The Voice of Others; Jules’ Story

Hi. My name is Jules. I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute to Rebecca’s Dream by providing supporters of this important cause with a look into my life—the life of a young Chicago professional who has bipolar II disorder.

So, let’s begin…

You know how there are some people you’ve never met but you feel like you’ve known  them forever and have so much in common with them? That’s how I feel about Rebecca Lynn Cutler. Just like Rebecca, I, too, am an intelligent, attractive, career-driven, very well-liked, independent, fashionable, happy-go-lucky woman. I’m 39 years old. I graduated from college in 3½ years. I have a successful career; I’ve been an executive recruiter for the last 15 years. I show up to work just like all of my colleagues and put in a ton of hours. I own my own condo. Pay my bills on time. I’m very self-sufficient and independent. I always have been. People who know me think I have a great life and not a care in the world.

What most people don’t know, though, is that I have bipolar II disorder. The reason most people don’t know is that I’m very careful about those I do—and don’t—tell. I’ve quickly learned that some people “get it,” and others definitely don’t. The ones who don’t are the ones who say things like, “Oh come on, you have nothing to be depressed about.” Or, “Just shake it (the depression) off.” If only it were that easy! I’ve been living with this disease since 2004. During that time, I’ve gone from feeling on top of the world, to feeling healthy and fine, to feeling extremely depressed. For the most part, it has been the latter—feeling fine and then falling into a deep depression. On again, off again, on again, off again.

One of the things this disease likes to do is mess with my head. I work hard to make sure my thoughts don’t take over, because when they do, they can take me to a negative place where I feel hopeless and ashamed. Hopeless, wondering how long the depression and pain will last…and ashamed that I even have this disease. When my thoughts start to go there, I quickly turn them around by thinking of everything I have to be grateful for. I also remind myself that I am not the only person who is fighting this fight. I am one of many. If I’ve gotten through this pain before, I can get through it again. And know that brighter days are ahead!

Love and light,