1. My buddy came over to my place after work and we unloaded the gun.
“This one time my buddy happened to come over after work and we unloaded the gun, I spent a few weeks at his place.”
“I decided that instead of doing what the people abusing/mistreating me wanted and hurting myself/ending my life, I would do everything possible to spite them instead.”
3. The noose broke.
“Noose broke. Later got a text from my best friend to play video games. At around 11 at night. Wasn’t able to play but still was happy.”
4. One of the managers at work wished me a good night.
“I was going to jump in front of a train after work, I thought that nobody cared about me and that no one would notice I was gone. On my way out of work one of the managers that I barely knew said ‘bye. nickname, have a good night!’ That little gesture was enough to change my mind.”
5. Too much effort.
“It was too much effort, honestly. Plus the fear that I’ll fail and end up with some kind of permanent damage.”
6. I couldn’t imagine where my dogs would go.
“Might seem silly but during my darkest time and I was contemplating ending it all, my dogs are what saved me. I have three and I couldn’t imagine where they would go. I didn’t want them to be split up or sent to a shelter.”
7. My cat sat on my lap and stared directly in my face.
“It’s weird but my cat stopped me once. I had been put on a high dose of Xanax daily and it fucked with me. Bad. At one point, I sat on my bed sobbing with one of my knives on my arm ready to go and my cat forced herself into my lap and rammed the knife out of my hand with her head. She proceeded to sit on my lap and stare directly into my face until my roommate came home. It was surreal. Now she just stares judgmentally at me 24/7.”
8. I had a nice dream.
“I had talked to a friend who thought I sounded weird and called the police to do a wellness check. Police came, found me, and I was brought to the hospital and kept there for a little while. When I finally got to go home I was too tired to ‘finish the job’ (as ridiculous as that sounds, ‘Can’t kill myself, too tired.’), and decided to sleep on it and try again the next day.
That night I had a dream that my friends and I were together in the woods hiking around and having a great time, it was very real-feeling (usually I know when I’m dreaming that it’s a dream), and in the dream, I just had this deep sense that everything would be alright. When I woke up and started thinking about it, I felt like I could probably keep going. I had wanted to take my own life because my life up until that point had been shit and I felt like it would never end, but then when I thought about it, I thought, yeah, my life has been shit but at this point I’m come too far to turn back or tap out now, I’ve put too much into this. I’m glad I did, because 9 months later I met the man who is now my husband, and the last 7 years have been the only stable period I’ve known, and the happiest I’ve ever been.”
9. I had one online friend who had been the only one who cared and tried to help.
“I was 16 in a bad home. I had it all planned out—too many sleeping pills. One night I decided it was the night. I was going to die that night.
I remember staring at the bottle for a while. Thinking of what I’d leave behind. I felt no one would care if I was gone. I put my hand on the cap.
All but one person.
I took the prescribed amount.
I had one online friend who had been the only one who cared and tried to help. I couldn’t hurt him like that. If I just disappeared, he’d know why.
10 years later, we’re still friends. And I’m still here.”
10. My grandma told me she was very proud of me.
“I lived with my dad, who generally just made me feel bad about existing as often as he could. Then one day when I was 16, he got sick of me and kicked me out. It was a total change: I had nobody there to kick me down when I felt good, nobody to remind me I’m a mistake. I could get an 80% on a test and not have to worry whether I’d eat that night or not. I still struggled with depression after that, in fact I almost hanged myself a few times because I just thought I was a burden to everyone. Then on my 18th birthday my grandma told me she was very proud of me, and it clicked: She cared. I graduated high school shortly after, and got into the school of my dreams, that my dad told me I would never make it in. I was eventually forced to drop out due to financial reasons, but the fact that I could still be there if not for shitty budget cuts makes me realize maybe life isn’t so shitty after all.”
11. Fear and laziness.
“Fear and laziness worked in my favor.
Whenever I was close enough to start considering methods, I’d be so afraid of a failed attempt that I’d create fairly elaborate plans…eventually to the point that I didn’t even want to get into it right then.
‘I can always kill myself tomorrow’ is a phrase that has saved my life more than once.”
12. One calm and peaceful moment saved me.
“I had tried to kill myself twice in an 11-year period. I got to that point again. I was determined to get it right this time and finally end it. At this time, I had started spiraling and losing hope because I had been going to the doctor and had tried out six different antidepressants and none of them even remotely helped, some made it even worse. I didn’t believe I would ever find something that worked and couldn’t afford therapy so I just lost hope I would find anything that could help.
