Untitled by Shannon LeBlanc

Untitled by Shannon LeBlanc

This piece of prose was adapted from my suicide note in which I tried to attempt suicide three times. Hospitalized with nothing but a coloured pencil and sudoku puzzles, I wrote this poem from fragments of my mind’s reflections. I revisited these fragments to compose this visual poetry piece, hoping that it will bring awareness to mental illness and to encourage others struggling with mental illness to use poetry as a form of therapy. This poem is about the tolls that depression takes on ones mind and that it is a silent, but devastating disorder. The canvas serves also as a symbolic reference to the fact that I tied my wrists with black ribbon during my attempt. This in a sense is what saved me and to this day serves as an important reminder for the day that changed my life. The background mirror allows the audience to reflect about themselves while reading and to see that depression does not make you who you are.

About The Artist

My name is Shannon O’Brien-LeBlanc. I am a young aspiring poet and youth mental health advocate. Struggling with major depressive disorder, generalized/social anxiety disorder, OCD and PTSD has really opened my eyes to the impact mental illness has on ones life and I dedicate myself to creating a more open dialogue for youth suffering from mental health issues. I have been writing creatively since the age of 11 where I attended my first writing conference here in Ottawa. I started professionally writing at age of 13 where I delved into the world of Journalism where I wrote for The Vision (Rockland, ON), The Arthur (Peterborough, ON) and The Charlatan (Ottawa, ON) exclusively on issues regarding mental health and human rights issues. Eventually, I realized that the world of journalism wasn’t for me so I switched my field of study to Psychology and Neuroscience at Carleton University, figuring that one day I could fulfil my goal of helping those struggling with mental health issues. I continue to do freelance journalism, but focus more on the artistic side of writing, calligraphy. I have been doing calligraphy for almost 6 years, but still work to find my creative identity. I don’t specialize in any specific category of poetry or calligraphy, but instead experiment and bend the rules of tradition. I plan to compose an anthology of poetry entitled “Reminiscent Revelations” within the next year, which will contain all of my poems relating to mental health. The book will also draw attention to the issue of youth mental health and support local mental health initiatives in the Ottawa area. Writing is the way I express myself and I use it as a form of therapy. If you are interested in finding out more about myself or my work feel free to visit my website: http://ramblingsofalittlewiseowl.blogspot.ca

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