How A Promise Saved My Life

Trigger Warning: This post deals with suicide.

Unfortunately, there have been several times in my life where I contemplated ending it all. At those times, the thought of suicide seemed like a sweet release from the pain. I could not see around it to the other side of depression and to the better days that were surely ahead.

When I was in my 20s, I made a promise to my husband that I would never go through with ending my life. A promise is something I take very seriously. And there were many times that this promise saved me from doing something terrible. When I felt so deep in the pit that I couldn’t see the light, I would remember how devastated my husband would be if I went through with my plans.

When my son was born, I had another reason to stay alive. I could not and would not leave my son without a mother. So I made a silent promise to him that I would keep myself alive.

My suicidal ideation has ended with three hospitalizations where I was kept safe by the staff. Hospitalization isn’t something to be afraid of. I was actually very comforted being in a secure environment with staff checking on me every 15-30 minutes. Yes, I had to give up my shoelaces, drawstrings and anything else that could be used to harm myself. But I had access to these things after a couple of days when the staff felt I was out of harm’s way. Each hospitalization lasted a week and I was provided with training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an occupational therapist, a social worker, a medical team and nurses who soothed me when I cried.

In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide and there were an estimated 1, 400,000 attempts. On average, there are 129 suicides per day.

So find someone you can make a promise to. Whether it be a parent, a partner, a friend, a child, or anyone else that is important in your life. Stay alive for their sake when you can’t do it for your own.


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