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Woman overcomes suicidal thoughts, handwrites 'lovely letters' to thousands around the world

When she found herself laying on her bedroom floor with 300 pills in hand, Jodi Ann Bickley made a decision that would affect thousands around the world.
Sarah Sanders Petersen, Deseret News Modified: May 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm •  Published: May 14, 2014
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When she found herself laying on her bedroom floor with 300 pills in hand, Jodi Ann Bickley made a decision that would affect thousands around the world.

Bickley was living in Birmingham, England, and loved to write and recite poetry. But in September 2011, Bickley contracted Mengo encephalitis, a brain infection that later caused her to have a small stroke. Soon after, Bickley was diagnosed with Myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.

At 25 years old, Bickley's life had changed drastically as she was no longer physically capable of keeping up with everyday activities, and she found herself in a state of deep depression. On Feb. 3, 2013, just as she was contemplating ending her life, Bickley had a realization.

"I wasn't quite ready to leave yet. So what was I to do. All I have is me and a lot of time, and my love for writing," Bickley described in her TEDxBrum presentation.

"Within a half hour I had set up OneMillionLovelyLetters.com. The aim is that if I can actually talk one person down from the curb, then that's a success."

Having struggled with depression, Bickley explained the importance of reminding others of their worth.

"I know that sometimes we don't need to be saved. Sometimes we just need reminding how amazing we are," Bickley said in her presentation.

"I think everyone deserves to know that they are thought of and they are loved. Even if it is by a complete stranger."