What I Do Remember

By Nik Wiles

I remember nothing about the days that followed my 2011 suicide attempt.

Let me tell you what I do remember:

What I do remember is that in May 2012, I started the best job I have ever had in my life—and I still work there, in the here and now, in 2016. Sure, because I work at a veterinary clinic for cats, sometimes a cat tries to eat my face. Cats also pee on me sometimes. OK, let’s be real—cats pee on me often. But the point is, in 2012, I started the best job I have ever had in my life.

And so I kept living.

What I do remember is that in September 2012, I went to an Indiana Jones movie marathon on the release date of the newest Indiana Jones movie. I sat in the movie theater for 10 hours. I have no regrets. Maybe I have one regret. Or several. There may have been an unhealthy amount of movie theater nachos involved, but you’ll never really know. The point—in 2012, I attended an epic Indiana Jones movie marathon with good friends.

And so I kept living.

What I do remember is that in July 2013, one of my long-time, close friends began one of two nonprofit projects to support those who battle lupus and other illnesses that cause chronic pain. I was reminded that there are so many different types of pain in the world. I didn’t feel so alone—the pain my depression and anxiety cause is different, but it is pain just like what others are feeling. Eventually, I helped her with this project. I was also reminded origami is hard, but that’s a long story, and I digress. The point is, in 2013, I saw one of my best friends birth a project that would go on to make waves in the world.

And so I kept living.

What I do remember is that in January 2014 I decided that, after three years of being obese, I would lose weight. It was January, of course, and everyone says that in January. Well, not everyone. But a lot of someones, and I was one of those someones. As it turns out, I did it—by the end of the year, I had lost 100 pounds and was back to a healthy weight. Unfortunately, I had to buy new pants. I hate buying pants. But the point is, in 2014, I lost 100 pounds and felt better about myself.

And so I kept living.

What I do remember is that in April 2015, my world was the brightest it had been in four years—I ran my first 5k, my daughter was born, and I was accepted into graduate school. Granted, I almost died running that 5k. Seriously, it was so hot. Granted, within a week of being born, my daughter had a diarrhea explosion so epic that the experience has literally made its way into humor pieces across the nation. Did I mention she did this on my college graduation day? Granted, they actually expected me to work hard in graduate school, which I felt was just a little bit unfair. I sort of thought they just gave you the degree for being awesome. The point is: April 2015 was one of the best months of my life.

And so I kept living.

What I do remember is that in July 2016, TWLOHA published my “Letter to the Person Considering Suicide.” And someone emailed me to tell me it saved their life. I did not cry. I. Did. Not. Cry. I would never do that. OK, I cried a little bit. Maybe one tiny tear, but nothing newsworthy. Look, the point is, in 2016, the words my own pain birthed saved someone else’s life—and that matters.

And so I’m still living.

This day, today, I am still living. I have had vast experiences since 2011. I am alive. I am still breathing. Had I died in 2011, you would not be reading these words. Think about that, especially if these words are touching your heart in some particular way. Had I died, your heart would not be touched right now. If you do not keep living, there will be something that matters missing from the world.

You are human. You are real. You are alive. This moment in time is happening, and no matter how hard it is, I encourage you to keep living. I kept living. Let’s keep living together.

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Comments (18)

  1. Jordan Hendrix

    Can I just say, wow. I actually have my own story on a page called
    ‘The story of Jordan’ 3 years ago I wasn’t who I am today. Today I’m healthy and happy. Back then I wasn’t. And idk. Your story is just kind of inspiring.

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  2. Michelle Turner

    That is beautiful. I’m happy for you, and proud of you. I don’t know you but I am proud of you for living. Thankfully you didn’t die in 2011 and you have so much to show for it. I think, in some ways, kids give you a reason to go on, mine certainly did. Thank you for sharing this with the world. Also, I read your other article when it was published and I cried. A lot. Well done and keep living.

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  3. Abbie Stafford

    I survived my suicide attempt two months ago. I do not remember the 18 hours I spent on life support, or the three days in the ICU after that. But I do remember the faces of my crying mother and sister, as they visited me in the hospital after I was transferred out of the ICU. I have a long way to go, but everyday I am finding more reasons why I kept living. Why I survived. I am grateful to be here today.

