The Shores of Dysphoria

It crashed over him like a tidal wave. For a split second he was drowning. Then he caught a breath of air just before the next wave struck. When all the strength has gone from his limbs the storm deposited him on the beach of dysphoria. The surf lapped against his body, a steady reminder of the fate he narrowly escaped. An anxious dread sat heavy in the pit of his stomach leaving him unsure if he should be thankful he survived.

Where did the storm come from? It triggered like a gun shot in the dark. An unknown force that ripped his brain wide open. And then it just was, an anxiety monstrous and malevolent. With the little strength he had left he lifted himself out of the sand, wet and afraid the creature that destroyed his vessel would follow him ashore.

The beach was littered in bottles: whiskey, rum, prescription sedatives, illegal opiates. They were all there and they glowed against the dun colored sand like buried treasure unearth by the typhoon’s erosion. Each one promised relief. And though he knew better, having just been thrown into this cycle when the veil was last lifted, he could still feel every fibre of his body latch onto the next high. Anything to escape the storm just a while longer.

But he resisted and gripped a heavy stone lying near the beach’s treeline instead. He hefted it to his shoulder and carried it down to where the tide came in. He did the same over and over until hours had passed and he’d almost forgotten about the storm. His eyes surveyed the wall he had built up and down the shore line. It stood tall and wide. Behind the wall he could hear the surf crash angrily against the stones. Trickles of water seeped through the cracks. But the man’s clothes remained dry.

Sore but satisfied he lit a fire to keep away the shadows. As the warmth of the blaze heated his body his eyes closed and he dreamt of nothing but the beautiful nothingness of night.

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