What is it that keeps someone from giving up hope even when they are struggling with overwhelming problems? Over the years, our counselors have heard a variety of reasons that inspire teens to not give up on life. Some reasons help people to stay safe for now, and some reasons involve a lifelong goal.
No matter what your reason, what's important is that it keeps you from giving up. Reasons for living can motivate you to find a way out of the storms that you will face in your life.
Take time to think about the goals, dreams, plans, or people that provide reasons for living when you are going through a challenging time.
Start your own list; save it in your phone, or post it in your room. Each reason, no matter how big or small, matters and is important. Your reasons may change over time, and hopefully that list will grow as you learn to focus forward. When hope feels like it can't be found, look at your list. Use it to motivate yourself toward creating a plan for your safety and for finding a way out of the storm of suicidal thoughts.
If you are struggling to think of reasons of your own, look at the list of reasons below that teens who were facing difficulties have shared with us here at the Boys Town National Hotline:
1. My family needs me.
2. I really don't want my life to be over; I just want things to be better.
3. This is a really stressful week, but next week might be better.
4. I don't want to let down my siblings; they look up to me.
5. My grandma wouldn't understand why I ended my life.
6. My team would be so upset, I can't let them down.
7. I am the one who my friends lean on for support.
8. I want to graduate from high school.
9. My sister is going to have a baby in a month.
10. I don't want to cause more stress for my family.
11. Tomorrow I have art class, and they are serving my favorite lunch at school.
12. I will not let my feelings get the best of me; I want to rise above this.
13. My dog is looking at me like he would be sad if I left him.
14. I come from a long line of strong determined people; I am not going to be the weak one.
15. I want a chance to experience college life.
16. I can work through this with help.
17. My friends would be devastated.
18. I have always wanted to be a nurse. If I end my life, I won't get to be one.
19. I made plans with my friends; I can't let them down.
20. I don't want my mom to cry.
21. I want to travel and see new places.
22. I made a promise to my therapist that I would keep myself safe.
23. I made it through so many difficult things already; I want to prove to myself that I can make it through this too.
24. My dad promised I could get a tattoo when I turned 18.
25. This is not what God wants for me.
26. What if hurting myself doesn't end my life but just leaves me to deal with serious medical problems?
27. I don't want my mom to blame herself.
28. I would not honor my grandpa's memory if I killed myself.
29. I can get through this; I just need someone to show me how.
30. I want to get married someday.
31. I don't want people to remember me as the person who ended their life.
32. My cats need me.
33. My co-workers depend on me. Who will do my job if I'm not there?
34. My faith is keeping me from ending my life.
35. I could not do that to my parents. I saw how hard it was on them when my brother ended his life.
36. I want to make a better ending for myself than this.
37. My dog would have no one to take care of him and love him.
38. My best friend would be lost without me.
39. I still have books to read.
40. I want to be known as someone who keeps their word; I promised I would not hurt myself.
41. If I ended my life, I would be missing from all my family's photos in the future.
42. I want to go to prom next year.
43. I know it will get better; it's just hard right now.
44. I don't want to miss the chance to be able to move out to my own place.
45. I want to help others who are going through something like this.
46. I want to have kids someday.
47. My cousin is getting married and I am in the wedding.
48. I want to write songs about my life.
49. The weekend is almost here.
50. I have been in a dark place before and was able to get out.