Velvet Lawton

School: Ullapool High School, Highland
 

Anxiety

 

“Do you have a tennis ball?”

“Yes, Mum...”

“Do you have a dog poo bag?

“Yes, Mum!”

“Do you have a -”

“YES, MUM! Can I just go now? It's gonna get dark real fast!”

“Fine… Be careful!”

“Ugh, C’mon Breacan.” I looped the lead round Breacan’s neck and gave him the ball to carry. I tried to open the door but Breacan yanked me forwards and started dancing as if he hadn't been outside in years.

I finally got to the door and pushed the handle down. It just had to have been perfect timing. It had started raining. “Great…” I took a cold, quick breath, wrapped my hand around the lead and walked. Breacan pulled the whole way. I say, “Chan eil!” or “Na dean sin!” but he never listens to me. He only listens to my dad. I’m still trying to master it.

I got to the stone steps, checked if there were any other dogs around. We were all good. Breacan is a harmless black and white spotty English pointer, in fact they are the best breed of dog to have around children, but other dogs aren't as cuddly as Breacan.

I let him off the lead, straight away he bolted down the steps and ran round the corner. About 5 seconds later I saw him pop his head around the corner, just to make sure I was coming too. He's a funny dog like that.

When I reached the bottom of the steps I would usually walk him round the field a couple of times, but because it was raining, the field would just be muddy and soggy, and I wasn't wearing the appropriate shoes, I was wearing black boots. I couldn’t wear my wellies because they no longer fitted me.

Instead I went over the old rickety bridge. Who knows how old that thing is? I’ve lived in this village now for 12 years and it was there when I moved up here. I remember when they painted it with this special puke-green paint that was meant to make the wood non-slippery, because Mother Nature just has to hate Scotland and make it rain constantly. Yeah… that paint washed away. You can barely see the green now. Thank God.

We went over the bridge. The river underneath, it was gushing, it was rapid, it was looking dangerous. At least the tree roots that hung over the river were getting water. Then that growing feeling came over me. What would I do if Breacan jumped into the river? Breacan is not the brightest of lightbulbs, he ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed. I started thinking of all these situations. Would I jump in after him and grab his neon-orange and neon-purple collar and pull him out? Would I just stand there in shock? Would I scream?! Would - would I - ? I crossed the bridge.

It was all fine. Nothing happened. I took another cold quick breath and continued walking, thinking about how lucky I am that I'm not living in a horrible stinky city, and I'm living in the countryside by the sea in Scotland with all this nature and wildlife. A ferocious dog came round the corner and I heard the noises of snarling, barking and whimpering! It was attacking Breacan! Do I run in to save him? Do I try and wrestle the other dog? Do I stand there frozen?! Do I scream?! Do I - DO I?

There was no dog around the corner. It was fine. Breacan was fine. We were both fine. I continued walking. I got to what I call the Coffin Road because a long time ago, men would carry the coffin down that path because it was quicker. so they had time for a pint in the pub. True fact.

The Coffin Road is really long so it's a good walk for Breacan. Pointers need a lot of exercise because they’re a breed of gun dog. Well, all dogs need exercise but pointers are particularly filled with energy. My dad's a long distance runner so if Breacan gets all tired out he isn’t hyper at home and breaking things.

I must have gotten half way down the path, because that's where the bench is. It's well hidden so you have to know it's there to see it. I like to sit down and just clear my mind. Listen to the last of the leaves rustling in the wintry wind. Listen to the lashing river that has gushed down the mountains. Listen to- Breacan splashing in the water! What!? What do I do? Do I jump in after him and grab his neon-orange and neon-purple collar and pull him out? Do I just stand there in shock? Do I scream?! Do I - DO I?

Well, that never happened. I just sat on the bench and listened as Breacan rummaged around in a bush probably trying to find another tennis ball to take home. After a few minutes went by, I stood up, brushed myself off, took a cold, quick breath and started walking once more. Just listening to your surroundings can really help calm yourself down. Hearing a heart beating to the rhythm of the footsteps thudding on a muggy path.

 

Just calming down puts ease on the mind.

Just calming down, even for a few minutes

pushes all those dark, horrible thoughts away

and lifts you up.

Just calming down

makes a day better,

puts a smile on your face;

and a smile in your eyes.

 

Just calming down puts ease on the mind.

Just calming down

lifts you up.

Just calming down

makes a day better,

puts a smile on your face;

and a smile in your eyes.

 

Just calming down puts ease on the mind.

Just calming down

lifts you up.

Just calming down

puts a smile on your face;

and a smile in your eyes.

 

Just calming down puts ease on the mind.

Just calming down

lifts you up.

Just calming down

puts a smile on your face

 

Just calming down

Just calming down

Just calming down

 

 

 

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