You’ll be okay!

Is anyone else absolutely exhausted from hearing this?

So I started my anxiety blog over a month ago now and I have only managed 3 posts since which is a pretty poor effort on my behalf! I would love to say I have been uber busy but quite honestly I have been spending a lot of time doing all the things I was longing to do whilst finishing my last uni project… so erm, nothing? For now I’m enjoying Big Brother, Young Guns new album Ones and Zeros (definitely worth a listen!) attempting to eat healthy and lose some weight (Charlotte Crosby’s 3 Min Belly Blitz is absolute killer) and generally helping round the house and occasionally venturing outside – exciting yes?

Of course, I am also on the look out for a full time job. I have officially passed my 3 years of university and will be graduating in November with a Bachelor of Arts Upper Second Class Honours in Photography – I used it’s proper title for effect 😉 Hurrah! So now the education sector of my life is finally over (for now, Masters anyone?) I have to find myself a job. There are so many different suggestions people are throwing at me. I’ve been encouraged to find a job as soon as possible after leaving uni, understandable really, but then others tell me to take some time to chill. Also understandable. Find anything asap so I can earn, or wait and find something I’m really passionate about? Go travelling! (With no money and anxiety? Maybe not..) So basically, I’m waiting to see what happens with my other half first, as for now this could mean a big change is on the cards!

But in all seriousness, I do need and do want a job. But the biggest problem? A driving licence is pretty much essential. Do I have one? No. Do I want one? Erm…….. Sure. I have a HUGE problem with learning to drive. Whilst a lot of my friends were mad keen to drive as soon as they turned 17, I wasn’t too bothered as it wasn’t really affordable at the time so I thought I would leave it a few years. Then I went to uni where I didn’t really need a car so another 3 years passed by. I have had a little bit of an experience behind the wheel, I managed to drive up and down a car park a couple of times, turned a small corner and change to second gear (woot!) but there was a small mishap which meant the tiniest bit of confidence I had was smashed to smithereens. We all know after something like that, the best thing to do is get right back in the driver’s seat which I did, but the novelty of learning to drive soon was soon gone and I haven’t really tried again since. This was before I went to uni, so it has been quite a while now. From those couple of ‘lessons’ (they weren’t official, just with my Dad) it was enough for me to realise that I will not be one of those people that driving comes naturally to, neither do I feel comfortable doing it! But it’s come to the point now where I really do need to learn to drive, and it just fills me with dread and fear.

The whole experience just seems like a nightmare – not only do you have to learn with a stranger, you have to pass your theory, then the actual test with another stranger… yuck! You have to fork out for lessons, the theory, the actual test, a car, insurance, MOT ect ect… ugh do I really have to drive? Please? It’s not the fear of crashing which is scaring me, it’s not my past experience which is scaring me, it’s just the whole situation. I honestly don’t feel like I can do it.

“Once you’ve started you’ll love it!”

“You’ll soon get used to it.”

“I was really scared like you but once I got into it I was fine.”

“You’ll have so much freedom!”

“You’ll be okay.”

Can for once, it just be accepted that I don’t want to be told that i’ll be okay? Can it just be accepted for once that I don’t feel like I can do something? I know I sound ungrateful, I know I am so lucky to have the support I have had with my anxiety but it’s exhausting when sometimes it feels like no one really knows how it is when you just don’t feel like you can do it. It may be a little controversial, we all know from suffering with anxiety that yes, eventually we will be okay and I’m sure one day, yes I will be driving and it will be okay. But that’s not how I feel now. Right now, I am too scared to learn to drive. It’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

So please, I would LOVE to hear from you if you have had a similar experience with learning to drive and if there was anything you did which helped you get over those fears, or little tips for when you actually have the lessons and tests!

V 🙂

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2 thoughts on “You’ll be okay!

  1. I had a really hard time learning to drive. It took me several years, on and off. I only failed my test twice in that time but that’s only because I didn’t book tests as I knew I wasn’t ready and I’d often have long gaps, years with no lessons. I hated learning to drive and it seemed like everyone was comparing how many minors they got when they passed and making fun of other people for how long it took to learn to drive. (I didn’t dare tell anyone how long I took to learn. ^^) Luckily the people I’m around now don’t do this. They either got their license years ago or don’t have one and don’t want one.

    Anyway, here are my tips:

    If you don’t like your instructor, change. I know it can feel weird like you’re insulting them but any professional should be used to the idea that not everyone can mesh with their style. My first instructor was recommended by friends but I didn’t get on with him. I’m sure he was a nice person but he would often distract me while I was trying to concentrate by talking about this family life, and if I made a mistake he’d tell me sternly ‘you just failed your test!’ even when I was just starting out and obviously not ready for the test yet. When I changed instructors my new instructor had to deprogramme out some of the driving shame he put into me!

    For your theory test, use the current CD Rom guide. I’ve seen these in libraries or you can buy them in book shops. They literally have every question they can ask you on the test in them, and they have a simulated hazard perception test that you can practise at home. Depending on your learning style you may find one test easier than the other (I found the questions easy as I have a good memory for facts but had trouble with the hazard perception), but by practicing you can make sure you are as prepared as you can be on each kind of test. Compared with the practical it’s really not as scary, it just happens in an office building.

    If you feel anxious while driving and feel like you’re ‘out of control’ (as in, not literally out of control as in the car is going out of control but you feel like your thoughts and what you’re doing to drive the car are not connecting), talk yourself through every little thing you do. This was a technique my new instructor taught me, but if you try it and find it helpful but its not your instructor’s technique I can’t imagine they’d have a problem with you doing it anyway, they want to help you pass. Not just ‘I’m going to turn left’, it would be ‘I’m checking my left mirror. I’m putting the left signal on. I’m slowing down slightly. I’m changing down to 2nd gear.’ Things like that. It really helped me focus.

    Finally, this might be a bit of a weird one but before my 3rd test my instructor gave me a relaxation/hypnotherapy CD, which I listened to for half an hour each day in the weeks coming up to my test. Surprisingly it worked! It was one of those ones where a voice guides you through relaxing your body as much as possible and then says positive things about how confident you will be when you take your driving test.

    Even if none of this works for you, please know that you’re not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

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