Welcome to MENTAL

A collection of stories ON mental health experiences

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“I am the dog running running as fast as I can, depression snapping at my tail.”

-

Driftwood


I felt like driftwood.

You'd always see bits of driftwood sitting on beaches amongst everything else. There might be a couple of broken seashells lying around, some seagulls squawking at each other. Sometimes you'd see dogs running up and down the coast, their owners frantically trying to catch up. But if you look hard enough, you'd always see driftwood. Even if it was just a couple of small branches, it was always there. Kind of nice looking, kind of not.

It smells salty (like the rest of the beach). It feels rough on some sides, smooth on others. It's just a piece of tree branch that is somewhere it shouldn't be. It's not part of a tree anymore, and doesn't really serve a purpose. Sure, some hippie guitar player might think it's 'rad', take it home to decorate his room or snap a photo for instagram. But at the end of the day, it just sits there, doing it's job of being 'driftwood', not really doing much else.

That is how I felt the first time I experienced it. It made sense, there was a reason I wasn't happy. I had just moved out of home, I wasn't enjoying what I was studying and I felt isolated from friends. Something wasn't great in life - so I wasn't very happy. To me that is a logical version of Depression.

This time it’s different. I don't feel like driftwood. I feel like the swell of water in the ocean. Waves crashing on the beach. I am the dog running running as fast as I can, depression snapping at my tail. A beach is only nice before you go out too deep and find yourself weighed down by all the water. Everything I'm doing seems perfect on the outside. Inside, my mind races around all day making lists of a hundred things. Some things are important - car WOF due on Tuesday, take guitar to school on Wednesday. And some are just stupid - fill up drink bottle, message friend on Facebook. I don't need a list for those things but before I even realise I've thought it, I've put it in a list. I spend most of my day going over the lists in my head, rewriting, reorganising. Doing anything to them to make more sense. I'm left with no time for me.

If depression wants to take over, maybe it just will. I can't stop the ocean swelling. I can't stop the waves crashing. I'm trying to control something that can't be controlled but I can't stop myself from trying.

A calm, beautiful beach. "You're so calm." Calm. I fucking hate that word.

“The whole time I was hearing voices but told no-one.”

“You are loved.”