no lofty peaks,
no pillowtop clouds
that paint the Rocky Mountain
sky like an airbrush,
no soft and supple
tones of evergreen could ever
fill that incredibly ordinary
cavern in my soul.

and no meticulous combination
of harmonies,
no symphony of strings
or of words,
no hallelujah was ever
going to sound
in tune.

but then I saw the falls.

I saw the frosty freezing
rapids making their
brilliant little crash landings,
static yet always moving.

and I looked into your eyes,
and I saw those falls. …

battled, bruised and brittle
mutinous knuckles start to swell
cuts on your face meet the frigid floor
is this my living hell?

you lose the ones you love the most,
the voice inside has won
are you happy my waves turned into tides
that crash from dusk till dawn?

I often wonder why shattered souls
begin this life behind
why innocent hearts and fragile minds
start broken with nowhere to hide

perhaps we’re not protagonists
of this haunting, timeless tale
are we simply cogs in the machine,
and some are meant to fail?

but even if that cog is stuck,

This image is from the user Dids at

Before I found the right combination of medications for my bipolar disorder, I was in a deep, dark place. My descent into nothingness grew exponentially from the moment I started college. Life seemed impossible, as if my brain decided I simply wasn’t capable of being a functional human being. In February of 2019, an opportunity came my way. I located a free mental health clinic nearby, and against my fears and anxiety about going somewhere foreign to me, I gave it a shot.

Opening up to someone about mental illness is hard for a multitude of reasons. For one, I…

This picture is compliments of Artem Beliakin from

(Disclaimer: I want to make it clear that I’m not saying being sick is a good thing. Mental illness is serious and from experience I know that it can be completely debilitating. Don’t stop taking your medication. The purpose of this story is to explain how my journey toward better mental health has had an effect on my creativity and personal life. Thank you.)

It’s 2:15 p.m. I got into work at 5 in the morning but I’m home now and I feel like a dog let out of its cage. As soon as I walk through the door I…

This picture is courtesy of from Pexels

I’m feeling better.

I’ve always been pretty cynical when it comes to recovering from my mental illness. The way I see it, there really isn’t such as thing as “recovery.” My bipolar disorder will live with me my entire life unless the scientific community finds a cure. To actually remove myself of this disease is nearly impossible, and so my opinion has always been that I am stuck at the bottom.

It’s easy to feel that way when you’re struggling. When you’re down, a lot of times you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your depression…

This image is courtesy of Pixabay at

Disclaimer: I have not been able to see a doctor for about a month now. I’m aware that intense paranoia can be a symptom of bipolar disorder, however I could be suffering from some other mental illness. For the sake of this story, I will assume it is not a separate condition. Thanks.

Everyone is trying to kill me.

I’ve spoken out about a lot of the symptoms of bipolar disorder that have affected me personally. The mood swings, anger episodes and lack of motivation among others. However, I have been dealing with something in recent weeks that may be…

This picture is courtesy of Jeswin Thomas at

Today I am writing about how my bipolar disorder diagnosis has ruined my life. That probably sounds pretty grim. I’m aware that mental illnesses affect every person differently and that there are certainly people with greater problems than my own. However, I want to share my experiences because I think they paint a picture of just how many aspects of life can be influenced by having bipolar disorder.

This illness plays a role in virtually every aspect of my life. From the moment I wake up until the moment I hit my bed (or don’t if I can’t sleep), my…

This photo is courtesy of Elle Hughes from

Invisible illnesses are some of the most overlooked conditions in our society. It can be extremely difficult to empathize with someone when only they can accurately convey how they are feeling. It is important to always show respect and be mindful when dealing with someone that suffers from depression, anxiety, or both. However, it can be hard when a person has no real understanding of what those symptoms are like.

Honestly, there is no cut-and-dry method of getting a healthy person to feel like someone with depression or anxiety. Those conditions and the mental health disorders that accompany them often…

Wheatfield With Crows, 1890. This is a painting by Vincent Van Gogh, a known artist with mental health issues

Mental health problems are beautiful. That may seem pretty controversial. How can disorders that are so devastating and life-altering be anything other than tragic and pitiful and unnecessary? I believe everyone that suffers from a mental illness goes through a similar thought process when trying to rationalize their problems.

Why do I have this burden to bear when life is already so difficult?

Why was I given this illness that’s out of my control?

Why can’t I just be normal?

These are questions that may never yield an acceptable answer. I could spend my whole life trying to understand what…

This image comes from Bahaa A. Shawqi at

Chances are, you or someone you know suffers from mental illness. Whether you know it or not, millions of people around the world struggle in silence and live in fear of succumbing to the stigmas surrounding their conditions. In a society slowly shifting toward love, respect and acceptance, we must ask ourselves how we will approach the topic in a way that shows we care. Here are some things everyone can do to help people with mental illnesses feel like they belong, even when they feel isolated and alone.

Treat Mental Health Issues Like Any Other Disability

Invisible illnesses are some of the harder conditions to respond to…

Brenden Belluardo

A mental health survivor writing directly from the soul. General musings about life and what it all means.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store