Driving on my way to my nutrition appointment, I had a realization. Driving is a pretty perfect metaphor for life. If you think about it, in life we sometimes have to hit the brakes. Stop ourselves to slow down and reevaluate the situation we may be running away from or that we are finding ourselves in.
Roads are always changing. Some are straight and narrow others curvy and windy. Some have slick and shiny pavement, smooth tar that the tires easily glide on. Some are inviting with beautifully landscaping with plants, others are dull and lonely looking. Some roads are rough and gravely, the type you either avoid or wait impatiently to get off of. There’s some moments, when I’m driving through back roads where I can see the mountains in the distance or the sun shining on the water of a nearby lake and I wish that road could last forever. Just like certain times in life we never want a moment to end, or that we wish we could relive it over and over again just because it made us feel so happy.
In life there are certain rules we are advised to follow, just like there are rules of the road. We don’t have to follow these rules, but they are strongly advised and usually for our benefit that we follow them. External cues and guidance about where to go and what do to, stop, go, slow down, etc.
Always in life there is some risk involved, the same goes for driving it can be dangerous as well as enjoyable. But the more you drive the more comfortable it becomes. Maneuvering in and out of the streets of a city I’ve never driven in before today was anxiety provoking ,but honestly it was not bad at all. Thank goodness for the GPS though, because otherwise forget it, I would have gotten so lost. I am the worst with directions. The GPS is kind of like my coping skills in the sense that I can utilize them in the way I see fit. Some days I might feel confident in where I am going and not need them, other days I might and that is perfectly okay too. Some days I might especially need to hear the guiding voices of my treatment team, the same way some drives I may need the GPS telling me in how many miles I need to take a right.
To a certain extent I have control over my life. I have control over how I respond to lingering eating disorder thoughts and anxieties. I have my hands gripped firmly on the wheel. I can see images through my rearview mirror but I can’t go back because driving in reverse is pretty dangerous, not to mention illegal on the highway or really any type of road for that matter. And in life there’s yet to be a way to travel back in time, the past is the past you can never fully go back, as the sun sets on my eating disorder.