Living Collections bring together Hidden South Stories, Road Notes, and Observations about specific subjects r groups of people. Living Collections continue to evolve over time as more content is added and more truths are revealed.
I had just discovered that I had bipolar depression. I just thank God that he brought me through so much. That's why I want to get my poems out there, cause I want to help somebody who been through what I been through.
They kept telling me how great it could be in recovery. I thought that it was bullshit. My whole life I'd always heard, once an addict, always an addict. In my mind I was never gonna get any better. Never... I wanted things to get better, but I never knew I could live life without using dope, because I'm an addict.
For a long time I tried to keep everything as clean and perfect as possible, so that nobody would get angry. After a while I realized that it wasn’t working, so I started doing other things. I self injured [cut] for a while. I wanted a way to control the kind of abuse that was directed towards me. If I abused myself, at least it was me choosing it.
Actually I’m not homeless. I have a place but… I do drugs. I stay in Norwood and I prostitute over here [downtown] so it’s too far to go home and come right back over here. I might as well go on and stay over here in the downtown area, keep going, get clothes from the shelter.
I went to prison for four years because of the PTSD. A cop was dragging me by my hand and I bit him right there [pointing to upper arm] and when he pulled out his cuffs, I bit him there [pointing to wrist]. I did four years in maximum security.
She was just always getting ridiculed by guys on the street because she was talking to herself cause sometimes she’s not on her medication like she’s supposed to be. I used to worry about her like that. Sometimes schizophrenic people wander off.
It took a long time to put my dad in prison. I couldn’t tell about what he’d done to me until later but he’d molested cousins and other people too. He was a real nut.
she was best friends with Jerry Garcia’s baby mama, Manasha Garcia, so we traveled with them a little bit. So, she thought that because of his drug connections that the FBI was always after us so it kinda made sense.
When I grew up, there was a lot of stuff goin’ on. My mamma did drugs and stuff so she always had all kinda people over. Everybody. Anybody. A lot of slammin’ doors. A lot of yellin’. In and out. Bein’ little, that messes with you. Put you on edge. Especially when you by yourself.
Yeah, I got attacked in 2006. I was at the underground in Atlanta and went through the garage to get out the other side. Three guys jumped me in the garage. They took me to a house for three days.
I’m not a junkie, I’m an addict. I don’t like that word junkie. I’m addicted to something that I can’t control right now but I don’t want to be judged.
I’m usually a very private person but today, I’ll talk to you. My husband of forty years is at home right now smashing up and destroying everything that’s in my house. I’m not even able to go home and lay down.
I’ve been in Pittsburgh [Atlanta Neighborhood] since I was like 25. I had started out dancing when I was 21. Started snorting powder and drinking alcohol. I was a hot mess, honey. A hot one. But, I made money.
Yesterday afternoon, I joined the family and friends of Anthony Hill, the unarmed vet who was gunned down, last week, by Officer Robert Olson of the Dekalb County Police Department.
Then, as I got older, I wanted to be in love with him. I kind of seduced him as a little girl. I don’t even remember how old I was when I got pregnant. It was kind of traumatizing. I think I was twelve or thirteen. He was about fifteen years older than me.
It makes me rage for what my dad did to me. Throwing me through windows, putting guns to my head, saying he was gonna kill me. I’m two or three years old, trying to get to know my dad as a little kid and that mother fucker’s trying to kill me.
Otis: I take medication for the mind and nerves and stuff. If I didn’t have Grady I wouldn’t make it. They give me my medication and they take care of me.
My mom put me out at an early age and the streets took me in. I stayed on the street 20 years waiting on a man to come and fall in love with me.
We lived with my grandparents. I don’t remember them doing anything. I did find out, when I was an adult, and in the hospital for something else, that my grandparents had almost beat me to death, when I was 7. Beat me all over my head.
This collection will continue to grow as more stories are released. Check back often for more stories that deal with mental illness.
I travel all over the Southeast U.S. in search of stories. I've recently started asking people to write a note about something that has been weighing heavy on them and drop it in a lock box. Here are some notes from various regions that relate to this topic.