How the Lightning Bug Society Began



Hi, I’m Churra (and Willow!). This is my story of the Lightning Bug Society. When I was 15, the light in my world was shrinking. Depression gripped me and I was plunged into a darkness and a lack of hope. There seemed no way out. My mental illness, all mental illnesses, thrive in the dark places. What it can’t stand is light. I like to picture hope as light. A light that stands in the darkness, even if it is fleeting, like a lightning bug in a night sky.

I’ve had many “lightning bugs” in my life but one in particular always stands out. Once, before a challenging procedure, I had a traumatic flashback. I was anxious and afraid and wanted to self-harm, which was one of my coping mechanisms. But a nurse was there for me. I’ll call him, Roger. Roger held my hand, assuring me I was safe and literally preventing me from scratching myself. He assured me he’d be there and that he wouldn’t leave and that I’d be ok. He was there, he never left, I was ok.

He made a difference to me that day. Even now, when I’m overwhelmed with a flashback and far removed from that day at the hospital, I hear his voice telling me I’m safe and I feel his hand in mine creating connection and comfort. Roger is one of my special “lightning bugs”, his light lingering on.

People in the depths of mental illness need “lightning bugs” in their lives. They need that flashing glimmer of hope. The pulsating light of lightning bugs stand out against the darkness. I haven’t seen Roger in well over a year, but now whenever I’m consumed in a flashback, I hear his voice telling me I’m safe, feel his hands in mine creating connection in place of self-destruction and know I’ll be ok.

Through my nine years enduring the heavy weight of mental illnesses, so many lightning bugs have given me hope and truly kept me alive. They made promises they kept. They stood, hand in hand with me in the darkness, lighting the way until the sunrise.

So, welcome to The Lightning Bug Society! I created this mental health platform to honor the lightning bugs that exist in our lives, and how we can all light the way for others. Mental illness steals the light, the hope. It thrives on secrecy. So, if you feel up to it, share your journey and the lightning bugs that shone themselves along the way for you. Speak your hope. Seek connection. Honor those who’ve made a difference. This is a safe space for lightning bugs to come together and light sparks of hope and celebration against a dark sky.

Bracelets Given