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Don't Give Up: Suicide is not the answer

*TRIGGER WARNING: This blog talks about suicide, self harm, cutting behaviors, and mental health and illness.*


When I was in elementary school, I was a really happy kid. I loved Matchbox Cars and Legos and I spent a large portion of my time outside with my neighbors playing and adventuring around. Middle school became tougher for me. I started to feel like I didn’t fit in. I was bullied for not being popular and I started really thinking about what was wrong with me. When high school started, I started becoming very insecure, depressed, and socially anxious. When I was in high school, I had really bad acne, was a bit overweight, wasn’t physically active, and didn’t take care of myself much. This led me into a brutal junior and senior year of school. I became very depressed, to the point where I started skipping school, missing classes, and failing subjects I once excelled at. I became obsessed with negative feelings and hating myself. Whenever I received a compliment, I would say to myself “they are just saying that, they don’t mean it”. The bullying got worse throughout my junior year of high school as I started putting zero effort into taking care of myself and became very distant from most people. My senior year was the worst for me. I became so depressed and anxious that I could hardly leave my room. I hated myself. I didn’t want to be alive anymore and I kept telling myself how no one cared about me. Who would care if I wasn’t here? I felt that no one would.


During my senior year, I began hating myself so much that I started acting weird with my friends and family. I pushed people away because I didn’t feel like they needed someone like me in their lives. I became pretty toxic to be around as all I wanted was to get rid of the people around me because I hated myself so much that I thought they deserved better. It got so bad that I began cutting my skin. I felt I deserved the pain. I cut for several months before I decided I was going to end my life. I started getting very depressed to the point where I stopped eating and didn’t care about anything. For around two months I thought about how I could take my life, that no one would care or miss me, and that it would be best for myself and everyone around me if I died. Because I pushed my friends away, days would go by where I wouldn’t talk to anyone. I began wondering why I was even here, what purpose do I have? I felt I didn’t have one so I decided that it was over. I was over. I was just going to kill myself and that would be it.


I remember around April during my senior year, it was the weekend. I had been so depressed and didn’t get out of bed for anything. I knew that on Monday I would be alone as my parents were in the process of getting divorced and were very occupied with that and I knew I would be alone that day as both of them wouldn’t be home. So that Sunday night I decided that it would be my last. I wrote a bunch of texts to send to people when I was gone. I decided I was going to cut and take pills until I couldn’t feel anything anymore. I started cutting myself, badly, and was so drained and tired that I ended up falling asleep at 4am before I could take any pills. At 6am, I woke up to yelling coming from outside my front door. “Police, Police”, I heard. My mom was still home so she ran downstairs and opened the door. A few police officers were there. I quickly jumped off the floor I fell asleep on and bandaged my cuts up before my mom yelled for me to come downstairs. Apparently, a few people that I didn’t think cared about me, that I tried pushing away, told their parents that they were really worried about me and were scared I was going to hurt myself. They called and emailed my school counselor who read the email very early that morning and alerted the school principal, and they eventually decided to call the police.


This saved my life. If they didn’t reach out to help me and if the police didn’t come early that morning, I might not be here anymore. What if I wasn’t tired that night? What if I actually didn’t fall asleep and went through with it? I had every intention of finishing it, but ended up falling asleep because of how emotionally drained I was. That probably saved my life. I may not be here if all of that didn’t happen. The police took me to a mental health hospital where I was there for a few weeks. I struggled for the few weeks I was there, a lot. I ended up making some friends there though, a few of which I'm still close to today. While I was there, I did therapy, and my programs, and finished the few weeks I had there. When I got home, things didn’t change much. I still cut, still hated myself, and still felt unwanted. I did keep going to therapy which did end up helping me somewhat. I lived on a busy street so everyone saw the police cars outside and saw me go with them so everyone knew something was wrong. I was embarrassed at first, but I learned that there is nothing to be embarrassed about.


