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The rays of happiness, like those of light, are colorless when unbroken"
Harry W. Longfellow

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Trauma, Grief
 and Family Addiction Coach
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The Journey

by Nancy D. on 04/11/12

I was going down this long, windy country road, when this migraine pulled out in front of me going 15 miles per hour less than what the speed limit was for the road. My first reaction was “oh for Heaven’s sake, why do people do this?? Didn’t he see me coming and know that he drives this slowly, he should have some consideration that others don’t want to go this slowly to their destinations”.


 Flashbacks then came to me about how, when I worked 40 miles away out in this remote country setting just off a busy I interstate, I literally set the car on 80 miles per hour, sat my sights in the left hand lane and competed with any other driver on the road to be in first place. The line of cars in front of me is where I set my sites, to conquer. I didn’t mind being in second place, as long as the driver in the left hand lane was going faster than me at all times. I recall how I was in physical discomfort when I was existing in the idiot box. This is the box where there are two to four lanes of highway and everyone in every lane is doing the same speed limit. No one speeds up, no one slows down and there is this cluster jerk of cars dangerously snaking down the road all jammed up together in rush hour traffic. You are the one car away from the front and exhaustively, no matter how you are trying to telepathically get the attention of the left hand lane hog, or following dangerously too close ....or accidentally flicking your high beams at them; you simply can’t get ahead of them. I’m trapped and my mind is only focused on how to get out of that idiot box, and absolutely nothing else, for miles down the highway. I’m baking in my own misery, my only primal thought is how to get out of it, and wishing at that moment....... I was a police officer. I think I’d pull the two drivers in the two left hand lanes and give them a ticket for reckless driving.

I digress…I realized the other day when I got behind that person who I described as a migraine, that I put myself in that frame of mind. No one else did. Not that driver, only me. I then began to think of how I have always been a person who wants to get to my destination. I never get in the car to enjoy the trip; the actual journey. I’m always getting into the car solely to get from point A to point Z. It then dawned on me how I do the same thing in life. I want to zip through the preliminaries to get to the goods. Everything fast paced, everything in a rush to get that payoff at the end; whatever I have envisioned that payoff to be. I wondered how many others out there are like that. I envy the people who can enjoy the trip and not just have the excitement for the destination.
I look at my trip. My trip through a field of losses and disappointments and waiting for the next shoe to drop. Living in fear, anxiety, anticipation of how to make it financially, feeling like a failure, wondering how I could have changed this situation or that situation from the past, for a better outcome. What would have changed, what would have been different had circumstances been different, then mentally beating myself up for the way things did turn out for years to come. Punishing myself by not enjoying the moment and instead, living in regret. If I really look at the situations, those failures as I saw them, those losses, disappointments, I can see all the things I missed when I only looked at what I lost.

I missed happy, good, fun times that surrounded those events. I didn’t allow myself to enjoy them as I should have, because to do so would have been something I didn’t deserve. I have had a lifetime of friendships and a zoo full of animals that I loved and gave me so much. The people I came to meet, the memories I have from accidentally having these people and experiences in my life, the places I’ve seen, the blessings that came out of the situations being what they were.

Just like that migraine in front of me. He pulled out and slowed down my arrival at my destination. However, what that gave me was the colors of the fall trees that I would have never noticed had I of been flying down the road at 60 miles per hour in a 55, focusing more on keeping the tires on those winding country roads than on what was around them.

The sky was blue, with just the right amount of clouds in them. The car was quiet….this story evolved from that experience. I didn’t wrap my car around a tree and I got safely to where I was supposed to go, none the worse for wear. My other adventure with the person I was supposed to meet, turned out to be wonderful and not stressful and rushed. With the help of my Higher Power, I will try to re-train my thoughts throughout each day to remember that even when things don’t go on my schedule or time line, there are so many blessings that I am completely missing by trying to side step and take the short cut through life.

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