There is a show on Netflix called 13 Reasons Why. I’ve never seen it. I’ve only heard of it due to some level of controversy because the series has something to do with suicide.
I saw Melissa Drake’s asking people touched by suicide to share 13 reasons why they are alive. As a suicide attempt survivor and someone who has lost friends and family to suicide, I’m certainly touched by it. In no particular order, here goes…
13 Reasons Why I’m Still Here:
- I’m still here because I’m supposed to be.
Ideally, it wouldn’t have taken me multiple suicide attempts to accept the fact that I’m supposed to be here. You are too. You’re alive right now. Please, let that be all the proof you need.
- I’m still here because I’m a resilient survivor.
I did not always think so. Sometimes I still doubt it, and that is okay. The proof of my resiliency and being a survivor is simply that I’m alive in the moment I’m writing this. For a long time I saw surviving suicide attempts as a sign of weakness; that I couldn’t even die right. Today I proudly own and accept that I’m a resilient fighter, even if the fight is sometimes with aspects of myself.
- I’m still here because of the love and support of friends and family.
I’ve never been as alone as I sometimes have felt. There were times when I truly believed that my friends and family would be better off if I was gone. Anytime I’m brave enough to reach out, someone has been there. Thank you!
- I’m still here because I share.
Authenticity and vulnerability used to terrify me. I thought my emotions were wrong, weak, defective and flawed. I’ve learned over the years that whenever I authentically share myself it is well received and unexpected rewards pour into my life. Helping someone else is a great way to get the focus off of myself, especially when I’m focusing on myself with judgment, doubts or fears.
- I’m still here because I love learning and growing.
I used to think that life sucked. I used to think that I sucked. I used to think being right was more important than being happy. Today I love discovering that I’m wrong about things. I’d rather be happy than right any day. I delight in learning new things, having new experiences, and in my own growth as a human being. I’m so glad there is always more to learn.
- I’m still here because I love myself.
Self-love is huge. I’m intentionally putting this in the middle of the list but I actually believe it is the most important one. Nothing else in this list happens without my love of self. Until I was willing to love myself the love of anyone else could never be enough for me to stick around.
- I’m still here because I embraced spirituality.
There is more, a lot more, going on than just this bag of meat called Andy Grant. Again, so glad to be wrong about the fact that I used to believe in nothing. I wasn’t raised with any sort of organized religion and I thought that made me an atheist. To me, spirituality simply means knowing there is more going on than you can see. It is having faith in a friendly and supportive universe, without constrictive rules or dogma.
- I’m still here because of my wife.
I know that my wife has saved me more times than either of us are aware of. When I’ve given up on myself, she hasn’t. She’s been my biggest fan and supporter. I don’t even want to consider where I’d be without her.
- I’m still here because of travel and adventure.
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to visit 15 countries; places I never dreamed of being when I was a depressed teen. Seeing other people and cultures always brings me a greater sense of aliveness and depth. Seeing wild animals on safari in Kenya or while exploring the Galapagos Islands allows me to feel connected to so much more than a cubicle and a paycheck.
- I’m still here because of my creativity.
We are creative beings. The more I allow and express my creativity, the more joy and happiness I experience. Creativity for the sake of creativity, whether it is ever seen by anyone, makes me feel alive. I’ve been a filmmaker, screenwriter, actor, blogger, content creator, photographer, author…. Any activity can be a creative expression.
- I’m still here because of laughter.
Laughter truly is the best medicine. When I can laugh at myself, I know everything is going to be fine. The final time that I was hospitalized for depression, I noticed I was laughing at episodes of “The Simpsons” on TV hours after being admitted. That is when it hit me that the labels of “clinical depression” simply didn’t add up.
- I’m still here because of music.
Music has saved my life countless times. Music adds to my life on a daily basis. I don’t create my own music. I listen, scream, and move to it. I’ve been brought to tears and laughs at many of the hundreds of rock concerts I’ve been to over the course of my life.
- I’m still here because of gratitude.
What you appreciate, appreciates. Gratitude and thankfulness are truly the currency of life. When I take the time to notice what I can be grateful for in any moment, that moment and future ones are better. I’m grateful for these 13 reasons and even more grateful that I could make this list much longer. I’m such a fan of gratitude, I’ve made an online course all about .
I hope you have a nice long list of reasons you are alive, reasons you enjoy life, and things that make you smile. If you don’t feel like you have much of a list, explore my list again to see if there is something on it that is actually more present in your life than you are willing to admit.
If you would like to know some of the tactics and tools I used to discover my 13 reasons, check out my book, . This book has everything I wish I knew when I was at my lowest and the techniques that helped me rise out of despair and hopelessness.
Please consider writing your own “13 Reasons” (#13ReasonsYouBelong). Good Men Project Editor Jeremy McKeen would love to publish them for you. Please submit them to him directly.
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