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How the Birth of My Granddaughter Reminded Me That I Should Keep Living

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The author holding a baby

Sometimes, I forget how lucky I am to be alive. Since my suicide attempt, I have experienced so many different emotions. I was happy to be alive. I’ve been depressed, felt guilt for attempting and guilt for surviving.

During the last seven years, I have been proactive in suicide prevention, and in the last three years I have been open and honest about my attempt and my lived experience. My experience has also brought out so many different emotions, from fear of being judged to such great relief that it was no longer a secret. I am working on being open about my lived experience whenever I am given the opportunity. This isn’t easy for an introvert, but I hope that sharing my story may help save someone’s life.

Last Monday, I started a new chapter in my life. I became a grandfather. This experience is so amazing. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling. I have a joy that is intense.

While holding my granddaughter  yesterday, I was overwhelmed with happiness. This very thought came over me: I didn’t die from my attempt. I chose to live. Even though it was tough, I not only saved my life, but I also saved the life of my children and my grandchild.

This has further increased my motivation to work in suicide prevention. Each life we can save helps save an additional life. We get to save a life that we don’t even know about yet. This very thought makes me happy. Please, join me and help continue to share the gift of life.

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

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: January 9, 2017
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