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Nicole Keimer

is a suicide attempt survivor.
this is her story

Nicole Keimer

is a suicide attempt survivor.

"I survived a suicide attempt."

Nicole Keimer is the first person I interviewed and photographed for Live Through This, back in December 2011. Since our shoot, I’ve changed my interview format and my shooting technique, which accounts for why her portrait is stylistically so different from the rest. The project evolves with every new story.

Nicole has been an active member of the suicide prevention community for years and spends quite a bit of her time working with PostSecret. As a result of being bullied about her weight, she developed and struggled with multiple eating disorders from adolescence through her early twenties. Below, she discusses how these struggles led her to consider suicide as an option.

When you have a problem with food, you can’t just stop eating and cut food out of your life. So there was a time period where I thought, “I’m never going to get out of this. Every day is just going to be getting up and thinking about food.” There was a time where I was literally spending 16 hours of my 24 hour day thinking about food: how I could cut calories, how I could just get down to as little as I could.

“How am I going to get to a place where I can stop thinking about food?”

I just thought that was never going to happen, because you have to think about food every day. Once I started to feel like I was stuck in this for years, that’s when the suicidal thoughts started to happen. It was, “The only way to actually stop thinking about food is to kill myself because otherwise I’m going to have to think about food every single day.”

It was a comfort when I went to bed each night knowing, “Well, I could kill myself. You don’t have to do this forever. There’s always an opportunity. This is a possibility; this is an out.” I think a large part of just knowing that I had that possibility was enough sometimes…

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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 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada), or The Trevor Project 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.