I’ve been coping with mental illness most of my life. Certainly my young adulthood was defined and stifled by depression and anxiety. Medication didn’t work and for a long time I was lost but as I grew older I started to encage with talking therapy. This was a long and often painful journey but a few years in, I developed a technique with an astonishing psychologist that seemed to work. I’d free associate short passages or stories from guided trigger points and managed a gradual interaction with my subconscious.  Luckily, my subconscious was desperately trying to help me heal. Of all the ways in which I tried break the chains of depression, this was by far the most productive and liberating.

Here I would like to share some of these stories, all of which either started out as or are tidied-up versions of the writing that grew from those sessions.

Where am I?

This story started out as a bad day at work, the sort we all experience from time to time when we catch ourselves in a moment of clarity and seem to understand our lives as an observer. Participating in day-to-day life is hard and doing it successfully is something we should celebrate.

Read the full story


I wrote this towards the end of 2016 whilst trying to answer a fundamental question: ‘why have I not yet released my website?’ Some of the short stories and aloc:: have been ready, more or less, for years, but have never been seen. I knew I was frightened but had utterly lost track of that fear. If it weren’t for ‘Mindscape,’ this site wouldn’t exist.

Read the full story

The Story of Noun

During a difficult period in 2013, I had a dream that woke me up. I very rarely remember my dreams but this one stained my mind and seemed to colour my waking thoughts as much as my slumber. This story came out of that dream and was the turning point at which my subconscious revealed itself as a force for good and reignited my sense of humour.

‘The Story of Noun’ is dedicated to Neal Gething.

Read the full story

The Quarry

My mother died suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2015. As she was only 66, it was a terrible shock to us all. My third and youngest child was only seven weeks old when she left us and the combination of mourning, tiredness, new-parent joy and stress as well as all the other peripheral issues of the modern world, rendered me helpless by that July. My mind was a very noisy place during this time for reasons best left for another story, but cutting through it all, a constant burden on the edges of my thoughts, was the image of a bear in a cage. This isn’t the only story about that bear or that cage, but it was the point at which grief stopped being mania and turned to manageable sadness. It’s one of my darker tales, but it grew from a knowledge of hope.

Read the full story