The day was dusking and night was fretting inKeep Walking
From sea to shore as it had done many many times before,
Shadowing my meandering way with a mere
Sixty strolling miles stretching elastically ahead.

The long walk begins –
The mind freshens and explodes wide
To the nighttime silhouettes and starry vistas
Where trees and bushes are strangers waiting and crouching
To greet my deliberate footsteps into abysses of the mind.
The conveyor of random thoughts belting many recent scenes
Before my unprepared cinema of imagination.

The long walk descends suddenly -
The Hounds of Darkness appearing from the sea-weeded mist
Attacking my short-fused and unusually erupting sensibilities,
Not one famed ‘Black Dog’ but a pack,
Scavenging through the tasty morsels of my mind fruits,
Mutating as they feasted rapaciously,
Lowering my resiliency and sucking my life force
Into a visible black hole vortexing towards Alfriston.

The long walk continues –
My will to continue waning,
The welcoming Inn I had stayed in before
Distancing by the second, waxing into the happening storm.
My soul sapped of the log fire warmth I had planned,
The visions of bright futures and freshly pulled pints
Draining rapidly through the plug-holes of my eyes,
Into the night-soil sewers of nearby Lewes.

The long walk continues –
I felt beached again, whaling my way
To a suffocating loneliness,
No longer armored by my coping strategies
Of which long distance meditative walking
Was a favored friend,
Mellowing the vicissitudes of life’s wanderings
As the comets of planes’ tail lights passed Gatwick bound.

The long walk ebbs away –
The last of daylight dies
As if its follower, dawn, was never to come again,
And so the nocturnal void begins.
This was no ordinary depression –
The deficit of feeling is all encompassing
And from the desert of my barren soul
And frozen heart no thoughts emerge for many hours until Liss.

The long walk flows forward again –
Devoid of volition, a hollowed out self,
The end of this solitary stroll seems an eternity away,
And then as if some guiding star had caught my eye,
A brisker pace emerges from nowhere
And a mindfulness of place and purpose is re-kindled
Phoenixing from the ashes of my nocticide,
And a flicker of recognition arrived by Exton.

The long walk concludes –
Walking hard and breathing sweetly in the crystal air,
A friendlier conversation with self commences,
Revisiting my purposeful aims for such endeavors,
And friends’ wisdom words from past dips
Strengthening my resolve and optimism.
The walk is well over half done,
The spires piercing the morning sky are indeed Winchester.

Life’s long walk continues ……………………………………………

Dave Traxson

About Dave Traxson

I am a Chartered Educational Psychologist (BPS),who has seen the questionable practice of over-diagnosis and prescription of psychotropic drugs for children, increase exponentially in my thirty year career. I am a member of the Division of Educational and Child Psychologists Committee of the British Psychological Society. Now is the time to appropriately challenge doctors in cases where psychologists have ethical concerns about the Emotional Wellbeing of the children with whom they work. This is supported by the Health Professionals Council "Duties as a Registrant."(2009) = "You must not do anything or allow someone else to do something that you may have good reason to believe will put the health or safety of a service user in danger." We all therefore have a "Duty of Care to be Aware" of these issues in the schools where we work and to discuss concerns with a linkworker there and with the prescribing doctor. The National Committees of the Association of Educational Psychologists and the Division of Educational and Child Psychology of the British Psychological Society actively support my position of raising concerns about the impact of psychotropic drugs on the Safeguarding of Children in the U.K. from the potential short and longer term physical and psychological harm. I believe this is a key issue in promoting wellbeing of children within a progressive society. I was pleased to contribute to the BPS response to the American Psychiatric Association's consultation on DSM-5 and the paper was called "The Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis," (BPS 2012.)