Runaway Train

“Runaway train never going back

Wrong way on a one way track.

Seems like I should be getting somewhere

Somehow I’m neither here nor there.”

This chorus plays through my mind as I stare vacantly out the train window. Everyone in the carriage is glued to their phones. Meanwhile, I’m mentally scrolling through the past few months of my life specifically, losing my job and playing with the fantasy of leaving this all behind.

Because, I am neither here nor there. I’ve been travelling at full speed over the past few years through another country and two states but here I am, feeling so far from where I should be. Still feeling so disconnected and disengaged. So down and lost.

“I ain’t never found no place for me to fit. Seems like all I do is start over. It ain’t nothing to find no starting place in the world. You just start from where you find yourself.” – August Wilston 

But one thing I’m definitely closer to is understanding myself. I’ve been working with a psychiatrist for the treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD). I actually start medication today. I’ve always preferred the ‘natural’ route, but I’ve come to understand that rather than giving into stigma, I should do what’s best for me.

I should also be optimistic about the journey ahead and the direction I’ve been given. But there’s a stop I have to make first on this journey to healing. It involves mourning the person I’ve always wanted to be and the life I could of possibly had if I started treatment earlier. Visions of a stable career, stable living arrangements, a long term relationship, children and a house flash through my mind — the lives that people around me seem to be living.

In the book, Scattered Minds, Dr Gabor Mate, describes this experience perfectly, rightly because he has been diagnosed with ADD himself. He understands the challenge of changing the self-defining narratives that have been securely laid down over time, like the tracks under this train.

“The shock of self-recognition many adults experience on learning about ADD is both exhilarating and painful. It gives coherence, for the first time, to humiliations and failures, to plans unfulfilled and promises unkept, to gusts of maniac enthusiasm that consume themselves in their own mad dance, leaving emotional debris in their wake, to the seemingly limitless disorganisation of activities, of brain, car desk, room.” – Dr Gabor Mate

So here I am, resisting the urge to run like I have before. I know there is work to be done. I’m riding this one out while working to accept that blame doesn’t lie on my school teachers, parents or myself. I’m going to try to think less about the past and more about the future, where hopefully, those things I mentioned are all waiting for me somewhere down the track.

“You don’t punish yourself for where you find yourself. If you want to go further in the direction of healing, you do not chastise yourself for wherever you happen to be along that road. You don’t berate yourself for not having got there faster.” – Dr Gabor Mate

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