"We Will Both Survive" – The Giving Keys

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December 17, 2015

"We Will Both Survive"

I bought a key engraved with "Survivor" on the first anniversary of my second suicide attempt. 10/12/12 was the first time I came clean to my mother about my depression, self harm, and suicidality. I was fourteen. A year later i went and bought the key. I wore it faithfully for a year and then managed to lose when I was 16. I was extremely sad - but at the same time I took it as a sign because I could feel myself slipping into my old ways again and I didn't want to be a survivor anymore. While wearing the key I had struggled through one of the hardest years of my life. I'd lost the key shortly before starting my 11th year in school.

During the school year I had two suicide attempts in December (2014) which landed me in the hospital for five days. I managed to stay slightly 'okay' until May (2015), when I had a VERY serious attempt which landed me in the hospital again, for eight days. When I got out of the hospital, someone came up to me and handed me my key, that they'd found. I was still extremely low however, so I put it away and refused to wear it. In June, I had another suicide attempt, which landed me in the ICU in the hospital, and then in a psych ward for 52 days. I struggled to get better in the hospital during that time and had two in-hospital suicide attempts.

At the end I was feeling much better than when I had gone in and was willing to live again. It was around then that I remembered I had my key with me. I felt like a survivor, and decided it was time to give it away. There was a girl a couple years younger than me in the ward with me, who didn't speak, except for a few words to me when I introduced myself. She later wrote me a note saying thank you. She wrote that I was the first person to say hello to her since she'd been in the ward. I wrote her a note back, told her that she was strong and that we would both survive. I taped the key to my note and slipped it under her door a few days before I left the ward. After that she seemed a little brighter.

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Through the purchase of your Pay It Forward products, The Giving Keys has generated hours of work for people transitioning out of homelessness.