Who we are & why we are

Welcome to the gallery site of Broken Light Collective. We are artists of all levels and abilities who are affected by mental illness. We create and we share our work for the therapeutic benefits to us, as well as others who may be struggling and feeling scared and alone. Together we can move from disconnected to collective.

Photo by Dee, who has been diagnosed with many things through the years. She primarily suffers from depression, but this picture speaks to her bipolar nature.

About this photo: I was actually quite hypomanic here. My baby and husband had gone to sleep already and I was getting more and more revved up. I had a strong need to create something, so I decided that since I had taken photos of them playing in a large box earlier, that I would take some of myself with the box too. I put the camera on my dining room table and set it to 10 second timer mode, and ran back and forth shooting away. I thought if I went quickly, that I would finish quickly and no one would know, but there is never quick with hypomania. I started getting a bit spooked. It was dark, and quiet, but there were some noises since I was in an old house, like the heater, etc., and I started feeling a touch of paranoia, like there were people in the house or watching. It did’t help that I was putting my head in a box, and thus felt like my senses were cut off and I couldn’t see or hear anything around me well. It wasn’t much later that I heard a loud noise and nearly jumped out of my skin. I peak around the corner and my husband had come down the stairs. He heard me running back and forth and thought there might have been an intruder in the house. That did not help the paranoid thoughts about someone being in the house! He went back up to bed, and I soon followed after taking just a few more photos to complete the set and downing some extra Ambien for sleep. If not for that I could have continued for hours, if not the whole night!

I don’t think these are amazing or anything, but I do think they can speak to issues of mental illness. For me, they speak to agoraphobia, depression, hypomania, anxiety, insomnia, among other things. It depends what mood I am in when I look at them. I’m curious what others see. The one other person I showed these to said there was something hopeful about them. I wish I could see the hope. Humor maybe, but hope not-so-much. Maybe soon.


**Send your self-portraits here to be a part of our Faces of Mental Health Month.

**We’re now on Facebook & Twitter! Please “like” us and help us grow!

7 responses to “Boxed In”

  1. moorestorms Avatar

    awesome pics! The first one for me signifies depression for me. It shows how I’d just want to curl up somewhere, dark and quiet and hide within myself. Thank you for sharing.


  2. barbaraelka Avatar

    yes, they speak of agoraphobia, depression, hypomania, anxiety, insomnia, being boxed in


  3. Syncopated Eyeball Avatar

    Excellent. The first one . . . I feel it! Curling up, hugging oneself, trying to hide and make oneself small. To not see or be seen. Enjoyed reading the text, too – much I can relate to. Thank you. 🙂


  4. fiztrainer Avatar

    I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The HUG Award, and it’s because of what you always do naturally, sharing and helping others, always trying to help make this world a better place. So check out the post (http://serendipityplus.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/hug-award/) and congratulations!


  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused « The Life And Times Of A Dreamer Avatar
    Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused « The Life And Times Of A Dreamer

    […] Boxed In – (brokenlightcollective.wordpress.com) […]


  6. Mary MacGowan Avatar

    beautiful photos. and i’m happy for you that you were able to take the ambien and get yourself into bed. you rock!


  7. lassy Avatar

    Glad I am not alone in my box :*(


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