Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

As a child, I spent my summers in Greece,
on journeys that gifted me serenity and peace.
As an adult, I long to go back to those days
when I existed in a blissful, dreamlike phase.

Traveling down those winding country roads,
I recall how smoothly the world flowed. …

A short story

© Aristides Milios

The sun shone brightly on the crisp Spring day that she was discharged. As she walked down the hallway leading to the big, grey automatic hospital doors to exit the psychiatric hospital, she was carrying two small duffel bags. This day marked the end of six long weeks of pain and suffering, but also growth and rediscovery. Each day over the past few weeks, this moment, of her first taste of freedom, had replayed over and over in her mind. While in hospital, however, she had conjured up a very daunting image of the dark reality she would be facing…

Life is about the journey, not the destination

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

On a sleepy, sunshiny spring day
I daydream in an oceanfront cafe.
I imagine entering a peaceful zone,
discovering an enchanted unknown.

I twirl gracefully, like a gentle feather,
oblivious to the stormy weather.
While floating through nature’s calm,
I cradle the earth’s beauty in my palm.

Although I recognize how much I’ve grown
I can’t shake the darkness to which I am prone. …

Balancing the two opposite states of mind

© Aristides Milios

The emotional mind is a wild hot gift,
giving color to life’s dark, dreary pits.
‘Emotion mind’ wants to be in control;
but watch out — it will suck on your soul.
Your impulses can lead to judgment errors
bathing you in your own repulsed terrors.
This sensation of running around blind
can make you very afraid of your mind.

In contrast, ‘reasonable mind’ is a tidy box
that rescues a body when it’s stuck in shock.
This rational mind is cool and sensible;
it hones your focus, but is too inflexible.
It helps you avoid unnecessary mistakes
while showing you where to use the…

Crime fiction — part III

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

Talulah shrieked once she realized several grizzly-looking police dogs were chasing after her. She tried to run, but she felt the ground start to sink beneath her feet. She was horrified to discover she was standing on quicksand. Despite herculean efforts, she felt herself sinking deeper and deeper. Out of the blue, her mother appeared and flew toward her with incredible speed. She clasped her hands around her mother’s extended, perfectly manicured fingers and allowed her to pull her out of the pit.

Talulah opened her eyes with a start. She had fallen asleep in her favorite cozy floral sofa…


Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

As the days drew near then disappeared,

her mind was feeling less and less clear.

As the dreaded assessment got close,

she transformed into a skittish ghost.

She was losing herself in anticipation,

drowning in an inexplicable devastation.

It became harder and harder to breathe.

Oh, how she loathed her despicable disease.

She was being plucked apart, piece by piece.

Some days, the judgemental voices never ceased.

In the weeks leading up to her appointment,

the chatter in…

Overcoming anticipatory anxiety

Photo by Patrick Mueller on Unsplash

The uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that crop up when an anxiety-provoking situation is impending are part of a phenomenon known as anticipatory anxiety. This anxiety, caused by the thought of potential future events that the mind perceives as threatening, is a very common symptom across all anxiety disorders, but is also just part of the natural human condition!

A region of the brain known as the anterior insula has been implicated in the fear of hypothetical future ‘disasters’. The insula is involved in self-awareness…

Retreating away from the edge and finding my path

© Aristides Milios

I always wanted to be one of those people who, despite having gone through hell, had the power to walk out of the flames carrying buckets of water for those still consumed by the fire. But one day I realized I was expecting WAY too much of myself. I was struggling enough just trying to keep existing. Trying to keep my head above water. Trying to stay away from the flames when every fiber in my being was telling me to run back into the fire. …

Crime fiction — part II

© Athena Milios

Once the tears started rolling down her face, it was like an avalanche was being unleashed right in the middle of that hospital room. The police officer tried to appear sympathetic but his look instead came off as one of detachment sprinkled with pity on top.

“I’m sorry, but I have to ask these questions if we want to have any hope of catching your attacker. But we could take a short break for now, if you’d like.”

The girl ruffled Snowy’s silky, delicate ears and nodded eagerly. After nearly 30 minutes of being asked very detailed questions about the…


© Aristides Milios

Rocking on your swing, you dream big and bright.

Your toes touch the sky while you are in flight.

Your mind feels energized, while fiercely tame.

You focus on the life that is yours to reclaim!

A balanced life gives great satisfaction.

Although the body flourishes in action,

it is stillness that requires the most practice,

and the mind relishes calmness, like a cactus.

Inner peace is a stillness to treasure,

for it is very tough to live life in measure.

But no matter how hard the…

Athena Milios

Canadian PharmD student, researcher, and mental health advocate with a B.Sc. and M.Sc. (in Psychiatry). I write short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction.

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