I "like" Kay Redfield Jamison on Facebook. If you don't know, she is a renowned professor at Johns Hopkins in psychiatry and mood disorders. She has also written extensively (with enlightenment from personal experience with her own Bipolar disorder) on mood disorders, as well as on suicide, which is one of my personal research interests. Her books are fascinating. I don't see many updates on Facebook from her page, but tonight there was one, featuring artwork by Jessica Kizorek. Kizorek was inspired by Jamison's book An Unquiet Mind and made this (click on the link above to find out more about the piece):

The featured quote from Jamison's book is this:
"So why would I want anything to do with this illness? Because I honestly feel that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and been more loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters; worn death close, appreciated it and life more. I have seen the breadth and depth and width of my mind and heart and how frail they both are; and how ultimately unknowable they both are... Depressed I have crawled on my hands and knees. Manic, I have run faster, thought faster, and loved faster than anyone I know... much of this related to my illness. Strangely enough, I think I would choose to have it."

Seeing this on my newsfeed, it just struck me as a very accurate and powerful depiction of mental illness, and not only Bipolar. Some people have illnesses inflicted on them by trauma and/or abuse...they have been so broken that they now view life through something like a shattered mirror perspective, all the while trying to make a cohesive whole out of their experience.

By making this idea into a piece of art, Kizorek demonstrates well that the contributions "shattered" people make to human understanding are not something to be perceived as ugly or unvaluable. In fact, it enriches us.

I wish the terms "abuse" and "trauma" had never needed to be coined...I wish no one had ever had to experience them. I wish no one had ever been broken by another.

But "broken" is not synonymous with "bad".

Take a look at the beautiful things artists have rendered out of (or as inspired by) broken mirrors! Here are a few I found in a very brief search:

I would say that integration of shattered experiences into mainstream life is a form of redemption.

If we can correlate all the broken glimpses of life into a meaningful whole, our perspective should be much more rich and complete.

To summarize...I found Kizorek's work quite inspiring!! :)


  1. Great post, sorry a wee bit late but have bee a bit under the weather,


  2. Maybe changed is a better word?
    I really dig that guitar!!!

  3. Love the guitar!! Thanks for stopping by my blog today!


  4. Whoa...those shoes are insane! And that guitar! Super cool :) Great post.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy)


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