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!

Empty Places

Photo taken by Deborah Zwolenkiewicz, who lives in a small town on the central coast of California which was where this picture was taken. In her words: “I have bipolar disorder which was diagnosed after I had been having symptoms for about 25 years.  What took them so long anyway??  In the end it was my mother-in-law who saw an article in a magazine about bipolar disorder and gave it to me saying, “This sounds like you.”  Well I knew someone with bipolar disorder and I didn’t want to be like her, so I put off reading the article for a few days.  When I finally read it I was relieved to know that my symptoms had a name, I wasn’t crazy or alone.

About this photo: “This photograph was taken when I was attempting a photo a day project on Facebook.  I started this to ward off anxiety which was creeping back into my life.  My doctor wanted to add another antidepressant to my meds, it made me groggy and reminded me of past disappointments with failed medications and I didn’t want to take it.  So when I got up in the morning and felt anxious I would get dressed and go out with my camera.  I found that the combination of concentrating on finding things to photograph, and getting exercise helped a lot and I didn’t need the extra medication.

When I took this photo I started out just walking around town and taking pictures.  I noticed a lot of empty chairs and benches and the feelings they gave me.  When there were two, like in this shot, it reminded me of lost relationships, or the empty places we have in our lives.” 


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4 comments on “Empty Places

  1. freshlyworded
    December 15, 2012

    Beautifully photographed and described.


  2. artchismo
    December 15, 2012

    I really like the texture on the walls, the floor, and then the chairs – the way they all work together is really great.


  3. debsdiscoveries
    December 15, 2012

    Thank you so much for posting my photo!  I am really flattered!    And I love it that you titled it Empty Places.



  4. Syncopated Eyeball
    December 20, 2012

    A beautiful photograph – lovely tones amd I have a big thing for empty chairs in the street.
    I also just got a diagnosis of bipolar type 2. After many years of being labeled otherwise. Better to know the nature of the beast one wretles with, eh?


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