Floating/Drowning

Click.
Each letter on the keyboard is a new hook in the sand.
An anchor to tether this vessel to something
Resembling a foundation that isn’t cracked
And leaking.

Why can’t you write something without water imagery?
Because my melatonin dosage has changed
From powdered pills to bleeding ink
And I don’t think I’ve yet found a better way
To articulate,
I’m drowning.

I’m still drowning.

And I will float endlessly until acted upon
Saving whatever kinetic energy
I can muster, to start moving
And keep moving

Stop.

No,
Please don’t let me stop.
Momentum is birthed by variables
And stars far outside my reach right now

So push me,
I won’t push back
In fact my arms will be open,
Grasping the waves to try and grab hold
Of something that can hold the weight.

But each day it grows.
And each day it spreads.
More than I would care to admit.

These waters are so cold,
But they’ve stitched me a blanket
That everyday seems more familiar
And as I lay afloat in the dead of night
I can hear waves
Quietly whispering “home”.

PF


 

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Creative Pieces dear hope

The Happiness Project – Dear Hope Premiere

Dear Hope is proud to premier “The Happiness Project” by Zach Cooper. Find the video and a little passage from Zach himself below.

“My inspiration behind this video was to give people a break from all the negativity they constantly see on all social media platforms on a daily basis. It also serves as a friendly reminder that you don’t need to travel the world or spend a ton of money to find happiness in your life. You can find happiness in your daily routine, or with someone you love, or just being in a space you love to be in and I tried to capture that with everyone that was in front of my camera. I also wanted this video to be something you can watch if you’re down and out about life to hopefully bring a smile to your face.

I won’t lie this video came with a lot of different challenges, like finding people to actually film. Countless amounts of people showed interest but we either couldn’t meet up because of scheduling conflicts or for some other reason. Not to mention I ended up moving out of my hometown and had to make new connections and friends to film while this project was already moving along.

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I can’t thank the people that were willing to be a part of this enough. I especially thank the people of New York City that would meet me in random spots throughout the city to film for an hour that had no idea who I was at first but we ended up forming friendships out of this and I love that. Life is moving at an incredibly fast pace and I hope this video slows you down and you take a moment to enjoy it, enjoy where you are and the people who are there with you.

Lastly, I thank Dear Hope and my good friend Paul for listening to this idea in it’s very early stages and having enough patience to let it fully bloom into what it’s become.”

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Leave some comments below for Zach and check out his other work!

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF


Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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A Lens Into Our World dear hope

Poetry: “Don’t” by Caroline Koty

Don’t
The shiny metal that kisses your skin
So sweetly
So precisely
The crimson that trickles like a flowing river
The moisture that lets me know I’m still breathing
The cold soft touch of the blade
The pressure that sends relief
The pain escaping from within and moving to out
Your soul is unleashing the chains
Your arm is releasing the pain
Hurt
The soul was so hurt it couldn’t manage
It could not use the positive self talk
The meditation
The therapy
The soul was consumed
Consumed by the “me toos”
The what ifs
The you’re weak
Something you put everything into and received nothing from
The body was calm
Floating in an abyss of carefree concerns
But the the body awoke
Gushing excretion from its veins
Screaming to be wanted
To be caressed to be appreciated
The body wanted everything the soul never knew existed


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Thanks to Caroline for sending in this poem. Leave a comment below about what you think!

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Creative Pieces dear hope

Debut Music Video From Hazel Bloom: “Was It All Worth It” – Dear Hope Premiere

Before we premiere the video, Dave Carlin, the singer and songwriter of Hazel Bloom, wanted to open up about his past struggles and the inspirations for the song and debut album, Temporary.

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 I first started writing songs for this album about a year and a half ago during one of the most emotionally draining periods of my life. I was dealing with depression, anxiety, and derealization, which felt like they were deteriorating my body. I was undergoing these symptoms for about 6 months before I even knew what was happening to my health. I had just ended a seven year long relationship and lost a good friend in a car accident. I spent a third of my life with this person, so it was a huge impact on my mental health to lose them. I always imagined that losing a friend would be difficult, but you never really feel the full emotion of it until it happens.

