My name is Julie Whitehead.  To look at me, I’m no different than any other Southern girl you’d encounter in the small Mississippi city of Brandon—I’m five-foot-four with dark brown hair down to my shoulders and hooded brown eyes, wearing brightly –colored clothes from Belk’s Department Store and shoes by Naturalizer.  I carry a hot-pink Coach purse and have a weakness for anything made out of chocolate. 

           Unless you were around me long enough, you’d never know that in 2006, I had a psychotic break after the birth of my third child and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder—a disorder of moods where you swing from one extreme (mania) to another (depression) I’ve been hospitalized for it seven times for episodes of various degrees and take five psychotropic medications every day, some of them twice a day.  I’m on Social Security disability; I lost my career as a freelance news writer because I could no longer interact with people normally nor could I face the pressures of daily deadlines. 

           I don’t say any of this to make people feel sorry for me.  But it’s essential that I remember where I’ve been so I can appreciate the fact that no, I did not kill myself when I desperately wanted to.  Over the years my suicidal urges took lots of forms.  So it’s only right that my reasons now for living are as varied and unique as I am.  Your mileage may vary.  But if I remind you of one reason to stick around in this life, then the website has done its job.

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