I am shaking in my boots over tomorrow’s drive in. I shouldn’t be. I’ve been expressly told that the roads are good. That they’re practically dry. But I’ve done my usual cave dance today and basically curled my spine up around the laptop and played the last bits of Dragon Age I’ve left undone and stared out the window into the unplowed parking lot. A whole day of feeling protected and at ease and with my cupboards full and no pressure upon me is suddenly ratcheting into a minor anxiety attack.
Well. I’ve had those. I’ve had panic attacks and they’ve almost always been related to driving. I’ve had panic attacks while driving which was lovely. The light-headed, hard to breathe, everything’s pressing on your chest feeling? I can best compare it to the camera shot in Lord of the Rings where Frodo has that first eerie feeling of being followed and the camera kind of pulls the center of the shot, the furthest point in the perspective towards you like you’re suddenly being sucked into a vortex. Yes, that’s very geeky, but I can think of no other way to describe this terrible, odd nerve-wracking experience. It doesn’t happen much anymore, because most of the time the roads are fine and driving to work is actually sort of restive. It doesn’t take a lot out of me. But the loss of control that comes with the idea of having to drive into skids, of just letting your giant metal casing float wherever it cares to float on the ice beneath your tires, my face gets hot just thinking about it. I hear the car crash sound, the CRONCH. The helpless spinning. I go through the whole thing and what I want more than anything as I press myself into the mold of the terrified victim is for someone to tell me that I don’t have to go. They’ll take me. They’ll take this burden on.
But more and more I come to understand, I come to live and recognize, that isn’t always possible. That person doesn’t exist and if they did, I would still want to be a person for them who could drive in the snow when necessary. It is Colorado, for fuck’s sake.
So the little voice has to be calmed, Vienna Teng helps in that regard, and the we have to square ourselves. We’ll get up and give ourselves plenty of time to warm the car up. We’ll have our phone. We’ll only have to get as far as my parents’ house if I have to give up (I won’t, but if I HAVE to.) We’ll just go as slow as we need to in order to feel secure on the road. We’ll make it there. Making it back at 9:00pm tomorrow night is another issue. But one thing at a time.
I so didn’t plan to write about my snow driving anxiety as the entry today, but that’s what we got. Thems the brakes, as it were.
Now excuse me while I go pack my head in ice and let sleep defang the terror.