1. I didn’t want my pet guppy to starve.
“One time that sticks out to me was that I knew my family wouldn’t remember to feed my fish. It’s so small but it was what kept me alive at the time, I didn’t want that dumb little guppy to starve. I’m so happy that I cared about that fish enough to choose life.”
2. I want to die fighting for my happiness and loudly by changing the world.
“I thought about it negatively, like saying if I kill myself now, I’d die of being sad and quietly. I want to die fighting for my happiness and loudly by changing the world.”
3. I realized I could restart rather than hit the kill switch.
“Realizing that I could walk away from who I was; Achieve the result of killing that person, but still have the opportunity to start anew. You might not realize this while in a suicidal mode, but you could restart rather than hit the kill switch.”
4. I was afraid ending up a vegetable.
“Fear of screwing it up and ending up a vegetable.”
5. I was afraid of slowly drowning in icy water.
“It’s hard to say. I was on the bridge, but the image of not dying from the fall and being in ice cold water with broken bones slowly drowning at 3am was not appealing. Also, it seemed silly to not at least give therapy a shot. That worked.”
6. My belt snapped while I tried to hang myself.
“My belt actually, it snapped during an attempt to hang myself. I remember sitting on the floor after falling from the failed attempt asking myself “Am I this messed up?” and thinking of all the things that would happen if I succeeded. That scared me the most. Leaving my single mom alone with my two brothers, waking up in a hospital if I failed seeing their crying faces, it’s things like that that told me to get some fucking help.”
7. The gun misfired.
“Well, the gun misfired.
Then I spent a few months in and out of hospitals and therapy. Medication helped, but not really, so I started trying all the drugs. That didn’t really help either. Looking back, obviously something was helping because I wasn’t trying to kill myself anymore.
So, I joined the Marine Corps and learned to love myself.”
8. My dog interrupted my suicide attempt.
“I was 13, and got bullied a lot in middle school. It was about 1AM, and I was standing in the kitchen with a knife to my throat.
My dog walked into the kitchen and locked eyes with me. I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I made a deal with myself then and there, improve my own life before a set date (Feb 18, 2022) and I get to live. If I can’t, I get to kill myself.
I’m much better now. I’m about to graduate from university, my SO & I live together, and we’ve got adorable sweet cats who snuggle. The arbitrarily set date doesn’t seem to matter anymore because I’m doing pretty well.
I miss that dog, he passed the summer of 2015.”
9. My cat jumped up on the table and started purring at me.
It was a long time ago, I can’t even remember what brought it on now, but I’d decided to take an overdose. I had a bunch of pills and a glass of water, when suddenly my cat jumped up on the table and started purring at me. I looked down at her. No way could I leave her. She has since passed away but I’ll never forget how she saved my life that night.
10. My friend, who I met in the psych unit after her own suicide attempt, kept me alive.
“I tried many times, became a drug addict and an alcoholic, the only reason I am around is an overdose. I ended up in the psych unit for a long time. My friend happened to be there too because she attempted suicide. She kept me alive. She showed me it was okay to feel the way I did. She really empowered me. I’m a year clean on the 24th. I haven’t tried to kill myself since.”
11. My folks are still alive and I didn’t want to ruin their lives.
“My folks still alive and I like ’em, would ruin their lives, my dog and every now and then there’s a game worth playing.”
12. It would destroy my family.
“It would destroy my family. My brother would be crushed. Everyone would be depressed, and would possibly less to more suicides and heart attacks. That’s the only reason stopping me since some time.”
13. I just don’t have the courage.
“I just don’t have the courage. If there was a quick, easy, and painless way, I would’ve done it ages ago.”
