THE RED BENCH Cover Reveal

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 kit. I never force the words

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,

I hate the word #BiPolar. It’s ugly, an overused throwaway word.‬ #I’mAWhatever

I couldn’t resist responding to the lovely Carol Adriana Estrella‘s post on Facebook this morning. “Doing a small survey: What are your first thoughts when you hear the word “bipolar”. Being that is an illness, I see it used around A LOT as an adjective or a subject.” Visit the very hip and informative blog Is Ok Not To Be Ok to view some of the varied responses (including my abridged one). Carol explains, “I did a very informal

Drowning by Mouse

Woke up to a flooded basement (only a little), and a head that feels like it’s in a vice-grip. I have taken half a Benadryl, Alka-Seltzer and Flonase with only marginal relief. Not matter what’s happening or how shitty I feel, my personal summer goal is to swim every single day. And, it only counts if I get my head wet. Duh, everybody knows that. Don’t they? Went to the gym and for a

"This first Friday in June, all I know is I am doing my best. My very damnedest. And it looks like this…"

I felt like this today. You don’t need to hear about the numbness, excruciating pain, overwhelming anxiety, residual anxiety, paranoia, dizziness  or that I prayed to whomever was listening to just end it. Fucking end the ridiculous, relentless, ad nauseam, non-sensical hours that consume my days. Frankly it’s wearing me down, ripping me to shreds and fucking exhausting fighting invisible monsters. Yes, I know I’m sick. Yes, I understand tapering off benzos is

I am somebody’s child, you know. Jacqueline Cioffa #mentalillness  

I never cared much about looking back when I was young. I could not wait to leave this house, this town get out and experience stuff. You know the obstinate dreamer looking for bold adventure. It worked. I ran. I ran fast and far, and kept running. That’s the funny thing about developing a serious illness, you are forced to re-prioritize. Becoming insane in the middle of Manhattan did not bode well for me

“The chaos comes with you,” simply stated my friend. -The Red Bench excerpt by Jacqueline Cioffa

           “As an artist do I need constant flux to create? How will I find words in the woods surrounded by trees and rotten cornfields? How will I find anything besides dying, wet leaves? I cannot escape the volume in my head, the constant churning. The Jesus fucking Christ, turn it down chatter. I have been told to be patient. Wait for the drugs, the quieting veil, and the lavender

One, Two Buckle My Shoe

One, Two Buckle My Shoe By Jacqueline Cioffa One, two buckle my shoe. I don’t know how other writers find their way into a story. For me, it usually goes something like this. I hear a line in my head, a word, see a visual, and then the story plays over and over, until I release it onto the page. Its cathartic, sometimes it takes me back, some days it