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!

Stairway to Shame

Please welcome first-time contributor Mute, a man in his forties who has struggled with mental health challenges throughout his life. Diagnoses range from manic depression to ADD. Many meds have been tried, and at times abused, but nothing has worked well so far.

About this photo: “I live in a world that needs me to be OK. I feel obligated to be so by people I deem more important than myself. But I am not OK. I am far from it. I sat on these stairs as a child and even back then nothing was OK. And 35 years later, I sit on these stairs. All that has changed is the library of memories that torment me and fill me with shame. A burden I do my best to hide so that those who are enmeshed with me don’t become tainted by my filth. I will wake up, shit and shave, and put on my attire, sit at my desk and pay my bills, and smile at you across the counter, and wait for my turn to stop breathing. And all the while, hope you don’t see me.

_____

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24 comments on “Stairway to Shame

  1. Beau
    January 13, 2015

    very powerful pic

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kbailey374
    January 13, 2015

    OUCH! 😦 I hope that kind of pain is not always with him. That sounds horrid esp. “waiting your turn to stop breathing.” Can you ask him if I can pray for him?

    Liked by 1 person

    • autisticaplanet
      January 14, 2015

      Please pray. I find I can pray for people whether they want it or not. Sometimes they don’t know how much they need it.

      Like

  3. Moodphototeija
    January 13, 2015

    I cannot say anything more that you wrote from my heart. I can really relate to that… I hope things will get better, just try to keep believing. It is hard. But still. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ravenjcold1976
    January 13, 2015

    Welcome…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. themanofletters
    January 13, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Man of Letters and commented:
    This is a blog worth following.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. imaginarytree
    January 13, 2015

    A hauntingly beautiful photograph. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. mostlymonochrome
    January 13, 2015

    I find this picture very emotive.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. spencersamalvin
    January 13, 2015

    Thanks for sharing this very evocative photo, Mute, and your story . . hang in there, keep sharing & reaching out . . you have friends here.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Incidental Scribe
    January 13, 2015

    So deep..I love the shot. I’m going through different therapies right now to deal with my “illness”, so it’s nice to see someone using art to express themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. wildernessruminator
    January 13, 2015

    Thank you for sharing this, your photograph and your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Incite Photographics
    January 13, 2015

    My heart goes out to you Mute. A very brave and beautiful thing you did in sharing and I thank you for it. Such an emotive piece of artwork that you have created.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. BookOfBokeh
    January 14, 2015

    That’s a bitch of a story, dude, nailed home by an amazing shot. I hope it improves for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bipolar Fabulous!
    January 14, 2015

    Reblogged this on Bipolar Fabulous ..

    Like

  14. autisticaplanet
    January 14, 2015

    Though I have a different diagnosis, I do understand what you are going through, the isolation, the having to pretend things are normal so loved ones either don’t feel bad or get irritated. Relying on Jesus as my only hope of survival lead to amazing opportunities that I could not have arranged myself such as finding a good therapist, being able to keep him after the rules of taking out of county changed and a lot more. It was hardly an overnight transformation without struggles and I am not a finished product. None of us will be until we draw our last breath, but we can actually enjoy where we are today on the journey to where we are going. I hope and pray you find a good therapist and stick with a routine of treatment. Photography is being proven to be a Godsend for those who suffer mental illness. I think art in general helps those in pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. josephong
    January 14, 2015

    Brings back memories to when I used to sit on the stairs as a child 15 years ago.

    Like

  16. Alexa Jean
    January 15, 2015

    This is such an emotive photo; my first reaction was to see the stunning use of light and upon closer inspection I realised the texture and drained colour is what communicates the pain the sitter feels. Beautifully written words, I wish you strength Mute and thank you for sharing your photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jesus Is The Feast
    January 15, 2015

    Mute… I have resembled your very touching photo. I too have been stuck in the darkness, no way up, no way out. Thank you for sharing such a deeply moving photo on your first (of many, I am sure) contributions.
    I want to encourage you Brother, even though your posted name here says “Mute”, you have alot of good and wonderful things to say, and I am excited to hear them.

    Like

  18. 365nothings
    January 15, 2015

    Sometimes I wonder if we all feel like this inside and are just afraid to share it. I hope you find what you are looking for.

    Like

  19. shubhamchugh
    January 15, 2015

    wow.. amazing shot!

    Like

  20. Maya
    January 15, 2015

    A very powerful portrait. I hear you, and see you.

    Like

  21. heidispitzig
    January 17, 2015

    This photo so powerfully conveys all that you said in your description of the photo. And I get it. Man, do I get it.

    Like

  22. eLPy
    January 19, 2015

    Very emotional. I agree with others that the light in the pic and the way it shadows you is so effective. I too will pray for you that perhaps one day you will make it out of this dark stairwell and into the light that is so near. Take care of yourself and do not be afraid to speak Mute. 🙂

    Like

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