14. My little sister interrupted me.
“After years of mental and physical abuse from my father. One day I just said to myself. ‘I’m done’ there was this immense sense of peace that came over me. I just went into my room, closed the door, grabbed my sheet off my bed and began to make a strong loop, grabbed my desk chair and was about to put the sheet up when I hear panicked knocking at my door. It sounded like knocking of sheer terror. It was my younger sister, she was screaming. I though my dad was going to beat her up. I drop the sheet while I ran to open the door. She has this look of panic and says, “What are you doing?’ I said ‘Nothing, I was going to make my bed.’ That day she wouldn’t leave my side. I never tried again. I kept asking her what was wrong and she would keep saying nothing, that she didn’t feel well and didn’t want to be alone.
It’s been 10 years since that attempt, I never told her what I was really doing that day.
If we didn’t have each other I think we would not have made it to be happy well-adjusted adults. Every time I think of that day I hate myself for forgetting about my sister when I came to that decision. It is the one thing I cannot forgive myself for. Even though I didn’t go through with it, fuck! It really would of been the biggest mistake of my life. Just typing this makes my eyes water.
I now know that in just 2 years’ time I would leave that house and find the love of my life. My sister would find her soul mate in just 4 more. We are both very happy and have never looked back. Our father is bitter and will tell all who listen how my sister and I are ungrateful. But we are too happy to care.”
15. I was afraid ending up a vegetable.
“Fear of screwing it up and ending up a vegetable.”
16. My brother killed himself first.
“My brother killing himself. After seeing what that did to my family I just couldn’t make them go through that again.”
17. My cats needed me.
“Knowing my cats needed somebody to keep them alive.”
18. My dogs came into my room and started staring at me.
“A while ago I had gone through a really tough time with an ex, thought it was just ‘the time’ went out and bought a bottle of whiskey and just sat in my room listening to music for a few hours as the bottle got emptier and emptier. All I remember is tying something around my neck, an extension cord or other wire I can’t exactly remember and just stood there and had a sort of ‘life flashing before your eyes moment’ and lots of thoughts came rushing in, mostly bad, I decided that was the moment I was going to do it. I didn’t have anything to jump off of so I figured I’d just sit down with the cord jammed over my door. My dogs woke up (it’s probably 3am) and came into my room. One of them was just staring at me and the other one came and lied on my lap. They’ve done more for me than I care to admit.
I couldn’t leave these guys alone.”
19. I didn’t want my son to wonder why I did it.
“Not wanting my son to wonder the rest of his life why his dad took himself out. If something happens to my boy, all bets are off.”
20. Right now it’s mostly just cowardice keeping me alive.
“My best friend. He talked me down too many times. He said if I hurt myself, he would hurt himself too. And he was always more self-destructive than me, in our base states, so I believed him. I got a memorial tattoo over the self-harm marks when he died—a promise not to do it anymore, because I wouldn’t want to mess up my tattoo.
Anyway, right now it’s mostly just cowardice keeping me alive. I don’t like painful things. I also don’t like the idea of all the trash in my head dying with me. I know my stories and art aren’t good and won’t touch anyone, but I still don’t want them to disappear. But I don’t even make the art I’m always thinking about so. Shrug.”
21. My mom. She’s my best friend.
“My mom. She’s my best friend. I’m pretty mentally ill but she’s always stood by me. I tried 4 times and every time I just thought, ‘No, I can’t leave her.’ I’m miserable and I still struggle with the urge all the time. The better-off-without-me thoughts, the depression. I don’t believe in the ‘it gets better’ spiel but I’m trying for her.”
22. A vicious, spiteful wish to inflict myself upon others.
“An obstinate refusal to die and a vicious, spiteful wish to inflict myself upon others.”
23. An old friend contacted me out of the blue with a kind message.
“I remember thinking out loud that the only thing that could stop me at this point would have to be monumental. I was in the middle of a shitty year on top of the already lackluster and unfulfilling excuse of a life I’d been living, and how none of the areas in my life were going well and hadn’t been in ages. How I felt like the signs were all there and not one person in my life cared to ask if I was alright.
I was writing the note. I had decided when, where, and how. The next day was supposed to be my last, and it was all planned out. It was my birthday, I liked that for some reason. Then, I got a message.
