I’ve cried alone in cars more times than I can count. In my driveway after a long day at work. In empty parking lots because I simply couldn’t face going home. Behind the wheel while driving hours through the night to escape the latest thing I was running from. Behind the wheel while driving to those I love in a moment of crisis.
There has always been the comfort of crying alone in my car.
Growing up I would drive to the lake lot my family owned and park so that I was overlooking the water. I would focus on the ripples on the surface while trying to find the calm in my storm.
I wondered if I could simply dive in and not come back up. The problem was, I am a lake girl. Raised on the water, I was taught early on how to manipulate my body so that the water wouldn’t win.
So, how do you drown a girl who only knows how to swim?
When you’re taught to fight for life, it’s a confusing struggle to wish for death.
I cannot remember a time when that alternative didn’t cross my mind though. From a very early age I would spend hours thinking of the options and the consequences. For years I toiled over finding a way to do it without breaking my parents’ hearts.
At the end of the day, suffering through my own heartbreak to avoid theirs was and still is the best option.
So, instead of ending it all, I chose to cry alone in my car. There is something to be said about the quiet solace of that driver’s seat. There is both comfort and possibility. You see, when the tears run dry, I can either run away or return to face my demons.
Crying in my car provides me escape in so many ways. There is so much possibility that lies behind the wheel. When sitting there, working through the wreckage of my latest storm, the control is all mine. Whether to stay or go, and for how long, all comes down to me.
I am the one in control when I cry alone in a car.
In those moments, when it feels that the world is controlling me, that tiny bit of freedom, that choice, is the thing that anchors me. It holds me in place, giving me time to remember my strength. It keeps my head above water and reminds me that giving up is not the escape I need.
It reminds me who I am and what I am capable of.
Only good things have come from crying alone in my car.