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Jun9
2014

A Reason to Live

By Kate D

Whenever I would tell someone I didn’t see a reason to live, they would find it necessary to remind me of all of the things I should be grateful for: parents, family, friends who love me, a beautiful home, attendance at a prestigious private school.

Can I let you in on a secret? … I never saw these as things to live for. I saw my parents as two people I could never please, no matter how hard I tried. I viewed my extended family as just that: extended, far off, not very involved in my life. I figured they’d be OK without me. And friends? Don’t even go there. I spent my days trying to impress my “friends” so they would like me enough to stop excluding me. A beautiful home? That was icing on my cake of guilt. I volunteer often, and I took other people’s struggles personally. I felt guilty for being blessed with the things they couldn’t afford, such as a roof over my head. And that prestigious private school? Well, I had to be dragged there, kicking and screaming. School, in my mind, was equivalent to hell. It was the place where I felt stupid, misunderstood, and left out. I broke down in the school bathroom daily, and I would come home each night and beg my parents to let me switch schools.

When you’re trying to convince yourself to keep living, you need a reason to believe it’s worth it. For the longest time, I couldn’t find one. It wasn’t that my family and friends would be better off without me, although sometimes I thought so. It was just that I couldn’t keep living for them alone. I needed my own reason.

In September of 2012, I made the decision to go to treatment for my depression and other related issues. A lot of people thought I was going because I was ready to get better, because I wanted to be responsible, or because my parents made me. The truth? I was going to give myself a month to find a reason to live. If I was discharged and didn’t have one, I was prepared to end my life.

I can now say the decision to enter treatment was the best I ever made. Before then, I knew I had a future, but I didn’t know what it consisted of, so it didn’t matter too much to me in the grand scheme of things. The future was just an idea, like a land far, far away, full of unicorns and made of candy. One day, a staff member at the facility said to me, “I would totally hire you. You would do amazing here. Come back and see me after college.” I had never thought about psychology before, but right then and there, something clicked—not only in my mind, but in my heart. I found my calling. I knew what I was meant to do. I had my reason.

I am going to graduate high school this year, and I will be going away for college. I have a scholarship to my dream school, where I will enroll in a five-year social work program. When I graduate in five years, I am going to return to the treatment center I was at to apply for a job as a social worker. Am I getting a little ahead of myself? Probably. My point is, I found my reason, and I can’t wait to help other people find their reason too. I can’t wait for the next five years of my life.

Your reason might not be your future. It might be a friend, your mom, your faith, your kids, even your pet. Your story matters because you are a part of a bigger story with other characters. You are here for a purpose, and even if you can’t see it right now, trust me, there is reason enough to keep looking.

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Comments (39)

  1. Mesa Fama

    Thank you for reminding me of why I too got into psychology and why bringing hope to others is what I am meant to do. I wish you all the best on your journey and do not give up!!! You have power and strength and best of all- you found it and embraced it!!

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  2. Flicker

    Thank you for the beautifully honest post. I really needed to hear, “When you’re trying to convince yourself to keep living, you need a reason to believe it’s worth it.” And this, “Your story matters, because you are a part of a bigger story, with other characters. You are here for a purpose, and even if you can’t see it right now, trust me, there is reason enough to keep looking. ” tonight.
    Im still looking for that reason. Thank you for the hope.

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    1. shyamal Roy

      By the way, I could ‘see’ your comments about above subject matter! You said-” tonight.
      Im still looking for that reason.”!In my view, ‘Reason’ is not but ‘confidence in yourself’ is ‘needed’ to live ‘successfully’ in this ‘materialistic World’! And ‘understanding the purpose to live’is the ‘best reason’ to live !I don’t know you are from which country but I should let you ‘know’ that ‘belief’ in ‘humanity’, varies from counrty to country,which matters the ‘most’ ! Thank you for your ‘comments’ about the above ‘subject’ !

