Simple Steps to SUBMIT TO US on Medium

For all the newbies on Medium, here’s how you submit your work to us-

© Prasanna Kumar

In recent past few days, we started inviting writers to submit their mental health stories, artwork and poems to us here.

We found many were not on Medium and when they did come to Medium, they were having trouble submitting to us.

Please follow these simple steps to get your work reach us –

Once you accept our invitation to Medium, sign in.

Click on your profile button at top right.

In the dropper, click on ‘ New Story’.

Write your story there, format it whichever way you like. For more help, go here.

Once you are done, click on the three dots appearing on your top right like ‘…’

In the dropper, click on ‘Add To Publication’.

Since you are already added as a writer, click on ‘Bhor Publication’.

And you have successfully submitted your story to us!

We will find your story as a draft.

We will edit ( only if required), add the right tags and publish your work!


Write your comments below for assistance. Hope it helps!

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook.

It’s Time For Your Voice


Let’s talk about it.

Last time someone didn’t, they struggled alone.

Last time you didn’t, someone was left alone to deal with their demons.


Mental illness, or as Jhilmil calls it ‘temporary altered state of mind’ is deeply rooted not just inside us, but also inside the intricate fabrication of our society. It’s hidden behind the very word ‘fine’.

But why hide it? Why not educate ourselves and the others? Why not be more than these labels?

Bhor wants you to talk. Openly. About yourself. About someone you love. About people who are suffering from mental illness alone.

Bhor wishes you hold hands with creativity and if possible inspire. We think it’s time.

Be Part Of Our Publication!

Write your story, draw your life, paint artwork and publish here, submit beautiful poems, and talk about your struggles with mental health.

How?

  1. Sign in to Medium and make an account.
  2. Send us your interest at trustbhor@gmail.com
  3. We will add you as a writer to our publication.
  4. Write your post & send to Bhor.
  5. We will accept and publish here.
  6. Medium posts will be published on our website blog as well ( credit will be given to the writers)

Final Push

You can submit artwork, non-fiction stories, poems, someone else’s stories with the theme of mental health.

Some Ideas- You can submit informative essay on mental health and even a journalistic piece will be welcomed. An interview of someone related to mental health, like a psychologists, therapists, psychiatrist.

No limit to the word count, however the editors may ask you to edit the pieces on the basis of the theme and display of the publication.

You don’t have be someone who is suffering, but can be inspired or be inspirational in nature. We encourage caregivers to come forward with their stories.

If you’d like anonymity and would like our editors to post, please send your work at trustbhor@gmail.com and we will do it for you respecting your anonymity!


Something About Bhor

Bhor setup by I and Jhilmil Breckenridge (who has done activism for mental health for more than 20 years), is based in a bustling capital of India. Where there are strong activism done in other states such as Pune, Goa and Maharashtra, Delhi still is a city that hides so many truth and voices under politics, social stigma, illiteracy and poverty.

Press Release- Creative Writing Alumni Set Out To Eradicate Stigma Against Mental Health In India

Know about Jhilmil BreckenridgeInspirational Woman: Jhilmil Breckenridge | Poet, Writer & Activist

SUBMIT TO BHOR ANTHOLOGY

© Jhilmil Breckenridge

We are curating and editing a book of stories, non fiction narratives, poetry and art around mental health. We are looking for original, anonymous work if you want to protect your identity; we hope to help create awareness around this important area and help people realize they are not alone.

We will have a section around the trials and tribulations of being a caregiver, so if you are a caregiver or want to write about one, please write.


Poetry, Art, Prose are welcomed.

Prose

Original,non-fiction writing, 3000 to 8000 words. We are looking for accounts of one person’s journey through any mental health issue. It could be written in the first person or the third person. It could be written from the point of view of a person affected or their caregiver. We are not looking for fiction or stories. We are looking for real accounts and can change names, if needed, to protect identities. English only.

Poetry

Original and unpublished, up to 40 lines. English.

Art

Photographs and artwork around the area of mental health very welcome.


Submit at: trustbhor@gmail.com

Curated by Namarita Kathait and Jhilmil Breckenridge

Stay updated for more details about the anthology.

