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Photo taken by first-time contributor Craig A. Miller, a 37-year-old author, speaker, photographer, and suicide attempt survivor from Boston. For many years he struggled with OCD, extreme anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. After a suicide attempt nearly ended his life at age 20, he became dedicated to understanding what led him to such a decision, and more importantly how he could gain control of himself and his life to ensure it would never happen again. He published a book in 2012 titled, This is How it Feels: a memoir of attempting suicide and finding life. He is a member of The Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention and regularly speak everywhere from libraries to state conferences sharing his story and the steps he took to move forward.
About this photo: “Writing is an incredible process. It has the power to heal me like nothing else I have ever experienced. When I write, the pain inside me is taken apart, one piece at a time, and given to the page in front of me. I wrote my first book during a three month period when I was home recovering from surgery. I wrote about my struggles with OCD, depression, and fear. I wrote about years of molestation, neglect, and bullying. I wrote about having my heart broken, feeling alone in the world, and constantly fighting suicide. But more importantly, I wrote about the power of belief, trust, and hope. I wrote about letting go, moving on, and choosing to love life for all it is made of. Sometime during the three months I wrote, a storm damaged a tree outside my window. The tree had to be taken down. I finished the last chapters of my book to the sound of branches falling to the ground. Each piece of the tree was cut smaller and smaller, some parts even shredded. By the time I finished writing, the tree was gone. It had been taken down one branch at a time, while the most painful moments of my life lay on the pages before me.“