New Issue of Turtle Way Journal

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A new issue of Turtle Way, Write into the Light’s online mental health journal, was just published.  Check it out here!

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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

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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?