Ask Alex : Survivor’s Guilt

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Hey Alex!

About a year ago I was in a horrible car accident. Me and my best friend were out late one night and a drunk driver hit us at an intersection. My best friend didn’t survive and I somehow walked away with almost no injuries. I constantly wonder why I was the one to live and she didn’t. Everyone tells me that I’ve been given a gift, a second chance, but I just can’t seem to find my purpose. I’m afraid I’m going to waste my life. I can’t move forward and I don’t know what to do. How do I live my life to the fullest and honor my friend’s memory?


Need Direction


Hey Need Direction! 

I am so sorry that this tragic accident has happened to you and I am very sorry to hear that you lost your best friend in such a way. It sounds to me that you may be experiencing survivor’s guilt, where you may feel like you have done something wrong by surviving when your friend did not.

I promise you that you have done nothing wrong by surviving and that unfortunately events happen everyday where we simply cannot process the outcomes. If these questions haunt you or impede your life, I would recommend seeing a professional that specializes in this field. This person will be able to give you perspective from years of talking with other people who have gone through similar tragedies.

There is nothing wrong with looking at your surviving as a second chance or as a gift, but don’t dwell on what that means. By wondering about the what ifs of the past and the purpose of your future, you are losing the present moment and when it comes down to it, that is all we can ever truly lose, the present. I don’t think your best friend would want you to lose any of these moments in your life.

The purpose of your life and this gift you have been given is to simply live. Make the best of opportunities, make mistakes, go on adventures, love and keep breathing. Take each moment as it comes, in the present. The best way you can honor your friend is to live your life and carry her memory with you as you do.




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