Kevin Hines isn’t just lucky, he’s an absolute miracle.
Of the 2,000 people who have jumped to their death from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, he is one of 20 who have survived.
In a powerful testimonial shared by BuzzFeed, Kevin details what led him to choose suicide in the first place.
Though he grew up in a loving and caring home, with adoptive parents who provided a great life, Kevin was empty.
Suffering in silence from bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, Kevin believed the lies in his head that everyone around him was out to get him. He couldn’t help but take them as truth.
With extreme symptoms of paranoia, mania and hallucinations, Kevin’s BPD was out of control. He saw no other escape than to eliminate himself.
He wrote a suicide note, took a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge, and with a running start, he catapulted himself over the rail.
“The millisecond my hands left the rail, it was an instant regret,” he says of his suicide attempt in September 2000. Kevin says he recognized immediately that he’d made the greatest mistake of his life, and he thought it was too late. “I said to myself, ‘What have I done, I don’t want to die, God please save me.’”
His biggest fear in the four seconds it took to fall 25 stories into the water was that no one would know that he didn’t want to die. No letter could tell them the regret he was experiencing, or how badly he wished he could take it back.
Miraculously, he landed alive.
And after being rescued from the waters beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Kevin began his long road to recovery.
He says every symptom he’d ever had, since the age of 17, is still alive and fighting in him today. The difference now is, he has ways to beat it.
With a combination of therapy, medication, exercise and a network of people who come alongside him in his struggles, Kevin is an inspiration to all who are suffering mentally.
Talking about mental health is never easy, but take it from Kevin who says, “It’s okay not to be okay.” He adds, “It’s not okay not to ask someone to back you up.”
He ends his powerful and totally moving testimonial with a message to those who are suffering mentally:
“Don’t wait like I did, sitting in denial for so long, because recovery happens. I’m living proof.”
Today, Kevin travels the world sharing his story in an effort to spread suicide prevention awareness. His goal is to instill hope in one individual, that they would make the decision to stay. Because if Kevin was able to find the tools and fight, then maybe they can too.
You can learn more about Kevin’s incredible story and survival in his moving memoir, Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt.
If you need to talk to someone immediately, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Suicide helplines outside the US can be found here: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html