      Reply  |  
  3. Melody

    This was such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your vision of a better future. Your not getting a head of yourself. Thinking a head is what will eventually get you there. Never forget that 🙂

    Reply  |  
  4. Stuart Knapp

    I find and lose it often, but the “reason” for me is to truly help people. I try little acts of kindness. Especially if I can do it anonymously. My heart burns for people that I cannot reach; people I know are hurting. I get some sort of symbiosis with their pain. I actually feel it too. I have no off switch, so I deal with a lot of depression & anxiety. Anywhoot, I’m rambling. Just wanted to say Cheers, man. Love what you’re doing here.

    Reply  |  
    1. Sharon

      I know this post has been up for a couple of years now but I know exactly how you feel! I can’t turn off my empathy, I can’t watch people struggle. I’ve lent out money I couldn’t afford to and my husband often gets upset with me. I really can’t help it. I hurt when other people hurt, I’very always been this way. I have now decided that this isn’t a bad thing as the alternative is to be cold, hard and heartless. My reason to live is now just to be me. There is nothing wrong with giving a s*it x x x

      Reply  |  
  5. Anonymous

    Thank you for the reminder ..

    Reply  |  
  6. Sarah

    Some days it is hard to breathe. Honestly, those days are far more prominent than others.

    Reply  |  
  7. Lena

    This is so beautiful. I am so more than happy for you. You’re going to do amazing! You rule girl!! Keep going, keep your head up! This story made me cry (in public..)! SO BEAUTIFUL!

    Reply  |  
  8. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for this, I can relate to you so much. I’ve always been a disappointment to my family and I feel like since I have a house and a private school education I should be grateful. I hope to one day find my reason to live like you have found yours. Good luck x

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  9. Anonymous

    It is so inspiring to read this. I could really relate to this.I don’t know if you have an instagram, but if you do follow me @my.scars.dont.define.me I loved your story. stay strong

    Reply  |  
  10. Christopher

    This is awesome, Kate. We’re always here for you, and I’m so happy that you could put this into words. I loved it, and I know lots of others will as well.

    Reply  |  
  11. Anonymous

    So unbelievably moved by this and so proud of you. “To know that even one life has breathed easer because you have lived. This is to have succeeded”.

    Reply  |  
  12. Alyssa

    Youre story is extremely similar to mine. Im a high schooler dealing with a whole lot of issues. I havent gone to therapy yet… But this post has convinced me. I do want to get better. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply  |  
  13. Alyssa

    Youre story is extremely similar to mine. Im a high schooler dealing with a whole lot of issues. I havent gone to therapy yet… But this post has convinced me. I do want to get better. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply  |  
  14. Alyssa

    Youre story is extremely similar to mine. Im a high schooler dealing with a whole lot of issues. I havent gone to therapy yet… But this post has convinced me. I do want to get better. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply  |  
  15. Doesn't matter

    I’m glad for you. I’m much older than you. I have no family, my husband of 15 years was all I had, and he was my world. No doubt in my mind that I was with the right man. Then, in tears, he told me he had never really wanted to marry me, and that he was tired of beating himself up for not being able to love me. And soon after I found out via Facebook that a few days before telling me he was leaving, he had met someone else who’s 26 years younger than me. And although I truly do my very best to be completely ignorant of anything to do with him, to the best of my knowledge they’re married, and I believe they have a child, which is another entire level of pain because he did his level best to make sure I didn’t have one. And as it turned out, he was successful. Where’s my reason to live?

    Reply  |  
    1. Me

      I can understand your pain and reaction to this post. My first thought when I read this article was, sure, this highschool girl is depressed but she has never experienced actual grief. The pain of losing a partner when you are older is an immense pain, one that renders you speechless. While young adults feel distant from their future, they still have one. If they choose to live it, if they can get better through therapy or otherwise, they can build or rebuild an entire life. When you’re older the options don’t exist anymore, the support is gone too, and most people in our network have passed away or suffered such severe losses themselves that there seems to be a shoulder shrug support system for us. Like, oh your husband left you after 27 years of marriage, four children and destroyed the family business (our only income) in the process because he had been secretly saving money in a foreign bank account for the past 8 years? Well, shoulder shrug… That sucks… Everyone at this age had a dramatic story it seems. The reasons to live don’t seem to remain. Guilt is heavy but responsibility is heavier. When you age you have a responsibility and that my friend is the only reason I am still here. I feel age is wisdom. Responsibility to stay and endure is war, but we are soldiers who come equipped with years of disappointment that has hardened out hearts and sharpened out senses. Write, grieve, eat, go out when you can and watch a movie when you can’t. Try to be there more for friends and their children. Adopt. Be a voice. Use your wisdom. Open your heart again. I hear you friend, I too have been beaten by life. I choose to stay though. I choose to suffer in peace.

