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.

Mountain Gold_3480433766_l

Photo taken by contributor Don, a man in his fifties from the Western North Carolina Mountains. Throughout his teens and twenties spikes of grandeur, depression, and anxiety were the norm, although back then no one used those terms, at least not in his small town. He struggled throughout his twenties. Don continued to be plagued by episodes of mania and depression, until one day in his early thirties it all came crashing down. His anxiety turned to severe panic attacks. Fear and paranoia consumed him. It would take years to get a concrete diagnosis. Ultimately, after a full three-day medical work up at a military hospital in DC, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, general and social anxiety, and ADHD. It was around that time when he picked up the camera he had laid down some years back, and began to shoot again. He liked being behind the camera’s lens. He felt safe there, sort of like when a child puts his hands over his own eyes, thinking you cannot see him. Some of his photographs have been published and won awards.

About this series: “I call this one my attempt at creating a Jackson Pollock; I can dream can’t I? This is one of my favorites. To me it appears to be gold, as in there is gold in the mountains. Autumn in the mountains is a special time of color. It seems to help overcome a black and white life.

Find more from Don on his blog.


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

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4 responses to “Gold in the Mountains”

  1. James Work Photography Avatar

    Don….so love hearing of another one’s story and struggle. It makes want to scream, see, I am not the only one. I kiddingly say I am hiding behind my camera, when I was never really kidding. I was safe there. People almost always identified me as the photographer, never by name which added to my hiding place….en theos …jasL


  2. shaunkellett Avatar

    What an amazing shot! Beautiful. I love the imagery of being invisible behind a camera lens… It can definitely feel like that extra layer of protection.


  3. maureenjenner Avatar

    You might like to take a look at the Survivors’ Poetry web page where those with difficulties can find a place to air their views on life.


  4. michaelj51 Avatar

    Reblogged this on snave51.


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