Higher Power

How can negative emotional experiences be transformed into opportunities for individual growth?
“This past August, the universe delivered to me the ocean as my higher power when in a deep depression. Though I cannot hold onto water, I can hold it in a special place in my heart. I love to take long walks on the beach to be in the presence of the water, and to witness the ocean’s vastness, blueness, and beauty.” — Sophia Falco


Looking down at the people on the beach, I imagine them joyous together. I am more than envious because I’m trying to fight back tears, but I cannot, so they fall like the waves crashing upon the shore. Depression is invisible to a microscope. Depression is invisible to the naked eye. Depression is invisible to a telescope. This depression is invisible to them.


Dark clouds disperse in every direction, and this storm travels quickly swallowing up sunlight in my continuous nightmare permeating darkness. This darkness travels throughout my entire being. This darkness eclipses my soul. This darkness unjustly taints my mind whereas I long for the light. As an individual living with bipolar disorder 1 for over a decade, I have traversed through deep depressions. This past August, the universe delivered to me the ocean as my higher power when I was at my lowest point of having an existential crisis regarding the meaning of life. This blessing came out of the blue like the ocean itself. I am ever so grateful because I needed that reminder that there is power, rhythm, and order out there demonstrated by nature, and that it is indeed possible to reclaim order back from my own mind. “Birds At The Golden Hour” captures light and dark illustrating hope and despair. This demonstrates that those two things — hope and despair — can coexist at the same time. Here, some light has broken free from the clouds illuminating the stage for the birds, and their flight. At times I feel like the lower bird (an anomaly) separated from the rest; however, with solitude can come opportunity. I am making my own path forward. I am following my dreams. Now I have soared above that storm arriving back to a stable mood with a greater appreciation for life, and the beauty within this world like those birds at the golden hour.


I am branching out with joy while witnessing these sunbeams filtering through the spaces in between the cluster of these trees. I have declared to them that I am rooted in reality once again. They greet me with their presence standing strong and tall with greenery spreading out like helping hands. I have finally learned how to help myself because I cannot remember the last time someone put their hand on my shoulder telling me that I will be okay. I put my hand over my heart to feel it beating while the cool crisp air swirls around me with that freshness that only the ocean can give. The orange and yellow hues are a signal that light can be indeed expansive and can be expansive in my own mind. This present moment brings forth a joy that had been buried under emotional turmoil. I had to go spelunking to bring it back up to the surface, and this beautiful sunset was the catalyst for joy to come forth once again.

Sophia Falco is a published photographer and published poet who has been living with bipolar disorder 1 for over a decade. This past August, the universe delivered to her the ocean as her higher power when in a deep depression. Her photographs appear in The Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Sunspot Literary Journal, The Esthetic Apostle, and on the cover of Tilde: A Literary Journal (September 2018, Vol. 1, Issue 2). Her debut poetry chapbook: The Immortal Sunflower (UnCollected Press, 2019) was a winner of The Raw Art Review Poetry Chapbook Contest.

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