The most dangerous time to drive is in those hours when the light is just under the horizon and you think you can see. But you can't, really. And your headlights don't help much. You have this illusion of clarity.
Maybe it's the same for impaired drivers. They are convinced that they are just fine, but they really aren't. The illusion of control.
When I was in high school I travelled to Wisconsin for an orchestra trip. The host family I stayed with was... not vetted terribly well. The parents were divorced and lived in separate homes. Mom was on a business trip and dad was visiting his girlfriend in another town. So my host family consisted of a seventeen-year-old girl who did not have a car and needed to call her friends to pick us up from the high school where the bus deposited us.
She was getting ready to appear in court following some kind of car accident in which alcohol had been involved. She had not been the driver. But the car had gone off the road, through a fence and smashed into a tree. I think one person might have been thrown from the car. None of them had their seatbelts on. None of them were seriously injured.
The friend with the car told the story. She finished it by saying, "The doctor said if we hadn't all been so relaxed because we were drunk, we could have been seriously hurt."
My host had an entirely different view. Which was my view: that if they handn't been drunk they likely would not have gone off the road in the first place.
Some other friend drove us somewhere or picked us up somewhere at night. He had apparently been drinking. I didn't notice. Wasn't up on the behavior and scent of drunk people. She took his keys and asked if I could drive. He was drunk and she had forgotten her glasses at home.
We had to break in to her mom's house because she had forgotten her key. In the middle of the night her ex-boyfriend pounded on the door and yelled until she let him in because she didn't want the neighbors to call the cops. He screamed for some time before she managed to convince him to leave. I think I slept through this. There was no food in the house so we ordered pizza for breakfast.
I thought I was going to right about the light. But somehow the trip to Mauston, Wisconsin found its way onto the page. I was going to write about how the most dangerous time for me, in terms of controlling my Depression, is when things are going pretty well. I don't mean dangerous in that I will do something to harm myself or others. I am not there. I mean dangerous in that I will stop treating my Depression.
This is the stereotypical time when I am convinced that I am cured. The light is just under the horizon and I am pretty sure I can see. No need for headlights. No one who speaks to me now will believe that I have Depression. Becuase I am fighting it back and it is mostly at bay. Most of the time. On most days.
I thought I would make a connection to the light but instead I ended up writing about drunk driving. Instead I am wondering if the impairment thing isn't a greater connection. When my Depression is not controlled I am essentially impaired.
But the illusion of control comes when I am treating the disease. When I have been on the right meds for long enough that I feel normal. That I have finally vanquished Depression. Me. By myself. And I will prove this to the world by stopping treatment and proving that I no longer am dependent on better living through chemistry. I WIN.
Unfortunately that triumphant metaphor for disease does not work with chronic conditions. I cannot beat this thing. It is not a fight between me and the Depression. The Depression is part of me so I better figure out how to live with it.
Grateful crap: 7yo in the car on the way home, "Let's talk about more scientific things." Recreational use of the brain is a thing in my family. I am learning anatomy for fun.
took meds in the morning
4 flights up and down on the stairs
no time outside
Ooh... forgot to call for allergy appointment. Making note on "palm pilot" (my hand)
Tonight I will reconfigure my tracking software so I can get back to my healthy eating thing.
Quaker, teacher, parent,