I have been writings stories and poems since before I could write. My imagination is my constant companion; it has helped me through my toughest times when I was suffering with mental illness and a loss of self. My hope is that this book of my writings, poems and short stories will help at least one person to know that they are not alone in the silent, yet deathly grips of mental illness. In our culture today having a mental illness is bad, yet no one wants to talk about it. Mental illness can kill, the same as war or cancer, and we talk and hear about them all the time. For years I was silent, never telling anyone how hurt I felt and how much I had grown to hate myself. I thought I was the only one who felt this way and therefore I was broken or wrong. So I know that there are people out there who are needlessly suffering in silence and so I am going to take a step to break the silence and to hopefully begin to start a conversation, or at least make people hear and see what mental illness can do. Mental illness not only affects the afflicted person but it can trickle down to affect family members, work environments and even whole communities. Mental illness is becoming an epidemic in our society and no one is talking about it. I have spent too many years being silent and afraid. If you are reading this and you are suffering, or you know someone who is, you are not alone. I have been there too, and I have held on so that I could share my story and my love of writing and creative expression. Enjoy.