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46 Reasons People Kept Living

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While part of National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 5 to Sept. 11) is remembering those who have died by suicide, it is also, in a way, a celebration of life. It’s about humans trying to keep other humans around, reminding each other and ourselves that suicide is never the only option… and what resources to access when we don’t believe that.

In honor of To Write Love on Her Arms’ theme this year — “And I Kept Living” — we asked people affected by suicide, suicide loss survivors and suicide attempt survivors alike, to share why, despite their challenges, they keep living.

Their answers are beautiful — and we can’t wait to share them with you.

I kept living because…

1. “I kept living because I realized there are people trying to survive. I knew my time wasn’t over and instead of ending my life, I used my experience to support others who have felt the same way as I did.” — Val Sacco

2. “I kept living because I realized no matter how I saw myself, there were people who loved me and believed in me. I learned pain wasn’t all there was and that pain meant I was still alive. I still struggle today, but no matter what, I will continue to keep on living.” — Candice Angeline Lott

3. “I keep living because I survived my suicide attempt and realized no matter how great the pain, there is a reason why I’m still alive. That there is a purpose within the pain, so even on my worst days of anxiety and depression, I keep living.” — Heidi Huizing

4. “I keep living so some day I can share my story to help others.” — Jean Davis

5.I kept living because I decided to trust the small voice inside of me that said just maybe things could get better. I kept living because as much as I wanted to die, I couldn’t let my story end that way…” — Rrose Selavy

6. “I kept living because I realized I’m stronger than I thought, and that it’s OK to ask for help. I kept living because I have a story to tell and maybe it can inspire someone else. I kept living because I made it this far and I deserve to keep going. Now almost four years clean. I’m glad I kept living.” — Patricia Reilly

7. “I kept living because my family stepped in and saved me.” — Jen Morris Smith

8. “I kept living because there was a little boy who reminded me every day that life was worth living. He’s shown me unconditional love does exist, though I had been convinced it didn’t, and I will forever be grateful I am his mother.” — Tina Villarreal

9. “I kept living because someone acknowledged what I was going through.” — Kendall Martin

10. “I kept living because I have so much life left to live. I’m only 19. I’ve come to find purpose in my life. It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to fight. I’m going to fight my hardest to live and help others if I can.” — Jean Kiri

11. “I kept living because I knew I needed to share my story and help others who struggle. I’ve been able to speak out about the trauma I’ve experienced and keep the conversation going about the culture we live in. I’m so glad #IKeptLiving.” — Sammie Resnick

12. “I kept living because the pain is not all there is. The pain will not win, the pain will not rob me of all of the opportunities life has to offer. I kept living because I found the reasons I needed to carry on.” — Sam Hill

13. “I kept living because if there was a chance things would get better, I didn’t want to miss it. I’m in love with life, but depression is a heavy weight to carry.” — Faith Rose

14. “I kept living because the fire I found in hell secretly got inside my soul and lit me up… and now, even if I try to surrender to the scary voices that challenge me, my will, my heartbeats, want to fight for me. And so I listen. And so I am here.” — Luah Bel

15. “I kept living because others kept loving. Because the world is not as dark as it may seem. Because of flowers and music and poetry. I’m so young and I have such a bright, brilliant future ahead of me. I kept living because people, my friends, family and teachers love me. They loved me even at my lowest point, and have supported me through everything… I kept living, and I am so happy I did.” — Molly Carey 

16. “I kept living to show myself I am more than what the bullies thought of me. I kept living to become a wife, a mom and friend. I kept living so I could win the battle with depression every day. I kept living to give hope to others.” — Jennifer Roeder Blasi

17. “I kept living because my life and mental health are worth fighting for, no matter how hard it may be.” — Miranda Fant

18. “I kept living because I was determined to learn how to love myself, even when no one else was able. When my father left, my boyfriend abused and my friends turned the other cheek, I needed love. So when everyone chose to leave, I chose to stay. I chose to love myself and others. I chose to forgive myself and others.” — Lindsey Clark

19. “I kept living because I was not alone. I kept living because I had family, friends and even strangers help me to realize life is so beautiful and worth living.” — Amber Lee

20. “I kept living because my story isn’t over. My story matters. I thought for the longest time I was nothing and nobody cared about me and I was so close to ending it. But I didn’t because I realized I am enough, and I am loved…. My story isn’t over and it won’t be for a very long time.” — Katie Key

21. “I kept living because for every suicidal thought I had, a voice told me to keep hanging on to hope, and that things would get better. Had I not listened to that voice, I would not be happily engaged and as close with my family as I am now. I would have never been able to enjoy all that life had to offer me.” — Rachel Kessel

