How MY Blogging Saved Someone’s LIFE

Last Updated on: February 2nd, 2017

picture of a hand holding a pen

Sometimes bloggers wonder if their words truly have an impact on others.

I am pleased to report that mine did, and are continuing to do so.

It’s true. I have actually helped save lives!

In fact, I recently saved someone’s life. Seriously.

How I Learned I Saved Someone’s Life

I received a letter in my inbox a while ago. Apparently, a suicidal teenager read a post I wrote about the time I tried killing myself. (Wording Well is unique because it contains personal posts from when this site used to be called Lorraine Reguly’s Life, before I found my niche — I guess I should say “niches,” as I have three: writing, blogging, and freelancing — and before I had direction as a services provider and business owner.)

Anyway, getting back to this teenager…

She contacted me through my contact page form. She granted me permission to post her first two emails to me, as long as I didn’t use her name. Naturally, I agreed. I even sent her a copy of this post before publishing it to double-check that she’d be okay with what was published.

This is what she wrote:

So, this email, sadly, is not really related to any of your above mentioned topics – ghostwriter, editing, and others. I just wanted to send you a letter. I’m a fifteen year old girl who’s been living with some mental health issues for a little while now, about five years. It started with anxiety but then progressed into something a little more serious.

I’ve been okay for a while but recently, I hit a pretty hard spot. I thought about suicide and I needed something to help. I typed “I want to kill myself, what do I do,” into my computer and your article came up, the one where you share your story. I just wanted you to know that your words are the reason I’m still alive.


I understand if you do not get back to me about this, as you seem like a busy person and I respect that, but if you do read this, please know that you’ve saved someone from death. I barely know anything about what you do and I, to be honest, don’t know anything at all about YOU, but I know enough to understand that you are a good person.

I am alive because of your story and I thank you for that. I’m sorry if this sounds sappy or silly at all but I want you to know that you are an incredible person and through all adversity, you have pulled through, and you’ve inspired me to do so as well. Thank you so much.

Again, thank you,

PERSON’S NAME

I wrote back:

Wow.

Thank you so much, PERSON’S NAME, for the lovely letter.

Please tell me at what point you changed your mind… I’d really like to know.

Lorraine Reguly

She replied:

Thank you for responding so quickly, it means a lot to me.

When I was reading through the blog post about your attempt, with the overdose (I’m sorry if I’m triggering bad memories) I was in a pretty bad frame of mind. I’d always though that the overdose would be the easiest way to go and that it would be calm and peaceful. But then I read that it wasn’t, and that you had been scared, and your body had resisted. I realized that killing myself would not be my solution to all my problems.

I’m not sure why your story had such an impact, but it did. Especially when reading about what an overdose actually is like. I’m not saying that it “scared” me out of it, necessarily, but it did make me realize that I don’t want to die. Of course I’ll still have bad days but I’ll remember your story on those times and it’ll help me get through them.

I appreciate that you’re taking time out of your work to contact me, it means a great deal to me.

I replied:

Thank you, PERSON’S NAME.
 
Dying is not all it’s cracked up to be. 😉 Living might not be, either, of course, but there is so much you can do with your life… that you have not realized yet.
 
You’re young. You’re smart. I didn’t find a typo in any of your emails, either! Your sentences are perfectly formed. I know that you might think I’m off my rocker for mentioning these things, but I want you to know that, as an editor, I appreciate great writing.
 
Plus, anytime I’m told that I’ve changed someone’s life is a great day for me.
 