The last name wasn’t familiar, but the first name brought a smile at a brief thought of someone I’d known before. I couldn’t get a good look at the person in the picture. I figured it was a random, but looked anyway. My jaw dropped as I read it. I couldn’t believe it. It was someone I had lost contact with years ago. An old friend I had been close to for a while back then. I immediately answered to ask how she’d been. She sent her phone number and we talked for the next five hours. She texted Happy Birthday to me in the morning, and we haven’t stopped talking since.
I told her everything, and she listened. She told me everything, and I listened. The thing I had needed most right then, that day, was someone who got it, and wouldn’t judge me, who would just talk to me like I wasn’t a nuisance. Who would just… be there, you know? As it turns out, she just needed a friend who knew how she felt and wouldn’t judge, and won’t treat her like a nuisance. It’s awesome to have someone I care about care about me. My life still needs lots of improvement, but at least I have someone who wants to know about it. That’s enough for me.”
24. My therapist showed me that she cared.
“My therapist. I sent an email that she rather quickly determined to be signifying intent. She immediately called me to try and talk me through it. She persisted after I hung up on her by texting, while trying to coax my location out of me to relay to the police. My absolute low point.
Her persistence that day showed me that at least one person still wanted me around, which started a domino effect in all honesty.
That was one year ago this past Thursday.”
25. I just couldn’t let them/they win.
“I just couldn’t let them/they win. Who are they/them? I don’t know, but fuck ’em. If they/them want to see me dead, they’ll either have to let nature do it or come do it themselves. And I promise it won’t be easy and at least one of them mf are coming with me!”
26. I became a father.
“Becoming a father. One night while watching my brand-new daughter sleep, I had a profound realization. If I killed myself, she would be raised solely by her wreck of a mother and the poor kiddo wouldn’t have a chance at a decent life.”
27. Too many failed attempts.
“I tried more than once, the first time the rope I was using broke instead of tightening. The second time I don’t know how I survived, I jumped off a bridge around 80′ high. The third time I used a pistol but the round wouldn’t go off, I tried the same one three times. The fourth attempt was another hanging but this time the branch I strung myself onto snapped. After that I just stopped trying, I still want to pretty often but I just kind of assumed it won’t work anyway.”
28. I’m too much of a pussy.
“I’m too much of a pussy. And my cat would ruin the house in the mean time. I really wanted to, a few months ago. My girlfriend broke up with me for the second time in 8 months, because she said she “didn’t feel anything, and she loved me but she wasn’t in love with me.” even though both times I know she did it so she could go and fuck these guys for drugs “guilt free”. Eat my ass. I have a thicc latina girl now. I just got a raise. I jacked off four times this morning. I’m drinking hot cocoa and eating dank microwave breakfast. My life can’t get any better.”
29. I didn’t want my sister to find me.
“The thought of my sister finding me.”
30. I did some nice things for myself.
“I was in college depressed about bad grades lost year, and a bad breakup. I had like some $100 with me. I thought better spend it before I kill myself. Had some nice food. Roaming around the city for a while. Did some weed. I figured out there are nice things you can do to distract yourself from the current situation. And suicidal thoughts went away.”
31. I love my wife too much.
“My love for my wife.
Suicide is easy for the dead person, extremely hard for the ones who are still alive.”
32. I didn’t want my witch of a mother raising my daughter.
“My daughter…I knew if I did it my mother would get custody and she would treat her just like she did me. So I cut the most negative thing out of our life (my mother) and focused on being her mom. I used to tell myself my daughter would be better off because she needed someone who had it together. Then I learned a secret, no one has it all together. Some are just better at hiding it than others.”
33. I felt guilty about leaving my cats and little siblings with no one to take care of them.
“Attempt 1: Ineptitude. Puked for a few days, but that’s about all. (I was about 8 years old and ate a whole bottle of pills. Not sure what they were, but apparently they weren’t that dangerous. I’m guessing some kind of vitamin?)
Almost-Attempt 2: Literally interrupted during the process (attempting to tie a knot to hang myself, failing miserably), and never finished because eventually I felt guilty about leaving my cats and little siblings with no one to take care of them. I was roughly 13, give or take a year.
