“But this too is true: stories can save us.” – Tim O’Brien
What if you could save a life, just by telling a story?
What if that story hurt to tell, and scared you to share it?
What if that story was your own?
That picture of me and my best friend smiling was taken on December 12th, 2015. Two days later, I was in an ambulance being rushed to the hospital for attempting to take my own life.
The truth is, you really don’t know what someone else is going through. Everything on the outside can appear fine, happy. But the thing about depression is it hides behind masks. Masks to hide the pain going on inside, to put on in hopes that one day, if you keep concealing your reality and disguising the darkness, it will go away.
I was wearing that mask for years.
But on December 14th I couldn’t take it anymore, I couldn’t keep being something I wasn’t.
Thankfully, my life didn’t end that night. And once I healed physically, I began the journey to heal mentally.
But I’m not in a minority by saying I survived a suicide attempt. Last year, there were roughly 1,400,000 documented suicide attempts in America. 47,173 were successful.
What if, by sharing my story, I could prevent one person out of 1.4 million from attempting to take their life? What if I could prevent 5, 10, 100?
What if some of those other 1.4 million people that lived to tell the story, shared it?
Can you imagine how many lives would be saved? How many pills not swallowed, how many traumatic nights would be prevented?
I share my story because on December 14th, 2015, my story almost ended. I felt alone and scared and empty and hopeless. But four years later, and my life is more full and beautiful than I could have imagined that night. And I believe God has given me this story to help others. All of those dark nights have made the good ones even brighter, all the time stumbling through the valleys has made the view from the mountains even grander. Because the truth is, things get better. They do, even though you can’t see it right now, I promise you, they do.
Maybe, just maybe, if someone I looked up to or was close to told me they were in my exact spot that night, but were so thankful they kept fighting years later, maybe I wouldn’t have tried. Maybe instead I would’ve told someone I was struggling, maybe I would’ve gotten the help I needed without the added physical trauma.
Maybe I can be that person for someone.
Maybe you can too.
If you are one in 1.4 million, I beg that you share your story. You never know whose life you could save.
Will you save a life with me?