Twice this week I’ve found myself on unexpected journeys, finding
myself a few miles from my planned destination, a screeching U turn and I was back on track; driving disassociated, oooops.

When I was younger I used to pack a duvet, tent, map and compass in my car and just go. I’d drive for a few hours following my compass then check my map; sometimes I’d give friends a call as I drove past them and drop in for a cup of tea then be on my way.

Whatever I was running from, or reinvention I was beginning, the unplanned journey made me feel alive.

Journeys are different now with 2 kids, a partner plus one childs’
autism spectrum disorder and my own mental health baggage. I stay on my planned and close to home routes unless family or friends take me out, or disassociation takes me on a unexpected journey.

Still during my unexpected journeys I am learning more
about myself than I would have without having lost my map, compass and sanity.

My mental health has taken me on journeys into depths and places I did not know could exist. My beliefs and resilience has been tested and, so far, I’ve come out the other side (stubbornness has its advantages.)

On this particular journey there is no compass or map or even knowing the journey will have an end, but I have a car, it’s not as fast or sturdy or reliable as others but it is a car none the less and this unreliable vehicle is teaching me kindness, compassion, to slow down and breathe.

The final destination is recovery; an apparently elusive place
that some people navigate themselves to. I’m not sure what that looks or feels like but having a destination to aim for helps me keep moving when I’ve got 2 flats, broken exhaust pipe and a blown gasket.

What kind of car do you metaphorically drive? What have you learnt on your journey? Do you have a working compass? Up to date map? Where are you aiming for? How will you know when you’re there?


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