Listening to People Tell Me About Their Suicide Attempts

Cliff Williams

I listened to a number of people tell me how they have attempted suicide for Choosing to Live: Stories of Those Who Stepped Away from Suicide. Every time I listened to someone, I was moved. Each person who talked to me told me of the trauma they once went through. Most of them relived the pain of wanting to die. A few of them cried as they described emotional distress and overwhelming hopelessness.

I felt as though I was being let inside each person’s inmost life. Each one disclosed to me their deepest secrets. They divulged what drove them to want to kill themselves. A few had never told anyone about their suicide attempt and never intended to tell anyone else.

When I asked, “What keeps you alive now?” I got different answers. Sometimes it was a project that the person believed in. Sometimes it was helping others to stay alive. Sometimes it was faith. Some people weren't too sure what kept them going. Some were still searching.

I listened to it all non-judgmentally. I took in what I was told with acceptance and empathy.

I believe in Choosing to Live because I believe that life is worth living.

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