Called To Live

CALLED TO LIVE: A Chronicle of Recovery After Attempted Suicide

  • Paperback   Contact
  • PDF and E-book coming soon 
  • Find out why these books are free on this website
  • Scroll down for reviews


Insightful. Inspiring. Hopeful. Scary. Dark. Real.  Called to Live covers one year of Nancy Virden’s life as she returns from hopelessness to a clearer sense of purpose.  This wild ride on waves of unpredictable emotions was recorded as her battle with Major Depression progressed. 

Join Nancy’s Email list for book updates and more


From chapter one:  Dead

“I won’t drink it.”

A young surgical resident was using all his persuasive powers to convince me to swallow a dish soap flavored liquid. “This test is important for you to be well,” he said. His insistence had lasted nearly fifteen minutes.

“Now why would I care about that? I will not drink it. It tastes nasty.”

Frustrated, he pulled out a new tactic. “All these people in this room cannot go home until you take this test. Their shift ends at eleven o’clock, and as long as you resist they will have to stay and be unable to go home to their families.”

It was nearly eleven p.m. The young woman serving as my suicide watch-guard had already mentioned her shift ended at that hour.  Otherwise, dismissing his ploy would have been easy. He had stirred the one thing I did still care about – not wanting to make someone else’s life miserable.

Stubbornly refusing medical treatment could keep these techs and nurses from going home. What if that were true? Looking the radiologist in the eye, I inquired whether she would be one who had to stay.

“No,” she said,  keeping intense eye contact. “But I am the only radiologist on this shift qualified to read films. As long as I am with you other patients will have to wait.”

“So, go help the other people.”

“I’m not allowed to leave you.”

A few minutes later, picturing the halls lined with groaning patients who could not reach medical help because of me, I grudgingly agreed to take the test that could save my life.


Return to Nancy’s Books page

What readers say (Amazon and other)

Writing in a diary style, the author tells the story of her attempted suicide and journey toward recovery. Faith plays an important role in her recovery, along with individual and group therapy, and now writing. The writing style left me with a ‘then what happened’ interest and I wanted to read the next entry to know her progress. This book is a good look at major depression from someone on the inside.”

By C.L. Smith, LMFT: “Engaging. That is the word for it, engaging.”