THE RED BENCH *Cover Reveal*

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 – by Jacqueline Cioffa

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,

A Different Kind of Crazy

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 mental illness. Every decade of her life has been spent caring for a loved one, someone other than herself. Not like

Survivor

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,

Rebel Rouser

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

caught-crossfire

Caught in the Crossfire

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

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

Pet Friendly on Bleeding Ink with Feminine Collective

“Pet Friendly” on Bleeding Ink with  Feminine Collective             Pet Friendly I am not a patient person and yet, somehow I find the patience, for her. Maybe it’s because she needs no words to show me what she wants, just a tilt of the head to the left or the right. Her gold and grey swirls of fur glisten when she sees me, a smile lights

I support #TheLoveEffect film – ‪#‎SuicideAwareness‬ ‪

As an Advocate, Buddha Collector, Spiritual Seeker, Author, Being, and Human how could I not stand up in support of #theloveeffect film? Living with mental illness, suicide and the dark are the all too familiar unwelcome visitors, and close companions. Experiencing the personal devastating loss of someone precious, brilliant and beautiful to suicide is unbearable, impossible to comprehend. And, yet somehow we manage to go on. Not without help, none of us