DBSA of Memphis


The Pendulum

A Conversation

Posted by dbsamemphis on January 19, 2019 at 3:15 PM

A Conversation on Driving – Nov. 2017


David -- I have a question. Have you ever wanted to just get in your car and drive until you decided to turn around come back? I'm not talking about doing anything drastic, just to get away from everything for a while. If so, let us know what it was and what you did when you cam back and what brought you back.

Mary -- I have done that. When I lived in Oklahoma... except I took my kids with me and kept going... didn't go back... I needed a fresh start somewhere else... I found out though that I took the problem with me when I left... me.... It didn't help my depression any at all.....

Laurie -- I used to do this all the time. Drove from Memphis to Atlanta and then Orlando and back more than once. Driving doesn't help; you're right, the problems just come along. And when I'm in the car, I tend to stop at fast-food places and eat like mad, which certainly isn't healthy. It's a fight-or-flight response to feeling trapped, but when the problems are mental there's no one to run from or fight but yourself. It's important to slow down, journal, meditate, and start to work out a real solution. All the driving does is wear out the vehicle and cost gas, not to mention being dangerous because of your state of mind.

David -- For me it's like running away from issues. I've done it before but when I turned around my issues were still there, you know why, because I drag them with me. It doesn't matter where I go because there I am with all my issues. I can't escape them I have to work on them whatever that entails.

Camille -- I used to feel like a worthless piece of crap and I sought my self-esteem from other people's reactions to me or treatment of me. I felt like I didn't understand why I was born, what the point of me being in this world was. Eventually I tried to jump off the bridge, but I realized I would suffer and not die immediately, and the thought of the suffering of drowning myself stopped me, and I got back in the car and drove on into Arkansas, eventually coming back. Eventually (over several years) reading some spiritual books, seeing a therapist, and attending some recovery programs. A lot of long walks and meditation and prayer helped me learn to look at my life & self (& other people) differently, so that I no longer feel like an irretrievably broken fragment cut off from humanity, and somehow I think I finally stopped hating myself and lost the inclination to kill myself. I wish I could communicate to other people the inner peace (which I work on every day).

Laurie – About the second part of your question: I came back because there was nowhere rational to alight. Really, without the support of home, how can I work on myself? And it takes work, but when I finally got serious about fighting this illness, I decided Lewis Carroll was right when he said sometimes it takes all the running you can do just to stay in the same place. So here I am, and things are so much better now than when I was just blindly running around, reacting instead of acting.

Camille – I forgot I also started exercising regularly and this has made all the difference for me, too.


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