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Sep9
2016

This Is Not the Time for Goodbyes

By Levi Macallister

At some point—and this is something that I’ve never told anyone—my dad called me to say goodbye. It didn’t end up being the time that he finally took his life, but I knew he was near the end.

He told me that he hoped I would be able to remember the good times that we had together.

There was a movie we had watched—I can’t remember the name of it now—with a scene that made me laugh, to this day, harder than I have ever laughed before. My dad, too. We watched the scene over and over, probably 100 times, in our living room one night after he had gotten pretty bad. We laughed so hard and so loud that we woke my mom and sister up, and they came in and started laughing with us. We laughed for hours.

When my dad called me that day, he brought up that story, and he started laughing again. Hard and manic and completely alone on the other end of the same phone line where I’d begun to cry.

He told me that he wanted me to remember that night. Him laughing. He said he hoped I could forgive the pain and remember the laughter. Then he told me that he loved me and said, “Goodbye, Son.”

When he hung up, I stood there trying to wrap my mind around how it was the last time I’d ever hear his voice.

I never want to see that movie again.

My mom has been working on a memoir in the years since her husband took his life. As chance or providence would have it, I’m helping her complete the final draft this week. I wish it were a book she didn’t have to write. I wish that it were my father writing what you are reading now.

I wish that he could have kept living.

Fathers and mothers and husbands and wives and sons and daughters, please hear me: Your family is not better off without you. Your friends are not better off without you.

My dad’s story does not have to be your story.

Please, please, please hear me:

You can keep living.

There is still oxygen in your lungs, blood in your veins, light in your eyes, and life in your body here, reading this sentence. Please don’t blot it out.

If you could hear the tone of this text you’d find it in the desperate voice of a terrified boy who still finds himself dreaming of the opportunity to beg his father to stay. To officiate his son’s wedding. To walk his daughter down the aisle. To sell the house and take his wife back to where they met in Hong Kong and retire. To smoke pipe tobacco in the living room when mom is out of town.

Depression is a seductress, and she whispers lies. She speaks of suicide as though taking life were a noble means of giving life to others.

I say this because I know. I have wanted to die. I have come close to cashing in on the desire. I have days where it is hard to get out of bed for fear of the world, or fear of myself, or fear of becoming my father’s son. I have felt that fear flood my eyes as they met my wife’s. I have heard fear’s voice telling me the inevitability is uncontrollable.

Know this: Fear is a false prophet.

Death can sound beautiful, but pay attention to the hiss in her whisper. It betrays her for the snake that she is.

I don’t want to hear you say goodbye. Not over a phone line or in a letter or in my own searching imagination while I grasp for closure. This is not the time for goodbyes. This is the time for life.

The night they found my dad’s body, my sister and I went to see Underoath’s “Disambiguation” tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico. By definition, that title means “the removal of ambiguity by making something clear.” After three weeks spent wondering if this would be his final disappearance, I suppose it was as good a name as any for an evening spent shaking hands with death.

I stood in the back of the venue, my family absolved of our hope in the light of conclusion, and I listened to the vocalist sing: “You know it’s never the way we planned it. I really wish we could reset, rewind…” 

As do I.

Years before watching Underoath play the soundtrack to our changing of times that night, their vocalist wrote lyrics that I’ve always considered a call to life. They helped save mine, anyway. I even tattooed them on the inside of my forearm:

“End cycle. Press on.”

I heard truth ruminating in a stranger’s voice, singing, “It’s not the end of the road for you,” and kept living.

And life has been beautiful. You don’t have to believe it, but I do. Let me carry you. In the future, when I don’t believe it, and you do, then you can carry me.

I need you. End cycle. Let’s keep living. Press on.

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Comments (67)

  1. Eric Claassen

    Levi your words are so painfully beautiful. I’m so sorry you had to be a part of such an awful narrative, but I am so thankful for how you have responded to it. Your words mean life for so many. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
    1. Levi Macallister

      Thanks so much, Eric. I appreciate your feedback, and hope that you are well today.