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      1. Mary

        God bless you. I your story resonates so for me. My mom and her mom before her, their strength and hearts werevin their ability to endure. I’m struggling to. Lost my husband of 42 years hit by a freight train at a grade crossing 2 yrs ago. Looking for that reason. Right now responsibility only one. Good luck to you.

        Reply  |  
        1. TWLOHA

          Mary,

          Your courage and strength to continue is inspiring. Your will to share your truth is another reason to keep going. Thank you for sharing it with us.

          With Hope,
          TWLOHA

          Reply  |  
  16. Carlos

    Im happy for you. As a 25 year old boy im slowy preparing to end my life. Im gay and was without friends in all my childhood cause of this. Was bullied constantly in school and punched and abused. My only truly friend was my brother who killed himself in my last year of school. I just wished for some friends i could trust and hang out with, but the easily ignores me as time passes

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Hi Carlos,
      We just saw your message, and we wanted to reach out. Please, please stay alive. Please don’t hurt yourself. We’re so sorry to hear that you were bullied constantly in school. You didn’t and don’t deserve that abuse.

      We’re also sorry that you lost your brother to suicide. We know how significant a loss like that is.

      We know you’re struggling right now, but please know that we’re holding out hope for you. The world would not be a better place without you in it. In fact, the world would lose something truly wonderful without you here.

      Please reach out for help. Please call 911 if you’re thinking of hurting yourself. Please reach out to someone in your life and let them know how you’re feeling. Please email us (info@twloha.com) if you need some hope and encouragement. Please call or text one of these 24-hour helplines.

      Please don’t hurt yourself, Carlos. We believe in you, and we believe in your story. We don’t want to see it end.

      Reply  |  
  17. Michelle

    This comment could not be shared due to the nature of the message.

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us.

      TWLOHA is not a 24-hour helpline, nor are we trained mental health professionals. TWLOHA hopes to serve as a bridge to help.

      If this is an emergency or if you need immediate help, please call and talk to someone at 1-800-273-TALK or reach out to the LifeLine Crisis Chat at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx“. We also have a list of local resources and support groups on our FIND HELP page. Please know that we also respond to every email we receive at info@twloha.com.

      Reply  |  
  18. Graham Oldfield

    well done every one needs help at some time however i do not know how to accept it i know i have depression just not every day but some times every hour, i some how keep going for my kids and ill wife but some days all i want to do leave this life, and as much as i care for them some times i don’t care for everything at all; sorry for this reply

    Reply  |  
  19. mnm

    It is amazing how many stories of people who have survived suicidal thoughts there are, how many stories from the dead are there, from before they were dead of course….

    Reply  |  
  20. Gabor

    I tried treatment and it does not help.
    here for a purpose? BULLSHIT

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Hi Gabor,

      We’re so sorry to hear you didn’t have a positive experience when seeking treatment. We would love to hear from you and learn more about your story and see if there’s a way we can help you. Would you mind emailing us at info@twloha.com?

