Listening to People Tell Me About Their Suicide Attempts

Cliff Williams

I have listened to a number of people tell me how they have attempted suicide for the book project (see below). Every time I listen to someone, I am moved. Each person who talks to me tells me of the trauma they once went through. Most of them relive the pain of wanting to die. A few of them cry as they describe emotional distress and overwhelming hopelessness.

I feel as if I am being let inside each person’s inmost life. Each one discloses to me their deepest secrets. They divulge what drove them to want to kill themselves. A few have never told anyone about their suicide attempt and never intend to tell anyone else.

When I ask, “What keeps you alive now?” I get different answers. Sometimes it is a project that the person believes in. Sometimes it is helping others to stay alive. Sometimes it is faith. Some people aren’t too sure what keeps them going. Some are still searching.

I listen to it all non-judgmentally. I take in what I am told with acceptance and empathy.

I believe in this book project because I believe that life is worth living.

If you are interested in contributing to the book, Saved from Suicide: Survivors Tell Their Stories, write to me at or visit for more information.