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21 People Who Almost Attempted Suicide Share What Made Them Stop

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Preventing suicide seems like (and most of the time is) a terribly complex and daunting task. From advocating for means reduction to fighting for policies that make health care more accessible, it’s a worldwide issue that can feel intimating to tackle.

But sometimes, suicide prevention can look smaller. A text. A kind gesture. A memory. A song.

To bring suicide prevention to a human level, we asked people in our community to share with us surprising or seemingly small moments that helped them when they were feeling suicidal. Of course, we know not every person who attempts suicide has a story like this, so for more resources and idea about supporting someone who’s suicidal, check out the pieces below:

What to Do When You’re Worried a Loved One Might Be Suicidal

24 Real Ways to Help Someone Who’s Feeling Suicidal

23 Messages for Anyone Considering Suicide, From People Who’ve Been There

Here are some of the stories they shared with us:

1.I was Googling least painful ways to die, and Google recommended I call the suicide hotline. I had just locked myself in the bathroom and was 100 percent set on doing it. I called because I didn’t want to be alone, but the person on the other end of the line talked me down and saved my life.” — Nadia N.

2. “Something deep down inside of me said that I am stronger than my illness, that I could overcome these feelings, that I was worth happiness. Glad I listened to that inner voice or I wouldn’t be here today.” — Carrie W.

3. “When I was close, I was sitting by a bridge crying and people were just walking past ignoring me. One person stopped and asked me if I was OK. He stayed and talked to me for a while until I was brought home. That stranger saved my life.” — Jaclyn D.


4. “I was on the tube station platform waiting… and then l fleetingly saw the driver and the thought of what he would feel — the guilt and the horror — stopped me. Strangely, not thoughts of the effect upon my family or friends, the impact upon a total stranger stopped me.” — Tracey W

5. “When I was 17, I was preparing myself. Giving away my possessions to close friends. I went to school where a friend had invited me to church that Wednesday night for youth. I had said yes and ended up going that night. Sure enough, the youth pastor was talking on the subject of teen suicide. I felt like she was speaking directly to me, she made me realize how much I had to live for. Now it’s almost 10 years later and I am married with three beautiful children. I never thought I’d be able to live such a beautiful life, but here I am, still thriving.” — Tara S.

6. “As I was about to go through with it, my phone got a text. It was a friend (now my partner) telling me they loved and cared about me, that something inside was screaming for them to tell me right then and there. I still struggle with the thoughts and ideation, but I haven’t made a serious attempt since that last one.” — Erik T.

7. “I had a friend write on his Facebook page his final goodbye and it shook me to the core. I was going to try myself around that same time. Instead of me trying, I reached out to help him and reached out for help for myself…” — Laine W.

8. “My niece being born. It’s a bit strange since she’s not my actual child, but I suddenly felt hopeful about the future. She’s now 3 and has a nearly year-old baby brother. I’m grateful every day for changing my mind.” — Jane L.

9. “I held the pills up to my mouth and there was a small voice inside of me that said, ‘Not today. Give it one more day. Tomorrow will be different.’ And the next day was different. I was still having thoughts but I wasn’t actively suicidal. That’s now my mantra. One more day.” — Sandy S.

10. “Believe it or not, I was ready but I heard a sound. I looked up and there I saw a dog. We made eye contact and I just couldn’t do it after that. He just looked at me with those eyes that asked ‘But why?’ His name was Dash. He was a mixed breed. He wasn’t even my dog.” — Tessa Z.

11. “Promises I made to other people. They seemed trivial at the time. But it kept me here.” — Nichole H.

12. “My friend texted me, ‘I just wanted you to know how much of a great friend you’ve been to me this year.’ As I was about to do it.” — Jenna H.

13. “Someone said to me: I will miss you so much. And it was honest and raw. And it changed my mind for the time being.” — Caroline P.

14.My wrist tattoo. It reminds me I have a purpose, I am loved and I’ll get through this.” — Amy S.

15. “My eyes ran across a photo of my kids. I drove myself to the psychiatric unit instead of the river that day.” — Calliope W.

16. “In the moments I tried to end my life, I called my dad. He was the most important person to me at that time (still is very important to me) and just hearing his fear and worry made me stop trying. I still wanted my life to end but the overwhelming feeling started to disappear.” — Shannon C.

17. “Just last week I was going to [attempt suicide] and using my DBT skills (STOP), I took a second and truly stopped and did not jump.” — Amy H.

18. “It was the thought of watching some film or catching a new episode of my favorite series or some food I could have tomorrow.” — Thuy C. 

19. “I decided to wait until tomorrow. Then I waited for tomorrow again. And again.
Sometimes I’ve lived in the spaces where I am just going to do it tomorrow instead.” — Hannah N.

20. “My high school teacher showed he cared when she really didn’t have to.” — Rebecca A.

21. “I want to have my writing published. I want to travel. I want to do all the things I’ve been afraid to do. I want to live.” — Jennifer S.

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.

Originally published: September 7, 2017
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