Looking Back at Ten Years of Blogging at Write into the Light

Ten years ago today I posted my first blog here at Write into the Light. Ten years!  I feel like that is such a long time.  

I started off writing daily meditations because I couldn’t find any meditation books specifically written for people with mental illness or mental health issues. Over the years my writing has evolved from those meditations to journal-type entries and poems, to essays and opinion pieces, and finally, reports on mental health research articles. 

Regardless of the type of writing I post, all of it helps me process and cope with my own mental health symptoms and I hope helps others with the same. Writing has been one of my biggest coping skills when it comes to my mental illnesses, hence the name of this site. 

There were many months I was inactive and even full years where I only wrote a few blogs at most depending on my health status. Several times I almost closed the site down but I never did because even though I would go periods without writing, the stats showed that people were still viewing my posts on a daily basis.  And I thought, if the blog was helping someone by just being there then it was worth leaving up even if I wasn’t adding anything new to it at the time. 

Over the last 10 years I’ve written over 360 posts and have had over 44,000 visitors and 65,000 views. I have close to 900 readers on WordPress, a tad over 300 Twitter followers, 1200 and something Facebook fans, and 25 email subscribers. Definitely not a big outfit by any stretch of the imagination, but a small little part of the mental health community that I hope is contributing enough in a way that is making a difference in someone’s morning, afternoon, or evening every once in a while. 

I wonder who is out there who has been blogging for ten years or more. I am in contact with no one from my early days of blogging because their blogs have been dead for years and I miss some of them so much.  

I am happy to have found new bloggers throughout the years, however, and thank every one of you for taking the time to follow, read, like and comment on my posts. I appreciate you and always enjoy connecting with you. 

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Call for Literary and Art Submissions

Turtle Way™ is Write into the Light’s online creative arts magazine showcasing the work of individuals suffering and recovering from mental illness. Its mission is to offer experience, strength and hope to those who are living with mental illnesses.

Each issue of Turtle Way™ may include poetry, photography, artwork, and prose (including quotes, meditations, opinion pieces and essays) from individuals with mental illness and/or those who love them.

It has been quite some time since an issue has been published, but I would like to put another one together soon. So, please check out the submission guidelines here if you are interested in being a part of this project.

Poetry and Risperidone

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These pills are like duct tape across
my mouth, silencing screams
clawing to get out.

Thoughts muted; rainbows
fade to greyscale;
playground ball deflated.

Pen suspended mid-air,
stutters at best.  Spittle
on an anorexic page.

And already…
The End
like premature ejaculation.
I’m so sorry.

Flash of Depression – a poem

The clock tick tocks,
pounding lines in my face;
breathing yesterdays gone;
inhaling tomorrows soon to be forgotten.

Where do I go
when there’s nothing left to do?
From whom do I receive
my final instructions?

Each second pricks my skin
again and again.
Eternity is my tattoo,
and I writhe in pain.

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Disordered Bedtime Thoughts – a poem

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I imagine a lead pipe boring into my flesh;
poking holes through my forearm, releasing pressure
from a body filled with tightly wound springs.

Boing! Boing!

These notions float from a subconscious stream,
and hover in the haze under black weeping willows where
the Reaper’s whispers chill my neck.

I feel the flick of his iced tongue behind my ear;
his hand on my bare back, sliding around my waist
bringing me closer, into his arms and against his skeletal frame.

The water begins by sipping my feet,
and then slowly swallows my legs before
finally, submerging my torso. And I
sleep ‘til morn.

Mental Health Writer’s Block – a poem

The feeling comes on like words
on the tip of my tongue;
like standing at the edge of a cliff,
toes hanging over, watching the surf
crash into the reef 200 feet down.

Push just a little further.
It is right there.
Something important,
exciting, significant,
just out of reach.

What is it?

I feel the brush of its fingertips
on my out stretched hand
as I fall forward through the air,

descending,
descending;

hoping to wake up
before I hit the rocks below.

Loss of Bipolar Creativity

bipolar creativity

For several years I wrote poetry every day, feverishly. I felt like I would explode if I didn’t write the words in my brain. It was as if I was taken over by a force outside of myself, and what I ended up writing was as much as a surprise to me as it would have been to a stranger reading it. Exciting and energizing are the best words to describe the experience of writing poetry for me.

I loss the ability to access this side of my creativity about a year ago. It coincided with the time I started a new antipsychotic medication for my anxiety. I don’t know for sure if my creativity block has to do with the medication, but I strongly suspect it does.

I also experienced large amounts of emotional healing during that year, which may have contributed to the end of my drive to write poetry as well, since I wrote mostly when in emotional pain. Either way, I miss the rush of the flow of language spilling forth in a flurry, seemingly without effort on my part.

Below is a poem I wrote this week reflecting these feelings.

Fractured, a mind splintered
like a web-cracked windshield –
rock hit in the brain, dead center
or somewhere.

They never know where.
Will they ever? Neuro-
transmitter here, neuro-
transmitter there. A game

of hide and seek. Medication
roulette. Gambling while
drinking cocktails before bed
in hopes of getting
some fake sleep.

Thoughts that used to flow fluidly
down a single stream now,
split into multiple chasms;
fall into the abyss, trail off
out of creativity’s reach.

Has a psych medication ever caused you to lose your creative edge?

New Issue of Turtle Way – a journal for those with Mental Illness

Happy Friday, everyone! A new issue of Turtle Way was just published. Read it here, and have a beautiful weekend.

Turtle Way Logo

Hopping Along – a poem

It’s Holy Week
as I reflect
on the cotton-tailed
one

who is quiet,
cautious
and reserved;

who likes to stay
in the shadows,
and frightens easily;

who burrows
under blankets
of green earth,

protected, yet
so vulnerable
while keeping close
to her family.