      Reply  |  
  2. Nicki Rogowski

    I’ve been struggling with depression for a little under six years now, and today was the worst I’ve been for maybe four or five of those years. My story isn’t of triumph, it’s of failure. Because I failed to recognize what depression was before it had become a part of me. Because I fail to see light. I’m subscribed to the LTP weekly email, but I’m fairly new to the community. I had relapsed into self harm a few minutes before I got the email. I had been clean for about a year. I also started smoking again. Clean for three months. And now, I’m sitting here crying. I’ve never read anything that has spoken to me so clearly as this. Thank you. Thank you. Who knows what might have happened if I hadn’t read this… Thank you.

    Reply  |  
    1. Levi Macallister

      Nicki,

      Thanks for your vulnerability. Please know how valuable you are, and don’t give up. There are so many people ready and willing to reinforce that truth here at TWLOHA. It’s an honor to be a part of your life, even over this weird thing we call the internet. 🙂 Appreciate you.

      Reply  |  
    2. devin

      I am so proud of you for staying alive. I know it’s hard. I’ve been (poorly) dealing with self harm too, and just depression in general. please talk to someone about it. if you want that person to be me my Twitter is @capgundeaths (dm me) and if you want my number I can give it to you. you’re not alone. you’re important. you’re absolutely wonderful.

      Reply  |  
  3. Elizabeth Miller

    This is lovely, Levi. I found out this week that I lost yet another friend to suicide. Another. That should never be a thing: a running list of those lost to suicide. I’m sorry you lost your father. I am thankful you kept living, and that you keep living. Thank you for your words.

    Reply  |  
    1. Levi Macallister

      Gosh. I’m sorry Elizabeth. I pray for peace and clarity in the weeks to follow. I know that pain is inexpressible.

      Reply  |  
    2. devin

      I’m so so sorry about your friend. friends. I’ve been lucky enough to not have gone through that with anyone I’ve been close to, but I’ve known people who have and I know how it tears people up. let me just tell you that /it is not your fault./ while I haven’t personally known people who have taken their own lives, I have been close to taking my own. it was never because of anyone else, especially friends or people I’ve known well. you most likely have made them want to stay. if you need to talk about it with someone please, /please/ do so. if you want to talk to me, you can dm me on my Twitter (@capgundeaths) or I could give you any other social media or my number. that shit is hard. you’re not alone.

      Reply  |  
  4. Jonathan

    Thanks for being so open with this. It’s nice to see the context behind your words and your life’s content. Obviously there’s always more context, but this genuine time you hold helps people; at least it’s helped me.

    Reply  |  
  5. Ash

    This is a battle I’ve always felt I fought alone. Admitting to feeling suicidal is a big step, and one that’s sometimes met back with criticism. So, I’ve never admitted to it. I always just try to wait out that deep pit I get stuck in, always hoping that the light will come back. It’s hard to tell yourself “You have to live” whilst in the pit. Yesterday I changed my perspective and got out, though. I was admiring the little details of a morning ray coming through the trees on my drive to work, and I swear I heard God say it was for me. Instead if resigning myself to living, I decided it was a privilege to live to see that beauty. I can keep living. I can keep living.

    Reply  |  
    1. Levi Macallister

      Ash, thanks for responding. You’re certainly not alone, but nor are you alone in feeling like you are. I do think life is beautiful, and there are a bunch of other beautiful people to live it with, too. Do me a favor, though… be free. Be free to tell someone. That’s okay. “Help” is not an expletive. 🙂 Much love.

      Reply  |  
    2. devin

      you have no idea how proud I am of you. keep finding beauty in the small things, they’re always stunning. the world is such a beautiful place if you open your eyes.

      Reply  |  
  6. Tommy

    Levi, this is probably the most impactful thing I have ever read from you.

