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
Nicole Lyons Advance Review of The Red Bench “I have sat in my own madness and I have never once claimed it to be beautiful. I have slit my own wrists and begged for sweet death and I have never once claimed it to be beautiful. Madness and torment, the sheared edges of a broken mind have never once been beautiful, but the way Jacqueline Cioffa writes about her decent
I am honored to be included on Stigma Fighters. No matter who we are, we cannot face Mental Illness alone. Sarah Fader and Stigma Fighters are doing important work sharing, discussing and opening the conversation. Say NO to Stigma, YES to empathy, understanding and kindness. The time for positive change is right now. Stigma Fighters : Jacqueline Cioffa It hurts, Ya’ Know by Jacqueline Cioffa The earliest picture I have of me lives in
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
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 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
Chasing the Sun Don’t look down at your feet The answers won’t magically appear On some tiny telephone screen with videos buzzing megabytes and wasted seconds A billion unknown faces The unfamiliar bizarre millennium Scrolling fast and furious Thunderstorms and lightening threaten Look up and out and dig deep Go ahead look all around I dare you Eyes closed Lift your face to the sky and cry Right into the
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