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.

Please welcome first-time contributor Dyane Leshin-Harwood, a freelance writer who was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder six weeks after her baby was born. She also suffers from generalized anxiety, and depersonalization-derealization disorder. Dyane founded the Santa Cruz, CA Chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) & facilitated free support groups in her community. She has been selected as the latest “Life Unlimited” profile by the DBSA, so her journey with bipolar disorder is currently being featured on their website. Dyane blogs for the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) and was featured as the first 2014 IBPF “Story of Hope and Recovery.” Through her personal blog and her IBPF blog Dyane provides encouragement and resources to those living with bipolar disorder. She is dedicated to creating social awareness of postpartum bipolar disorder as it is a lesser-known postpartum mood disorder.

About this photo: “This photo is significant as it shows me in recovery mode, pursuing the life I want to live.  Over seven years I tried over twenty medications, endured seven hospitalizations, and I requested unilateral and bilateral rounds of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).  None of these modalities lifted my bipolar depression over the long-term.  I decided to see a new psychiatrist who suggested a medication combination that finally alleviated my treatment-resistant bipolar depression.

In this shot I’m taking a break from working on my book “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa that was optioned for publication last year.  I’m accompanied by my “writing muse” Lucy, my seven-month-old American Collie mix, and I’m savoring the feeling of being able to write again, as well as soaking in the love of a beautiful, exuberant puppy.”

Find more from Dyane at her blog.


Have you gotten your Broken Light Strength Bracelet yet?

**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here ▸ Now a 501(c)3 non-profit! Please donate here.

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14 responses to “Pursuing My Dream”

  1. Karen Avatar

    What a wonderful muse and a hopeful photo. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dyane Avatar

      Thank you so much, Karen – you made my day!


  2. dyane Avatar

    Reblogged this on Birth of a New Brain and commented:
    I loved taking this picture of me & Lucy in my new writing “office” (i.e. the end of a cramped, teeny hallway). In that moment, I felt so hopeful about finishing my book. While my hope has slithered away as of late, there’s still some of it left. I won’t give up. I’ve been tempted to say “screw it” more than a few times, but honestly I can’t give up on my dream.

    I’ll keep you posted on how it all pans out…

    In the meantime, I encourage you to please visit “Broken Light: A Photography Collective” and consider submitting your own photo and story.

    I’m so glad to be back in this supportive, inspiring, sometimes sobering, always amazing blogosphere of ours. I send my love to you all. xxoo Dyane

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kitt O'Malley Avatar

      Love the photo, Dyane! Gorgeous, just gorgeous – both of you.


  3. Bemused Avatar

    Lovely pooch 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. dyane Avatar

    p.s. THANK YOU Danielle et al. I’ll invest in a Strength bracelet very soon – it will be a wonderful reminder of the Broken Light’s mission.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. desertmoon62 Avatar

    Great photo and an important and inspiring story!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. dyane Avatar

    YAY – I just treated myself to a beautiful Strength bracelet – I can’t wait to wear it! :))))


  7. spencersamalvin Avatar

    Thanks, Dyane, I too suffer from bipolar disorder (II, in my case) & appreciate both your picture and story! . .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. susanheney Avatar

    Reblogged this on shensea and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dyane Avatar

    Thanks so much for the reblog & lovely comment, Susan! I’ll be sure to check your blog out. 🙂


  10. kbailey374 Avatar

    Love this page! So encouraging to me, a fellow bipolar. Altho I never heard of it as a PP disorder, I did have the third of my manic episodes after my son was born


    1. dyane Avatar

      I appreciate your kind comment, kbailey! :)) I’m sorry that you had a manic episode after your son was born. Yes, bipolar disorder can definitely manifest as a postpartum disorder – for a little more info. check out this link from Dr. Verinder Sharma. He asserts that childbirth is a “potent trigger” for bipolar. He’s one of the world’s top experts about postpartum onset bipolar disorder and he has agreed to be interviewed for my book, which I’m really excited abut! 🙂


      take care and have a wonderful day!


      1. kbailey374 Avatar

        Thank you very much! and I hope you do well with your book!

        Liked by 1 person

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