I’ve never begun making any serious attempts since those two, but the thoughts crossed my mind not infrequently. At various times, I’ve held off out of
Self-hatred. I wanted to make myself suffer, rather than allow the ‘easy out’ of killing myself. This was most common through my teenage years, especially the early ones. I’ve grown to mostly tolerate myself now, but I still fall into the self-destructive ‘gotta make myself miserable’ patterns at times. Now, however, it’s not associated with suicide.
In my early adult life, my sisters were emotionally dependent on me to some extent (or at least, I felt they were) and I felt I owed it to them to keep living.
Now when it comes up it’s usually sheer stubbornness that keeps me going. I’ve held on this long, I don’t want to be ‘weak.’”
34. I was curious to have at least one new experience.
I had the shotgun barrel in my mouth, but I had the sudden thought that I had never actually fired a gun before. So I pulled it out, curious to have at least one last new experience, and fired one off into the emptiness. It was less violent than I was expecting.
So I walked back to my car to grab a second shell only to realize that I had locked my keys, wallet, and cell phone in there along with the bullets.
I was in the middle of nowhere and I had to break a window to get back into my car. By the time I did that, the moment had passed.”
35. My husband surprised me and came home early.
“My husband surprised me and came home early. I had been having a bad day and a bottle of pills in my hand and had he not come home then, I would have been gone within a few hours.
He never gets off early. I know now that it was a sign that I’m supposed to be here.”
36. I saw my parents watching me die in front of them and I changed my mind.
“The first time, there was a nurse who kept tapping my head insistently to keep me awake, asking what I drank (antifreeze). I wasn’t going to tell her, but then I saw my parents watching me die in front of them and I changed my mind. I told her literally seconds before I blacked out and started convulsing.
The second time, I cooked up cyanide and ingested it. My ex came home and found me, which woke up my cat and prompted my little baby to start head butting me. I was in and out of consciousness and she could tell something was wrong. I live my cat to death, and changed my mind. People have no idea how much I love my cat. She’s probably changed my mind about committing suicide about 5 times.
The third time I had a panic attack tying the noose, and I froze up long enough for my current partner to find me. I was so numb I couldn’t feel anything, but she kept talking to me and made me call my parents. Ugh. That was a hard phone call.”
37. I was afraid I would fuck it up and end up worse off as a result.
“The fear that I would fuck it up, that I would end up worse off as a result, and that the increased scrutiny would stop me from being able to try again. Also the fear of the shaming I would get from people for ‘not being able to deal with my problems’ and ‘trying to take the easy way out.’
Life is much better for me now, and I’m finally on antidepressants and talking to people about the things that bother me. Things can suck, and be difficult to deal with, but getting help and working through your problems can make things a lot better.”
38. Music made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
“Music. A few albums in particular just made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that some people were going through this too and they are still here, so why couldn’t I be.”
39. I saw the changes that suicide made in a woman who lost her daughter to suicide.
“I have made a few attempts years ago, and after my second attempt I changed jobs. I was (am) still severely depressed, and those thoughts came creeping back. A coworker I was very good friends with ended up losing her daughter to suicide around that same time. I saw the changes it made in this woman. She was always very positive, laughing, etc. After this, and for the two years we worked together after she was always miserable, hardly smiled, and never joked. It made me realize how selfish my actions were, and while I am still dealing with depression, I won’t ever let it get to that point again.”
40. My therapist made me list each person I loved and describe how my suicide would affect each one.
“I had just started therapy for suicidal thoughts. My therapist made me list each person I loved and describe how my suicide would affect each one. It was heartbreaking and effective. I still have thoughts wishing for the peace of death, but I don’t think I could ever kill myself now.”
41. I love my fiancé too much to ever do that to him.
“I’ve attempted suicide multiple times. I’m only 18.
I had a very difficult childhood. Starting literally from the beginning:
My mom was a heroin addict but also did just about every other drug imaginable while she was pregnant with me as well.
