As part of world mental health day I’d like to take you on a trip to the beach.
It’s not just any old beach though. This is a special beach.
This is the metaphorical beach that I am going to use to represent the mind and try and explain what it’s like living with anxiety and depression.
Stick with it, it’s an easy read. I’ve even gathered some pictures to help ease the journey for you.
Ok. Let me begin.
Imagine this sandy beach is the mind at birth. Warm, unencumbered and a nice place to be.
You can roam it freely without fear of stubbing a toe or stepping in anything weird.
The years pass as you begin to grow and develop. Life happens.
Along with the warm sands now you notice a few pebbles on your beach.
They don’t really change the way you roam the beach and it is still a good place to go.
A few years later and the pebbles have multiplied.
You’re not sure why or how but you begin to notice their presence on the beach, especially when you step on a particularly pointy one.
Listen, don’t think about the pebbles. They’ll be washed away by the tide soon.
You continue to walk the beach everyday for years to come, generally trying to ignore the mounting piles of pebbles until one day you start to find that there are now patches of beach and patches of pebbles.
You try planning your walk around these mini hurdles so that you can keep to the soft warm sandy bits.
The tide will be in soon. They’ll all be gone then. Don’t think about the pebbles, just leave them there and make it to a sandy bit, ok?
You can see the cleansing tide, but it’s still a way off. You hope that it will come soon as it’s been a while since the cold stoney pebbles were last washed away and are beginning to make your daily walk uncomfortable and no longer the pleasure that it once was.
One day, years after you first set foot on this beach, you arrive to discover that the only warm sandy bits are behind a beach made of pebbles.
Where did the cleansing tide get too?! Why didn’t it clear the stoney, cold barrier that stands between you and the soft warm sand?!
Wait? Is it me or is it further away than before?
So now, you can’t make it to the comfort of the warm sand and that cleansing tide is creeping further away.
Its ok, you’ve got a plan. Ignore the pebbles. Turn your back on the hope of reaching the sand and try the grassy dunes.
They’re just off the beach so not far. You can go wait there while the beach sorts itself out.
They’re there too!
You turn back to the beach thinking that it didn’t look that far over the pebbles to the warm sand.
You can make it, right?
The pebbles have become little rocks and they are everywhere.
Ok, the pebbles on the grass didn’t look that intimidating. You’ll try those again.
You turn around.
What?! But… How…
You, my friend, are trapped.
There is no way forward and no way back.
There is no sand anymore.
It’s futile but if you let it continue, the pebbles will cover you soon!
This is the day you realise you have a problem and it’s not going away.
Click page number 2 below to find out.