🙂
We continued our conversation for several more emails.
She wrote:
Oh my goodness, I knew you’d be kind but I didn’t know that you’d be THIS sweet! Goodness gracious, these emails have been so hopeful and nice… I’m fortunate to have found your blog. Very, very fortunate.
… I always expected life to be super exciting, but it’s not, and sometimes that’s okay. But the point you made is that I can choose what to do in the future, which is enlightening.
… I have told them, yeah… my mom just broke down and my dad didn’t know how to cope with the information so he got really quiet when I told them. My mom isn’t a very… comforting person, I guess, so she doesn’t really know how to help me when I begin to get bad again.I’m currently in therapy. It’s a pretty intensive program but I haven’t been in it for very long yet, so I hope that in the end they’ll help me… I have one amazing friend named OMITTED who’s always there for me, but I feel bad when I talk to her about my problems because I don’t want to weigh her down…
It’s just… hard right now. Talking to you is an absolute blessing.
I ended up asking for her permission to create a blog post out of our emails.
I wanted to show you that, even though you might not realize it, you ARE having an impact on others by blogging.
I know I am.
And I’m happy about that.

YOUR TURN:

Have you ever written something that had a big impact on others? What was it?
Have you ever doubted your blogging abilities? What did you do to get past those feelings?

42 thoughts on “How MY Blogging Saved Someone’s LIFE

  1. says

    Hi

    I am mohd arif and i am also a blogger. but I started blogging before some days. I think blogging is a best way which though you can share your personal experience on your blog, by your blog post your reader can learn things how you can find best solution.
    I feel proud in blogging…

    Regards
    Mohd arif

  2. says

    Lorraine- I think it says something about you that you were able to reach out to this person. I admire you that you were able to help this teenager. Not all of us are able to do that for others. You also was rewarding to you as well. You created a win win situation and there is nothing better than that.

  3. Carol E Amato says

    Hi, Lorraine,

    WOW! That’s wonderful!! At first glance, your title may appear to be sensational, but when someone reads your account, it’s nothing short of awe-inspiring! 🙂

    Your keyword showing up in the search engines for that article is SUCH a huge blessing. That girl reached out and then you lovingly responded, and the rest is nothing but a huge blessing for all!

    Thank God you shared your personal dark experience, Lorraine, because you were able to save a life! Awesome!

    Thank you so much for sharing this – it’s absolutely making my day super special!!!

    ˜Carol

    • says

      Carol, it’s kinda neat when you see a title that might be misleading… and it’s really not!

      I’m so glad that my past has had a positive impact on someone. It just goes to show you that even bleak times of our lives can be positive in some way.

      Thanks for your lovely comment, Carol. It made my day! 🙂

  4. Lorraine, How wonderfully kind and encouraging you were to that girl who was so fortunate to come across your post. It must be so gratifying to find that you actually saved her life. Awesome is an overused word but it fits here!

  5. LBcruiseshipblogger says

    Wow that’s incredible. If nothing else ever happened with your blog again saving a life certainly makes every second spent writing anything for the blog worthwhile.

  6. It is nice to finally have some indication that something you created has an impact on someone. I know sometimes I think does what I create have any significance in this universe. I am glad you got confirmation that yours does.

    • says

      William, it’s always nice to have feedback on our writing, and that our experiences helped others, as well. In this case, I was very surprised and honoured to hear that my life experiences impacted someone else… and to such a large extent, too!

  7. What a blessing you are, Lorraine! You were writing honestly from your heart, about your own experience and sharing it with the world. Your story underscores how we can be of profound service to others with the words we use, especially when those words emanate from our own truth. Thank you for sharing.

    • says

      Ramona, story-sharing is best when it comes from the heart and is based on a real experience.

      Thanks for your comment; it made my day! I love hearing that I’m a blessing! Who wouldn’t? 😉

  8. How great Lorraine to know that your blog post had such a huge impact on someones life. You never know when you share the story of your own personal struggles who you may be helping.

  9. Jeannette Paladino says

    Lorraine — How wonderful that you were able to help save someone’s life. We know that words can be so powerful — especially when they touch a reader’s emotions. The way you wrote about your experience obviously changed her life. The blog posts I wrote about my husband’s and brother’s passing elicited many heartfelt comments. People who read those posts said they were so touched by learning about the lives of two of the most important people in my life. Writing helped me to grieve.

    • says

      Jeanette, writing is cathartic for many people. I’ve also found that honesty trumps all, and readers love to connect on an emotional level. Showing vulnerability really gets others to open up, too, and WANT to comment because they WANT to help you through your tough time.