After my senior year, things were still not great. I struggled everyday to stay alive. I battled these feelings until 2018, about two years later. It sounds crazy but one day I woke up and something came into my brain. I wanted to help others. What if I could prevent someone from going through what I did? What if I could stop someone from harming themselves? I decided I would form a page on Facebook where I could post quotes and motivational things for people to see and share and hopefully impact someone's day in a positive way. The page didn’t go anywhere for a few months. I was about to give up. Then one night I shared a simple post of a quote I had made. The post ended up going viral and was shared 79.2 million times. I gained 1.4 million followers overnight. Over one simple post. People began looking at my work and posts and reading about me and my following kept getting bigger. I finally had a voice. I was making a difference. From 2018 until now, I have gained over 5 million followers on that page and have hundreds of millions of shares. People started commenting and messaging me that I was helping them and was making them feel better about themselves. This felt amazing. For once, I felt I mattered. I wanted to do more though. In 2018, toward the very end, I decided to start a nonprofit. I wanted to combat bullying and help prevent it online and in schools. I started the National Youth Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Task Force, a national nonprofit organization that helped teens with bullying. The name was horrible though. Way too long and not memorable. I didn’t realize that until 2021. In 2021, I was starting to feel depressed again because the nonprofit was doing very well, but marketing it was horrible because of its name. I knew it wouldn’t get much bigger. That on top of a couple toxic relationships and friendships, I started feeling not like myself again. I knew I needed to stop myself before falling back into that hole again. Early that year, I thought about changing the name of the nonprofit when suddenly I remembered something a custodian said to me at the mental health facility I was in. She said, “You only live one life, it’s never too late to get better.” I will NEVER forget what she said to me. She was special. She would pull me aside to make sure I was doing okay when I was there. By September 2021, I changed the nonprofit name to the One Life Project. The name suits us perfectly and always makes me remember where I was, that people did care about me, and that it’s okay to fail.



Now by 2023, the One Life Project has saved numerous lives, we have built a great social media platform, have grown to over 2,600 volunteers across the world, and have built something I will be forever grateful for. Every month, my social media content reaches over 5 million people. That is still crazy to me! The fact that people in various countries like Italy, France, Norway, and Canada have found out what we are doing and want to help is INSANE!


Almost everyday, I think back to that dreary late Sunday night in April. I wonder how life would have been for everyone if I was successful in taking my life. All of the people my nonprofit has helped may not have gotten that help. I remind myself everyday that I have made a difference in the world and my team and I continue to do so. The opportunities that have come to me including being on MTV, Investigation Discovery, and ABC News have been incredibly emotional, but amazing. To be able to help others every single day is my dream. The fact I am able to live my dream after almost taking my life is crazy to me. I never would have thought that this would be possible for me.



If you learned nothing from my story, take away this. Things do get better. I thought that was not true and that my life was over and I had no purpose here. It took a lot of years, but I found my purpose. You will too. Healing takes time. Working on yourself takes time. I have had failed relationships, failed friendships, and lost connections with people. I have made mistakes. I have been toxic to other people. And I have failed at business, work, and with my nonprofit hundreds of times. It’s part of being human. It’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to have flaws. You are you, because there is only one you in the world. No one can ever replace you. I know it’s hard to hear, as I felt the same way for many years, but it will be okay. Keep holding on and take one step of the staircase at a time. There is no rush to get to the top. Your mental health and your past do not define you. Only you can change and create your future.You are beautiful, strong, brave, and fearless, all in your own ways. Never let anyone take that away from you as I did. You got this. Work to inspire others and always remain kind. Never give up on yourself.


Thank you to every single person who has believed in me. You mean more to me than I could ever express. I am grateful to have been able to turn my life around to help others. There is nothing I love more than that. To anyone who wants to make a difference, volunteer with us. A few hours can make all the difference. Always remember, be true, be you, and be kind.


With love and gratefulness,


Sincerely, Alexander J. Kovarovic (ak@projectonelife.org)

Executive Director / One Life Project Inc and Our Colors United

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5 kommentarer


Gäst
08 dec. 2023

Wow, this was crazy, superb job to whoever wrote this!

Gilla

You’ve grown so much Alex and i’m so happy for you! You are going to do such good things in the future and I’m happy to be here for it. :)

Gilla

Aimee Eddy
Aimee Eddy
26 apr. 2023

Alex,

Your post is very powerful. You gave me a deeper look into your struggles. It's very uplifting to see how you rose above your illness to help others. It's very encouraging. Great job!!

Aimee Eddy

Gilla

Awe Alex, this was so good!! I’m incredibly proud of you and am lucky to get to be a volunteer with you. 💕

Gilla

I’m so proud of you Alex! It’s been a crazy fun journey so far and I’m excited to see where we go next! Love you lots! 💜

Gilla
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