Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Driving the Point Home

A question was posed in my Psychopharmacology class that I felt merited some consideration on my part.  

We were talking about why someone might fail to take their medication, or continue to say they're having significant problems when they aren’t.  
The question was “What is the gain from remaining sick?”  
This can obviously be answered in many ways, depending on the circumstance.

I began to think about this in terms of my own life and my own struggles with my fears and with a failure to drive. 

 If I don't try, I can't fail, right? 

This logic never worked in any other area of my life, so I'm not sure why I thought it would with driving, other than the fact that I did mostly have other ways around. 

Let's face it. 

I don't leave my home very often, and would generally prefer to be some kind of happy recluse, but I understand that this isn't a reasonable possibility. 

I also feel guilty now that I don't live by a bus line and occasionally need to carpool or outright ask people for rides, as I can't currently afford to take cabs everywhere while in the unpaid internship... 

In any case, I've been attempting and mostly failing to prioritize my health, and instead I've been obsessing over something that is generally not seen as a big deal. 

More than that, it is generally seen as a wonderful thing. 

For me personally, passing the test means that I now don't have to retake the permit test, which would have been embarrassing. 

I don't have to have the strange looks when I have a non-driver ID instead. 
I don't have to have anyone questioning how I function in life, just because they are too unimaginative to think of living without a car in my situation. 

I wanted to be proud of myself too, but I'm having trouble with that. 

I think the issue is that I really had no desire to do it at all, so rather than feeling accomplished, I just feel like I gave in. 

I did this thing that I had no desire to do, just because someone else told me to do it. 


How much of my life has been like that? 

Still, having passed is great, if only for the wait for the next one to now be gone forever. 

The pressure each time was slowly killing me. 

It became everything. 

It took over every aspect of my life with the sheer power of not-want. 

I just don't want to think about it anymore. 

Passing means I don't have to worry about the test, but now I have the car I can't afford, the insurance, the upkeep, the responsibility, and the assumption that I will drive. 

Now, it has become an issue if I do have the audacity to ask for help. 

After all, I can drive. 

Everyone involved seems to think passing the test has immediately cured me of my not-want. 

It did not, just as doing any other terrible thing forever doesn't automatically make people Stockholm-syndrome themselves into loving the thing. 

Now, I just have more questions, more pressure, and I fear that I'll wind up on the side of the road sobbing and hysterical, missing my appointments that were otherwise never an issue to get to on time. 

I guess any lingering depression winds up more apparent when it's on me, rather than being able to say, "Well, better get going so my ride doesn't get upset."  

I feel like I'm constantly letting everyone down either way, or that there is something significant wrong with me, beyond all the things that have actually made my life harder. 

It's frustrating to note that the things I actually want to work on and struggle with are somehow not good enough to those around me. 

I fully realize that I am not those people, but some solidarity would be nice. 

I have found myself falling from pushing on and through and up, to just wanting to be left alone to rot. 

Of course, my Knight in Pinstripes and my very good friends ARE supportive and would never let me do that to myself, as much as I may try. 

Still, this is upsetting because I understand that it has all been hinged on this idea of having a car and driving and freedom in this lonely, expensive, wasteful death machine. 

Again, Rob is all for carpooling and is steady in his belief that I should not have to drive if I do not want to. 

He generally believes I shouldn't do ANYTHING that I don't want to do, but again, that means I would do... pretty much nothing. 


Sometimes, I pretend that I want to drive. 
Sometimes, I pretend that I am already someone who drives. 

It is a fun fantasy, but ultimately leaves me feeling empty, realizing I am lying to myself because I feel like I am worth less than I would be as a driver. 

I feel like while I've been told I am not, I must certainly be a burden, and something to be ashamed of. 

Otherwise, why would any of this have come up at all? I wind up wallowing in everything else I've been trying to fix, just to have this barrier of, “No, look. I'm too sick. I can't drive because I'm too sick.” 

I've been self sabotaging and ruining so much of my health, both physical and mental, in an effort to convince those around me that I am sick enough to not do this one thing that I have never done before anyway. 

All that having been said, I did face my fears. 

And now, I have it, whether I ever use it or not. 

These are things I CAN be proud of, because they were important to my growth as a person. 

That is the most important part.

And... I actually do like the car.  Well, when it starts up, anyway.  

I call it The Grey Ghost, and I understand that my aversion to driving is not the car's fault. 

...My tendency to personify objects a bit probably doesn't help the guilt though. 

Just sayin'.

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