Depression remains as one of those topics surrounded by so much stigma. In Cebu or even in the Philippines, this is still a topic that not everyone understands, much less talk about openly. Author Leah May Lim-Atienza is bravely facing the stigma head on though, as she shares with us her depressive thoughts through her poems in her debut poetry book, Look to the Sky.
“These poems show a progression from my depression’s darker days to when I was already on the road to rediscovering hope and love, despite of my mental illness,” says Lim-Atienza in the Introduction of her poetry book.
Containing short poems about Lim-Atienza’s dark thoughts during her depressive episode in its first section, the poetry book has two other sections that show how hope and love became vital parts of her recovery. Every poem also comes with an image of the sky, captured by the author herself. When you read a poem and look at the photo it comes with, you will feel a greater impact than when you would have read it without the image.
About the Author
Diagnosed with clinical depression in 2005, Lim-Atienza admits to having had depressive episodes when she was younger, which led to her first suicide attempt when she was 16.
In August of 2016, Lim-Atienza’s eldest daughter Phoebe was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. In March 2017, she lost the job she had grown to love due to redundancy. These events triggered one of her worst depressive episodes.
Throughout the course of her writing career, which started in 2000 as a TV reporter for RPN 9 – Cebu to when she started writing for Cebu Daily News in 2002, and even when she decided to leave journalism for a career in web content development, Lim-Atienza has been able to cope with her depressive episodes without asking for help.
It was only in 2011 when she started acknowledging her illness openly that she joined therapy sessions with a Play, Arts, and Movement therapy group in Cebu. But, it wasn’t until 2017 when she decided to take medication for her illness.
It was during this time when Lim-Atienza resumed her poetry writing, started taking mobile photos of the sky, and used both as part of her therapy. This gave birth to Look to the Sky.
Look to the Sky was published through Book Swap Cebu, Inc. and printed by DMC Busa Printers.
You can contact Leah May Lim-Atienza through her website, www.leahmaylimatienza.com, or through her email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To order a copy of Look to the Sky or know about the upcoming book events, please contact the author or visit the book’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/leahmaylimatienzalooktothesky/.
♥, JL Arnaiz