As a long distance runner, I’ve always perceived “going the distance” as a good thing. I’ve known it as a sign of strength, perseverance, and perhaps most importantly, heart and commitment. I’ve never questioned this logic.
“Distance makes the heart grow fonder”, they say. So, how come I feel the opposite? Lately, my heart isn’t growing fonder of anything, even with the immense physical space that separates me from my pain and trauma.
I drove across the country. I put 1,300 miles and eight U.S. states between us and I still can’t seem to shake it off, this feeling of anger, guilt, sadness. I don’t think that distance is the solution — especially when I can’t emotionally and mentally distance myself from that moment.
“Time heals all wounds”, they say. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Who really knows? I don’t, but I’ll tell you what I do know. No amount of time or distance will ever protect me from this pain and sorrow. That’s not how trauma works.
Who comes up with these philosophies and proverbs anyway? What trauma have they experienced that led them to speaking these wise words? Why do we trust them so blindly?
Have they really gone the distance? Has their trauma subsided with time? If so, at what cost?
Distance is shit. Time is shit. This is shit.
The only distance I know to be real is the distance between finger and trigger. Building and lawn. Colorado and Michigan. Head and heart.
The only time I know to be real is the time standing still.
Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Lifetimes.
So, yea, I think “going the distance” is a good thing. It is a sign of strength, perseverance and heart. But not in the way that y’all think.
The distance is so much more.