    2 years ago, I nearly lost my dad to suicide. He was a heavy drinker and he felt nothing but hatred for himself and he had bought into a lie that because he had issues with family in the past and because he was struggling, we must have hated him as well. He, thankfully, got the help he needed and is now 2 years sober and is continually maiing positive changes for himself.

    Reading this, I could easily see this as a mirror looking into what couldve been. I broke down crying. I hurt thinking about it, i know you were hurting as well. Thank you for sharing, my friend.

    Reply  |  
  7. Jodie

    I tried to kill myself last night. this email popped up in my inbox this morning when I woke up, sobbing because I was alive. This post made me kind of wish that my organs didn’t still have the possibility of failing. Made me wish that I could try for you. Above all, I’m so sorry for your loss. No one deserves to lose someone like that. Luckily I’m pretty much alone in this world so no one will have to go through what you did when I go.

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Jodie,

      We’re so glad you’re still here and that this blog post found its way into your Inbox.

      Please, please, please get help. Please let someone know you’re struggling. Please go see someone and make sure your body will be OK.

      If you need resources, we list some here: http://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/

      We want you to keep living, Jodie. You say you’re alone, but we’re here with you. If you leave us, there will be something missing, and we all will feel it.

      Reply  |  
    2. Levi Macallister

      Jodie,

      I don’t know if there is anything more that I can say to reiterate what Claire wrote above, but I – speaking personally – do not believe that your “failed” attempt OR this email’s successful entry into your life was coincidental. I am so grateful that you are here, and so grateful that you are here among A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE who can vouch for the fact that your life matters, and we want to see you thrive. I’m overjoyed that you’re here today, and long for you to stay for tomorrow. You matter. Thank you.

      Reply  |  
    3. devin

      jodie
      it’s me devin
      I am so so so /so so/ sorry for not being there last night. but believe me when I tell you that I would have been more devastated than I already am if you hadn’t woken up this morning. remember me? remember rae? remember everyone from the twitter fam? I know you don’t believe us when we tell you that we love you but there is nothing truer than those three words. we adore you jodie. the world is such a better place with you in it. you’re stunning. we care about you so much.

      Reply  |  
    4. Julzz Kuhn

      Jodie,
      I dont know you, but i am sitting here crying for you.
      crying because you have fallen into the pit that so many of us fall into, believing that we dont matter. Well, Jodie, you do matter.
      Please dont give up. Please try again. Please look after your organs and give life another chance.

      Reply  |  
    5. Bellla

      Dearest Jodie
      I’m so sorry for your suffering. I know it might sound selfish, but I’m glad the world gets to have you here longer. You are so very important, although I understand that may not be something you can agree with or feel yourself
      I know you may have reached out before, but been met in ways that weren’t ideal, and have kept you hushed since. I hope I’m wrong, but if I’m not, please try to realise people are individuals. Not everyone reacts the same, I bet if someone opened up to you you’d be compassionate and loving.
      I hope you’re seeing these messages, I wish there was a notification option here. You deserve to see you’re cared for.
      You’re in my prayers
      God bless

      Reply  |  
  8. Holley Murray

    Thank you for this. There’s far too much silence on the topic of suicide and it’s so important for people to bring it into the light. Admittedly I’ve been struggling so much this week with all this stuff and this meant a lot to me. Press on.

    Reply  |  
    1. devin

      I’ve been struggling too. believe me when I say that you’re not alone. please keep living and don’t do anything that could harm yourself. keep being strong, I know you’ve had to be strong for a long time already but I believe in you. you can keep going. people, including me, are rooting for you. I am so proud of you.

      Reply  |  
  9. Julian

    Heart breaking, but so important. Thank you for the words and for helping others to heal by your wounds–it’s the most Jesus thing you can do.

    Reply  |  
  10. Lauren

    Thank you for writing this, Levi. I appreciate everything you do so much, and these words mean so much to me. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for encouraging me to continue living mine.

