My love affair with Prince runs long, hard and deep. His ability to stretch beyond the limits and create music that is absolutely unique and alive filled the crevices of my broken mind with hope, dreams, and possibility.
Briana Smith, Spectrum News In “The Red Bench,” Jacqueline Cioffa gives readers a glimpse of her journey as an international model who suffered from bipolar disorder. The Auburn native shares her recovery to peace and hopes this inspires others to do the same. “There are 46 million people living with this disease, and suicide is becoming more and more prevalent in our society,” Cioffa said. “I just want people who may
A DESCENT AND ASCENT INTO MADNESS A decade ago I made a commitment to myself and a promise if I could write my deepest, darkest truths, fears, and wildest dreams on the page, I might have a shot at surviving the depths of hell I was living. THE RED BENCH essentially became a one-hundred-plus-page creative exploration, and the purest stream of consciousness, and the most essential tool in my survival
I Am Adam Lanza, Dec. 14, 2012 A decade ago I lived a frivolous, spoiled, privileged life. An International fashion model, I worked in more countries than I can count. Freedom was something I took for granted, until the earth fell from under me and my whole world shattered. My first psychotic breakdown took away everything I knew to be true and buried me whole. The paranoia, delusions of grandeur, mania,
As I sat across from my mother and really looked at her face and tiny frame, I saw her age, frailty and worry lines for the first time. Her life has not been easy. It has been fucking brutal. She has endured and cared for too many loved ones suffering from mental illness. Every decade of her life has been spent caring for a loved one, someone other than herself.
When life throws shit at you, and most assuredly it will, remember this. I see you. You are stronger than you think. You are kinder, graceful, brighter, smarter, funnier, richer (and not monetarily), and unique. On the days I forget and think manic depression will most definitely kill me, I dig deep. Who the hell knows where or when life’s reservoirs will dry up. I don’t, neither do you. Then,
When they zapped my brain, I did not recognize the nurse who had been there all along. I recalled my mother’s face, worry lines and all. Too familiar. I forget sometimes with all these cells coarsing through veins, tripping up emotions that things came easier once. Life was uncomplicated, and I took it for granted. It was the little moments I shrugged off, the nothing less than important. Vital lessons
I look back on the road with no regret, humbled and in awe of where I have been, and the horrible days lived. I look cautiously towards the future, with trepidation, anticipation and hope. I would want no other me, no other life. I walk the path alone, without the ghosts and fantasy. Just a girl, a simpleton, beat up and worn down by a mind she can’t control, dancing
I am told the brain feels no pain, no pressure. That is only half-truth. I have experienced a different reality; never exposed to screaming silence quite like this. I’m scared out of my mind imploding from the inside. I make ballsy, hasty decisions to beat down the bullshit, chemical imbalance. Humiliated, I lie alone on a gurney, port in my arm, the tacky acrid green plastic band too tight around my
The Unwilling Participant Some idiot had the bright idea to hang a birdcage outside a locked window on a mental ward. It hung from metal steps dangling like a goddamn Snickers bar, only filled with birdseed and shit. The rustic, red paint had chipped away seasons past. Maybe it was part of an arts and crafts afternoon, who the hell knows? I used to stare at it for hours, tapping