I had just started another new anti-depressant and was waiting for the time to kill myself. I had a plan and a date set because that date had the right set of circumstances where I could kill myself and there wouldn’t be a chance for someone to mess up my plans, so I had to wait a bit. I noticed that with the antidepressant I had started to get more energy back and felt slightly better, but not enough to not follow through with my plan. One night I was sitting outside smoking a cigarette, it was probably about 4 AM, I was still awake because my anxiety wouldn’t let me sleep. There was a storm rolling in and I live near the coast, so there was a nice sea breeze going. The sky was tinted red due to the impending rain. I live somewhat close to train tracks and a train was going by and sounding its horn (a sound that was always comforting to me). I also had a song playing on my phone that was perfect for the vibe going on. It was just so calm and peaceful.
As I was sitting there, I realized that I wanted to capture this moment again. If I died, I would never be able to have this type of moment again, I would never be able to hear the train going by, or feel the sea breeze on my face, or look up at the stars in the red tinted sky. For the first time, I felt like I had something to look forward to, I had something that I wanted to do again. And that simple moment made me realize that maybe there were things that I could look forward to, even if it was just as simple as the scenario I described. I think it was the combination of the scenario and the anti-depressant. Luckily it all came together at just the right time (basically all the previous meds were SSRI’s but the one I was given that actually worked was an SNRI, if I had been put on another SSRI I don’t think I would be here typing this comment).
So really I guess it was just chance that it all came together, but it did, and finally the fog of depression was lifted just enough by the meds to make myself realize ‘hey there’s still shit I want to do in this life.’”
13. Some guy hit me in the face with a volleyball.
“I decided to have one last weekend of having fun and hanging out with friends. I petted a lot of dogs, laughed, sang, and made some OK memories.
Then some guy hit me in the face with a volleyball.
This guy was super-optimistic, funny, and just a delight to talk to. A real walking ray of sunshine. So I decided to extend my weekend to hang out with him some more because he made me feel happier than I had ever felt before.
9 years later and we’re married with a house, cats, dog, OK careers, and bookcases full of games. It’s a really nice life.”
14. I started not to care enough to kill myself.
“When you really, really don’t care whether or not you live through the day on any given day…you can do literally anything. I don’t experience fear, I can’t be threatened, I can do really dangerous jobs, I can do whatever drugs I want to and so what if I’m just alive to squeeze as much fucking serotonin and adrenaline out of this meat sack as I can. It’s not a noble purpose, but it keeps me here.”
15. I didn’t want to abandon my twin brother.
“I have a twin brother and I understand how he’d feel being without me.”
16. My friend’s funeral and her loved one’s reactions to it.
“I had a friend die. She was younger than me, struck by a bolt of lightning. Just about to enter university.
The funeral was just a high school reunion in the worst way. All these crying 17 year olds and my old teachers completely shell-shocked. Hearing the way her mother let out a shuddering cry when the casket closed. In that moment, I think I saw what would happen to my family and friends if I died. I don’t want to put them through that torture, even if sometimes I feel too tired to get up.”
17. I just pick something else to do.
“I just pick something else. Today, I went to the book store and actually bought a book.”
18. I got in a near-fatal car crash.
“I got in a car crash that by all accounts should’ve killed me. I put a nearly foot and a half dent into my driver’s side door after putting my car through a street light on the highway. Nothing gave me more of an appreciation for life than being so close to death without wanting to be.”
19. I thought of all that I would hurt and leave behind.
“I’ve never really felt like I deserve anything. You know that feeling of not belonging, the emptiness within yourself. I’ve always put others before myself and makes you hate yourself for never being capable of loving yourself, it burns you down. From the inside and when you fall so low you really sink down. The loneliness really creeps up on you, it starts slowly the self-doubt settles in. You lose the motivation to do anything, eat, exercise and socialize. The pain worms its way into your head making you hate yourself. Then the thoughts start, whispering to you even though you know it’s your voice but it’s you that wants you to be hurt. So you give in. For me I almost jumped of a bridge in the middle of winter. I could feel the cold wind on my face. I knew if I would jump and would go into shock and drown because of the cold. But then I thought of all that I would hurt and leave behind. What would my mom and dad say. What about my dog and my friends. Even though they never seem to think of me or call me, I wouldn’t want to make them feel bad for something that was my fault. So I stepped down of the bridge and walked home and got in bed. After that I tried to turn my life around and still am.”