      Reply  |  
  21. Jane Doe

    I gotta say this moved me deeply. Your story sounds very familiar except how it had a nice ending becoming a social worker. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD, anxiety disorder, Dyslexia, some kind of memory disorder and oh yeah OCD. If that isn’t enough I also have a below average IQ. To say there’s something out there for me is a fairytale. My future has always been a bleak one and my family is all too eager to point this out. Lately my latest dream was for a child of my own whether biological or through foster adoption. But none of those dreams work either. People will say to look at what I have like if I didn’t only see the “can’t do’s” somehow something will come through. I’m 34. The doors didn’t start shutting in my face this year. I’d love it if this was true but its simply not. Thank you very much for your blog. Everyday I have to look for a reason to not take my life. (Comment removed due to content.) I think it’ll save the world from anymore time with me and from myself in things like hope that only cause me problems. I might give myself a month too with a therapist. If a direction isnt pointed and some change doesn’t happen in a big way then there’s no sense in wasting time pretending there ever will be. So thanks for this insight.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      We’re glad that Jenni’s blog has resonated with you. We hope that you feel less alone in your struggles because you are not alone. And you are not hopeless.

      It is so courageous of you to continue with therapy. You are worthy of help, so we hope you will continue going. You deserve it. Please do not give up, even when everything seems helpless. It isn’t.

      If you are ever in need of immediate assistance, please text TWLOHA to 741741 via Crisis Text Line. You will be put in contact with a trained counselor who is there to help you. Also, you are always welcome to email us at info@twloha.com. We read and respond to every message we receive.

      Sending you hope.

      Reply  |  
  22. HalfReal

    It’s easy to say ‘keep living’ when you’ve already climbed out of hell. I have been emotionally numb for 10 years and I’m sick of it. It will never change, my emotions are on a constant rollercoaster all while I’m in a perpetual state of existential crisis. I am a borderline patient, they claim they can ‘cure’ my emotional numbness. They’ve been trying for months now, nothing has changed… It’s over, and it’s pretentious for one to pretend that it could get any better for someone like me. I simply cannot live like this anymore.
    My passion was astronomy, but my experiences have completely numbed any passion I could have felt for it now. Don’t you dare try to tell me I’m better off alive.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi there.

      We are glad that you felt comfortable coming on here to comment and open up. We are incredibly sorry to hear that you feel hopeless, and that your journey of receiving professional help hasn’t provided you with much in terms of recovery. We do hope that you will continue though, living and trying new avenues of help.

      Please email us at info@twloha.com so we can provide you with some encouragement and possibly know more of your story, if you would like to share. We read and respond to every message, and will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

      You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 via Crisis Text Line at any time (it’s available 24/7, 7 days a week). It is free of charge, and you will be connected with a trained counselor. Remember that you don’t have to go through these struggles on your own.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  23. Adrian Haden

    I’m glad things worked out for you. I wish I could believe and understand what you mean here. The fact that I can’t bring myself to see or understand this reminds me of what a ‘lost cause’ I am, someone who’s living on borrowed time. Someone who thinks maybe it’s time to stop borrowing now.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Adrian,

      You are not a lost cause, we can promise you that. Your comments show that you have not given up as you continue to express your feelings – and that isn’t something to take lightly. We’re glad you are being honest with us.

      We hope that you will email us at info@twloha.com so our team can learn more about you and your story, and offer you some support. Your time is not borrowed, nor is your life. You have a life worth living. And we’re so glad you’re here.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  24. Delaram

    I exactly needed this
    I’m gonna save this page and look at it whenever I feel lost .
    Thank you ….

    Reply  |  
  25. paul

    And if logic (via experience) offers none more than dopamine stimulus?

    Reply  |  
  26. Tim Francis

    Wow thank you there is hope

    Bless you

    Reply  |  
  27. imzzzdeazzd

    i am going to kill myself right now… idky im…maybe i just want someone to know… ughh im pathatic

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi,

      We are here and we see you. You are not pathetic in any way for sharing these thoughts and expressing a need for help. Please know that you are not alone, and we hope that you will reach out immediately. We encourage you to call 9-1-1 if you feel you are in immediate danger. You can also call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text our friends at Crisis Text Line by texting TWLOHA to 741741 for absolutely free, 24/7.

      There are people out there, including our team, that want to provide you with the support you deserve, and connect you with the help you need.

      Please email us at info@twloha.com with more information about you, your story, and anything else you wish to share. We are so grateful for you, and we are so glad you messaged us.

      Please stay,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
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