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Not Riding the Roller Coaster

Something occurred to me this morning while I was allowing myself to be dragged onto an emotional roller coaster.

When I go to amusement parks, I never go on the thrill rides.  I’ve never been on Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or even the flume ride.  I feel no guilt over this: if I’m there to have fun and I’ve paid an arm and a leg to get in the park, I’m going to go on the rides I want to go on.  I spend a lot of time in the Haunted Mansion, the People Mover, and It’s a Small World; visual rides, tame rides.  They make me happy and make the cost of admission worth it.

You know why it doesn’t matter?  Because the roller coasters still run whether I go on them or not.  They’re still out there, making their loops, and I’m happily some place else.  Those who want to get on the roller coaster can still do their thing.  I don’t have to come along for the ride in order for the ride to still play out for everyone else on-board.

So why don’t I apply the same thoughts to emotional roller coasters?

When I realized what I was doing, I mentally got out of the line for the ride.

We’ll see how my visit to the rest of the park goes.


Image: AJU_photography via Flickr


1 a { 05.29.13 at 11:19 am }

Good luck – sometimes other people INSIST that you get on the roller coaster with them. I always try to duck out at the last minute for the emotional ones, though. 🙂

2 Karen { 05.29.13 at 12:32 pm }

Sometimes you gotta ride emotional rollercoasters whether you like them or not. But I love the idea that you have a choice in riding them at all; whether it’s someone else’s or your own. Love this.

3 Anna { 05.29.13 at 1:00 pm }

It has never occurred to me that the emotional roller coasters still go on whether I’m there or not – what a great perspective! I’m getting out of those lines too! However, I’m always up for an amusement park thrill ride 🙂

4 Rachel { 05.29.13 at 2:01 pm }

Brilliant. Seriously.

5 Peach { 05.29.13 at 2:19 pm }

What a great analogy!! I just got off an emotional roller coaster that had taken be on a 15 year ride…and man does it feel good! Good for you and stay strong!

6 Noah { 05.29.13 at 2:58 pm }


7 Catwoman73 { 05.29.13 at 3:23 pm }

I love this post. And I also happen to LOVE roller coasters. The amusement park ones, that is- for me, the price of admission is absolutely not worth paying if I can’t ride them. I even close my eyes when I’m on board- I love not being able to predict what happens next.

I have to admit that to some degree, I’m the same way with emotional roller coasters. It might sound a bit strange, but it’s true. I wrote a post a couple of weeks back about the fact that while a part of me is grateful to have left my ttc days behind me, there’s a tiny little piece of me that misses the ride- the hope, anticipation and uncertainty that came around in predictable 28 day cycles. Life feels a little bit predictable and mundane these days, and I clearly need to find some new activity that leaves me holding my breath, and anticipating the next move. Living just a little bit on the edge seems to suit me.

I know- I’m a bit strange.

8 Justine { 05.29.13 at 3:51 pm }

How is it that you know exactly what is going on in my head?!?!

What a great analogy. And my therapist said the same thing last week. So why did I go ahead and get on anyway? I will look for the most accessible exit straightaway.

9 Shelby { 05.29.13 at 4:35 pm }

Giiirl, this is the best analogy and totally in line with what I’ve been experiencing (I echo Justine–are you telepathic??). Although historically I have always been one for the thrill rides (as a youngster, I was not happy until I was hanging upside down by my toes), in recent times, I am not so eager for the up-and-down, especially with regard to the emotional roller coaster. So, I stepped off (or maybe the chemicals in my brain finally aligned and I’m without crazy for a few moments, who knows?). Either way, I do think there is a very deliberate decision involved in whether to ride some roller coasters (not all-some you’re thrown on unwillingly), and as for me, I’m sticking to the carousel for now.

10 It Is What It Is { 05.29.13 at 6:48 pm }

I love roller coasters (there is a FB page of the same name) and the rollier and coastier the better (I once road Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain 5 times in a row and almost passed out from the cumulative Gs (did you know that g-forces are stored for a time in the body?).

That said, some emotional roller coasters are solo and others have other riders so getting off may require you to leave the park altogether (which I recently did with a friend, sad but true). The physical toll that emotional roller coasters take should not be underestimated.

11 Queenie { 05.29.13 at 7:48 pm }

I totally agree, and yet I give in every time due to an overwhelming sense of OBLIGATION. But, food for thought.

12 Kathy { 05.30.13 at 2:57 am }

Love this! What an awesome analogy. I used to really enjoy riding actual roller coasters and certainly allowed myself to get sucked into riding emotional ones often. These days riding amusement park roller coaster rides scare me and I am more mindful about the emotional roller coasters I allow myself to board. It isn’t easy for me to watch family and friends ride without me, but I am proud of myself when I can not engage in the drama as much or for as long as I used to. Thank you for this.

13 Stupid Stork { 05.30.13 at 8:24 pm }

I have nothing to add to this of any real value, except, while I love rollercoasters… I would like to know what asshat thought “you know what we should do with logs? Dig a couple of seats out, put some people in it, and then hurl those people don’t a waterslide”.


14 Battynurse { 06.03.13 at 6:21 pm }

Ok Stupid Stork’s comment made me laugh!
I love roller coasters and even the log rides. Emotional roller coasters not so much. Yet in reading this I have to acknowledge a tendency to jump on board some people’s. maybe in seeing this tendency I can avoid it more often.

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