22. “I kept living because I still have so much hope to give and receive. So much love to spread. I want to see the world become a better place. A place where we can talk about our struggles without feeling ashamed. A world where people don’t end their life. I kept living so one day others won’t need a reason to, they just will.” — Jenna Jacofsky

23. “I kept living because someone didn’t give up on me.” — Kelly Korthals

24. “I kept living because I asked for help and was met with loving and immediate support. I realized my life here on earth did matter and there was still a good life for me here. My pain was turned into purpose. I still struggle with depression and anxiety, but I have tools and resources I can turn to and remind myself that this life is worth fighting for.” — Courtney Jean Bancroft

25. “I kept living not just for myself and the life I hope to one day live, but for the countless others who fall asleep at night wondering if someone cares.” — Rachel Contenti

26. “Honest answer? At first I kept living because I was afraid. I was so close to the edge so many times, but I was too scared to take that last step. As I slowly, slowly found recovery, I learned there is joy in life, no matter how dark it may feel. Now I keep living because I know there is always hope for it to get better, even when I feel exhausted and hopeless.” — Kait Englert

27. “I kept living because I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life supporting those who felt the same way as I did.” — Andrea Mache

28. “I kept living because a guy I loved couldn’t be in this world anymore. He died by suicide two weeks ago. I’m living for both of us now.” — Corinda Regan

29. “I kept living because I had a feeling there was something better out there for me, I just needed to go and find it.” — Evelyn Faith

30. “I kept living because I realized I loved life, I just hated my mental illness. Now I’m ready to fight it so I can really live.” — Alisha Harcourt

31. “I kept living because I couldn’t kill the person I hadn’t found yet. My story wasn’t over, my life wasn’t over. I had so many places to get to in my life and once I got there, I was exposed to another path… And another… And another…” — Sarah Elizabeth Mooney

32. “I kept living because a simple act of love shined through every time I wanted everything to stop. More often than not, it seems as if we are all alone in our darkest moments. But I promise you, you are not.” — Halim Zahir Colson

33. “I kept living because my children need to know my story.” — Corena Childs McIntyre

34. “I kept living because even at the hardest times, a part of me knows the darkness is all lies.” — Veronica Knotts

35. “I kept living because there was so much I hadn’t experienced. I kept living for new music I had yet to hear, for places I would travel to, books I would read, friends I would meet. I stayed because I knew it would hurt everyone around me too much if I left. I kept living because my best friend did not and he would’ve wanted me to stay.” — Leah Noll

36. “I kept living because, in a sudden moment, it was like I could see the world I was living in. I suddenly became so aware of everything I appreciated and everything I had wanted to do before this darkness suffocated me and covered my eyes from memories of what I actually loved about life. I kept living for every new sunrise and sunset, every new ocean, forest, mountain, every new country and city, every new stranger and every new friend. I kept living simply because life called to me, and I answered.” — Sneha Mundul

37. “I kept living because at the end of the day our stories are worth telling.” — Ashley VanBenschoten

38. “I keep living because I am not done breaking the stigma of mental illness by openly, unabashedly telling the story of my struggles with depression and anxiety. I keep living because I know I’m not alone in this fight and I want others to know they aren’t alone either.” — Kelli Jensen

39. “I kept living because I survived and I made most of my second chance.” — Ana Daniela Wallace

40. “I kept living because in the eyes of my students, I saw a future I didn’t know I had. I kept living because I knew that, through teaching, I could give back to others all that anxiety and depression had taken from me.” — Chelsea Smith

41. “I kept living because I met someone who believed me when I told them I was living in hell. She gave me a safe space and had loved me for 10 years since. I still have dark days and she walks them with me.” — Bethany Weasley

42. “I kept living because there is only one of me in this world and I have scars that tell a story, and a life worth living. My story isn’t over, and I have so much more to give. That’s why I kept living.” — Maddy Trtanj

43. “I kept living because my dad didn’t get the chance to do so – and I’m determined to succeed and make him proud.” — Kai Alora Yanga

44. “I kept living to be here now with all of you, living, breathing and learning to love myself in such a beautifully broken world and with some hope to be the light in someone else’s darkness.” — Stephanie Atwood

45. “I kept on living because of the kindness of a stranger who stopped me from jumping. And then for the tears running down my friends face when she said, “If you weren’t here then who else could I share this with?” And then for my 3-year-old niece who sent me a video message saying “Miss you Nat-nat! Love you.” And then for my best friend who told me he didn’t think I was crazy.  Then eventually I kept on living for myself.” — Natalie Cummins

46. “I kept living because I was meant to. And so are you.” — Lexi Greenwood

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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.

Originally published: September 2, 2016
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