My life has been a whirlwind lately. Things are hitting fans, emotions are spinning at hurricane speeds, and I? I feel like everything is a great big mess. But while taking a shower I came up with a great analogy for how I’m feeling. So here it is!
Imagine. You’re used to your parents driving you around places. You’re used to sitting in the back seat, having pretty much no control over what happens and where you go, or sitting in the passenger seat having a feeling of some control but knowing deep down that what you’re feeling is false. But still, you feel safe, you feel secure because you trust your parents. You know they’ll take care of you, that they are experienced drivers, and that they will do everything in their power to keep you safe.
Now imagine this. You fall out of the sky, you land next to a car in a strange, complex city. There are people all around you but they won’t talk to you. You aren’t safe. You have the keys to the car, and you have to make your way home, or to some familiar place where you are comfortable. Easy, right?
Wrong. You don’t know how to drive. There are no other options, you can’t walk to where you need to go, you can’t take a train or a bus, you have to drive the car. But you have severe anxiety, when you get into the driver’s seat you feel alone, you feel lost, but mostly you feel scared. In your head different scenarios play out. None of them end well for you. You’re shaking, you close your eyes and wish for your parents to be there, for that nice safe feeling to come back to you. But your parents aren’t there, you can’t call them. You need to drive to them. You need to find your own way. The pressure is building, you start the car, easy enough. You’ve seen your parents do it a million times. But now what? The car is running, gas is being used up, time is being wasted.
You’re frozen. You scream and cry, thrash about but nothing makes you feel better. Eventually you decide that you have to do it. You have to drive. You plan it all out in your head, but you stay frozen. At some point you fall asleep and you dream. You dream about being in the car with your parents, you are encompassed by the warmth and safety. But then you wake up and you’re still lost. You try to hold on to that feeling of warmth but it disappears.
**End of analogy**
The one time I got behind the wheel of a car, this very thing happened. I panicked, I froze and luckily in my real life incident I was able to get out of the car and walk back inside my house.
The beginning about being in the car isn’t necessarily talking about literally being in the car with your parents. It’s hinting just to a time, a place where most everyone feels safe. Being in the car with your parents is a totally normal thing. But then everything changes. Nothing is safe anymore, nothing is familiar, and nobody can help you, it’s a journey you have to make alone. Which is scary.
Hopefully this makes sense. I thought it was pretty clever and perfect for how I’ve been feeling lately. 🙂