In just under a week's time it is World Suicide Prevention Day, and To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) has started a campaign called #IKeptLiving - for people to share inspiring stories about why they are still alive today.
More than 800,000 people die by suicide around the world every year. That is 800,000 people that leave a family behind. 800,000 people who stopped seeing the point in living. 800,000 people that didn't receive the help that they needed with their mental health.
I have suffered with depression since the age of 15, and I have talked before about my suicidal thoughts (you can read more in this post). At one point it became difficult to see past each day - I just didn't see the point in living any longer, and couldn't see a future for myself. Because of this, I ended up in hospital 2 years ago.
Thankfully, I now can't remember the last time I had a suicidal thought. I look back and feel so sorry for myself for having to go through that, and can't believe that I was in so much pain that I couldn't see any other way out. I am at an all-time high with my mental health at the moment, and feel so lucky that I have come through the other side.
So I thought I would do a list of reasons why #IKeptLiving:
1) My family and friends were worth living for. Unconditional love is worth staying alive for. I have people that need me.
2) I can help people through my job as a doctor, and give back to those who have helped me throughout the years.
3) To help break down the stigma around mental health using my blog. I may only have a small corner of the internet, but I'm shouting as loud as I can about it.
4) I wanted to help others that were feeling as bad as I was. I am a living, breathing example that it's possible to get through the darkest of times.
5) To run with my dogs in the fields.
6) To feel the sun on my face again, and the warm blast of air as I step off a plane.
7) To laugh until my tummy hurt again.
8) To feel my mum's arms around me. Hugs are an incredible mood elevator, and my mum is the best hugger.
9) To welcome new, amazing people into my life that would become firm friends and huge supporters of mine.
10) To visit beautiful places that I never thought I'd get to see. Fiji, I'm looking at you.
11) To dance around and sing badly with my sisters.
12) To smile again. Smiling was one of the hardest things in the world at one point in my life.
13) I refused to let my depression defeat me. Deep down, I knew that there had to be more out there.
14) To be able to snuggle in my warm bed on a Sunday morning, knowing that I don't particularly have to get up for anything.
15) To see another Christmas, my favourite time of year, surrounded with friends and family.
16) To have a great adventure.
17) To find another way out of the pain that wasn't permanent. I couldn't bear the thought of not ever seeing my family again.
18) I needed to show myself that I could be strong, and get through anything that the world threw at me.
19) I wasn't ready for my story to be over.
I wrote a post called '50 reasons to live' a couple of years ago - if you want to read it you can find it here.
Your story isn't over. The air in your lungs is there for a reason. Let's keep going. Let's keep living.