CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Five years ago, Jim Love tried to take his own life. He says it was the worst day of his life, but it was also the beginning of a new life for Love.
After his suicide attempt, Love realized he no longer had to hide his mental illness.
He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, social anxiety and agoraphobia.
“I’m one of the lucky ones,” Love said. “I’m one of those people that had a family and a support system … that had good insurance.”
In the past, Love says he felt worthless and like a burden to family, friends and co-workers.
“I began to believe the lies my brain was telling me, and the only good solution it felt like … was to kill myself,” Love explained.
“Now it seems like a new world has opened up to me,” he said.
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“The good days are more plentiful, and that’s one of the things that gets me through day to day, is when I’m really having a bad day, I know I can make it through. I didn’t used to know that,” Love said.
Now, Love shares his story with others. He talks openly about his journey at events for Mental Health America. He also shared his story on Channel 9′s special program on mental health last summer, “Charlotte’s Hidden Crisis.”
Jim Love and his family
“Within the first couple of months, I heard from over a 100 people. I got messages from people in Seattle, Washington; from Oklahoma, from Virginia … and a lot of those turned into people asking for help of some sort,” Love said.
After the training he received from MHA and Suicide Prevention, along with his life experience, Love is able to help others who are struggling.
“There are at least three of my friends that are still here today because we had that conversation,” he said.
“If I can take the worst experience in my life – an experience that caused the most pain to my family that could possibly be imagined for them – and turn it into something good that can prevent others from feeling that pain, it’s worth it,” Love said.
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