The Highway Blues

The tyres on my car were worn down further than my patience of late and finally one of them gave up on me, fair enough. I had been putting off replacing them for quite a while because in all honesty, and for the same reason I have been putting off upgrading my mobile phone, I don’t want to shell out for a big expense when there was a very real possibility that I might not live a whole lot longer. Why waste the money?

Anyway, the tyres finally made the decision for me, thankfully at home on a weekend and not on a lonely stretch of dirt road in the middle of the night this time.

I crawled the car with its dodgy ‘space saving’ yellow spare wheel to the industrial part of the city where the tyre place was in a depressive dissociative fog. If you go faster than 80kmp/h the car wobbles around so much that it feels like the wheel will fly off at any second, not that I would have minded a legitimate excuse to meet my maker that day.

The tyres would take a few hours and Hubby had previously offered to come and pick me up and take him to his workshop in the next suburb while I waited. I walked out of the little office and onto the road, glanced down at my phone and rather than call Hubby I put my earbuds in, pressed play on Eminem and started walking. The last thing I felt like doing was talk to anyone right now, I just wanted to wallow for a while, alone in my misery.

I walked through the suburb and found myself starting to wander along the highway in the direction of Hubby’s workshop, it was only about 5kms away, not too bad – even if the grass was long and I was wearing sandals. As I meandered on in my introspective daze I watched the huge trucks passing by, some dudes with low standards beeped their horn and wolf whistled at me from the window of a passing rig.


It reminded me of my misspent youth, the city I grew up in is very spread out with long stretches of bush and highways between areas and a friend and I would often walk home along a highway rather than catch the bus, middle of the day, middle of the night, we didn’t care. We both had raging eating disorders and felt the need for exercise far outweighed any risks, besides we were young and invincible! Cars of teenage boys would pull over and try and pick us up, we had to run off into the bush at the side of the road and hide on more than one occasion when they wouldn’t take no for an answer.

We were so lucky.

Back in 2013 when I worked in a government department that was situated on the edge of the same industrial area as the tyre shop, I had been going through arguably my worst mixed episode to date, I was in and out of psychosis and extremely suicidal but still trying to work 12hr days. I used to walk to the edge of the big highway in my lunch breaks and feel the rush of wind as the big trucks drove past, feeling that they charged me with special powers as I worked up the courage to dive in front of one them.

Glancing at the road beside me I thought about how easy it would be right now, to just jump in front of one, end my pain. But in the way that so many trivial things have prevented me from taking that final leap in the past, I remembered that I had already committed to buying four new tyres, nobody else drives my car so it would be a waste of money to knock myself off today.

So I just sighed and kept walking.

A police helicopter was circling overhead, coming down quite low as if it were looking for something or someone. Looking for me? My paranoid thoughts attempted to filter into my consciousness for a second and blur reality, no, of course not – don’t be stupid, I wasn’t missing, I had thought about running away but I hadn’t done it yet, had I? No, no I was just walking, for a reason, with a destination. I wasn’t doing anything illegal, well I think walking along the highway is probably frowned upon, but it’s just walking, people walk.

Bit blurry, they move to quick for me!

I tried to dismiss that nagging fear in the back of my mind that somehow, they knew what I was thinking, if they could read my mind, surely the secret workings of my mind would be enough to get me locked away for life? I meandered on keeping my head down, listening to my music and tweeting randomly. Finally I was nearly at the intersection to the road the workshop was on when I was suddenly greeted by a high chain mesh fence, presumably to stop people from falling into the tunnel or wandering onto the tracks.

I’d completely forgotten about the little bridge with the train line running under it, I’d only ever driven over it, now how the hell was I going to get around it? The only option was to run diagonally across the bridge on the busy 6 lane highway in my backless sandals, the helicopter was still hovering and this – I knew was illegal. I waited for a break in the traffic and made a run for it, somehow, I managed not to fall over or get hit by a car, that would have been awkward to explain to hubby! I had a brief rush of adrenaline and oh God, it felt so great to feel, it reminded me that I was actually alive.

