Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Passing The Driving Test.
I sit here in front of my computer. Comforted by a powerful and profound realisation that I have confronted my fears and refused to be overwhelmed by that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I challenged my fear of driving. I refused to let my terror of driving alone to a place I had never been before; get the better of my determined spirit. The worry of going to a party and being with many people, would take this lonely recluse, way out of his comfort zone. I could of made many an excuse not to go. The excuses were left at home. The negative 'inner chatter' was reduced from a relentless scream to a quiet whisper.
I was meticulous in my preparation for the long drive from Leek to Durham. Yes, that's Durham, England, not Durham, North Carolina. Now that really would have been a challenge. Indeed, this was going to be a drive that would take me on the motorway for the first time in nearly ten years. I washed the car reckoning that would save me fuel. I vacuumed the car to save even more fuel. I was very aware that £10 would about fill it up to empty.
So off I went. Mile after terrifying mile, passed by. Hour after nerve-wracking hour, passed by. Almost four hours elapsed. Then I took that final turn and my friends Julie and Philip, welcomed me with open arms. I had arrived in more ways than one.
A warm euphoric wave swept over me. All along the journey I had tried to overcome my anxiety with a positive visualisation of such a rewarding outcome. That was phase one. The party would be next and a new test on my battered self esteem; would soon be realised. The party was a gathering; a celebration of Julie's birthday. It was fun and I was okay. Me, the recluse, was amongst friends and for the first time in a very long time; I felt like I was a part of something. A part of something very special. I even got to be a little bit silly. You may note this in the above photograph as I posed in Julie's 'Jessica Rabbit' wig. I can assure you that is not really my hair.
And thus I went for a stroll through Durham. The glowing lamp; the distant vision of Durham cathedral; symbolic in my continued journey of self-discovery and self-renewal. This trip of uncharted emotional territory bestowed upon me wondrous, magical gifts. The gift of knowing that I am not the bad and devalued being that some would have me believe. And the gift of friends who applaud the courage of this one man who strives for a happy and peaceful life. These gifts are priceless.
Now I am home. The solitude is there but the comfort of better times to come; immerses my soul in the soothing knowledge that I, just like you, have the right to tranquil and contented existence.