From Internalising Stigmas To Transcending Mental Illness

Last Saturday, I and Jhilmil met at Vimhans. As part of Bhor poetry project, we were there to assess whether Vimhans, a well-known hospital that also had a mental OPD, in reality, could possibly be a habitat to invite poetry as part of mental therapy sessions. 

We tried contacting the director of Vimhans. Jhilmil had tried calling him before, but all she received was an out-of-office mail. Many of you may know since it’s out there in her biopic- Vimhans had been one of the mental institutions where Jhilmil was forcibly and wrongfully diagnosed as bipolar.

Vimhans had changed in last seven years. Jhilmil pointed out how it had been beautified.

An institution decorated with green climbers on white walls, a glass tunnel passage, a green garden with an open gym and a retro styled stairs going upstairs towards the terrace cafeteria. Such a beautiful structure containing people, suffering in the dark, getting treated,  medicated to get ‘better’ ? But all that inside that beautiful structure of a building.

I was actually excited to find that Vimhans actually supported different kinds of therapies; as from what I have heard, according to popular opinion, psychiatry didn’t quite harmonise with psychotherapy. The good news was that we got phone numbers of therapists who conducted such art therapies for mental patients and differently abled kids. I also appreciated the level of transparency at Vimhans.

Siddharth Ashvin Shah spoke about social stigmas around mental health

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From Vimhans, Jhilmil drove to the beautiful and oldest colony of Nizamuddin West, Delhi. It was an event organised by one of her friend where Siddharth Ashvin Shah, a well-known trauma recovery/stress management preventive physician who also taught psychosocial resilience was a guest speaker.

The topic was fighting social stigmas around mental health. He moved out the cliched talks of social stigmas.Very profoundly, he spoke of another kind of stigma that a sufferer could internalise. A sufferer at a point, himself/herself could start believing and living the very stigma society may wrongfully accuse him/her.

Accepting there is a problem is the first thing to destroy the stigma

It’s hard for the ‘can-do’ people to accept that some things they have done all their life have now become physically and mentally hard. Society tells them, ‘Yes, you have done this before, you can do this again.’

But the very idea of a mental illness is that it makes the simplest and most ordinary things hard in life. For someone suffering from depression, it’s hard to even get out of the bed the next morning.

If it’s hard for us to accept mental illness in ourselves, then I don’t think anyone else can make the society accept us with it.

Jhilmil, a spokesperson of anti-pharma, pointed out how in many cases, other ways of healing like therapies, exercise, love, acceptance and art can help in transcending the very illness one is fighting with.

Transcending the illness

However, each individual, each mind is suffering differently and perhaps, we need all help to feel better. Sometimes, medicines and a listening ear of a therapist may help you heal, or sometimes, you will need other ways to get better.

There is a need for balance, where both mind and body need to be healed. And at times, medicines only heal a part of your mind causing a lot of stress and side-effects on the body. Social stigmas stop us from taking all the help we can.

One thing most people who attended the event agreed on was-

Talking. Talk about it. Build your support group. Don’t keep it to yourself. Accept it and share it with the trusted ones. Hold hands and heal each other.

Poetry can heal the psychic wounds

Breathing is poetry of the body and poetry is breathing.

An article on Spirituality & Health explains how breathing is close to poetry, which in turn is the sign of wellbeing.

As we sit for pranayama ( breathing exercise), we develop a rhythm known as Kumbaka. It is those subtle moments between inhale and exhale and vice-versa. Closing our eyes, we will feel these natural pauses between the cycles.

Now, as you inhale and exhale, read this poem –

As you read poetry aloud

do it so that you are breathing

comfortably.

Let the sense of the poetry emerge

             from your response to the rhythms

                          and tonal variations of the sound

                                     as well as the meaning of the words.
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Robert Carroll, a therapist and psychologist, connects poetry with breathing. Poetry is a form of punctuation and line breaks. When we speak out loud, we pause for a breath.

Poetry is a world of metaphors. A canvas of memories and repressed emotions. Many therapists agree that poetry has healing properties and poetry therapy can help various disorders such as schizophrenia, acute psychosis, depression, prisoners, sexually abused children, terminally ill children, suicide survivors and more.