      I’m sorry to hear of your loss, too, Jeanette, and I’m happy for you that your outlet of writing has helped you grieve. I know it often helps me, too.

      In December, when I lost Prinnie, I wrote a letter to her “Mommy” from Prinnie’s viewpoint. It was quite helpful to my sister, Prinnie’s Mommy, and to me, too.

      I’d like to invite you to read it. It’s in the following post: http://lorrainereguly.com/november-sucked-heres-prinnie-died/

      It might help you, too… somehow.

  10. says

    I always doubt my blogging abilities and always think to quit. But I come across many blogs where, bloggers have mentioned their experiences and have told their stories , how they learned, fought and succeeded. I get a lot of encouragement, from such posts. I try to convince myself, and try to keep moving. Lets see what I will do, quit or keep it?

    Coming back to your post, I think this is most amazing thing that one can know. Saving one’s life is like saving whole humanity. I am happy to read the emails of the girl and the way you have not only helped her and saved her life through your writing, but also encouraged her with your reply. This is clear in her emails. I feel that this mention will really boost her energy and confidence. I wish you best of luck for future and I wish that the girl will be perfect after the treatment. I wish her luck and long life.

    • says

      Andleeb, what a lovely and heartfelt comment! Thank you for saying such kind things! 🙂

      As for your own blogging, don’t quit. You have a unique voice and share many important issues about the people in your country. The world needs you… and so does the internet!

  11. says

    This just confirms to me that we cannot take our writing for granted, we never know how our writing helps someone, and we should never underestimate small acts of kindness. Last, I would encourage all writers and bloggers to be a safe adult for teens. They have a lot going on in their young lives. If you believe the political slogan that “the family is the cornerstone of society” than act like it. Not just with your own kids but with kids in general.

    • says

      Alice, you are SO right; adults need to realize that teens are some of the most precious people on this planet — they are our future, and they need to be supported and guided properly!

      It’s also true that we should never take our writing for granted. We can change others’ lives with our words!

  12. says

    Wow Lorraine, when you are going through trouble and tough times, you don’t stop to think that this could be training for the future. Your background and personal history made you THE RIGHT PERSON to help this young girl. Without you having experienced the pain yourself, you could not have provided the comfort and strength this young girl needed. I am so very proud to know you.

    • says

      Lenie, when I wrote a guest post last year for Becc’s blog, I wrote it with the sole intention of helping her “fill” her blogging schedule, as she needed a break. My post on her blog was very personal, Suicidal Thoughts, Sickness, Health and Hope: A Personal Journey, and it inspired me to write what I had hoped would be a helpful post about suicide (I Want to Kill Myself – What Should I Do?). Somehow I knew that it would help others. What I didn’t realize (but hoped for) was that it would rank high on Google!

      The fact that I’ve received so many comments on that post tells me that there are many, many people who suffer from depression and have suicidal thoughts. It’s comforting to know that we’re not alone! Although I’m in a much happier place now, I still recall the days when it was a struggle to just get out of bed and get through the day. I’m fortunate that I no longer feel that way, and I will do whatever I can to help others NOT experience the same feelings.

      I’m happy that my story has helped others, including the brave, young, troubled girl who reached out to me. 🙂
      Thanks for the lovely comment. I’m proud to know you, too, Lenie. You’re a kind, caring, compassionate woman. And I like learning from you, too. 🙂 Some of the ideas you come up with on your blog are outstanding! I’m a frugal person by nature and soit’s not surprising at all that you and I get along so well because of it! LOL

  13. Jacqueline Gum says

    Powerful stuff… touching someone’s life so profoundly. I think it’s what we all hope to do in one way or another so it’s wonderful for you to bear witness! What a fabulous win-win and lovely of you to offer further encouragement. Nicely done:)

    • says

      Jacueline, it’s an honour to find out that my story helped someone else. For sure!

      As a writer yourself, you know how powerful words can be. When coupled with a personal story, they wield even more oomph!

