Last night, I got into a car accident. I was driving from Amherst, where I was seeing a play, back to Medford, where I live, and somewhere on Route 2, the tires just came out from under me. It was snowing fairly seriously; it hadn’t been sticking on the roads in Amherst, and when I finally got home it wasn’t bad on the roads near Medford, either. But right in-between, in the wilds of western MA, it was sticking all right and the plows hadn’t made enough passes yet.
I wasn’t going all that fast, but still probably faster than I should’ve been, in the little Prius. I don’t even remember how it started: there wasn’t anyone on the road, and I didn’t brake hard or turn suddenly; I was on a highway. But before I knew what was happening, the car was in a spin. I remember turning the wheel and hitting the brake (I know, I know), and saying oh shit oh shit oh shit as we spun across the highway once, maybe twice, then hit the guardrail and finally slid to a stop. A friend was with me and I was most concerned that he was not hurt; once I found that I wasn’t hurt either, I climbed out of the car, every part of me shaking. The car was sticking horizontally out into the road, and once I ascertained that it could still be driven, I backed up and pulled it to the side. A man pulled over in front of us and helped, calling 911 and shining the powerful flashlight I carry with me into the dark of oncoming traffic.
At times like this I become very grateful for my body awareness, my ground, and my general health. I’m feeling a little stiff today, but that’s about it. I’m very conscious of the trauma that can result from such an event, and was grateful to feel my body shivering all the fear and fight-or-flight hormones out of me essentially immediately. I’m still checking in with myself, making sure I’m really okay. It’s a process.
Being a Synergist and having RSM in my life has made me more capable of coping with a lot of the things that come spinning and crashing in my direction, and I’m grateful for that, too. On a day like this, I vividly remember the session in which a classmate of mine cleared the trauma from an old, old wound, a car accident, much more severe, that happened more than twenty years ago. I’m struck by the ability of this work to help us move through these kinds of experiences – both in the moment, and much later in life.
May you all be safe and grounded today. Enjoy the snow.