    Reply  |  
  11. Samuel

    Reading this at work wasn’t the best of ideas. I am currently standing at the computer weeping, with coworkers and customers staring at me. One of the things I have learned in life, is that there are no coincidences in life. As hard as it is for me to even admit this is this particular moment and season in life, everything is providentially held in the palm of God’s hand. To say that depression is something I have struggled with the last few years would be an understatement. 4 years ago I made some bad decisions in life and pretty much rocked not only my life and my families’ life, but others around me as well. After having a rough conversation with my dad on the phone one night, I decided that the only option, the only solution, was to end my life. I convinced myself it would make it easier for the friends and family that I had affected and sinned against if I was just gone. Problem solved. As I sat there for a minute trying to determine the best way to do it, a complete stranger came up to me and handed me an orange and a Gideon Bible, and without saying a word, left. I broke down in a way that I haven’t broken down, until last night that is. You see it was at that moment I realized I was believing the lie and replacing it with the truth. God saw me. God loved me. My family saw me. They loved me. Saying goodbye wasn’t the means to an end. There was something so much bigger than just me and my little problem. Determining when I ceased to exist on this earth was not my decision to make. I felt freedom at that moment.
    Sadly however, the depression came still. And has come like a violent storm for the past 4 years. It has been a battle to see the light. To see the purpose. To see God. To see hope. To see forgiveness and redemption. To see anything other than my struggle. Last night it hit me. That maybe I was fighting a losing battle. Similar thoughts were invading my mind that was there 4 years ago. I am worthless. I am ugly. I am unlovable. I am beyond help. I am unable to help others. Everyone and everything would be better off. The weight of everything was weighing so heavily on my shoulders that I just felt like I couldn’t keep my head above water anymore. I had a conversation with a friend, that for the first time, they were honest about something and how they felt toward me. It was a hard pill to swallow. It is something I knew but yet didn’t know. It’s one thing to think it, but another to hear it. I was glad for the honesty but still like complete shit because someone else now agreed with me and felt the same way about me like I did. That was unbearable. Fear set in. Tears are falling on the keyboard as I type now thinking about it. And this time I couldn’t shake it. As I sat on my bed thinking over everything that has happened the last 4 years, about the conversation I had with my dad that night 4 years ago, and the conversation I had earlier in the day, the only thing I wanted was to close my eyes and when I opened them again I would be standing with Jesus. I can’t really tell you why I didn’t end my life last night. Frankly, I feel asleep. I have been walking around in a fog all day. Going through the motions. Unable to force a smile. Dwelling on everything. Then I open my email. And I get to the part that says “I don’t want to hear you say goodbye”. I lost it. Lost. It.
    I don’t know if at this moment I believe life is beautiful.
    I don’t know if at this moment I feel lovable.
    I don’t know at this moment if this depression will ever go away.
    I don’t know at this moment if I will ever get out of the shadow of my past.
    All I know is that at this moment, His air is in my lungs so my journey is not over yet.

    Reply  |  
    1. Levi Macallister

      Samuel,

      this was beautifully put, and brought tears to my eyes just reading your responses about tears to your eyes. What a big freakin’ tear circle. Haha. I’m glad you’re here, man. Honestly, the people at work could probably use some of those tears in their lives, too. Haha. I hope it leads to some really weird and really great conversations. You are spot on about being loved by friends, family, and God. May he continue to preserve us both. Much love, my friend.

      Reply  |  
    2. devin

      samuel,
      I’m so proud of you, first off. for keeping going. for staying alive, both 4 years ago and last night. and the time in between.
      you are not alone in what you’re going through. you are not worthless. you are not hopeless. you are not unloveable. you’re priceless. you’re loved. and there is infinite hope for you.