      Thanks for your comment.

  14. That is really an inspiring story Lorraine. You should really be proud of it. And to the unnamed 15-year-old, glad you’re still here, You’re a smart, pleasant and thoughtful person and the world needs as many of those as it can get.

  15. Christine Larsen says

    I am constantly comforted by a saying that everyone and everything comes into your life – ‘for a reason, a season, or forever’. Our daughter has just embarked on the toughest journey of her life so far, to shed addictions and become the best of all that she can be. Her fight will continue for a long time ahead, and as one way of support, I’m gathering helpful thoughts (mine and others), and now a link to this wonderful story – and putting 40 little notes into a special container that will be part of her 40th birthday present. This birthday will happen while she’s still in rehab., but we all pray for the best celebration together, as soon as possible after she comes out ‘the other side’. Thank you Lorraine… the best Karma says many beautiful things are heading your way (actually, think they have already started arriving – in droves!)

  16. Barbara Quick says

    Lorraine, what a wonderful happening! I agree with you and others who commented, that the young person you helped by your writings, does write beautifully herself! This is all very uplifting to read about and gives me hope for my blogs that perhaps, someday, they will help someone in some way. Even if I can help in some small way, even if not as profound as the way you were able to help, that would make me very happy. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with all of us!

    • says

      Barbara, it’s funny how we often don’t realize how much of an impact we can make — and are making — on someone’s life. In this case, it took a letter from a stranger to point it out. But I’m sooo happy I made a difference!

  17. Wow – that’s powerful. And once again proves – that our personal stories and experiences, however bad they may be, can have an impact on someone else going through something similar. It must be a wonderful feeling to know you had a direct impact on this girl changing her mind about taking her life.

    • says

      Deevra, I was flabbergasted when I opened that first email! Honoured and happy, too. I’m still in shock… and grateful that I was able to help her.

      Thanks for chiming in! 🙂

  18. Yvonne Hertzberger says

    How wonderful that you touched this young woman in this way.

    And, that said, I’d like to pass on the her that I agree with your assessment of her writing. It’s excellent.

    Young lady, you have talent. However you choose to move forward with your life I hope that writing, in one form or another, plays a part. Perhaps, one day, someone will send you a message saying something you wrote touched them in a healing way, too. Your future will have bumps but with talent like yours and your attitude of gratitude I see good things ahead.

    • says

      Yvonne, thank you for your kind words — to both of us!

      I don’t know if she’ll reply, but I sent her a link to this post just moments ago, so I’m sure she’ll see your comment. I hope she pursues writing in some form, too!

  19. Naomi says

    This is in response to your comment about how your blog saved someone’s life. That is incredible.

    I posted on my blog recently about my first ever printed piece of writing. It was a rather different experience to the one I had always imagined.

    My nan passed away at the beginning of January and whilst my family were musing over popular readings for the funeral, I got this intense feeling of sadness that my nan’s funeral would involve generic poems and readings that anyone could have read at any funeral. I decided something needed to be done about that, so I messaged my family and asked them for their memories of my nan. I took these, added them to my own memories, and wrote a personal poem. The poem was as individual and unique as she was. A lot of my family, and even people I had never met, have since spoken to me about how much they appreciated either having their own memories spoken aloud, or being given an insight into the kind of woman she was for her family. We all feel like my nan was laid to rest properly, with special attention of the kind she always gave to us.

    Writing that poem helped me to process something that, whilst completely natural, is always difficult for those left behind. From the reaction of my nan’s loved ones, I believe I helped them to do the same.

    • says

      Naomi, what a wonderful thing for you to do! As a lover of poetry (and occasional writer, too), I can appreciate this gesture. After my Nana passed away a few years ago, I recited a poem I wrote about her for the attendees at the church, after her funeral services (there was a gathering in the tea room to celebrate her life, afterward), and everyone who heard it loved it!

      It’s amazing how a few small words can have such a huge impact, isn’t it?

      Thanks for sharing your lovely story, Naomi. 🙂

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