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Showing posts from 2019

Why I Stayed

(Warnings: mentions of addiction and suicide attempts.)
“Jessica Burkhart is an author of tween and teen books. She loves all things pink and sparkly.”
Those were constant lines in my author bio. Plastered on 1.5 million copies of my books. My readers sent me glittery gifts in the mail. Loved discussing Twilight and all the sequels with me. Knew that if something was pink and sparkly, I needed to know of its existence.
However, my private, personal bio read: “Jessica Burkhart is an author of tween and teen books. She loves all things pink and sparkly. She’s also dealing with depression and anxiety.”
But how do you tell that to the kids who idolize you and want to be you? That love and adore that version of Jessica Burkhart? The Jessica Burkhart who’s cheerful and sparkly?
I didn’t tell them. I didn’t tell anyone. I was too afraid that if I did, I’d lose them and the career I put sixteen plus hour work days into would be gone. After all, I was living my dream—I had a Brooklyn apartment, …