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    1. Fel

      So so so proud of you. We really don’t realize the strength we’re capable of. Always hold onto that strength. We sometimes forget we even have any. Happy you’re alive <3

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    2. Bellla

      Thank you for such courage, you have a valuable place in this world, although I know truth like that is not always felt inside yourself. Thank you for using your voice here, it truly matters.
      I’m proud of you
      You’re in my prayers.
      God bless

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  4. CC

    Love forever keep living !

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  5. Mary

    Thank you Nickole!

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  6. Lauren

    I love this, just like I love your other story. Please write a book if you haven’t already! I’d love to read more, you have a great gift. 🙂

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  7. Moriah

    Thank you so much for sharing. Your words are touching so many hurting hearts.

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  8. Bellla

    Oh how beautifully this is written. Thank you for writing and in turn publishing it here. If you’re able, please please keep writing.
    Congratulations on becoming a moma! And graduating! And getting peed on at work!
    As I said on your last post,
    I’m proud of you, I love you.
    God bless

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  9. Lynn Scarpelli

    Beautiful story & u kept on the right track. Did u also have meds & therapist to see? Were you depressed & if u were before the suicde did anyone know how u felt , were u going to a dr.? My husband has tried to commit suicide 2 times. Was in & out of 7 mental hospitals , had 30 & than 10 shock treatments. And I can’t even remember all the meds they tried! Back 16 years ago my insurance & many other only covered mental illness stay in hospital for only 12 days, & then magically u were cured! There aren’t enough programs to help after hospital , a lot are related to drug addiction, but to me drug & alcohol & mental illness are all seperate issues. And mental illness is very hard to diagnose. But it seems u had a lot of strength & the want to be alive! I’ve been with him, always diagnose with clinical or manic depression, wouldn’t talk to Drs. Honestly. Last episode was manic bi polar, had stopped taking meds & seeing therapist . This illness was very different , scary, he was another person ! Got out after being in 3 hospitals within 3 $ 1/2 months. He has to want & be better, meds & therapists are tools. I’ve taken classes thru Nami which were helpful. We have older children that didn’t or want to deal with his illness. I just thought after all these years a light bulb would go on! Change of lifestyle. But no is better but probably never would be 100% I’ve delt with depression for years, post partum after 2 babies, & than after years developed anxiety & stress, I reach a point where I couldn’t deal with his issues, I always his mine & didn’t take care of myself, but I know when I need a change in meds & see a therapist but still hard to put myself first! I congratulate u on all your accomplishments!

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  10. Tammy

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Marce López Fredz

    Hello My name Marce, I have 23 years old and live Chile … I write here in the comment, because I never had a happiness, more and more my mind always me this hoping I will be suicidal, but sometimes I’m afraid this topic always wanted to die, because I have nothing to have a life, I am not happy being myself …. is too long in my story, I can’t hardly explain …. sorry I’m not good writing for English

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  12. Nina

    Just 2 words: amazingly inspiring’!!!😊

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  13. Coleen B


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  14. It doesn't matter

    I’m so glad that you’ve found something meaningful to stay for and proud of you for the strength I know that it took to get to where you are today.

    I don’t remember my time in the hospital over 4 years ago, except for a glimpse of my husband of 25 years sitting angrily across the room and then he was gone and my in-laws standing beside my bed and then they were gone.

    Nothing has gotten better since I came home. My husband is gone and with another woman. Our children are grown and gone. One has moved to another state and one doesn’t reply to my attempts at communication although they say they are not angry with me. I have no family here and I neglected forming friendships over the past 25 years to focus on my husband and children.

    Once my bankruptcy and divorce are finalized, I’m leaving.

    No one will notice.

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    1. Claire Biggs

      We’re so sorry to hear about what you’ve been dealing with, but we assure you that people will notice. And they won’t just notice – they will care. They will not be OK because you are no longer here; in fact, the opposite will be true. They will miss you and what you bring to their lives. The world will not be better off because you are not in it, no matter how true that feels to you right now.

      Please reach out to help. Call a helpline. Find a counselor in your area. Talk to someone. Let them know how you feel. Ask for help.

      We’ll say it again: The world will not be better off because you are not in it. The opposite will be true: Something will be missing.

      If you need help finding resources, we list some here: If you need help finding some in your local area (and don’t see any listed there), please email us at

      We believe in you. Please get the help you need and deserve.

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  15. Hailey

    Thank you. ❤❤❤

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