Crossing the Threshold

Photo taken by 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 speaks everywhere from libraries to state conferences sharing his story and the steps he took to move forward.

About this photo: “I believe that the satisfaction in our accomplishments comes more from the process of getting there rather than the result. I recently gave a speech to a crowd of more than a thousand people at a suicide prevention walk in Boston. I had the opportunity to share my story- the struggles I once had with mental health issues and the depression that had broken me to the point of suicide. But beyond that, I had the opportunity to stand before a crowd, filled with focused eyes and attentive ears, and tell them that today I no longer struggle; today I am well.

That afternoon, I set out to take this photo. I trudged through freezing water up to my waste and sank in mud that reached my knees. I fell while carrying the structure I had built to support the door. I scraped my legs on rocks beneath the water and cut my knuckles while getting the door to balance. I pulled fallen tree branches away from the area and dug up sticks that protruded from the water’s surface. When I returned to the shore, I sat on the ground exhausted and emotionally drained from the day. My clothes were soaked through. My body shivered with cold. Mud smeared across my skin, and blood ran from my fingers.

I sat alone staring at the vision I had seen in my mind for so long- a door that seemed impossible to get to. A door that appeared so out of place that many would not believe it was even there. A door that each of us possesses within us. One that may not always be easy to find, but one that is always worth searching for. And when we finally do find it, when we reach for the handle and take our first step forward, the satisfaction comes not in crossing the threshold, but in the journey it took to get there.

Find more from Craig at his website or twitter.

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**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

*Facebook & Twitter @BrokenLighCo & @DanielleHark. Follow for e-mail notifications.

21 thoughts on “Crossing the Threshold

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  1. I love your picture and your writing! Opportunity, not realizing it is there. And a door to health that you have to search for.

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  2. I absolutely love this. I can’t believe you put a door in the water. That’s pretty cool. I especially love the black and white; you get the sense of an echo, of the reflections being an ‘echo’ from a whisper, something the lake said to the rocks that you’d know if only you could reach that door… a very dreamlike image, but not unpleasant or scary. Like I said, very cool.

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