The Psychology of Spinning

It’s my birthday today! Rather, it was. It’s past midnight for some of you, or an entirely new day. In my book, a new day doesn’t start until after I’ve gone to sleep and woken back up

My absence over the last month hasn’t been due to a lack of things to talk about. April was a challenge that put getting through a record setting winter to shame. On the 2nd I was in my first car accident. I’ve sat down several times to write this post, working out a paragraph or two before ripping out the page or trashing the document. The words never felt right.

An automobile is not traditionally designed for spinning. The angular momentum when propelled at 70 miles and hour is particularly destructive. It was like yelling into a fan when you’re a kid. The rushing air broke and clipped the sound. The car made contact with a guard rail and the back windshield blew out in a loud burst. Glass rained down in a glittering way, as if announcing the arrival of some deadly fairy. Suddenly I was aware of groaning metal, screaming tires and a massive amount of sound.

Fear doesn’t explain the emotion that runs through you in that moment. Neither does regret or sadness or anger. All that passed through my mind were the things I hadn’t done. I thought about my husband, who I haven’t seen in 12 months. I thought about my dog and what she would think. I hoped that no one would forget that she was allergic to pork rawhide, or that sometimes she hides when she has to go to the bathroom. In another moment, a single thought; “It’s okay.”

And then the car came to a stop in a lane, as if nothing had happened. It all seemed to happen in a few, eternal seconds.

Somehow I was okay, the other driver was okay, their car was okay. My car was another story. Sitting in the seat of a kind stranger’s cab I saw the wheels on the passenger side were bent, the bare metal blackened with the soot of burned rubber. The bumper was missing, along with various other vehicular appendages. It was totaled.

Nearly a month has passed. Just like the car, life started on a bit of a spiral – but  things have settled again. It’s a trend I hope continues.



9 thoughts on “The Psychology of Spinning

  1. I hydoplaned my car once, spinning across three lanes of the interstate, but luckily I hit no other cars and missed the guardrails by several yards. I understand the sense of complete loss of control, but can’t imagine how terrifying to crash and have the glass explode.
    I’m glad to read that you are doing okay and are here to write about it.
    I’m visiting from the yeah write weekly writing challenge (

    • Losing control with many pounds of metal along with you is scary every time. I’m hoping this is my first and last experience!

      Thank you for linking me to Yeah Write, I’ve been looking to start submitting my writing more seriously.

  2. And it happens SO FAST doesn’t it? Out of the blue, even. I’m so glad to hear that all turned out well. My car was hit once, I blacked out but came to just in time to see myself trying to put on the brakes before I plowed into a bridge! So weird how the body can go on autopilot like that!

    • It does happen incredibly fast. It took me many days to fully process it all. I think I slammed on the brakes immediately, no matter how many times you’re told not to do that – that autopilot function definitely takes over.

  3. I was in a car accident once. Every millisecond seemed impossibly frozen even as everything happened faster than I could blink. I hope I never experience another one.

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