Introduction Foreword Writing Together Coping Within The System Coping On My Own Coping With Teenagers Coping With Relationships Live Performance

Karilen Mays

A Weekday Evening

She sat at the modest table in the shoebox apartment destroying herself one fingernail and toenail at a time. Staying up late for no reason was becoming a habit, and yet what was the appeal? After soothing herself with an ice cream sandwich purchased impulsively and peppermint tea procured pre-meditatively, along with a prescribed cocktail of body-mind altering chemicals, the menacing migraine was finally at bay. All-natural muscle balm felt full of relief slathered across the face bringing tears of hope. How many more nights to sit in solitude dreaming about dreaming? It was time.



Here you are again,
greeting me
with the intensity
of a hot unrelenting force-field

Throw me off balance,
Deprive me of my fun
Abduct me from my desires...


Am I a victim?
Just because
you show up,
like a familiar
but unwelcome


Or did I not listen?
Not a friend --
I don’t embrace you

You have me

Pinned to the floor
in the dark,
curled in a ball
Doubting sanity and

Is that why you keep coming?

Ebbs and flows
have taught me much
about your patterns and ways.

Yet I still long,
even if naively,
to be free
of You.

How quickly I forget
That we are married;
Soul mates...
And I don’t shed
part of myself so easily



Karilen, who lives in Seattle USA, writes: ‘I discovered this project through your website. For me writing is a way to reflect from and on states of consciousness, leading to insight, acceptance of what is, and release. I haven’t shared these creative pieces with many people, and I appreciate your openness to include me. The second one is about migraines.’