When I arrived at the workshop, I felt much more alert and in the world again. Hubby noted my lack of vehicle immediately and quizzed me on how on earth I got there, he raised an eyebrow when I told him I had walked. “All that way?! That’s really not safe…” he sighed disapprovingly, I just shrugged like a sullen teenager told him I needed the exercise and changed the subject. My safety wasn’t exactly at the forefront of my mind. We had a coffee, I made small talk with his colleagues and he drove me back down to the tyre shop where I forked over the national debt and retrieved my car.

Do you ever wander down the highway?

7 Comments on “The Highway Blues

  1. Oh girl, there have been times in my life where I let my manic mind just run wild and not only did I wander along highways, but sidestreets, unsafe alleys, and questionable neighborhoods. All I can say is this, God was on my side, all the time, even though my doctor tells me that the times I have spoken to God has been my mania. Ah, well, at least you had a wonderful adventure and it helped you feel alive again, I mean that’s all we can really hope for right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, lol funny how God, who also talks to me only when technically manic, has protected me through all my misadventures and also guides me to the best poker machine, most available tattoo parlour and shows me where the best bargains are at the outlet mall… perhaps the God we talk to on such occasions is just the devil in disguise LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really is amazing isn’t it? But who knows? Maybe the devil to us, is bipolar personified, mostly because of how it tortures us so. Definitely something to think about for sure, but you know, if this Devil that haunts us exists, there must be a God. Mania can’t be our only connection to joy and salvation could it?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Perhaps really we are our own Gods, bipolar a vibrant manifestation of both our heaven and our hell, but visible to us in this life. Goodness knows we have felt the very worst and the very best there is to offer – as challenging as it is that’s a pretty amazing gift really. If we had never felt the darkest part of our depressions would we have been truly able to appreciate the euphoria of our manias? Will you ever forget how it feels to be completely at one with the universe? I know I won’t… LOL, This conversation just needs alcohol and a campfire…

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh girl, bless your inner-hippie heart! I was literally thinking the same thing. You know what’s funny about this too? I am actually having some whiskey, for what feels like the first time in ages, and even though I am on a higher dose of medication, I feel like sending a giant middle finger to my doctors and anyone who disapproves of my choosing to indulge a little. But yes, oh dear one, I have often thought that the notion of God, is a manifestation of our emotion, in the deepest form, and we literally walk around with the inner light of the Divine, within ourselves. But being bipolar, we FEEL so much more than the average “God” out there, and the universe is just a limitation of where our mania takes us, because not only do I remember what it was like to be at one with it, but I remember what it felt like to go BEYOND it, in more ways than one. The amazing thing about every time I experience that is, when I tell people about it, I articulate it so way, in such a charismatic fashion, that they actual believe me! And even though I would repeat the same experience to a doctor, and they would just pump me full of pills, there is always a glimmer in their eye of whether or not they believe me too. But yes, a nightsky full of stars, and a campfire is where we both need to be right now. ❤

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, yes, bless the charisma of mania, me too. My psychiatrist has described me as “seductively manic” at times due to my ability to almost convince her of whatever wondrous belief or collection of coincidences that I am relaying at the time – I remember her talking with me once and saying “what you are saying sounds so amazing and so possible when you describe it like that, yet you have ticked every single box on the mania check list…”

            Liked by 1 person

          • I have had a similar experience, but with my therapist. He would just sit there in awe, as I went on and on with which would be later on as manic behavior on my part. But to us, and even to the listener, whether or not they are a professional, we illicit that thought in their minds, of the “what if” or the unknown of the possibility that there are greater things out there in the universe, that can be explained by us, even through our mania. Is it so hard to believe that being bipolar unlocks the part of the mind that explains the unexplainable for the inquisitive mind? All questions which I continue to wonder about. But oh, you’re so right, “seductively manic” is how I would describe what its like to talk to one of us during that episode, will most of us anyway.

            Liked by 1 person

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