A Year In Review: A Note From The Author

This post is a little late, but HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

My personal life has become hectic once again, and found myself beginning to neglect the website through the holiday season. But I wanted to take a look back and reflect before going forward into 2016.

In February of 2015 Dear Hope started out as a personal blog for a class I was enrolled in for college credit. By May, I had remodeled that blog into this website; one that I hoped would turn into a community of people sharing experiences about their relationships, struggles, and triumphs with mental illness and mental health.

That’s what I did.

But what did we do?

We started off the first year with over 31,000 hits on the website. We brought together people struggling as teenagers, to college students with eating disorders, to fathers finding new purpose after a suicide attempt, to mothers in their sixties with a bipolar diagnosis. We spanned the globe, connecting over 99 countries and 1,035 dedicated followers together through heart, honesty, and passion.

We gave hope.

We gave hope to so many people that we may never know. And for anyone who helped contribute to that, I am eternally grateful, and so are so many others.

But what’s next?

2016 will continue to expand in every way possible for Dear Hope. I currently have multiple submissions sitting in our inbox from new places around the world. The Consumed: Mental Illness Through Photography project will continue to be shot and is expected to be completed in April.

I plan on revamping the website again by summer, and have some new series I wish to start. The one in the forefront is Music Mondays where people discuss a song, album, or artist that has helped them through a tough time and why. (If this sounds interesting to you, shoot us an email!)

There’s also some more things I’m working on, and can’t wait to share them with you all.

I look forward to this journey together with all of you.

Always remember,

You are not alone.



The Deadly Promise

The Deadly Promise

The real me is disguised
by this massive unwanted weight.

Staring blankly into the glass,
praying to be given the most
valuable quality, that of perfection.

I don’t need anyone.
All I need is you.

My happy little addiction,
sweeping me away into your
false, troubled world.

The more withered I get,
the stronger you and I become.

Together we are reckless,
doing anything it takes
to be empty and accepted.

I can never be too critical
you always leave room for my improvement.

You promise me joy.
So I follow you willingly
into the depths of disappointment.

It’s never enough for you.
Therefore it’s never enough for me.

I signed your contract,
because I worship your
ability to beautify others.

Make me like them, my friend.
Transform me into something magnificent.


This poem was submitted by Kelsey-Brooke Scheumann.

Remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

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

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Dear Hope is Expanding Again, Meet Alaina!

I’m incredibly excited to say that we are bringing another person onto the Dear Hope team, Alaina Leary. Alaina attended the same college as Danny and I, and is now studying for her master’s degree in Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. She lives with her girlfriend and their two cats, and often writes about the experience of being a queer women and in a same-sex relationship.


Alaina is a rape survivor, and originally wrote a post for Dear Hope about that experience. It’s important to her to use writing not only as a tool for her own healing, but as a way to show others that they aren’t alone. She believes that giving a voice to these issues can also raise awareness about rape culture and consent, and she is a strong advocate for teaching informed, enthusiastic consent to the masses.

As an editor for several online and print publications, Alaina wants to contribute to Dear Hope by assisting with submissions, editing, and social media management. She assists with social media activity for several other magazines, including a literary magazine focused on mental health topics. She believes that the internet is a great platform where everyone can be heard and form a community. She will also be contributing articles, features and profiles, service pieces, personal essays, and creative writing.

I’ve had the privilege of working with her on multiple projects, and she most recently did an interview about me, the website, and my photography project for Germ Magazine (Seriously, check it out, her writing is incredible). I can’t wait to see how her networking skills and undeniable writing talents strengthen our community.

So give Alaina a warm welcome and be on the lookout for new posts signed AL.

You are loved.



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“Recovered and Still Struggling: Living Life Post ED” – Coping: This is Who We Are Entry 13

Is that really all you’re eating?” is a phrase I’ve been asked countless times. I think no matter how old I am, or where I go, this question will always cause my face to turn red.

Having an eating disorder (ED) can be pretty confusing to those who haven’t experienced one before. When you have one, regardless of its severity, you live in a constant state of self-judgment. Every move you make is monitored by your brain. Whether it’s choosing something to wear, what you are eating, or going into a public place, you are constantly on alert of what you look like to others.

