A few weeks ago. the brake light came on in my car. It happened while I was driving but quickly turned off when I took my foot off the gas. I ignored it. As the weeks passed my brake light came on more and more often. I knew the brake wasn’t on and there wasn’t any weird noise happening so I continued to ignore it. In fact, I started to appreciate the extra light on my dashboard that came from the light being on. This continued to the point where the brake light was almost on all the time. It became almost constantly on from the time that I started the car until the time that I turned it off. Almost comforting in a way. I could have called my dad and asked about it (my usual plan of action on anything concerning my car) but I didn’t. I could have googled information about it and problem solved on my own but I didn’t do that either. Instead I just ignored it until it became comfortable. This past weekend my dad visited me in person and I finally told him about the brake light. Turns out it was a three minute solution. My car just needed more brake fluid. So now I drive around and my dashboard is strangely (or so it seems) dimmer because the bright red light isn’t on anymore. It makes me thing about all the times that we ignore things that are problems until we just become comfortable with it. People who are in abusive relationships to the point that it just becomes normal because they can’t clearly remember anything different. People who get caught up in negative cycles because they ignore red flags until the red flags are no longer important to them. Sometimes you have to learn to be uncomfortable with dysfunction because you’re so used to it that it has become normal. It’s a similar concept with people who are recovering from addictions of some sort. They have to re-learn how to live without the addictive behavior or substance because it has become such a way of life. However, the beginning step of this process is challenging the dysfunctional or “normal” reality that they have created and taking the necessary steps to create a new normal.
Running away from something is an action that I’m convinced every single person has done during their lifetime. We procrastinate, ignore, deny, disassociate, and just plain out avoid things we don’t feel adequate enough to face head on. Yet, all these methods don’t solve the problems. One of the things I’ve learned is that fear of something in the present or the future can cause us to run away. The term doesn’t always indicate distance in a geographical way, but rather a deliberate effort to avoid that which would be uncomfortable. Running away can be a solution but sometimes people spend their entire lives on the run until they forget what they’ve been running from. This in itself can be problematic because you can’t grow from what you refuse to confront. Additionally, a life of avoidance will catch up with you in one way or another.