Unicycle #8. 92 more to go.

Why I am painting #100unicycles

My name is Jackie Lea Shelley, and I’m painting ‪#‎100unicycles‬.

Why? Because once a year for the past four years, I got very sick. I have major depressive disorder, with a seasonal pattern. Come December, I couldn’t see a reason to keep living. I’ve come to the edge of suicide at least twice.

In December of 2013, I checked myself in to the emergency mental health clinic at Valley Medical center in San Jose. Since that time, I’ve been in regular psychiatric care for my mental illness, and have been treated twice with a course of the antidepressant Wellbutrin. It saved my life.

I speak openly about this to help remove the stigma and shame associated with depression. During the four years while I faced my own struggle, my dear friend lost his son to suicide. My friend lost his partner to suicide. We all witnessed the collective outpouring of grief when the great actor Robin Williams took his own life.

I refuse to be quiet, I refuse to be ashamed, I refuse to give up hope, and because I am so incredibly lucky to be gifted with all of you, my dear family and friends, I’m still here.

We must not lose any more loved ones to shame, stigma, silence and fear.

When things were dark, I chose a reason to hold on. I decided that I couldn’t die yet, because I really wanted to have learned to ride a unicycle. It sounds silly, but it’s the pure truth.

My friend Breifne Earley traversed the globe on a bicycle to raise awareness for suicide prevention. His tagline was, “It’s ok to not be ok.”

I wasn’t ok, but I am now. I can count the reasons to live, and they number more than the stars.

And one of them is that I haven’t learned to ride a unicycle, yet!

Tonight, l drove in the dark hours to bring home my first unicycle.

And tonight, I dedicate this project to all of those who, right now, can’t see how loved, needed, and worthy they truly are.

50% of the proceeds from each unicycle painting sold will be donated to San Francisco Suicide Prevention, thanks to the inspiration and involvement of two more friends, Mike Dahn and Brian Byrne.

http://www.sfsuicide.org/onlinedonation/

Prices are as follows:

#1 — $199 (SOLD)
#2–10 — $99/each (SOLD OUT)
#11–20 — $109/each (SOLD OUT)
#21–30 — $119/each (SOLD OUT)
#31–40 — @ $129/each (ONE LEFT)
#41–50 — @ $139/each
#51–60 — @ $149/each
#61–70 — @ $159/each
#71–80 — @ $169/each
#81–90 — @ $179/each
#91–99 — @ $189/each
#100 — highest bidder ;) (SOLD)

All #100unicycles are going up for sale at:

http://www.100unicycles.com

More to come, but I wanted to put this up today.

Love you guys. I’m so grateful to be alive, and to have you in my life!