Continue reading “Poetry can heal the psychic wounds”

I don’t hate Love


You don’t matter
because deep to my core
I understand that you may have to leave,
book a train to nowhere
to find your soul that may long for something
more than me.

You should not matter
nor your presence
because inside our bubble
you are both hydrophilic and hydrophobic
scared and happy at the same time
I understand that you may take off
and fly when the chemistry won’t be enough
to stay with me.

You can never matter
as we were never build of the same substance
and our minds are linked with these crazy frequencies
colliding to create a jazz form
making music we both love.
I understand that you may get crazy
and walk out of the room
when your soothing heavy metal song
gets too noisy for me.

What matters is Love and Only Love
as one day I may not matter to you
like nobody matters to anybody these days
And why should love care about bodies floating in time and space?

So, why should I stop loving when you leave?

We Are Whatever Generation


I find whatever I write
is eluded with what I see
around me, deep linked
sieved on the fibres of the souls
of this generation.

We are whatever generation, rolling cannabis
or else dreaming about rolling them.
Our aim is to make triangles out of the smoke,
circles are meant to be broken
because we are generation whatever.

Ideas make sense out of this smoke,
life is generated out of this smoke
because otherwise we are living dead
among tall building, fast cars and heaps of metal
and electronics scraps piled like a cage around us

I, probably am been laughed at for writing
one word of truth as it just means whatever …
as long as you, me, he and she are rolling our joints
and life is an ecstasy with hollow eyes and hollow hearts.

They have their pills and you have responsibilities
and when you move around like a crazy piece of sh*t
acting like a junkie trashing your house
looking for any bad thing to give you high
because of one bad thing happened to you in life.

But nobody really cares about the future
as long as the triangles are being made out of weed smoke
and the concentric circles of puff goes up and up.
They flash cigarettes like middle finger
welcoming you to join their club
which you probably should if you want to learn to let go
So, just let go.

Why let that sad father hold on to you
or let the sick mother be a heavy deadweight to your freedom
You are born in whatever generation!
As the adults remain adults forever domineering and finical,
these pals you have gathered while following the rules of ‘Mari’
are like you also chasing freedom.

It seems everybody is just breaking bad for freedom
and I wonder if perhaps tradition is breaking free too.
You have a swamp at the left and black hole on your right,
either you care too much or you just de-humanize every aspect of the world,
even yourself.

What about Love?
Well, as long as you let the lovers go they will love you
as long as you watch them suffer in self-pity
they like that sh*t.

They like watching you get hurt to pity themselves as you pity them,
that’s dark — you’d tell them. They cringe or laugh at your face for being too emotional.
You either watch them listen to trending pop or slayers heavy metal.
Seems like everyone just have an opinion to act upon,
seems like everyone wants to do the right thing by themselves
as long as their freedom is intact.

‘Love thyself’!
Lose the dead weight, and if you can’t lose feelings, they are the heaviest thing on this planet!
I already feel super light as a hollow log easy to be dealt with
and why, now none of your actions gets my reaction!
Easy , I’m easy.
Feelings? Me ! No Sir, my ex-lover kissed me under the sycamore and left me naked in the morning,
with a Goodbye Forever Note.
All was left were his joint’s ashes and memories of the signed-out eyes of a hollow man
with dark bags under his eyes and black lips.

No, I’m not describing a monster, but a tragic lover who loved his freedom and his ways a bit too much.

As long as the lilies blossom


As long as the lilies blossom
alive out of the murky mouth of earth
growing up beside slimy earthworms
eating dirt gulping raindrops
on green-yellow leaves
sisters to white lilies.

As long as I can see
the colour yellow
in my world each morning
for a new and fresh start,
I would sell my smiles
for an open show
and leave tears behind bars
for intervals on the curtained stage
not meant for the audience to carry
on their heavy hearts
those who seek beauty and art
my stage will only present
radiant performances
edited version without backstage heartbreaks
as long as the lilies blossom
with each new day

I’ll heal.