      Reply  |  
  12. Ariana

    I have never struggled personally with suicide but some members of my family have. Recently I had to watch my best friend and high school sweetheart struggle with depression after the suicide of his friend back home. I am blessed to never have experienced such a devastating tragedy and my prayers are with those that struggle daily.
    As usual, this is a beautiful poem and I’ll try to share it with my friend. I know he needs it. You truly are a blessed writer and I love how you use that gift and give it back to help others.

    Reply  |  
  13. Jacob

    Thank you Levi

    Reply  |  
  14. Caylie Williams

    Just recently I lost my mother. Today marks a little over two weeks. For years she was the cause and my depression was the effect. For years I resented her being because she consistently chose the burning of a bottle over her own daughter. 4 months ago she finally chose to stop looking for messages at the end of her drinks. She chose a life of getting better, and I am ashamed for ignoring that. Because in my selfish ways of wanting to take my life, I let hers slip away. And now the resentment lays on me. Her not being here does not make this feeling go away, I wish I would’ve realized sooner that her life not being a part of mine did not stop the pain. I wish so much that she was here. And the simple fact that her being gone forever was what made me realize this makes me sick to my stomach.

    But Levi, your words are so remarkable. I know that a certain level of suffering is experienced to make such a beautiful mind. Though evil and death was made by man, God still uses these things to develop us. We know him more because these things exist. I’m thankful I stumbled across you when trying to find inspiration for my own writing. I’m thankful for a difficult life because, despite how often I wish I could change it or end it, my experiences make me understand that I am divinely and uniquely created. I’m so sorry you have to endure this. I’m sorry you have to feel like this. But I trust what God has for you. Because your words have helped me in understanding His. Understanding that beautiful doesn’t always mean put together. Beautiful can be messy. And though the mess isn’t what is beautiful, it is the product of the mess I am grateful for. You’re incredible Levi. Thank you for sharing pieces of yourself and of your life. You are so very talented, and so very wonderful. God bless.

    Reply  |  
    1. Bellla

      I’m so sorry for your pain.
      Thank you for writing. Your words matter very much
      You, your mum and loved ones are in my prayers
      God bless

      Reply  |  
  15. Cory

    I think indestructible things can be made out of the ruins of what we and others have destroyed if we are willing to put them in capable Hands that are experienced in true creativity.

    I’ve lost a couple of friends and a cousin to suicide.

    It’s a difficult thing to process, whereas most death leaves us with at least a feeling of finality, suicide leaves behind a world of of confusion.
    Questions that cannot be answered.

    And though Twloha and Levi the Poet are partly products of terrible tragedies they ARE NOT wholly defined by those and I think that’s what makes them both powerful testimonies that God uses.

    Don’t defined by depression or loss or tragedy.

    There is wisdom in those 2 short sentences.

    “End Cycle. Press on.

    Reply  |  
  16. Matt

    Hey there Levi. New fan here. Lately I have found myself in the worst situation I have ever been: I’m 25, homeless, facing a felony charge that I know I’m guilty of. And the Bible seems silent on people who were put in prison for crimes they actually committed. I’m getting the silent treatment from the very Word of God. I was studying to be a licensed minister when I was arrested and I fear that dream is dead. And I sleep outside in a park so I don’t take my guitar. It’s too nice to have out here. I live in Atlanta by the way. I live in fear. I live in chaos. I don’t know what I’ll eat today. And yet i can’t let chaos win. I can’t give up. There has to be hope. Love has to win. God is good, perfect in all His ways. I hope you read this Levi. God bless.

