I Didn’t Save Your Life, You Did
I get quite a few messages from people who say I have saved their lives. (Of course, I get messages from people saying I’m killing people, too, but let’s not discuss those.) People say that if it weren’t for me, they would be dead. People say that, because of my work, I saved their lives. And, of course, in a few cases I’ve taken a somewhat more active role than that.
But today I want to tell everyone something: I didn’t save those lives, you did.
If you’ve written me and told me that I’ve saved your life I want to know that I hear you. I love that you have written to tell me that. I will cherish those words for years to come. When it seems like all I run up against online are people who hate me, your words give me strength.
But here’s the thing: you saved your own life. I didn’t do it. Even if I called 9-1-1 and ensured you got mental health help, I still didn’t save your life. Not really. I didn’t run into a burning building and drag you out. I didn’t do that. All I did was help. A little. Okay, maybe more than a little, sometimes. But the point is this: only you could admit yourself to the hospital. Only you could put down that knife. Only you could walk into that doctor’s office. Only you could call that helpline. Only you could stick with that treatment. I didn’t do those things. You did.
Why It Matters that I Didn’t Save Your Life
And I’m telling you this for a reason. It’s not because I’m exceedingly humble (alas, I’m not), it’s because I want you to take the power you have rightfully earned and own it. I want you not to give your power to me. I want you to recognize it, celebrate it and realize that it has the capability of changing your world. No one in your world changed things as radically as you did on the day you decided to live – how amazing is that?
And one other thing, I think it’s important to remember that we choose life every, single day. Every day that you keep breathing, every day that you keep fighting, every day that you see the sun set, you’re saving your own life and making the biggest difference a person ever can.
So, honestly, truthfully, from the bottom of my heart, I am honored and gratified when I can help a person make a positive change in his or her life or treatment; but remember, I don’t have the magic wand to save your life – you do.