Reasons To Stay Alive

When times get tough and your mental health is at its worst, it's easy to think about giving up. Quitting on life, throwing in the towel- however you want to say it, struggling with suicidal thoughts happens to everyone. Unfortunately, it can happen a lot more often for people who deal with mental illness. A few months ago, I compiled a list of reasons to live and here’s what I came up with:

1. My parents 2. My twin sister and younger brother 3. My family (including aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) 4. My best friends 5. My boyfriend 6. The kids I nanny for – they mean the world to me 7. 2 different concerts I had planned – I made it to both 8. Going back to school 9. Graduating and finding my dream job 10. Happiness – it’ll come eventually 11. My pets – it seems silly, but they know how the cheer me up when I’m feeling down 12. Hope that one day I won’t struggle with my mental health as much as I do now 13. Becoming a published author 14. Watching sunrises and sunsets with my best friends 15. Having a future

These are just some of the things I look forward to in life. I know as days, weeks, months, and even years pass, more reasons will come to mind. Some may change, some will stay the same. All I know, however, is that when I’m really struggling with my mental health, I find this list comforting. I keep it in a journal that I take everywhere. I believe it’s important for everyone to make a list like this. Even if you don’t struggle with mental illness, having reasons to live written down that you can look at whenever you need to can help the bad days seem a little better. I want to encourage everyone to make a list of things you want to live for and keep it with you wherever you go. It can start with just one, or five, or however many you want to. Make this list your own and keep it with you everywhere you go. When I first made this list, my mental health was at its worst. I was struggling with suicidal thoughts on an almost daily basis and although I didn’t have any urges to act on them, I was still having them. I sat down one night and made this list starting with just five reasons to live. As days went on and my mental health got better, I was able to find more things to add to this list. On my bad days, this list keeps me going. Seeing all of the things I have to live for gives me hope that one day things will get better.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Line at: 1-800 - 273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

#AbbeySmith #hope

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