    Reply  |  
    1. Bellla

      Matt, I believe in you. Redemption is real. Your truth here about your guilt is admirable, and I hope will help you from here.
      I’m sorry you’re homeless, everyone deserves a safe place to rest.
      I hope your trust in God will guide you along your way, through hope, crime punishment, and life. God loves you, no matter what. Keep trying to do good, be a good person, try to keep away from crime. I believe in you. So does God. I hope you can believe in yourself one day.
      You’re in my prayers.
      God bless

      Reply  |  
    2. Hopeful

      My friend, the Bible is not silent on those in prison for a crime. When Christ hung on the cross, who hung with him? A thief. A thief paying the price for his crime. He turned to Jesus and do you remember the oucome? Jesus told him he would be in heaven with Him. Matt, Jesus did not come for the, “perfect.” He ate with sinners, Zacchaeus, who pocketed his over collected taxes, the woman at the well and many more. Whatever you have done, give it to Him. He loves you my friend. Everyone of us, and yes even us in ministry, we sin. None are perfect and all sin is equal. Do not let a lie of the devil tell you that you cannot be used by God. Just look at Saul. God will use you if you let him.

      I came here today, because I am so weighted down by my own depression I can barely function. I am thankful for the stories and voices here today. I will fight another day.

      Reply  |  
  17. Chris Jones

    Levi,

    Thank you so much for all of this. Thank you for vulnerability and beauty and hope. I’ve followed your work for awhile now, but lately it’s taken on a more meaningful role in my life as I’ve been struggling with depression. Most days, it takes me hours to muster up the energy to get out of my bed, and even when I do, I can feel my brain actively working against me up until I end my day, lying back in bed, wondering how it can somehow be exhausting to just lie down.

    Living shouldn’t be this difficult.

    But I know there’s more to it than this. I know this wasn’t what my life was all the years up until things came to be like this, and I know it won’t be what my life is forever. I started seeing a counselor this week. I think it made me realize the enormity of the ways I still have to go until recovery. And it was terrifying. But I’m thankful for friends, family, and voices of hope like yours who are bold enough to talk about issues like this. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  18. susan c tull

    Thanks Levi and Bree And Jodi. Thanks for sharing. You are so brave. I loved your dad.

    Reply  |  
  19. susan c tull

    We are all in this together. Makes me think of THE NOW AND NOT YET. The tension of the kingdom

    Reply  |  
  20. Olivia Bromery

    I have struggled with depression and set harm for almost 3 years now, and every day I want to give up. In fact I relapsed just the other day. It can be so so difficult sometimes, but when I see things like this, I am filled with hope. Maybe it will get better. I hope that it can get better. You give me a lot of hope, Levi. Maybe one day I can inspire people the way you inspire me. Thank you for your words. I’m trying not to give up.

    Reply  |  
    1. devin

      I’m really proud of you. things do always get better. I’m so excited for you to live to the days you cry of joy and happiness instead of sorrow. you deserve to love yourself, and self-love is never as far away as people think.

      Reply  |  
  21. devin

    levi,

    I tried to read this at school, I could never read more than a paragraph at a time because these words, your words, impacted me so much. lately things have been seeming more grim than they have for a while, relapses and shit like that (my English teacher even kept me after class to ask if I was okay), and wondering how ironic it would be if I would be to kms this week. it’s probably not going to happen, I learned my lesson about spur-of-the-moment major decisions back in February when I came out to my family (which, in the over 6 months since day (my 16th birthday), they have decidedly ignored), so at the very least I would have to think about it some more. it’s really unlikely that I’d do it in this bout of brain-fuckery, so don’t worry. this is not a goodbye.

    thank you for your words. thank you for your time. they mean more to me than I could ever hope to communicate. I’ve heard truth ruminating in a stranger’s voice and that stranger has been you. in the most barren creative and emotional wasteland in which I’ve ever wandered, either not quite bad enough to take my own life or far past that point, you pulled me onto the ladder hanging from the airlift helicopter that was probably nearby all along. you held my hands fast to the rope when all I wanted was to let go. thank you for that.

    thank you for you.

    you matter. thank you.

    – devin

    Reply  |  
  22. Lydia

    thanks for the reminder that life is worth living. I’m not suicidal but I get depressed sometimes and this blog was a powerful reminder for me. thanks for being vulnerable and honest Levi!