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I’ve always had trouble with these kinds of difficult situations. It was hard for me to express how I was feeling, and I bottled up a lot of emotion, which lead to a lot of unhealthy choices. I was drinking almost every night, sleeping most of the day and was late to work consistently. I was completely focusing all my efforts into forgetting and keeping my mind off of the past. I rarely expressed my thoughts and because of this, I caused a lot of problems in past relationships and friendships.

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I spent seven years with a person I considered my best friend. From the ages of 14 to 21, I was growing into myself and finding what it was I was passionate about. From a teenager to an adult, I spent almost all of this time with one person, and it was extremely hard to cope with removing them from my life. It took a huge toll on my health, and my mental stability. Some of the best times of my life were with this person and I became so comfortable that I thought it was impossible to live without them.

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So, I decided that writing this album would be a good way to express my feelings about situations I’ve been holding on to for so long and finally start to let go. I could place my feelings and thoughts over the past years into this album as part of a healing process that I would be able to look back on. I’d be able to look at how much I’ve grown over time and be able to remember the good times – not just the bad ones. It’s been almost 3 years, and some of the feelings still eat me alive from time to time, but I’m making progress.

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My friend, Mike Hazel, who passed away in January of 2016 had a huge influence on this album and band. He was always into the music scene and I knew he wanted to be in a band which is something I could really relate with. He’s also the reason why I named the project ‘Hazel Bloom’. I wanted to create a type of art that resonates not only his presence but for anyone that has ever lost somebody or something. Even though they are not in this life anymore, I wanted to make something that still projects their presence; something to show that they still are making an impact on people in a positive way and to show that their presence. They are still in ‘Bloom’.

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‘Temporary’ is what I decided to call this album/ art project I’ve been working on. As I mentioned before, when I started writing this, I was going through some very mentally strenuous times. But as time progressed I discovered a platform I could use to help me express myself, and things seem to be getting a lot better. My depression and anxiety seemed to be subsiding and I began feeling happy in my skin again. I’ve been working on talking about stressful and uncomfortable situations and I think it’s made me a healthier person. This made me think that even though things were dark for a while, those feelings are all temporary.

The other half of why I named this album Temporary is because I’ve had a lot of relationships, partnerships, and friendships fall apart. Countless people have come in and out of my life, some good and some not so great. But I’ve learned to cherish all those people as I’ll never know when they could disappear from my life. Although I don’t talk or see most of those people anymore, I like to remember all the great times I had with them. I wouldn’t change any of them for anything,. Those people and experiences help make me who I am today and I am very grateful for those experiences and those people.

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Album art for the upcoming album, “Temporary”.

Most of all, I want anyone who encounters my art to be able to feel something. Whether this art brings back good experiences and memories or makes you cherish the people and experiences you have now, I hope you can feel it.

Because I know sometimes when you feel lost and it’s hard to feel any emotion at all.


View the brand new debut video from Hazel Bloom: “Was It All Worth It” below. And be sure to check out the full album Temporary when it releases later this year on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

The photos in this article were taken by the wonderful Giana Murphy. Check out her own post, The Insecurity Project, for Dear Hope here.

Video shot and edited by Zach Cooper. Find him on Instagram here.

Follow Hazel Bloom on Twitter and Facebook.

Always remember that you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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Article dear hope

The Many Forms of Self Harm

**Trigger warning: self harm

It’s been over a year since I last wrote something down for this site. I’ve been thinking and reflecting a lot lately, however, and feel I’ve come to a new understanding about myself personally that I just needed to write down somewhere.

I’m incredibly self-destructive in ways that I never really realized.

It’s a weird thing to say out loud. I never really considered myself to be someone who was that self-destructive, but there are certain patterns and habits I’ve developed over the years, including how I run this site, that make me realize that I’m self-sabotaging in ways a few years ago I would’ve never even acknowledged.

It’s seeing an email come in about someone submitting to the site, and deciding to wait to answer it.

It’s getting this website to a point where it could really grow into something even bigger, and then stepping back and not following through.

It’s having years of experience writing music, but feeling anxious and afraid every time I try to write something new.

