Moments Away From Suicide, What Flashed Before My Eyes

The answer that came to me probably have saved my life.

Semi colon, man could have ended the sentence but continued on ninode, Rick Han, Alvaro Arano | Canva

I was in a dire moment. I wondered what my last thought would be.

Of course, I hadn't planned on contemplating the end of my life, I was just in the neighborhood, so to speak. Still, the obsession with my last thought in life persisted.

The answer that came to me probably saved my life.

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Here's what flashed before my eyes moments away from suicide:

1. Memories leading to the edge.

Some years ago, my wife and unborn son were killed in a car accident, and I was driving the car.

On top of that, my first (almost) million-dollar business failed when I ran it into the ground, I'd ruined relationship after relationship with dear friends whom I had known for years, and most recently, I'd just had a breakup with an awesome woman I thought I was going to marry.

Needless to say, I felt completely broken.

That's how I got to wondering what my final thought would be. Unfortunate circumstances stacked upon even more unfortunate circumstances until my mind started to add up the sums and show the result of my life as a huge negative balance.


Here's where a common misconception about suicidal ideation is a factor. It is not directly linked to depression or other psychological conditions. Positive treatment results have shown suicide needs to be directly treated, and not treated as an effect of mental illness.

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2. The people I love

By this point, the "just be positive" mantra had shown itself threadbare and there wasn't anything left to hold on to.

It's funny and embarrassing to admit what goes through your mind when you're thinking such morbid thoughts, but I did think "I have a little brother. And I love him very much." Strangely, I also thought about a woman I met after the breakup who was especially kind to me. Her brother had killed himself years ago, and every year she has a crawfish boil in his honor.


What kept my feet on the ground was the answer to the question "I wonder what my final thought would be."

That's part of the delusion of suicidal thoughts; they always seem so heroic in the first person.

The thought I imagined going through my mind was,

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3. "I wish you wouldn't have done that."

That sentence stopped me in my tracks for two reasons.

First, who was the person wishing I wouldn't have done that? God? Elizabeth Gilbert, eat-pray-loving her way through Bali? Wouldn't that be an awesome story? God saved my life by speaking to me through Elizabeth Gilbert in Bali. I still can't say for sure who it was saying "I wish you wouldn't have done that." in my mind.


It's like when someone puts you on their shoulders in a crowd so you can see better. This voice seemed to have perspective. It could see more than I could.

It wasn't like, "I wish you wouldn't have done that because I'm about to give you a brand new Rolls Royce." The voice sounded more like it had better insight into the way life actually works than my own thoughts did at the moment. More like, "If you only knew what's in store, you'd be really disappointed you missed out on it."

And I believed those words. And I am still here today.

Time after time, we hear stories like this of people at the end of their tolerance. Then suddenly, they get a sense they're meant for something more ... and so they keep going.


I don't, for a minute, fashion myself knowledgeable about your life, or what you are experiencing, but, if you're feeling so depressed suicide feels like an option, let me reiterate this point for you: You never know what surprise could be waiting for you around the corner.

It's unlikely you're in as terrible a spot as I was, but, if you are, take heart.

Life really is full of wonderful surprises. You can't always see them from where you're standing right now. There's no shame in asking for help either.

Of course, you'll still face your own frustrations, disappointments, heartaches, and even tragedies. But when you do, allow these words to echo in your ear and keep your own feet on the ground:


You never know what good might be waiting for you just around the corner.

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If you or somebody that you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there is a way to get help. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text "HELLO" to 741741 to be connected with the Crisis Text Line.

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Michael Griswold is a relationship and life coach who uses his expertise to help men and women heal broken hearts and find love again.