Distracted Driving on My Road

Distracted driving can have catastrophic results though in Thelma and Louise, one could argue Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis were engaged in the polar opposite of "distracted driving."

I have been distracted. New friends. Thanksgiving.

Haven’t walked. Haven’t written. Neglected a few friends. I’m not beating myself up too much,  just observing. This morning, I’m back on track. I restarted my routines.

Amidst my week of living distractedly, I was criticized for bemoaning the fact I hadn’t written or  walked for a few days. I couldn’t explain that it was my personal PSTD.

At my nadir, the shackles of pain prevented me from escaping my self-loathing self. My phone ringing triggered dread. I’d stare at it until it stopped . I erased voicemails – concerned friends checking in, without listening. Early on, during my descent, one of my oldest friends, exclaimed excitedly, “What a great opportunity! You can read all day. Home-improvement projects. Write a book!”

Or curl up in the fetal position and crackwise on the book of Faces.

My ex-wife added salt, “Your daughters ask me, ‘what does he do all day?'”

When Caroline and I separated, more of the same, except for amping up my self-medicating.

And then  everything changed. Back from visiting my oldest daughter , Rebecca, my Starbucks (and currently, neglected) friend said, “Why don’t you write a blog about it?”

That single sentence was the key to the cell I in which I had been living.

Not just unlocking the door, this blog enabled my reintroduction to society. It is an ongoing reminder I have a voice people like to hear. And when I say “the blog” I don’t mean just my words. It is the collaboration. It is you, who connect with me, who read, who follow, who comment, that provides nourishment and encouragement.

I love the high I get from writing, from walking. The sense of serenity from sitting down in Tryst where Corrina brings me a cup of coffee with almond milk without me asking. My routine.

On the flip side is the lingering terror of where I was not too long ago. It is that terror, I could not convey at the moment I was criticized for whining about not writing.

I think the root of my shame is that I am not “grown-up” enough to exhibit a modicum of self-control. Shouldn’t I be able to disrupt my routine for a day or two without reverting into a floundering, lost soul?

But now I find compassion for myself.

I am confident that as my new healthful habits transform from habits into who I am, my fear of the abyss will likewise transform from fear to memory.

Until then, I just need to keep on keepin’ on.

Stay in touch. Connect.


P.S. On my walk today, I was listening to a playlist which includes, Walking Each Other Home by Mary Gauthier. Mary has a Lucinda Williams vibe but it is the lyrics of this song that resonates. Give it a listen if you have a spare four minutes.

3 thoughts on “Distracted Driving on My Road

  1. I can resonate with this, in that it was a particular friend who planted the seed for me to blog. I was so reluctant, but the rewards just from the people I’ve “met” have made it so worth it! I’m so glad it’s helped you too!

    Liked by 1 person

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