It’s becoming less personal with friends after they’ve seen certain parts of you, parts that you tell others it’s okay to show.

It’s having a skill set and numerous talents that you stop pursuing because you’re bored.

It’s limiting the jobs you apply to because your head constantly tells you that you’re not good enough to do the jobs you know you’re qualified for.

It’s self-harm without the actual physical pain. 

It’s all of these small actions and thoughts amplified over time, building and building until you’re left with a scar when you weren’t even aware there was a wound to begin with. I’ve been self-harming for years and wasn’t even aware of it.

And I feel so incredibly empty right now from it.

We have a tendency to think of self-harm in a very specific blade-on-skin kind of way. But the truth of the matter is that self-harm can encompass all different kinds of self-destructive behavior. The depression and anxiety in my life that I identify with definitely aid in these recurring behaviors. It’s a reminder that I’m still struggling every day, and I’m trying to find new ways to push forward. It’s all I can do with this new information I know about myself.

Because honestly I’m not too sure what else to do.

But there’s always the comfort in knowing that I’m not alone.

And you’re not alone.

You are loved.

Paul Falcone

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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Article dear hope

Dysphoria and Self-Image: an artist’s depiction of struggle and recovery

My name is Claire Frederick. I’m an incoming senior in Painting at Maine College of Art (MECA) in Portland, ME. I live in the city with my cat, Glitter, who is my therapy kitty. I have clinical and seasonal depression, an anxiety disorder, sleep issues, and am a recovered self harmer and anorexic.

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Claire Frederick

I have always been someone that tries to handle my mental health on my own; even at my lowest lows I have refused outside help. It wasn’t until I was outside the United States (Italy and Greece) in my worst manic depressive and anxious episode that I realized I needed support from professionals and medication. It was more than situational; it was chemical. It took multiple tries to find the pills that worked for me, but I found them.

Presently, I still have my days, but I am the strongest and happiest I have ever been. As an artist with mental illness and queer identity, it is my mission to spread awareness through visual art by both personal and relatable imagery. To me, it is important for people to understand the vast diversity that mental illness takes form, and that most times it’s not “standard.” Even with all of its idiosyncratic identities, there are others out there that feel like you.

Talking to friends, family, strangers, and or professionals can be so beneficial to find peace of mind. Literally. There are people that want to help and support you, as well as, well as ways to find personal positivity and release the negative. For me, finding an outlet and profession in visual art has saved my life. I am also forever grateful for my support system: my family, girlfriend, friends, and professionals. We all have a reason to believe, to keep moving forward; it’s always out there.

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“Disphoria” Artist Statement: The use of line in the exploration of the female figure formally investigates the structure and planar shifts of the body. These lines are formulated in an almost topographical way, and are treated with translucent waves of desaturated color. The earthy, yet bruise-like palette alludes to nature in the same way the body becomes geography. By using wet-on-wet techniques, the paint creates its own forms; the pen is then used to take back control, separating the values and hues. Steering away from the composure of traditional portraiture, I repeat, deconstruct, and reinvent the female figure to achieve an emotional and psychological experience, mimicking feelings of dysphoria associated with my mental illness.

 

Tired Girls Club

Tired Girls Club
Watercolor on 300lb paper
2016

 

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Ghost:
Deconstruction of the Hand
Watercolor on 300lb paper
2016

A Lens Into Our World Artwork dear hope

Introducing Our New Editor-in-Chief: Sandra Mercer

Hello everyone!

I’d like to take a moment to introduce our newest team member, Sandra Mercer. She will be serving as the new editor-in-chief for Dear Hope!

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Sandra will now be the head editor managing all the submissions that come into Dear Hope. Please give her a warm welcome! She has been a member of our community for a long time, and recently submitted the article “Questions as Daggers & Questions as Saviors. She also wrote a Coping piece for us last year. Be sure to give them a read.

This is the start of a relaunching period for Dear Hope. Be ready for lots of new content and art in the coming weeks. (If you’ve been thinking of sending us something to publish, now is a great time!)

Always remember that you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to Dear Hope and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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