People who have attempted suicide often believe their failure was their greatest success; it allowed them to change their lives and focus on the good. These stories of people who survived suicide attempts show the horrible pain and hurt that drove them to want to end their lives, and what happened after it didn't work out the way they planned. There's no editorializing here; suicide attempt survivors tell their stories in their own words.
Suicide is often thought of as selfish, manipulative, or attention seeking. These stories of people who have survived suicide attempts show survivors felt none of those emotions, and instead felt broken, empty, alone, and desperate. Maybe this can inspire those who are feeling as though they have nowhere to go, or no one to turn to, to reach out and ask for the help that they need.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255 or online.
Help Is Available
If you’re feeling suicidal, please consider reaching out for help. If you prefer not to reach out to friends or family, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you would rather text, check out Lifeline Crisis Chat or Crisis Text Line. For international help please click here.
"That Night I Was Given A Second Chance"
From Redditor stalag98765:
“Three years ago I put a noose around my neck, hung it on my doorknob, and downed a full month's supply of sleeping pills with half a bottle of Johnny Blue (Hey, may as well go out in style). I don’t remember quite how long it took me to pass out, I don’t even remember why I did it, but I do remember those last moments of consciousness. My life was flashing before my eyes, and I started imagining my friends and family at my wake.
What I saw wasn't encouraging, or wise, or life-affirming, so much as it was just logical and sad. Shame rushed through what part of my brain was still functioning and guilt over my abandonment of all duties necessary and proper to a human being. It was at that moment I realized that I wasn't ready to leave like this, that if I fell asleep, this will forever be the story of my sad and lonely life, and nothing more. I struggled to get the noose off, but by now I had lost fine motor control, and the knot that held it in place was taut and refused to budge. I tried to yell out, but all that came out was incomprehensible babble, slurred and weak. Then I lost consciousness.
I woke up half a day later, hunched backward, with vomit all over me. It turns out I had gotten the knot loose enough so that I could slouch against the door without choking. How I didn't aspirate the booze is beyond me. When I regained composure, still dozing in and out of consciousness with the drugs still in my bloodstream, I felt euphoric. I felt bliss; for the first time in my life, I felt lucky to be alive.
I'm not a religious man, but I do believe that night I was given a second chance. Since then I've endeavored to be the best human being I can be, despite whatever my bipolar disorder will throw my way.”
"I Focused On Becoming The Person I Wanted To Be, Rather Than Lamenting That I Wasn't"
From Redditor depricatedzero:
“A while back I was really f*cked up. I hated myself, who I'd become, what I was doing, where I wasn’t going in life, etc. I sat alone, ready to eat a gun. I gave it a lot of consideration and decided to give a particular CD one last listen before I went. I listened to it, and one of the songs jolted me out of it. It made me realize that I didn't have to die to kill the person I hated.
So in a way, I succeeded. I killed myself. Or rather, I killed who I was, my own private suicide. I stopped living as I had been and kept telling myself 'that guy's dead, I don't do that shit, I do what I want.' And I focused on becoming the person I wanted to be, rather than lamenting that I wasn't. I started over. I wiped the slate clean and killed my past. Now I love who I am, I'm happy, I have a job I enjoy, and I spend all my time making my dreams reality.
The guy I was is dead. And I'm fine with that. I like who I am, and I hate who I was. I came through the other side looking at life completely differently. Every time I've had second thoughts, what-ifs, I remind myself 'what if I'd pulled the trigger?' The gun was in my mouth. Whatever happens, it can't be as bad as painting a mural of gray matter on the wall. So I take the chance.”
"I'll Always Be Depressed, But I'll Never Try To End It Again"
From Redditor ifthisaintme:
“I survived suicide by hanging. I say suicide and not a suicide attempt because I did successfully kill myself, and was revived. Recovering was a long and extraordinarily painful process, physically and emotionally. I had to relearn how to walk and speak, and I still have short-term memory loss. Immediately after I completed the physical recovery, I was put into an in-patient program. Now, I can honestly say I'm grateful to be alive. I'll always be depressed, but I'll never try to end it again.”