A story in a single image (Writing 101 Assignment)

seal_v2-03The fourth assignment for the Writing 101 Blogging University class is to write something inspired by a picture.  They had four pictures on the assignment page but none of them really made me think of anything.  So I went to the page they suggested for finding pics (Unsplash) and found this:


While I have never personally seen the ocean (although I have seen Lake Superior which is pretty huge)  the picture reminded me of the song “Walk on the Ocean” by Toad the Wet Sprocket.   That song holds a special meaning for me as does the album “fear”  which it comes from.  About a year or so before the album was released I was in a psychiatric hospital after spending almost the entire month of February 1990 in my room.  While it was the first time I would be in a psychiatric facility it would not be the last.  Including that time, when I was about 14 1/2, until the day before my 18th birthday in 1993 I would be in an out of hospitals 6 times (none in 1991 which was the year the album came out).

Going into detail about my experiences is really more of something for a later post (or series of posts), to get an idea of what it can be like as a teenager in a psych hospital (or at least being one in the early 1990s) listening to the entire album would be a good place to start.  Out of all the songs on the album the first song, which is the one this post is about, is the perfect overture or summary of the whole experience including life after leaving the hospital.

The reason I went in the first one was because…

Somebody told me this is the place
Where everything’s better and everything’s safe

There were a lot of great people that I met that had a long term impact on my life and we…

Said, we’d send letters and all of those little things
And they knew we were lying but they smiled just the same

But in the end, after it was all done I was…

Now back at the homestead, where the air makes you choke
People don’t know you, trust is a joke

The didn’t allow cameras or anything like that so I…

Don’t even have pictures, just memories to hold
Grows sweeter each season, as we slowly grow old

It’s been over 15 years since that first hospital experiences but it is the one I remember the best and the only one I really remember anyone’s names from.  Still, I have no idea what has become of anyone from any of my “visits” to the two hospitals I was in.  Saddest thought is that I don’t know if any of those people are still alive since most were suicidal or had substance abuse issues (or both).  Even so I know that I probably would be here if it was not for those people I met those six times I was in what was pretty much a different world.



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