When Moving Forward Isn’t The Right Answer (And Pulling Over Is)

You are driving along. The music is cranked as the radio is playing one of your favorite songs. You can’t help but sing along at the top of your lungs. The sun is shining and the road ahead doesn’t appear to have much traffic. It’s really the perfect day for a drive. You are feeling good. You felt good when you left your house and started on your journey. It just feels good to get out of the house for a bit, so you decide to drive.

And then you feel a tug at the steering wheel. The car wants to pull to the left. You know somethings wrong. You even have an idea from the sound you heard. You’ve blown a tire. You pull over to the side of the road. It doesn’t make sense to keep going as the current situation presents itself. You have to take care of the tire first. It is best to pull over. Sure, you could make the wild decision to go a little further. Maybe there is a town at the next exit, but you know you shouldn’t. You know if you do not pull over you could inflict damage to your car or make the situation worse. It’s just not safe to drive on at this point. So you stop.

I’ve been doing pretty well lately. I’ve jumped over some major obstacles and I survived each one of them. My anxiety could have gotten the best of me, but I didn’t let it win. I was able to push through and I was rewarded at the end by some great experiences. I have learned a lot about myself and I continue to get more and more comfortable with who I am and who I am becoming. I kinda like this guy!

This week I hit some bumps. I’ve been off. More depressed than anxious this round. I’ve been frustrated with the ongoing constant energy it takes to do all of this every single day. When I get frustrated, it’s usually around a time I am tired. Or maybe it is the depression making me feel so tired. Either way it allows my guard to drop much more easily. When my guard drops, the dark thoughts like to creep back in.

I’ve had some this past week. It sucks. I hate the way they make me feel. I recognize them, but I try not to give them any validity. This is hard, as your guard is down, and your normal defense mechanism is out of whack. I’ve even had thoughts of not being here. Nothing like before, but it still frightens me when they seemingly come out of no where. I don’t like it, but they are there and I have to deal with them.

I found myself not being motivated. I found myself in bed more. I’ve worked really hard at not being or doing either of these things, but we are stuck in a constant battle with ourselves. I’m all in on the battle, but sometimes I get fed up with the whole process.

I get fed up and it then ushers in the bad thoughts. I then get fed up with the bad thoughts as I have worked so hard to push them away. I’ve worked hard at changing my mindset. So, when these thoughts creep back in, it is easy for me to get frustrated and the thoughts of giving up grow.

One thing I do know is that I cannot give up. I’ve fought hard to not feel this way. I have worked hard at not wanting to feel this way. Let’s face it though, sometimes through all of this you can convince yourself you want to feel this way and you deserve to feel this way, but it just isn’t true. It does get hard sometimes, not letting these feelings take over my new world, but I have more work to do and I have a journey to continue walking.

So we pull the car over. It is the right thing to do. Going on at this point could make everything worse. We take care of the situation in front of us and then we get back on the road.

I knew something was off. Obviously, with the way I was feeling, I knew something wasn’t right. I decided to pull off the road of my journey and try and figure it out. Even as I laid in bed, I was evaluating and reevaluating myself. This is what is different with me now versus me before I recognized I needed to start this journey. Even at my worst, I know I need to figure out what is wrong, because the good feeling is what I know I want to get back to. No matter what my brain is telling me, I want to get back to the new me who I really have begun to like.

Moving forward on my journey was not the right thing for me at this moment. We always want to be moving forward and in no way am I saying moving forward isn’t the ultimate goal. What I am saying is sometimes to keep moving forward, we have to stop and fix the blown tire or whatever else made us pull over.

It is OK to hit pause while on your journey. This was a point for me where I knew if I kept going forward, with my current thought process, I could potentially damage myself in a way that could become harder to fix if I allow myself to continue with the dark thoughts. I couldn’t simply ignore them and hope for them to go away. I had to tackle these thoughts head on and it is a lot easier to do when you hit pause.

You can then put all of your focus on figuring out why these feelings and these thoughts are there and then you can do whatever it is you need to do to get yourself back in good working order and continue along our way.

Here is the thought I have had through this whole thing especially now that I am beginning to feel like the new me again: Even when we pull over to the side of the road and it feels like we are stopping or pausing our journey, we really aren’t stopping or pausing our journey at all. The act of taking care of what is going on is necessary in getting us back on the road, but it really is still forward motion. Maybe not in the physical forward motion, but if we don’t take care of what is going on we can’t expect to get back on the road and continue our fulfilling journey. These steps are necessary, therefore, these steps when we are stopped are still forward motion in our journey.

I think this is awesome. When I realized this, it really provided me with a boost to my motivation. I felt like I had stopped and even maybe moved backward, but it was not true. I was moving forward all along even with the pause.

This thought really helped me with my perspective of this whole thing. This thought brought a smile to my face.

So, last night (Friday), I worked on a new song. I enjoyed creating something new and I am really happy with how it is coming along. I was able to get back to something I enjoy and I enjoyed doing it.

I’m back on the road. It feels good. Yes, we may have to pull over from time to time to fix the blown tire, but it is OK. It really is. It will happen once and it will happen again. Know it is OK to pull over. Fix the problem and get back to cruising forward!

You got this! I got this! We got this! Let’s keep moving forward on our path and let’s do it together!

Have a great day!

Jason

Please visit rockingmentalhealth.com. This is my website I have created where I share this blog along with some videos and a podcast I do. I have some other creative work on there as well. The idea is to let everyone know they are not alone and I hope you can gain some strength and hope from the story I tell about dealing with my own depression and anxiety.

Coming soon…

Published by Jason Kehl

Nurse, artist, musician. One I have done professionally and two that I have not😉. I enjoy creating art and music as a hobby. I do it mostly because it helps me to feel better or express something that I feel inside. I am a believer in Mental Health Awareness. My goal is to throw myself out there in hopes that someone sees it and can gain the strength to seek help or keep working on themselves. We are an unfinished product! That's OK!

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