The Power of Words

Sam Grittner
Nov 22, 2017 · 2 min read

I am crying right now, sobbing uncontrollably actually, because it happened again. I got an email that I will share parts of (I have the person’s permission) telling me that my words helped stop them from killing themselves today. Here is the email with a few private parts redacted

“It’s been two years since you wrote that gripping piece on Medium, and fortunately I read it today. I thought today was going to be the very last day of my life. I took the detachable strap from my purse and tried to hang myself with it. For a moment, I relaxed into the choking hold and let myself drift — I came so fucking close to that blackness beyond. But then the phone rang..

I don’t know what I’m expecting, writing this email. Maybe it’s more for me than anyone else. But I don’t know what else to do. I’m a young, successful-ish woman with my bachelor’s degree, hoping to go to law school. Relatively speaking, my life is together, and yet. And yet.

I have also wrestled the urge to take my own life for the past 10+ years. I feel like I’m walking this tightrope and jumping off might be the only truly stress-relieving thing I ever do.

I know it’s incredibly unfair to make you the dumping ground for this. Hell, I’m not even paying you like I would a therapist. But your article resonated with me in a way I’m not sure anything I have ever read has. Thank you for your honesty and revealing something so personal about yourself, because yeah, in a way, it really fucking helped.”

I’m 22 days sober today and I can’t explain to anyone how proud I am of that fact, because every day is a struggle, but even after reading this email, I feel like a failure. I’m trying so hard to find a job and I can’t. If my writing is so good, why do I have to do temp jobs to make just enoough to pay the bills I have. I know this feeling will pass. I feel like I’m being very selfish right now. It’s just very hard to process.

I’m posting this to say thank you to everyone who shared my essays. You helped me help someone in the most powerful way that one can.

Now I’m going to go eat pizza and finally watch the “Nathan For You” finale. I’m going to be all right for today and that’s all I can ever ask for.

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