If you are Googling “I want to kill myself” or “should I kill myself” or “reasons not to kill myself” right now

I wrote this specifically for you.

Let me tell you a story about why your life matters so much.

Why it matters to me and to millions of others who you may not realize hold so much love in their hearts for you.

The story goes like this: When we are feeling at our most hopeless, we remember that out there is a stranger who is struggling just like we are, and that all of the pain and rejection and heartbreak and disconnection that we feel are nothing more than illusions.

Because we know that you know what we are going through, and with you among us, we are never alone, and isolation is not real. Because you get it. You get it in a way that so many people never will.

You see, most people aren’t brave enough to let anyone see the person behind the mask, but you are.

When you express your pain, you are offering up to the world an unbelievable act of grace.

This is one of the most beautiful gifts we can give each other as human beings: The capacity to feel compassion for one another even when the world is tumbling down around us.

You know better than anyone that the way out of darkness is through courageously speaking out that you cannot see. It is the very definition of strength, in fact: Vulnerability.

It’s also one of the hardest things to do, but reaching out to ask for help is nothing less than a radical act of grace. One that we can give each another any time, but it is so easy to forget.

All it takes is one small flicker of light to remember how to see in the darkness, and you offer that light to us all.

When you let others in to give love, it becomes a contagious act of healing.

Your very existence becomes a vessel of grace.

Because if you are willing to keep going and keep trying in spite of all the pain that you feel right now, to tell your story to other people, you are helping to create a kind of love that collectively lifts humanity and connects us all.

Because if you can ask for help, we can all ask for help.

I hope you will hold me accountable on this. Test my theory.

You can do that by calling some of my friends at Lifeline at (800) 273–8255, and tell the person who answers your story of exactly what you are going through. Tell them how you got to where you are right at this moment.

Don’t stop there, though. Reach out to several different people in your life, and extend to them the gift of letting them help you. Some people might surprise you. Some might even tell you how grateful they are for the gift you have given them by sharing your humanity.

If they don’t, then please let me do it right now: Thank you for sharing your humanity. We need so much more of this in the world.

I know you don’t owe me anything, but think of it this way: You are saving my life when you do these things, when you are fearless enough to tell other people exactly what you are going through.

Isn’t it incredible how human beings who have never met one another can be so connected like that?

Because we need you here — I know that I need you here — now more than ever. We need you to keep fighting. We need you here so we can give you all the love that we have to give. We can’t do this alone.

Please do not give up on us.

You are giving us more than hope than you’ll ever know.