When I first began sharing my experiences around depression and suicide, I thought my memoir, Surviving Myself, would be the best book I could write in service to others. Over the years I began to realize what I've learned, the tools that help me the most are much more important than any dark details about my life. So far I released books on affirmations and breathwork.
Today, I am excited to announce that my latest and most personal book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. Still Here: How to Succeed in Life After Failing At Suicide includes the hard-learned lessons, practices, and techniques that helped me change from being someone who dreads life to someone who truly loves life.
Each year more people die by suicide than by war and homicide combined. If you’ve lost someone to suicide, have thought about it yourself, or have made an attempt, this book can help you. If you have friends or loved ones dealing with depression and suicidal thinking, this book can help you. Still Here is full of tools and exercises to assist anyone in creating more happiness in their life.
Still Here: How to Succeed in Life After Failing At Suicide is being officially released on Wednesday February 18, 2015. If you pre-order the book, it will be automatically downloaded to your Kindle on that date. I’m looking to get some early readers, reviews and feedback before I release the physical version of the book in a few weeks.
I know this material works, because I am still here. You can be in control of your thoughts and emotions instead of at their mercy. This is not a memoir. It is not about anyone’s past, it is about your future.
To celebrate, I’m having a contest
Two lucky purchasers of Still Here will win a one hour Akashic Records Reading from me. That is a $150 value!
1. Buy a copy of the ebook Still Here (pre-order until February 18) by Sunday February 22, 2015 (I can’t make leaving a review part of the contest, but any honest reviews are certainly appreciated!)
Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Italy and Japan
2. Forward a copy of your receipt from Amazon to StillHereBook@gmail.com
3. On Monday February 23, 2015 I will randomly select two people from the emails I’ve received to win the Akashic Records readings. I’ll contact the winners via email.
Still Here is for anyone who wants to create more happiness in their life.
Still Here Table of Contents
Chapter One: Suicide
Chapter Two: For Crying Out Loud
Chapter Three: Six Keys to Loving Your Life
Chapter Four: Choice
Chapter Five: Awareness
Chapter Six: Feel Fully
Chapter Seven: Get Physical
Chapter Eight: Creativity
Chapter Nine: Explore Alternatives
Chapter Ten: Trying
Chapter Eleven: Living This Way
Chapter Twelve: Not Living This Way
About The Author
Suicide attempt survivor Andy Grant shares a powerful affirmation for those struggling with suicidal thoughts.
I live in the totality of possibilities. There is always another way. I am safe.
Be good to yourself,
First off, in case you don't know; I am a suicide attempt survivor. Actually, I'm a survivor of multiple suicide attempts. I've been in and out of more mental hospitals than I'd ever want to admit to. I used to try to answer questions about why, and how did it feel. Others would struggle to comprehend my answers. Many times I would be angered when I heard people call suicide a cowardly or selfish decision. Now, I'm glad when others don't understand. Because it means they've never felt as emotionally low as I have. There is no need to convince them of anything. I simply ask them to appreciate that suicide makes no sense to them. I let them know I'm envious that they can't grasp these dark sensations.
If you've never felt so bad that you seriously contemplated ending your life or took actions to do so, you won't know how it feels. There aren’t enough words, interviews, or media sound bites to get that horrid feeling across to someone who hasn’t experienced it themselves.
Good. I want to live in a world where fewer people know those dark feelings and impulses. But we can all allow others to feel however they do without falling to name calling, labeling and blaming. Offer some compassion to those struggling with issues that you are not familiar with.
Suicide and depression isn't a character defect or something someone just decides to turn off/on when they feel like it.
It is senseless, not selfish.
It is hopeless, not cowardly.
Sometimes, it just is.
When I was suicidal I thought friends and family would be better off without me. Sure, I knew there would be some initial pain, shock and grief, but I believed that over time everyone would be in a better place without gloomy old depressed me around. It did not feel selfish. I had a distorted perception that I was helping others by vanishing.
If you can't fathom, feel, or even empathize with depression, anxiety or any mental illness - it's OK. Be glad. Celebrate that.
But please don't argue with or put down people doing their best to live with it, or those that can't manage to live with it.
What is the point of arguing over something you know nothing about?
When I was 18 years old, I was certain that anyone who said they were happy was lying. I believed that anyone who took an honest look at the world and at their lives would see that life sucked. Often times I tried to convince people that suicide was the only logical thing to do. I was wrong. I am thrilled to have been so wrong.
Nobody’s beliefs change by being badgered and argued with. Our perceptions change over time, based on our experiences, based on what works and doesn’t work for us. We can all choose new beliefs, but arguing with someone over their beliefs or yours is a fool’s game.
