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Dominick Quagliata

is a suicide attempt survivor.
this is his story

Dominick Quagliata

is a suicide attempt survivor.

"I survived a suicide attempt."

Dominick Quagliata is a valet and recent college graduate in North Brunswick, NJ. He was 22 when I interviewed him in New York City on June 1, 2013.

They say time heals all wounds… I still have those thoughts every day.

Dominick Quagliata is a suicide attempt survivor.

Dominick Quagliata is a suicide attempt survivor.

Every once in a while I’ll think about it and go, “Why am I here? What’s keeping me tethered to this right here?”

I’ve met a bunch of people, and they say that I’m a really awesome guy, that I’m really easy to talk to, I’m really funny. They give me all these compliments and stuff and I’m like, “You might see that, but I don’t know how much of that is actually real.” I don’t know how much of that is actually just me putting on a face and smiling through my teeth or an actual thing, ‘cause I feel when I did that, I really lost a huge sense of my own identity. I didn’t know who I was for a while. I didn’t know this person that I became because I really shattered what self image I had of myself. That became the hardest thing to cope with—my own self-image and trying to rebuild that. It took me a long time to do it, but in the end, I found part of myself again.


Des: Do you feel like you’re healed?

Dominick: Not at all. Not in the least. I still have that feeling of just, it could happen again at one point. As much as I try to not let it, I know for a fact it could happen. I could hit that point again where I felt hopeless. Everyone says that they had that feeling of hopelessness [when they were suicidal], but it’s true. That is the one feeling that you feel is a sense of hopelessness and a sense of emptiness, that there’s a cup that can’t be filled, that there’s a hole within you that can’t be plugged back up. You’re trying to put a corner puzzle piece in the center and that just doesn’t work.

I have to learn to not attribute so much to someone else. My ex told me that, whenever I was with someone, that I would give myself 110% to them and barely give anything back to myself, that I would be more concerned with their well-being than my own. And I guess that’s true, ‘cause I didn’t care about my own well-being enough. When everything came crashing down on my head, I let it crash down on my head. I let this happen to myself, and I need to stop letting that happen so much. Kind of have to build up a little wall…

So I fill myself with Tumblr. Man, I’ve passed the time so much in school or with just the days, if I’m not doing anything, I fill it with Tumblr. I write, I respond to people talking to my writing… Met a lot of interesting people, a lot of people that want to just talk about what happened to me, and they hear my story and they go, “I’m glad you’re still here. Even though I haven’t met you, I’m glad you’re still around.” And that phrase always caught me off my guard—a person [who] doesn’t even know me, [who] just talked to me over the computer screen will actually say, “I’m happy you didn’t die that day.” And I’m like, at least one person feels that way, ‘cause there are some days where I feel that would it have been better that way.

Des: It’s just enough, though.

Dominick: And it’s just enough to go, “At least I’m still here. At least I’m still around, and at least I have something to say.”

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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.
More Information
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.