those little moments.” — Marissa W.
20. “I’m glad I stayed because I met people who became my family when I felt like I had no one.” — Callie G.
21. “I’m glad I stayed so I could experience the future I was meant to have, but was always so terrified of. Just a few weeks ago was the first time I think I really realized I wanted to live. I saw a car crash on the side of the road and for the first time I can remember I thought, ‘Please keep me safe from that,’ instead of, ‘Why can’t that be me?’ The battle was long and hasn’t ended, but I’m so glad I’m here, I’m so glad I made friends and reached out, I’m so glad I got help, I’m so glad I’m alive.” — Kaitlyn R.
22. “I’m glad I stayed because I get to appreciate how precious life is every morning. To realize I have so many free gifts; I can see a beautiful sunrise, I can see how beautiful many parts of the world are. I stay alive because I have the love of a beautiful woman who life would be much poorer without. I stay alive because I am now in a place where I have accepted I am who I am and I have a place in this world. I stay alive because I may be able to show someone else that they, too, have a place in this world and they are loved. That’s why I stay alive.” — Noddy D.
23. “I’m glad I stayed so that I can be the person I needed back then, for other people now. Now, I have the opportunity to use my past experiences to help others. I think there is beauty in using my darkest moments to be a light for other people going through the same things I did. My ultimate goal is to be a counselor someday.” — Aaron G.
24. “I’m glad I stayed so that I can educate people around me about mental health awareness by being a suicide prevention advocate. So many of my loved ones have changed perspectives based on what I’ve taught them about this.” — Alex V.
25. “I’m glad I stayed because I met the love of my life. He’s been my lighthouse in the storm. He’s my peace. I was so convinced I couldn’t be loved and would be “too much” for anyone. But he has been nothing short of incredible. He helped bring light back to my world. “ — Catherine E.
26. “I’m glad I stayed because I got to save my mom from her own attempt when no one else would have been able to, which saved my brother and sister from having to endure a pain they should never know. I’m glad I stayed because when my husband’s mother died by suicide, I was able to be there for him in a very unique way. If I had gone, I wouldn’t have gotten to be an auntie, a dog mom, cat mom, a wife, a social worker or friend. I would have missed so many important moments for myself, my family and friends I never even knew I was so wanted for.” — McKenzie S.
27. “I’m glad I stayed because if I hadn’t, I never would have found out I can actually make art that I’m proud of. I finally decided to make whatever I felt like, not what others told me to, and it’s amazing. And I’m glad I stayed because I found out I can sing opera. I’m thankful I stayed because I’ve been able to empower and inspire so many people to do so many amazing and beautiful things because they decided to stay around too.” — Tiffany M.
28. “I’m glad I stayed for so many things that I was certain were impossible. I became a better person, there was a new ‘Star Wars,’ I became closer with my family, there was another new ‘Star Wars,’ my dog still greets me like the sun has just risen, I’ve met a girl that I love so much and loves me in a way I didn’t think possible.” — James R.
29. “I’m glad I stayed for all the poetry I’ve gotten to write, all the beaches I’ve gotten to visit, all the people I have (and have yet to) fall in love with. Most importantly, I’m glad I stayed because I now have the opportunity to be in my 20s and see life for the beautiful, full, intense, scary thing that it is.” — Emi A.
30. “I’m glad I stayed around for all the tomorrows filled with a love that makes your heart ache just a little. The kind of love that is brighter than the darkness.” — Tracy H.
31. “I’m glad I stayed for my innate curiosity. Every day is a new opportunity for me to experience the wonders of the world, whether it be through things like stargazing, learning new things about myself or even simple human connection. I struggle to get through many days, but when the veil that shadows and darkens my outlook can lift just a little, I am utterly amazed at the beauty of humanity and the universe we live in.” — Shauna C.
32. “I’m glad I stayed because I got to see my lifelong dream come true. I’m going to pharmacy school. I never thought I’d make it, but I did.” — Allison L.
33. “I’m glad I stayed because I now have a 1-year-old niece who I love very much. Seeing her smile, hearing her laugh and just spending time with her gives me all the more reason to stay. She’s a very important part of my life that I would have missed if I didn’t stay.” — Paige W.
34. “I’m glad I stayed because I got to watch my baby sister be born. I get to watch her grow up. I get to be there for her like I needed someone there for me.” — Susy S.
35. “I am glad I stayed to be the one my daughter confesses her fears to. I am glad I stayed to be the one my son calls for in the middle of the night. I’m glad I stayed to hear the rhythmic, healing words of hope and support from my husband. I’m glad I stayed to hold his hand in mine.” — Bryndi S.
36. “I’m glad I stayed for life — every aspect of it; things I never thought I’d know, see or feel. The people I love, friends and family and having the ability to support others in their times of need. Simple pleasures and things once taken for granted. I’m thankful I made it. And thankful that I was able to persevere.” — Annemarie H.
37. “My nephews, and little things like tonight, I was walking barefoot on pavement as the sun was setting and I looked down at my pretty painted toes and up at the whole vibrant sky and felt alive and peaceful and happy. I like to taste coffee and feel kisses. I like to float in water and feel weightless. I like to sing along to a song and really feel the lyrics.” — Aimee K.
38. “I’m glad I stayed for my future self so that I look back at that time saying, ‘You went through hell, but you have come so far, and I am proud of you for that.’” — Tessa B.
39. “I’m glad I stayed for my fur babies. It may sound simplistic or naive, but as an owner of a couple of rescues, I’m happy I’m here to give them a better life.” — Heather H.
40. “I am glad I stayed because there is so much to live for. It may not seem like it now, but there is. Even if you have to say, ‘I stayed for this moment.’ It is OK to live from moment to moment. You will get to hour by hour and day by day. You are never alone. I stayed to share my story with someone to let them know I care. I promise it does get better.” — Rae S.
41. “I’m glad I stayed because I broke the cycle of abuse in my family and continue to do my best to do so. I am glad I stayed because I have met wonderful children and adults with varying abilities. I have learned much working with children and adults with disabilities and wouldn’t give it up for the world.” — Naomi K.
42. “I’m glad I stayed for simple moments that remind me of the beauty of creation and the goodness in life. Things like hearing my children giggle uncontrollably, seeing my best friends face again, the eclipse coming. I’m glad I stayed to see myself a little stronger, a little braver, a little ‘saner.’ It may all be fleeting, but today, here and now, it’s mine. It’s enough. I’m enough.” — Brittany G.
This is another reminder that you matter and we want you to stay.
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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Lead images via TWLOHA Instagram