Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Volcanoes of Guatemala

Photo taken by Thirdeyemom: Eight years ago after the birth of my first child Max I knew something was terribly wrong. Not with my newborn son. He was healthy and as beautiful as can be. Instead, something was wrong with me. I began to suffer terrible insomnia, constant anxiety and worry and loss of appetite. By the time Max was 4 weeks old, I was sleeping on average two to three hours a night, began hallucinating and lost 35 pounds. I had no idea what hit me until doctors diagnosed me with severe PPD. It was the most terrifying, isolating experience I’ve ever been through and the next three months were hell until I was able to get the right help and support to guide me through. Thanks to excellent doctors and the loving support of my husband and family, I not only survived it I thrived. The week after my son’s first birthday I boarded a plane to South Africa and resumed the one thing in life besides my family that I loved: Travel. Through traveling, writing and photography I began to see the beauty of the world again and the dark days of PPD and anxiety were long gone. But I will never forget them.

About this photo: I captured this photo after rising at dawn and climbing the Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala. The neighboring volcano had just erupted and the clear day had become full of smoke and clouds. It was a mystical experience that I will never forget!

Seeking submissions for the Broken Light Collective. Please submit photos today.

14 comments on “Volcanoes of Guatemala

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    March 24, 2012

    I’m so happy you have recovered, Nicole. I think I know a bit about what your struggle might have been like. This photo is stunning!


  2. Northern Narratives
    March 24, 2012

    Very beautiful photo.


  3. laviebohemeart
    March 24, 2012

    Great Image!! I’m very happy made it through it!!!!


  4. Madhu
    March 26, 2012

    I have friends who have suffered PPD and and know how hard it is! Stay well!


  5. eof737
    March 26, 2012

    Stunning photo. 😉


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  7. CreaturesWithInk
    March 29, 2012

    I absolutely love your photo! The story behind it makes it that much more inspiring and also says that no matter what gets tossed at us, you can overcome it and create something beautiful 🙂 Keep up the awesome photo shoots!


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  13. Christine R.
    June 25, 2012

    Amazing story and beautiful photo! I’m glad that you were able to pull through it. Seeing the world really opens your mind doesn’t it? Traveling helps you see that the world is a beautiful place. That’s why I love travel 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. johngevans13
    February 14, 2015

    Very happy to hear of your beautiful and fruitful recovery!! Excellent photograph and I know a mystical experience renders you an incredible experience you will never forget. Many blessings to you and well wishes!! You are already successful!


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