In 2018, country singer Chase Bryant attempted suicide, and in a new interview with PEOPLE, he opened up for the first time about surviving the attempt, which took place in the passenger seat of his truck at a Nashville gas station where he put the barrel of his loaded .357 revolver to his head.
"At that moment, I begged for somebody to listen and I begged for somebody to just come down and help me," Bryant shared with PEOPLE and in an exclusive video released Monday. "I just screamed out the word 'sorry' as loud as I could, and I pulled the trigger… and here I am." The singer explained that he thought he had loaded six bullets into the gun's chamber, but he had actually only loaded five, and the empty chamber was the one that fired.
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"So, when I looked at it at that moment, it was like, life's too short, don't make it any shorter," he recalled. "It ain't worth it. We all have something to be thankful for, right? Looking back at it now, it's so weird. You're so dark and then all of a sudden you're like, 'OK, I got to get my s— right so I can help somebody else.'"
Bryant, who released a self-titled EP in 2014, had been experiencing success with songs like "A Little Bit of You" and "Take It on Back," scoring spots opening for stars like Tim McGraw and Brantley Gilbert, but he wasn't feeling the way he thought he would. "I want to say it was right after 'A Little Bit of You,' which would have been, God, probably 2016," he said. "That was when things just sort of started to change for me, and I could feel that change coming on. And I think it was because I was having success as somebody that I really wasn't."
"I was chasing success… I wasn't chasing happiness," Bryant continued. "I was trying to be something I wasn't. I was just being who they told me to be. I was doing what they told me to do, and that was somewhat easy at the time because everybody was filling me with this gratification, and I never really had had that from anybody. I never felt that feeling." He points to one specific weekend in Canada in 2017 opening for Brad Paisley when he began to feel that things were falling apart.
"I was just trying to do whatever I could do to get that part of my life over with," he said. "I knew what I needed to do. And at the time, for me, it was like, what I needed to do was just peace out. That was it." Bryant added that he was "just a wreck" at the time and can't believe no one close to him noticed the signs. "I don't know how nobody could see that," he reflected. "And I guess I did a pretty good job at hiding it, and that's not their fault. It's just not."0comments
Following his suicide attempt, the singer entered Rolling Hills Hospital, a psychiatric and substance abuse treatment center in Franklin, Tennessee. He is now preparing to release his debut album, Upbringing, and he is sharing his story in an effort to help anyone going through a similar struggle. "When I think about it, I want to be that one empty chamber for somebody," he shared. "I want to be that one shot of fulfillment or hope. I hope that this takes that bullet out of somebody's life. I hope this takes it away. Maybe somebody sees this, somebody that's going through something and says, 'You know what? There is hope,' because there really is."
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.