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  23. Andrew P

    Thank you Levi for this blog. It means the world to be encouraged by your words.

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  24. Christer

    Thx Levi, I do also miss that roaring laughter from the Hills tribe Scotsman but I will join you and leave the circle and push on!

    Reply  |  
  25. Payton

    Thank you for this. I’ve been trying to pen out my own words in response to this heavy week, and this gave me words I didn’t have before. Thank you for inviting us into parts of your life and offering hope. As always, much love for you and your words Mr. Poet.

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  26. Kathy Jenkins

    Wow! Just wow! Thank you for allowing your pain to help others keep going.

    Reply  |  
  27. Heather

    I, also, have Underoath’s lyrics “Press On” tattooed on me. They were a giant reason I didn’t kill myself so long ago. This post came at a timely point in my life. Thank you for your beautiful words.

    Reply  |  
  28. Tim Yerrington

    I am sorry for the pain you have been left with. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. Despite the pain, life is worth living and I am glad that you never gave in to the lies of depression. I am learning to live in my true identity and that is one of being beloved. May hope, healing, and wholeness be all of ours. God loves us and weeps with us. End cycle. Press on.

    Reply  |  
  29. Ida

    So beautifully written. Let’s press on indeed.

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  30. Fabian

    Thank you for the encouragement

    Reply  |  
  31. morgan

    thank you, Levi. thank you for writing this. thank you for being honest, and for speaking truth. we all need to hear it.
    i’m thankful that you kept living, so that you can share things like this with people that need it, people that are in those same shoes you’ve been in.

    Reply  |  
  32. Payton

    I’ve been trying to find my own words to say in response to this heavy week, and I really think your words have helped me to find my own. Thank you for showing that pain holds extreme significance and that hope is always possible. As always, much love for you and your words Mr. Poet.

    Reply  |  
  33. Angela

    Levi your words are beautifully written. My brother took his life a year ago it will be coming up on two. The day they found him was on my birthday I’ve come to find I don’t want to celebrate it as for it’s not the same, it’s hard to celebrate my life as he was taking his last breath. I try and remember his laughter, his smile that brought so many smiles. I see him in my dreams missing him so dearly wondering was he cold did he have seconds thoughts and thinking how does one get past how does one heal through the pain?

    Reply  |  
  34. Danae

    I lost a close friend to suicide last summer, and it forever changed my life. I struggled with an overwhelming amount of emotions crashing in and out, and while those waves don’t come as often, it doesn’t mean that her death affects me any less. Levi, your words have been a huge comfort to me both before and after this. I listened to Leviathan Grew Up In A Broken Home on repeat when it first happened, and I felt less alone and I felt like your writing beautifully summarized how I felt. I’m still a jumble of emotions sometimes and it’s still hard to keep moving forward sometimes, but I so appreciate the honesty and hope you share with the rest of us. I am sorry for your loss, but I am thankful for how you’ve used it to reach others. I want to keep living too. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  35. Karl

    Thank you Levi. One of the things that has always drawn me to your work is the honesty, sometimes brutal honesty. Thank you for continuing with that. It has helped draw me and countless others back from the edge.

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  36. Alexis

    I have been having one of the worst weeks with my mental health. Old things are resurfacing. It hurts. My thoughts have just been consuming me. I keep things bottled up; its how Ive always dealt with things. Kept it for when Im alone. Ive never told anyone about my depression, suicidal thoughts, self harm, nothing. My anxiety and trust issues create this wall where I just cant tell anyone anything. My parents dont know, my closest friends dont know. I just cant. I would be a burden. Im trying so hard right now to keep going. Levi, your words mean the world to me. I cried so hard reading this and it resonated with me. Thank you.

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  37. Melissa Flores

    I never knew I needed something to make me realize my thoughts aren’t the best and that I’m not alone. I’m sorry if this is coming off as rude I really hope it’s not. I just a have a lot going on in my head after reading this. Thank you Levi I needed this a lot.

