So, you may know if you follow me on social media that I recently started driving lessons. I know that driving isn’t a big thing for most people but, I’ve just turned 20, and I have officially put off learning to drive for a whole 3 years simply because people told me that I’d be bad at it. I might be bad at it, but at least I have finally found the confidence within myself to push myself to try.
I wasn’t going to write this post, or even mention driving on my social media, because I am SO nervous about it, and I haven’t even told many people that I’m finally having lessons. But, I also put it off for so long because of the same thing, and so I wanted to share this journey (however long it may be!) with you, mainly because I wanted to reach out to others who are also terrified, and are putting it off.
Everyone always told me that I would be a terrible driver. I crashed a dodgem once and sprained my wrist. Another time, I nearly ran a man over in a go-kart. These experiences combined with everyone telling me just how bad they thought that I was going to be, really put me off.
But, when I finally booked my first lesson, I actually felt a bit excited. Maybe I could prove everyone wrong. Maybe I could actually learn to drive. Maybe I would be a fantastic driver straight away.
Reader, I was not. (For the fantastic driver straight away bit anyway).
But, my instructor is kind and patient and has a sense of humour and doesn’t shout at me, which is exactly what I was looking for. He sees my mistakes as part of the experience rather than mistakes, and I find it so reassuring!
I had my first lesson last Thursday, and have had another one since. I’m planning to have two 2 hour lessons a week, so that’s 4 hours of driving. I think a few people close to me are worried that this may be a little too much, but I am SO nervous that I feel like I need longer in order to feel comfortable and gain my confidence! It’s bloody tiring, I won’t lie, but it’s definitely the kind of set-up that works for me.
The lovely Abbey asked me about anxiety and driving;
Have you thought of any tricks / techniques that will help you manage anxiety when you do start driving? ❤️
— Abbey Louisa Rose (@abbeylouisarose) 28 January 2018
I’ll be honest, this was a really big concern for me, and definitely one things that contributed to me putting it off for so long! I’m in a pretty good place with my anxiety in terms of panic attacks at the moment, so that’s why I thought that now would be a good time to start! I’ve also spent a really long time choosing an instructor that puts me at ease. I also told instructor about my anxiety right off of the bat, so that he is aware and he is absolutely great with it, and advised me to tell him if at any point I feel anxious, so that we can pull straight over.
Before my lessons, I try to get into the right headspace. I make sure that I am always hydrated and have eaten before my lessons. I also listen to relaxing music for 15 minutes before as well as trying to be excited for my lessons, rather than afraid of them!
So yeah, this was just a little update and as I, hopefully, progress, there will probably be a few more posts like this!
Thank you for reading.