Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No Wordless Wednesday - Instead, You Get Sappy

I left work at 4:45.

I just got home here at 6:45.

Normally getting home from work takes me about 30 minutes.

Tonight, I drove against wind gusts that blew my car across into oncoming traffic. When they were not doing that, they were blowing around rain so that I couldn't see any further than the taillights of the guy directly in front of me. Because it's the mountains and they hate me, fog was rising from all the water, so even when the wind let down and we could see... we still couldn't see.

I drove in thirds, because cutting something that sets off every panic response I have into smaller tasks helps me to keep calm. It's a trick to help deal with my anxiety. It worked, for the most part.

Just drive until you hit the first stop sign. That's your first sign.

Just drive until you hit the stop-light by the gas station. That's your second sign, you're mostly home.

Just drive until you're home. That's your-

And, because the universe is capricious and hates me as much as the mountains do, there is a tree blocking the road less than a mile and a half from my front door. Completely blocking it. Both sides.

I did the most cautious three-point turnaround I have ever done in my life, almost entirely blind, and started back the way I came. I called Jason to let him know that I had no idea how I was getting home, since the only other way I knew would involve driving all the way back to the town I work in and I was not going to do that.

At which point, the panic and anxiety and magic-thinking (If I drive any other way I am going to end up dead in a ditch and no one will know, I will never get home, I will be stuck in this storm forever it is never going to end it is never going to end) erupted.

I ended up pulling over at the first of my landmarks on the way to work.

My three-stop system had not worked. The problem with the magical thinking that people with anxiety disorders have is that we have systems. We have rituals. We have things we always do exactly the same way, or certain motions and ways of thinking that will work if only we do them right.

So the problem with the tree across the road was that it meant that my route would not work. I had not done my magical thinking right. Which meant I could not bring myself to drive anywhere new. It meant driving into the dark, in the rain, down roads I had never seen before. It meant fear, and worry, and squinting through my windshield at unfamiliar road signs.

So Jason figured out an alternate route, while I waited at a gas station. I was a damsel in distress, being held in an entirely too brightly-lit neon yellow-and-blue tower against my will. He drove the alternate route so that I could follow him back.

Because sometimes, the best part of love is knowing that when you are too scared to move, there is someone who will come to carry you home.

1 comment:

  1. He was definitely your knight in shining armor tonight! Glad you are home! I would imagine, knowing how much you like storms, that you were absolutely terrified!


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