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  38. Mindie

    It’s so important to speak eloquently enough about this type of struggle that it strikes us in that dark place even in a lighter moment but not make pretty babblings that romanticize depression and make “quirky” mania, psychosis and other not so cuddly aspects of mental illness. It’s also really difficult for many to do that for some reason and it makes the whole journey really confusing and healing really twisted. Thank you for finding that balance as well as the boldness to put it out there through what pain lingers for you and your family and allowing it to be used by God for good and to love others through. You’re a lighthouse.

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  39. Julzz Kuhn

    Levi, You are awesome. I sincerely hope you can reach as many people as you can with your words. You truly are a talented wordsmith. I have been touched many times by suicide/attempted suicide/talk of suicide/thoughts of suicide. It is nasty. it is repressive. It is full of lies and robs so many of so much.
    Thank you for sharing your good and your rough. You are a diamond among many stones

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  40. Claudia Marcao

    Beautiful words. You are a true Poet. Even the biggest pain sounds beautiful in your writing. Thank you.

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  41. Drew

    I’ve read this over and over since I got the email, and it took me some time to find the right words to respond with. Depression and thoughts of suicide have always been present in my life. Something I still struggle with to this day, but this is the first year in my life that I’ve been doing better. Last month, my twelve year old cousin (that I was incredibly close to) took her life. There’s been a lot of questions running through my mind and times of self reflection. I spent the last month being unable to describe how I feel or even understand my own feelings towards it and myself. But reading this was much needed. I feel understood, and it even gave me a bit of closure. Thank you Levi for sharing about your dad and thoughts. (I’m not much of a writer so I’m sorry if this was just a ton of rambling.)

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  42. Andrew

    I am definitely crying upon finishing this article. I’ve had a part of me, no matter how small, shift in how I feel about my own life and my own struggle with suicide, after reading this. Thank you Levi. You’re always putting out quality writing. And thank you To Write Love On Her Arms for all of the work you do.

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  43. WQ

    thank you for your beautiful words, as always. thank you for being so open about this subject as well; you’re opening yourself up to us so we can open up to you. i’m sorry you had to go through what you had to go through, but i am so thankful for your words. i’ve been struggling for the last few years now; every day is just so grey and colorless and just so heavy. but re-reading this for the third time since it popped up in my email, it gives me more hope and strength to continue on. i thought about giving up before, but somehow tiny amazing and beautiful things happen that make me want to stay. no doubt God is making himself more known to me. thank you for your words that help me through the day and help me build my faith. i’m alive; i’m breathing because three-in-one be the breath in my lungs, right?

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  44. Anne

    Crying so much. My friend suffers from depressions with suicidle thought’s and it’s getting worse, and it breaks my world everytime she says things like ” you keep living and be happy. Remember the nice things we did and don’t cry for me”
    I dont want to lose her, she doesnt deserve this.

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  45. There now

    Thank you for this. I needed it more than I can express.

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  46. Sara

    Absolutely beautifully written!! Thank you sooooo much for sharing!!

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  47. Ashley

    I believe in taking the hardships we face in life and turning them around to help others. I have faced my fair share of hardships and I try everyday to make sure others do not have to feel the way I did: alone, unwanted, and like a waste. I said “did” even though I still struggle with those feelings daily. Some days are better than others, and tonight is hard. Your words have inspired me to not give up. There are still people out there who need a shoulder, who need a friend; I will not let them down. Helping them makes me stronger, makes me feel like I have a purpose. It is hard to open up about these things for many people, myself included, but I feel safe here. TWLOHA has become my safe-haven. Thank you for helping me tonight, you gave me strength.

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  48. Gwendolyn

    Painfully lived, beautifully written. Your words resonate deeply, stifling the voice of fear and depression in others’ lives…in my life.

    Thank you.

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