I was born addicted to heroin and restless due to her crack usage.
She kept these habits after I was born. Then came along my 2 younger siblings. 2 and 3 years younger than me.
My parents had to go to the methadone clinic every morning and left 8 year old me to care for my siblings while they were gone hours. Sometimes from 6:00 am until 10:00 am or longer.
My siblings didn’t listen to me and I would get in trouble for that when they got home.
I had to figure out how to feed them while mommy and daddy nodded out on the floor because the mattress they were renting got taken due to non payment.
My other family members I was passed around to abused me too and nobody in my family beloved depression was real, so I was left to deal with the mental health issues all this caused me alone.
My last attempt was october 30th of 2015. I was 16 and it was my dad’s birthday who had died in 2012.
I took 5x the lethal dosage of acetaminophen and everything else in the house, including flea pills for the dogs.
I went into a cute liver failure and the doctors were sure I was going to die. But somehow I lived. I wasn’t supposed to and it was against the odds.
Then I met my fiancé and I love him very much. My family hates him, but he’s the only person who has ever treated me with love and respect, unlike them.
I love him too much to do that to him and this last attempt made me realize I’m not meant to die yet.
I have a purpose.”
42. I thought about one of my good friends whose brother had killed himself and how much it had affected him and his family and the devastation it left in the wake.
“This past year has been my lowest since I was in middle school. My wife and I were at odds all the time and she wouldn’t give me an inch to be myself was constantly blowing up at me for the smallest things, mix that with the disrespect of my employees and owner at my job and I was at the end of my rope. But then I thought about one of my good friends whose brother had killed himself and how much it had affected him and his family and the devastation it left in the wake. And I didn’t want that. So I pushed forward, got very close to divorce but we turned it around and I since have gotten a new job that has employees who respect you and owners that are not constantly degrading you.”
43. My dog saved my life.
“I survived an attempt at 20. I just have said before that I thought about it, but hadn’t tried.
My mom’s Golden Retriever saved my life. We had it since I was 11.
I was home from college for a summer, working whatever temp job at a local large-volume print shop (makes the booklets and etc. for standardized tests). My mom and dad say they are leaving for a week so my 17-year-old brother can college visit, just stay home, go to work, watch the dog for us.
I was so, so unhappy. But I didn’t want to abandon that damn dog! She loved me, would sleep on my bed, and I talked to her about my being queer, being depressed, and what I was going to do. On Saturday morning, I made sure to fill two big bowls of water and turn on fans for her (no AC). Then I made breakfast. I couldn’t eat it, so I fed the scrambled eggs to the dog while crying, then left her a lot of kibble to eat until someone could…find me.
She didn’t want her kibble or drinks or toys. She insisted on following me to my bedroom, and watching me. It was hard, taking that overdose (my dad’s Vicodin left over from a major surgery, lots and lots left), with her watching. But unfortunately, I did it. Felt sleepy and really nauseous, lay on my back to…die. That bit is important.
Woke up several hours later to a sunset, but facing the wall for some reason? And something really stunk. The damn dog was nudging me and licking my face.
I’d puked while passed out—I would have choked and died if I was on my back. I had had no capacity to move myself. But the dog was lying up against my back, braced hard, and I saw odd bruises on my side as I went to clean up.
She had kept nudging me until she could roll me over, to keep me safe.”
44. I decided that I wanted to be different; and therefore, I just had to keep going and be more than the others around me.
“I’ve been diagnosed with depression and have been through emotional and physical abuse. I’ve also unfortunately been through those instances where you want to protect someone you love in bad circumstances, but drop the ball—repeatedly. So the thoughts have definitely swirled in my mind for a long time.
It’s hard to say what the motivation is. I suppose it’s a combination of many things like: books, certain family members, and experiences. I have had suicidal thoughts for an extremely long period of time, and whenever they popped into my mind, I would always follow it up with saying to myself ‘always forward.’
If I had to take a guess; I suppose all of those experiences kinda brewed up something.
