And finally, I want the site 46 Reasons Why Not to inspire others to list their 46 (or 13 or 24 or 56) reasons to stay alive and keep them in a safe place where they can go back and refer to them from time to time. From dreams to goals to destinations to elements in life you simply can’t do without, don’t leave this site without starting your own list. The idea is to list as many reasons as you have years here on earth. Develop them out; make them convincing. Be proactive in saving your own life.
I want 46 Reasons Why Not to become a blog where a reason is launched every day to give someone somewhere hope that life doesn’t have to end. My goal is to get one hundred thousand hits over the life of the blog. That’s 100,000 people who get a reason per day to see why they should continue living every day of their lives to the fullest and 100,000 people who can find hope through other people’s stories about surviving mental illness.
To these ends, I have several goals that I want to accomplish before I die to spread the word about mental illness in general and bipolar disorder in particular. I want to write my story of bipolar disorder to show that Christians are not immune to such illnesses and to show how a Christian copes with mental illness, especially when it ends up wrecking their lives seemingly beyond repair, like bipolar disorder did mine. To get a taste of my story, log on to www.julielwhitehead.wordpress.com and read up on my experience.
My list is almost over, but don’t think the site’s work is about to end. Other writers from all walks of life are contributing their lists to this site after my list is exhausted, so soon you’ll get perspectives from others who have struggled with the fight to stay alive though their issues and varying reasons to continue in life rather than give in to the siren song of suicide. Come back and read the others to learn more reasons to keep on keeping on.
Ending stigma is essential to getting society to understand mental illness. More people need to speak out about their mental health experiences. I want to use 46 Reasons Why Not to train people, especially grown men, to speak out about mental illness in ways that are easy to understand and relatable to people who may be mentally ill or have a loved one who is mentally ill.
I want to someday fund research to cure mental illness—schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, the works. I need to raise a lot of money and create a lot of awareness to do that. I can do a better job of raising that money on this side of the ground than on the other.
My husband tells people the only thing he can think of that is as bad as having mental illness is to love someone who has a mental illness. I want my life to bring a message of hope to loved ones of those suffering from mental illness.