40 Reasons to Keep Living

September 10th is National Suicide Awareness Day.  My favorite mental health organization, To Write Love On Her Arms is currently running a hashtag to facilitate the discussion of suicide prevention (go check out #IKeptLiving).  According to their blog, more than 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide every year.  American suicide rates have increased by 24% between 1999 and 2014, and that statistic is truly frightening to me.


Even if it feels like you have nothing to live for, it’s essential to know that you are wanted and needed in this world.  When it doesn’t feel like that’s true, consider any of the following reasons why it’s worth it to stay alive.


  1. Everyone offers a skill or character trait that others can benefit from.  That includes you.
  2. When one door closes, another door opens.  There is always hope.
  3. Many people don’t express how much they love their friends and families.  Even if you don’t hear it, know that you’re cared about.
  4. There are people you’ve never met that can identify with your struggle.
  5. There are people you’ve never met yet that would love to know you.
  6. There’s probably someone browsing through your Instagram profile wishing they had something you already have.
  7. When one form of therapy doesn’t work, there are plenty of others to explore.
  8. New information about mental health is being discovered all the time.  Some of those future discoveries could help you.
  9. Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life thinking that it’s an idiot.  Intelligence is subjective.
  10. Other people can identify with your struggles.
  11. Sometimes, it takes people a while for therapy concepts to make sense.  Give it time.
  12. You are never stuck in your current situation.  Things will change.
  13. There are people from your past who probably have fond memories of you, but you might not remember those people.
  14. People go to college for a lengthy amount of time simply to earn the certifications required to work in mental health fields.  These people literally dedicate their lives to helping people like you.
  15. If you have pets, you are the reason they are still alive.  They are dependent on you, and love you for it.
  16. You can use your experiences to help out others who are going through similar situations.
  17. Everyone’s path to their idea of success is unique.  It’s okay if your path isn’t a direct route.
  18. You are never done accumulating knowledge and experience.
  19. Kids have probably seen you and decided they want to look or be like you when they grow up.
  20. People don’t always compliment strangers, but people are always thinking about things they like in random people.
  21. Communities exist online to help you cope with your struggles.  Just check out the private groups on Facebook!
  22. Incredible life-changing opportunities and experiences are in everyone’s future.
  23. You have survived 100% of the hardships in your life so far.  You can survive today, too.
  24. People don’t always know how to help their loved ones, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want to.
  25. There are so many parts of the world you haven’t seen yet.  There is still time.
  26. There are so many people you haven’t met yet.  There is still time.
  27. Someone’s life is better because you are in it.
  28. Your opinions and ideas could change the world for the better.
  29. If you’ve ever donated something to Goodwill or Salvation Army, your donations have clothed a person in need.
  30. The fact that you’ve made it this far is something to be proud of.  Keep going.
  31. There are people from other backgrounds and cultures that would love to learn about your way of life.
  32. You can educate people who are unaware of mental health issues by using your personal experiences.
  33. You have probably given a gift to someone that they still have.  It may even hold special meaning to them.
  34. New careers are being formed every day as the world evolves.  Your dream career might not have been invented yet.
  35. People might have met their best friends or spouses through you, even if you don’t know it.
  36. Your participation in events in your life that you might not even remember have indirectly lead to people’s lives changing.  They might have met their best friend or spouse through you, or made a business connection, or came up with a life-changing idea.
  37. Someone wishes they could do what you can do.
  38. Everyone’s life serves a purpose, even if you don’t know what it is.
  39. If you are religious, remember that God allowed you to enter this world for a reason.  Even if things aren’t so great now, God has a plan that you don’t know about, and you will grow stronger from your experiences.
  40. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

If you need help, please reach out.  I have a page of resources that is always being updated.  Your life is worth living.

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