What is more important to you, to be right or to be happy?
You can disagree with me. You can mock this post.
I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m right, I’d rather be happy.
To all my fellow attempt survivors, to everyone ever labeled with a mental illness, I invite you to not try to explain the unexplainable. Do not attempt to convince, justify, or defend actions rooted in pain and hopelessness. That merely drains your time and energy. Instead, be glad that someone else doesn’t know your pain. I understand that this isn’t easy, but give it a try.
If you hear someone call Robin Williams a coward, or if you read an article or post saying that anyone who has killed themselves or tried is selfish, don’t try and prove your views are right or change theirs. I encourage you to say to yourself; “They’ve never been there, they don’t get it. Good for them.” And move on.
Be good to yourself.
With love and respect,
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
As a suicide attempt survivor, I share my feelings about the passing of Robin Williams. Otherwise known as "Over Sharing With Andy."
It is horribly ironic that one of Robin's most amazing films, and not a comedy at all, is "What Dreams May Come" which has a plot centered on the suicide of a spouse and a journey into the afterlife. It is quite a beautiful and striking film.
If you are struggling with depression, don't hesitate to reach out for help.
No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
Today I learned that an old friend had been identified as the body found in a pond in Deerfield, Illinois yesterday. We had last talked in February. He contacted me because he was very depressed and had been experiencing suicidal thoughts. We talked for a long time. He was unemployed and about to lose his home. We talked about the reality of his situation as well as the self-defeating assumptions he was making about it.
We had met in 2001 when he became my manager at work. We quickly became friends outside of work too. He even had roles in a two short films I made. A couple of years later, he looked out for me at a time when I was extremely depressed. I was often bawling in my office cubicle. He would get me out of the office, take walks with me, make plans to get together on weekends, visit me at home... he was a great and caring friend and certainly one of the coolest bosses anyone could ever hope to have.
For the last month, I kept having the urge to reach out to him. I wanted to see how he was doing, but I kept putting it off. I'm disappointed in him. I'm also disappointed in me. I ignored my intuition. That is why I'm disappointed in me. I didn't want him to feel like I was checking up on him and decided to let him reach out to me if he wanted to talk about anything. He didn't. He knew that he could, but he didn't. That is why I'm disappointed in him.
For anyone like me that walks a path that has them meeting depressed and suicidal people, you know you can't "save" everyone. I knew when I decided to be open about my experiences with depression and suicide attempts that I'd meet people who would never embrace life. But I never thought it would be someone who had helped me so much when I was so low. I feel that I have failed horribly in returning that favor.
Don't wait. Don't delay. Don't take ANYONE in your life for granted. When somebody crosses your mind, get in touch with them. Better to find it was nothing than to learn you ignored some silent cry for help.
God bless you, Brian.
Love and Light,
-- Andy Grant, January 5, 2014
On this January morning I was looking out my home office window and had one of those amazing little moments. One of those moments of insight and introspection that may mean nothing to anyone else, but which brought tears to my eyes.
I looked out my window seeing the grey, gloomy sky, then gazing higher above, almost straight up, I saw clear blue sky. Such a gorgeous expanse of limitless blue with white puffy clouds zooming by. The clouds were moving so fast it looked like a time lapse film that compressed the cloud movements of an entire day down to seconds. I looked back at the horizon - the grey clouds sitting there motionless.
In the peripheral vision of my right eye, I could see dark, ominous trees. I turned to them to see a field of leafless, dark shapes with translucent rays of light poking though, giving the branches ominous highlights. It was rather eerie and menacing, a bit of a traditional Halloween scene.
I realized all of this was happening at the same time. All of these scenes, these views, were real; and my mood, my emotions, my outlook, changed depending on which one I focused. The overall scope was too grand for me to see all three aspects at the same time. I had to choose what I wanted to see; what I wanted to focus on. I got to choose what I wanted to experience.
The sky is always blue. It is the clouds that are sometimes grey. The sun is always shining, we just don't always see it.
Life is always good, we just aren't always aware of it. Sometimes we are deceived by the filters, the clouds, the temporarily leafless, scary trees. It is all good.
--Andy Grant, November 1, 2013
I recently discovered a very cool website, TalkingAboutSuicide.com, working to remove the stigma of suicide attempts by allowing people to openly share their stories. The site was created by Cara Anna, a journalist and suicide attempt survivor, and has dozens of frank, open discussions about depression, suicidal thinking, attempts and what comes after.
You can read my full interview here.