29 July 2013

The Epic Recovery Road Trip

I've never been a random road trip girl. I'm much more a step-by-step directions, plans and packing in order person. I always want an itinerary, need to prepare a picnic and I need to know where I'm going. 

Organised? Yes. Well-planned trips? Yes. 
Do I struggle when I get lost, can't see the route clearly? Yes. 

Recovery is an epic road trip

You know the destination, but there are no step-by-step directions, there is no estimated arrival time and you're behind the wheel, whether you like it or not. 

There's no escaping the fact that you NEED to be on-board and buckled up for the journey to happen. 

You're controlling the wheel, the accelerator and the brakes. This journey needs you as much as you need the journey.

It's never going to happen without you, you can sit in the car forever, but if you're not willing to start the engine, then you'll never get to your destination. 

Therapists, friends and family are passengers helping you out, advising you of the roads to avoid and reminding you that turning back and driving straight back home is a waste of what could potentially be the best holiday of your life at the other end. 

That U-turn and drive back seems so tempting when you're hot and bothered and a little bit lost. You know the way home and you know it's safe, comfortable and what's waiting back there. You can shut the front door and pretend you weren't really 'that bothered' about the trip or holiday anyway. (Yeah, right!)

You know the destination exists, people have been there before and told you how epically amazing it is. You'll love it, you know you will. You're so far into the journey that I'd would be ridiculous to turn back now, (I can't just stop here, and seriously, what a waste of fuel that would be, right?) 

You have so much baggage,  'ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET?' is constantly going round your head and there are still no clear directions.

You just wish someone could give you some idea of the next step or turning or better still, drive for you. But they can't.

It's frustrating, it's annoying, I started the engine, I want to drive, I'm on-board, I've been driving for SO LONG. I just want to know when I'll get there, as do my passengers.  

I need a list, I need to know which exit sign I need to take and what the next road looks like. I can feel the need to know where I am heading stopping me. So, I keep slamming the brakes on until someone answers me.

But that's getting me nowhere. 

This road trip is a long one (think Route 66 times a hundred) with so many potholes ready to trip you up and there is never going to be a step-by-step route planner that works for everyone, we all find a different way to the same destination, from different start points

I guess we just need to trust the driver and not give up on what will possibly be the most epic road trip we'll ever embark on. 

Nobody likes being left at home (or worse still a motel or motorway service station half way there) and remember, you need to keep the fuel tank full to keep driving and trust the road you're on. You might not have a map, but you're doing okay. The journey can be an adventure too, if we allow it to be.

Now, can someone just get this girl a bottle of Diet Coke, a picnic and SatNav please?


  1. I think you state an extremely good point here, that perhaps I need to do more. TRUST MYSELF. I (we?) don't trust myself to get me there safely, and there is really no valid reason as to why. I've come this far so I need to stop doubting that I can't make it all the way! x

  2. Exactly Sam, and we know there is something amazing waiting for us when we get there. You need to trust the road you're on and YOU x

  3. I do like a good metaphor! I use them a lot in my own understanding of my depression - in fact I think it is very hard to talk about mental health and emotions without metaphor - how else can we really describe them!

    Been exploring your blog (you use the same font as me in your heading!) and would be interested in your take on my post on food, fat and flexible thinking - inspired by my body gossip t shirt (have you heard of body gossip?). http://fostresswrites.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/food-fat-and-flexible-thinking-whats-so.html

  4. As always, this is a fab post Sarah (and I wish I'd thought of this metaphor myself!).