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Chris Benedetto

is a suicide attempt survivor.
this is his story

Chris Benedetto

is a suicide attempt survivor.

"I survived a suicide attempt."

I met Chris Benedetto in a lively park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on September 5, 2012—such an interesting juxtaposition for the story he told me that day. Here is a man who has fought addiction and homelessness, who strives every single day. Below, he talks about external validation and tests of faith.

There were times when I just felt like such a misfit.

Chris Benedetto is a suicide attempt survivor.I remember—I’ve been in and out of therapy for a few decades now—there’d be times in group therapy when people would be looking at me like I had a head sprouting out of my shoulder and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, I don’t even fit in with these people?’ You know, so there was, I guess, just this resounding kind of alienation. So, those were, I guess, triggers.

I think a lot of it too was, for years, I always sought validation outside of myself and I let too much of my happiness be contingent on the external. And when I gradually learned to get past that, I think that’s one of the things that messed me up, like, ‘Wow, you know, I’m not drinking, I’m not drugging, I’m not pissing my rent money away. Why is this happening? I’ve been on time every month with my rent. I’ve tried harder with this girl than I have with anyone ever in my life…’

I guess everyone kinda has to take their turn at it, and I guess it was my turn this year. The last big pot hole I hit was probably when my brother died two years ago, so I guess

I was kinda overdue for something big. I think too, you know, we get tested on our faith, or if you’ve decided to quit drinking or drugging or gambling, you’ll get those tests. So I think this was probably a mid-term or an SAT.

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About Live Through This
Live Through This is a series of portraits and true stories of suicide attempt survivors. Its mission is to change public attitudes about suicide for the better; to reduce prejudice and discrimination against attempt survivors; to provide comfort to those experiencing suicidality by letting them know that they’re not alone and tomorrow is possible; to give insight to those who have trouble understanding suicidality, and catharsis to those who have lost a loved one; and to be used as a teaching tool for clinicians in training, or anyone else who might benefit from a deeper understanding of first-person experiences with suicide.
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Tax-deductible donations are made possible by Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, which sponsors Live Through This. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Live Through This must be made payable to Fractured Atlas only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Please Stay
If you’re hurting, afraid, or need someone to talk to, please reach out to one of the resources below. Someone will reach back. You are so deeply valued, so incomprehensibly loved—even when you can’t feel it—and you are worth your life.
Find Help

You can reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Trans Lifeline is at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada). The Trevor Project is at 866-488-7386. If you’d like to talk to a peer, contains links to warmlines in every state. If you’re not in the U.S., click here for a link to crisis centers around the world. If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.

NOTE: Many of these resources utilize restrictive interventions, like active rescues (wellness or welfare checks) involving law enforcement or emergency services. If this is a concern for you, you can ask if this is a possibility at any point in your conversation. Trans Lifeline does not implement restrictive interventions for suicidal people without express consent. A warmline is also less likely to do this, but you may want to double-check their policies.

Live Through This is dedicated to the lives of so many friends and family members lost to suicide over the years. If you would like to add the name of a loved one to this list, please email me.
Live Through This is dedicated to the lives of so many friends and family members lost to suicide over the years. If you would like to add the name of a loved one to this list, please email me.