Andy used to live a life of hiding his true feelings; this only spiralled him further into depression and unable to experience real joy in his life.
Now a self- confessed ‘lover-of-life’, Andy uses his life experience to inspire others, including founding; Real Men Feel, a movement encouraging men to accept and express all of their emotions. Andy knows from experience that the strongest thing we can do is admit when we need help; this was the turning point in his inspiring personal story…..
Life sucks, then you die.
That was my worldview for a long time. When I was 17, I had a pin in my car with that saying on it, in case I needed a reminder.
I didn’t need a reminder. I was sure that the world wasn’t a safe place. I was confident that I was broken beyond any hope of repair, and that life sucked no matter what I did from a very young age.
My parents were full-time college students when they had me. They got married and tried their best, but they divorced when I was five-years-old. We moved around often in those early years. I was an only child, heavy and shy. Around the same time my dad left our home, a neighbor began molesting me. I knew it was wrong but was afraid if I told anyone, I’d be kicked out of my home too. I stayed quiet and grew even quieter in life.
On the first day of school for the 3rd grade I was sitting on the bus next to one of my few close friends, and I started crying. I had no idea why. I couldn’t explain it, I felt sad and scared, even though this was the same school I’d been at for the last two years. This was the moment I recall deciding that I was different. I was broken. I felt things other people didn’t, and it was wrong.
For years I hid my depression and suicidal thoughts. I knew I wouldn’t live long. Other people would talk about what they wanted to be when they grew up, I had no interest in growing. My dad often said, high school is the best years of your life, so I decided it would be foolish to bother living beyond them.
Sometimes I couldn’t even wait that long. My first attempt to end my life came when I was 13, and 15, 16, 17, 18…. you get the picture.
It took me multiple “failed” suicide attempts before I allowed myself to ponder that maybe, just maybe, there is a better way. I obviously wasn’t good at ending my life so there must be a better way to navigate my life. Things began to change when I allowed for the possibility that just maybe I was supposed to be here.
I was 23 the last time I was in a mental hospital. It was the first time I put myself into a hospital and I did so before making any suicide attempt. I felt like such a grown-up. I’d finally realized I could ask for and receive help without resorting to self-harm. I didn’t need to try and end my life as my only means to change it.
Each decade of my life has been better than the prior one. Suicidal thoughts still showed up, and perhaps always will when I’m under emotional stress, but attempts ended and actions and plans have been rarer each decade too.
Today, I love life and even more surprising is that I know life loves me. In my thirties, I embraced personal growth and creating a positive mindset. Some people I meet think I’m so happy, they don’t believe it when I tell them about my suicidal background. I began sharing my story so people could know that depression and suicidal thoughts don’t have to last your entire life. Everything can be healed, but only once we are willing to be healed. We need to be open to asking for and receiving help and support.
Life doesn’t suck. I find that life gets better and better. When I was a kid, the only place I heard anyone talk about suicide was in a mental hospital. I’m out to change that.
The reason I’m here is to enjoy life and to remind people they can enjoy it too. Life can be heaven or hell, the power is in our choices. Choose wisely, my friend.
Does Andy’s story resonate with your own experience?
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Andy Grant is a best-selling author, award-winning speaker, Transformational Energy Coach, Akashic Records Reader, and Life Activation Practitioner.
He is also the founder of Real Men Feel, a movement encouraging men to accept and express all of their emotions. Andy has been producing and hosting the Real Men Feel podcast since February 2016.
As a survivor of multiple suicide attempts, Andy knows how low we as human beings can feel, and he is committed to helping people realize how magnificent life is meant to be. His Amazon best-seller, Still Here: How to Succeed in Life After Failing at Suicide, is a book that has helped people around the globe, and includes everything he wished he knew at a younger age. Andy is also a lead editor and contributor at the Good Men Project; GoodMenProject.com.
Learn more at TheAndyGrant.com.
Connect with Andy on Facebook: facebook.com/AndyGrantLoveYourLife/