somewhere else

No matter what I’m doing, I often find myself wishing I was somewhere else. I’ve been this way since I was a young kid. When I was at school, I would stare out the window and wish I was in the forest. When I lived in the woods, I wished I could live in town. When I lived in town, I wished I was back out of town again.

When I’m around people, I usually wish I was alone. Sometimes when I’m alone, I wish I could share the moment with someone. When I’m stuck at work, I wish I was driving somewhere, but sometimes when I’m driving I wish I could sit still. Sometimes when I’m away from home, I miss my people and wish I could be with them. But sometimes when I’m home, I wish I was by myself again. At first being a long-haul trucker satisfied my need for seeing new places, but it soon became just a difficult job that kept me away from home too much.

When I’m working (and no one is looking over my shoulder), I might open Google Maps for something, and then my mind starts drifting and I start looking for places I want to explore by myself: hiking in nature, seeing new cities, finding waterfalls, and planning road trips. When I’m done working, sometimes I go on a random drive just to see something new, but it’s getting harder to find new and interesting things within a couple of hours from home.

I don’t get bored easily, but I need something new all the time. I drift through museums faster than most people, looking at each painting or artifact just enough to enjoy it, but not long enough that I get bored with it. I can spend an hour where other people might spend all day. I’m still enjoying myself, but my enjoyment of the moment ends very quickly. I used to enjoy my work, but now it’s just a job, and sometimes it sucks the life out of me.

My life is not normal, but it’s not bad like it used to be. Even so, Sometimes I want to run away from it all – abandon my problems, hide somewhere off the beaten path, scratch out a living in isolation, and be alone in my misery. Unfortunately when you’re running away from yourself, you can’t run far. Maybe what I’m asking for is a final escape from myself, but there are too many places I haven’t visited yet for me to give in and finally end it all.

Maybe what I want is freedom – to come and go as I please, to see new things when I feel like it, and go back to my comfortable chair when I am done. I guess that’s what retirement is for, but I don’t see myself having a long time to enjoy freedom from having to work. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be very fortunate if I even make it to retirement age.

restless

Being restless is a life-long condition for me. My adoptive mom was a school bus driver, so there was a lot of motion when I was a kid. The daily route to school was the same, but there was always something new I never noticed before. Sometimes she would get to drive a class field trip on Saturdays, so of course I went along just to see something new.

Maybe when your home is a place of stress and abuse, you want to be anywhere but at home. I lived literally next door to national forest land, and I explored there as much as I possibly could. I knew all the dirt roads and made my own trails, whether on foot or bicycle. My innate sense of navigation meant I was never lost, even when I wandered further than a youngster should. When it was time to come home, my mom would signal me with a boater’s air horn. I never wanted to hear that sound, but by then I was hungry, so I would make my way back to the house.

When I was younger, I didn’t fit in very well at school, and I was frequently melancholy or sad. I can clearly remember sitting in my 3rd grade class one day, not listening to the teacher, looking outside at the blue sky and the clouds, and wishing I was alone in my forest instead of being trapped in a social world I wasn’t part of. Sometimes I would fake a headache or stomach ache just to get out of school. I didn’t really want to be at the bus garage with A-mom, but at least I could be away from the other kids. Sometimes I would sleep or read in her bus by myself, but sometimes she would take me to lunch and I felt miraculously better.

When I was older I was allowed to take the car by myself, and suddenly I could explore anywhere I wanted (within the limits of my gas money). I never took the same road home from work, going out of my way to see something new. But I lived in a small town, and I ran out of new roads too quickly.

When I became an adult I had more freedom, so sometimes I would drive miles and miles late into the night. One time I had a tough day at work, and I could see thunderstorms building over the Sierra Nevada, so on a whim I decided to drive to the mountains after work until I found the rain. Another time I drove through the farms in the valley in the middle of the summer night, windows down, smelling the soil and the crops and the water. Sometimes I would take a drive to Sacramento or San Francisco and explore; anything to get away from the place I was in.

Even now, I have an understanding with my wife that I can go on a drive when I need to clear my mind or when I just become too restless. She has been pretty understanding about it, even when I spend the night. As long as I come home, she is okay with it most of the time. I don’t like taking the time for myself, but I need to do it sometimes. When I’ve been out long enough, I get to come back home to a familiar place where I am loved. That’s a pretty good deal.

running to stand still

Up. Down. Sideways.

Hopelessness. Defiance. Acceptance.

Spinning wheels, hit the brakes, stuck in first gear.

Restlessness. Depression. Mania. Fear. Anxiety. Psych meds with a whiskey chaser.

I don’t have a center right now. I can’t find balance. My brain is all over the place.

My doctor called me back tonight, and he is going to try a couple of things. My faith is wearing thin.

Work piling up, waiting for me to stop feeling overwhelmed and make my brain work properly. The forecast doesn’t look good for that at the moment.

I’m also calling a therapist tomorrow. Without help, I’m a train wreck waiting to happen, and I can’t crash right now. Actually I can’t ever, but that’s another discussion for later.