I know what pain, self-hatred, hunger, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and the rest of that stew of unfortunate feeling feel like when it pervades every sense of your body and your life in a way you can’t really explain.
I suppose I decided that I wanted to be different; and therefore, I just had to keep going and be more than the others around me.
That’s part of it I suppose.
Now based on all that, my life is on the up. And I intend to keep pushing it upwards.”
45. I had a knife to my throat when a friend texted me.
“While my parents were asleep I went downstairs and literally had the knife to my throat ready to go. I had already made a little deep cut before I heard my text message alarm go off. It was from one of my friends. I didn’t wanna just leave him hanging because it felt like he was my only friend. Decided to stay up the rest of the night texting him and listening to music. After that night, I decided to find a way to make life a little more enjoyable so I found music. Started listening to different artists and now I’m here today.”
46. I stayed alive to spite my dad.
“Spite. I was 16, my dad was an abusive asshole. I had locked myself in the bathroom with a heavy piece of furniture pushed in front of the door. He was raging and trying to get through to beat the shit out of me (I had won during family game night. That’s all it took to set him off). After the first hour or so, I hit my breaking point and got the pills out of the medicine cabinet. I looked at my puffy tear-stained face in the mirror. I listened to my dad still screaming outside the door. And I was going to do it. What stopped me is the same thing that had stopped me from running away a hundred times before. I refused to ruin my life and my future for that piece of shit. I told myself he wasn’t worth it. That I only had two years to go before I could get out of there. That I refused to give him the satisfaction that he had broken me. I put the pills away. I spent the night in the bathroom. I survived two more years. I never see him now; my life is wonderful. I’m glad I didn’t do it that day and the difficult few years that followed. It did get better. Even when I couldn’t see how it would. I’m glad I’m here now.”
“LSD. The first few times I tried it were pleasant but had no long-lasting effects. Then a 4-tab dosage & a trip I cannot even describe somehow vanished my previously treatment-resistant depression. (I’d been on a variety of psych meds on and off for many years beforehand.)”
48. I had a dream that I killed myself and God showed me a bird’s-eye view of the effect my death had on my mom and dad.
“My mom’s brother killed himself shortly before I was born. About six years ago I was planning my last week of my life, a very eerie feeling btw. My mom was very supportive in my battle with clinical depression (and still is), but she definitely got the vibe that I was at the end of my rope and on my way out.
My dad casually told me one night ‘Your mother is very worried about you. You would destroy her and I if you left us.’ I had a dream that I killed myself and God showed me a bird’s-eye view of the effect my death had on my mom and dad. It was the saddest thing ever to witness and I remember thinking ‘Oh God, what have I done.’
After that it kind of sank in that some people actually gave a shit about me. Luckily around that time I started on a new medication and life slowly returned to me.
I was looking for something to magically cure depression forever and that’s not how it works. I live with it and will for the rest of my life but truly living a life that I am proud of is possible, it just takes more work.”
49. I got interrupted by a telephone call.
“I got interrupted by a telephone call. It turned out to be a spam caller, but that moment of thinking ‘I should see who that is, it could be important’ made me think of all of the important things I could miss out on in the future. I’m so thankful for that phone call because now 6 years later I’m in a loving relationship, living in the city of my dreams, with a strong career, and friends that love me. Life is good, glad I made it through.”
50. It was the thought of my brother finding me and how that might mess him up.
“When I was younger, it was the thought of my brother finding me and how that might mess him up. As much pain as I was in, I couldn’t stand the thought of hurting him that way.
More recently, it was because I couldn’t imagine having my kids grow up without me and who would take care of them and raise them the way I do…. My family loves them, but we don’t agree on a lot of things so they would be raised very differently. Their dad isn’t mentally healthy enough to parent them as is, so who would they be with? I may get depressed but I push through (with a therapist and other support) so that I can be here for them.”
51. “I’ve got five younger sisters, and it would fuck them up.
“I’ve got five younger sisters, and it would fuck them up. I got over myself, started becoming interested in the rest of the world. Now interested to see what will happen next.”