20. My suicidal mom and I made a bet: the first one to die loses.
“The ONLY thing that saved me was thinking of how my mom wouldn’t be able to handle it. She’s been dealing with wanting to commit suicide, too. If I did, it’s push her over the edge. My mom and I made a bet: the first one to die loses. Kinda a joke, kinda serious.”
21. I couldn’t find a good place to do it.
“It sounds absurd now, but I couldn’t find a good place to do it. I kept thinking about who would find me. Didn’t want it to be any family or friends. I found a fairly empty street, late at night and I parked at the end of it, with pills and vodka. I only took a few when I noticed the side yard of the house closest to me… one of those plastic log cabins kids play in. I had one when I was younger too. Ugh, just hit me. I cried a lot thinking about that thing and then got a text from a friend just asking how I was and that he was worried about me. I guess I had been acting weird and he picked up on it. Just couldn’t do it after those simple things.”
22. Every time I tried I kept surviving by some fluke of fate.
“Because every time I tried I kept surviving by some fluke of fate.
Take lots of pills? (Parents various anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, etc.) Pass out and wake up covered in vomit.
Hang myself? Rope snapped after I passed out
Hang myself with a steel cable from a weights machine? The rubber stopper on the end broke and I slipped out…again after passing out.
Try to drive head first into a tree? Hit a pot hole and the wheel flies off and the car spins and I’m left a couple feet away from the tree.
Jump off cliff where grandmothers and aunt’s ashes were scattered, land in between all the freaking rocks into a rock pool that then feed s out to the ocean…where a surfer picked me up.
I gave up after that.
When something out there wants you to live that bad, even if it is just blind chance, you take the damn message and build a life worth living, even if you have to do it time and time again…which I did, which finally made sense when I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and as having CPTSD.”
23. I realized that if I died I wouldn’t get to hear any new songs.
“Spoiler: this is stupid.
I was in the car on the way to my dad’s house (he was living with his girlfriend) from the airport (I had just arrived from overseas) after the flight from my mom’s (she had kicked me out for drinking and poor academic performance) and I had a Walkman. First time I ever heard Pearl Jam’s ‘Still Alive,’ it was on the radio, and it was new.
I realized that if I died I wouldn’t get to hear any new songs.
Told you it was stupid. I still like to hear new songs.”
24. A Snickers bar.
“A Snickers bar.
just recently, one of my two best friends came up and stayed with me in my dorm during Hurricane Irma (she lived closer to where the bad shit would happen.) I was having an astonishingly bad mental health week. at one point during her stay I decided that I needed to get out—to escape, somehow.
So I went for a walk.
As I walked, I realized that I very well may kill myself at that moment. I was headed toward an 8-story parking garage—high enough to kill me, easy enough to push myself off.
So I bought a Snickers bar from a vending machine.
Here’s the thing—I don’t like Snickers. My friend, however—they’re among her favorites. I sent her a picture of the candy and captioned it, ‘I got you a snickers.’
She knew what it meant. She knew that by buying this candy with the intent to give it to her, I was giving myself an incentive to come back in one piece. Sometimes, you just have to hang on to the smallest shit. If I hadn’t bought that Snickers, I genuinely don’t know if I would be alive right now.”
25. I was afraid of winding up a vegetable.
“I am far too scared that I would fail and end up cabbaged.”
26. I had left the safety on my gun.
“I actually had the gun in my mouth and went to pull the trigger but when I did it the tether didn’t budge, tearing up I looked at it to see what was wrong and I saw that I had left the safety on. After figuring that out, I just started laughing and crying and realized what a huge mistake that would have been, especially to leave my parents to find me like that. I kept that bullet with me for a while as a reminder for myself.”
27. I didn’t want to crash my parents’ car.
“I was in a horrible place a few years ago, generally unhappy, due to a toxic relationship. Half a year ago, my ex cheated on me with my best friend, after a seven-year relationship. I couldn’t handle it, so I stepped in the family car and started doing 170km/h in an 80 zone, planning to smash into a tree.
