I Kept Living

Today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day (part of National Suicide Prevention Week in the United States). It is an annual campaign that brings awareness to suicide prevention and support to people who have attempted suicide.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds, and in 2014, the highest suicide rate happened among people 85 years or older. Suicide does not discriminate based on age. It does not discriminate based on race or religion, nor gender or sexuality. Depression, the number one cause of suicide, can happen to anyone—as can addiction, self-harm, and other mental illnesses. But there is hope. There is treatment. There is recovery.


My life is still not what I thought it would be by now. It’s not bad per say… It’s just not entirely what I dreamed for myself. I don’t have my own loft apartment or thriving succulents. I haven’t sold any bestselling novels (or any novels for that matter). I haven’t gone bungee jumping or learned to surf or visited France. I haven’t rescued or fostered a million and twelve dogs yet. But I can, and I will, continue to grow and change and work until I find what I want out of life for myself.

The non-profit To Write Love on Her Arms‘ National Suicide Prevention Week campaign this year celebrates all the reasons people choose life. So tonight, on this sticky and hot September day, these are the reasons #IKeptLiving:

I kept living so I could feel my heart soar when I am flying down the track on a roller coaster.
I kept living for bunny kisses and puppy cuddles.
I kept living for road trips with the windows down and the music up.
To feel the wind blow at the edge of the Cliffs of Moher.
I kept living for lazy Sunday mornings in bed.
I kept living for banana pancakes and iced coffee.
I kept living.

I kept living for all of colors in the sky.
I kept living for new adventures.
For New York bagels and Irish cider and California avocados.
I kept living for that first long hug after you haven’t seen someone in what feels like forever.
I kept living for bubble baths and scented candles.
I kept living because I can see the same stars and moon from anywhere on Earth.
I kept living.

I kept living for the sparkle in someone’s eyes when they are really, really happy.
I kept living for homemade tomato sauce.
I kept living for sleepy train rides in the Italian countryside.
I kept living for my sister, my parents, my family.
For the friends who became family.
I kept living.

I kept living for the smell of ocean waves crashing on a sandy shore.
I kept living to lie in the grass and see the world spin.
To feel live music coarse through my veins again.
I kept living to binge watch my favorite shows on Netflix.
I kept living to watch the first woman run for President of the United States.
I kept living because I’m not done seeing the world.
I kept living.

I kept living for summer thunderstorms and winter snow.
For pumpkin-everything and flannel shirts.
I kept living to read all of the books.
I kept living to write my own.
I kept living for love and possibilities and magic.

I kept living even though it’s sometimes harder to fight than to give up.
I kept living because others couldn’t.
I kept living because my story is not over.

Why do you keep living?

If you or someone you know are struggling with depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts, please reach out–to family, friends, mental health professionals, or crisis workers. In the United States and Canada, you can call the 24-hour, toll-free National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).


One thought on “I Kept Living

  1. Nancy Silva says:

    This is great; to know what inspires you, what keeps you going. Especially loved this one, as it is apropros: I kept living for that first long hug after you haven’t seen someone in what feels like forever. Keep writing, keep living, keep loving. xoxox Aunt Nancy


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