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I launched a new page that details my “Consumed: Mental Illness Through Photography” series. These are the first shoots that will grow to show multiple illnesses with models of different races, genders and identities. Because a mental illness can happen to anyone at anytime no matter who you are.

Find more at the link.

Source: Consumed


My Journey Accepting Bipolar Disorder: I Don’t Need to Be Medicated

This piece comes as a submission from an anonymous source who wishes to share their journey and experience with bipolar disorder. Find their touching path to acceptance below.

Around the time I was thirteen, I knew something was off.

I didn’t feel like myself; it felt like every problem in my family or my eighth grade friend group was weighing down on my shoulders. I felt the awful pain every time bad news came my way and I spent more time crying that I did laughing.

Could it have been the constant fighting between my parents that struck emotional episodes and tantrums?

Was it the fact that puberty was hitting and I was finally realizing that I wasn’t like the other kids from my small suburban town?

Was it the constant back and forth of my foster cousins living at my Aunt’s house?

Could it have been the teasing and mocking about my bushy eyebrows, stupid hair that never quite fell into place, or bad clothing style?

I still don’t know exactly what started it,

but when I was thirteen I began cutting myself.

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Dear Hope Is Expanding, Meet The New Editor!

Hello Everyone,

It seems as my life continues to get more busy and complicated the website is continuing right alongside doing the same. In the last six months we’ve gained a lot of momentum and created a community that is engaging, empathetic, understanding, and willing to hear and learn from each other. It makes me proud looking at what we’ve accomplished so far.

So I want to keep going.

10176116_10206246596547066_7865623685647307170_nBesides community submitted pieces you deserve to read different news and articles about what is going on in the world today about mental health and your well being. I have to decided to bring on another editor to the site who will help me in finding and publishing content to keep the ecosystem alive and breathing, and he is someone I know very well.

Meet Danny. (Pictured on the far left next to me)

Danny and I have known each other for 4 years and currently live in the same apartment during our last year at the college we are attending. Danny is as passionate and driven to advocate for mental health (among many other things) and will be a great addition to helping us destigmatize and educate those who are willing to listen.

Danny has already submitted to the site twice with his own “Coping: This is Who We Are story and a piece of poetry he wrote entitled “Arachnophilic“. Be sure to check them out and give him some love.

I hope you all welcome Danny with an open mind as a new voice enters this world we share, and look forward to hearing a piece from him over the next week! If you’ve been thinking about submitting to the website now is a good time as well, as we only have a few submissions left in the queue. Share with your friends and invite them to share their stories, because as the community grows, the understanding of these illnesses does in unison.

You are loved.


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

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A (Big) Milestone: An Update From The Author

Hello everyone!

I apologize if things have seemed quiet as of late, I’ve been recovering from a surgery I had done on my dominate hand and have recently started my final year at my university. But I have some great news.

We have hit over 10,000 views on Dear Hope. 


Ten THOUSAND views in a little over half a year. If you had told me this was going to happen back in February I would have never believed you.

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Vacation Is Over: A Quick Update

Hello Everyone!

Sorry the site has gone dark the last few weeks.

I was recently on vacation in Europe visiting Dublin and Paris with my mother and a friend! I may write a separate post about it, as other cultures are always very eye opening and teach you so much.

But now it’s time to get back to work in the community. I have a few people I’m in contact with about pieces for the blog that I’m very excited about. If you been thinking about maybe contributing, send an email to wemustbebroken@gmail.com and we’ll chat! No harm done if we can’t work something out!

I plan on getting a few articles out myself. I recently saw the new pixar movie Inside Out and want to comment on it’s take on sadness/depression and the importance of them in relation to the emotional spectrum. I’m also in the beginning stages of working on a piece about depression and relationships. Be on the lookout for those. Maybe a creative piece too. It’s been a while since I wrote anything, so send some creative juices my way.

In other news the blog has passed 7500 views and has over 650 followers. 

This is incredible. Thanks to everyone who has joined our community and shares these posts. All the insight that has been added and all the people I have met has been heart-warming. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Lets get things going again!