What stopped me was the dumbest reason ever, I obviously wasn’t in a clear state of mind though. I thought it would be a dick move towards my parents to crash their car, so I went home to look for a better method, where I collapsed due to the stress and didn’t wake up until the morning.
Now half a year later, I’m doing great. I’m in a relationship that actually makes me happy, I finally follow a college course that I like, and life in general is just great.”
28. I was robbed at gunpoint and decided I wanted to live.
“A lot of factors played into it, but there was one life-changing moment. The store I was working at was robbed at gunpoint. I spent five minutes being dragged around by my hair with a gun at my head. I’d always figured that if someone tried to kill me, I would embrace it. But I didn’t. Being in a situation where I might actually be killed made me realize that I really, REALLY want to live. It took some time after that to drag myself out of depression, and there were some setbacks, but I could always look back to that moment when I almost did die and remind myself that I don’t want to.”
29. I wanted to learn how to dance like Gene Kelly.
“I was watching Singin’ in the Rain after cutting. I saw Gene Kelly dancing with Cyd Charisse, and Debbie Reynolds and I thought to myself how I wanted to be able to dance like that. To be able to feel a connection with someone by just dancing.
Coming up in January, it will have been six years since I last cut, and six years since I decided I wanted to start ballroom dancing. I teach at one of the best studios in the country, and couldn’t be happier.”
30. Couldn’t do it to my family.
“Couldn’t do it to my family. I was really good at putting up a facade of being happy (at least I thought I was). And I thought of my family and my mom and younger brother especially wondering why their happy son/brother suddenly decided to kill himself. Wondering if they missed something or weren’t attentive enough or blaming themselves in some way when it was really just me lying to them and keeping myself closed off. How could I let them blame themselves for my lack of transparency? They don’t deserve that.”
31. A girl made eye contact with me and smiled.
“A smile. When I was in college I was having a really hard time with depression. One day I had finally decided that this was the day, I was going to end it all that night. It’s funny how even knowing I was going to kill myself, I still went through the motions. I was on my way to class, walking across a grassy field, when I passed this beautiful girl. As I walked past, she made eye contact with me and smiled.
It wasn’t anything special, but it broke me. I went back to my dorm and just cried. Just being shown that someone else cares that very little bit, enough to pass a smile on, was enough to get me back on track. Obviously I changed my plans for the night and I’m still here today. I don’t know what her name was and I’ve never seen her again, and the saddest part is that she has no idea how big of an effect she had on some random stranger’s life. But I can still see her face clear as day.
I’ve made it a point ever since then to pass on smiles wherever I go. No matter how bad of a day I’m having, no matter how bad of a mood I’m in, I’ll always go out of my way to at least smile for everyone I run into. You never know what someone else is going through and I’m living proof that a very minor amount of effort can have incredible payoff. I can pass on my smiles today because she did that day years ago.”
32. I got so proud that I was able to make a noose, I also decided to make some homemade ice cream.
“I contemplated suicide a few years ago. Couldn’t take it anymore, everything was going to shit (you could argue it still is), obstructive suicidal thoughts, etc. So one day I decided to kill myself by hanging. Pretty straightforward, right? Well the thing is I live in a bad neighborhood and there aren’t a lot of hanging-friendly trees. They were only on main streets and I can’t hang myself in front of the free clinic. I’d make them feel bad. And someone would take my shit, can’t have that. Very surreal and frustrating using Google Maps to find a half decent suicide spot especially when you’re working with shitty MetroPCS service.
Finally I found a spot. Small walking bridge in a secluded section of a neighborhood park. Good. Now for the suicide note. I get to work, banging it out all through the night. ‘Not meant for this world’ ‘I know you’ll miss me but it’s for the best.’ Hit all the basic bullet points. Done. Now…make a noose. But idk how to make a noose…so I look it up on WikiHow. 20 studious minutes later I have a functioning noose. All of a sudden I feel something from deep inside my deadened, numb brain. I’m proud of myself?? I’m proud if myself!!! I try to switch back to suicide mode but my mind is wandering now. ‘I made a noose, that’s kind of dope.’ ‘What else can I make?’ ‘Homemade ice cream? Hmm.’ So at around 4:30 AM on a weekday, possibly a Tuesday, I made homemade ice cream and here I am now typing this from a crappy Android phone.
P.S. the ice cream was terrible.”