I haven’t done a lot of writing lately. I’ve done a lot of worrying instead, which seems to occupy the creative section of the brain. My anxiety has been an issue…so much so that it caused a dental problem (stupid sleep-teeth-clenching). I have a phobia of dentists (among many other things) but it got to a point where I realised I need to do something. So, I found a patient dentist. Baby steps – ongoing (two appointments so far). Anyhow, while I was already terrified, I thought I should look at another fear: driving. So, I added myself to a waiting list with a driving instructor, expecting it to take ages. Much like the dentist, it didn’t.
Today was my first lesson. When I was young, I was learning in a manual car and was in for my test but chickened out (stupid anxiety). It is one of my biggest regrets. This time, I decided to try an automatic and take the scary gear changes out of the equation. I was mildly anxious beforehand (let’s just say I paid one or three visits to the loo before the lesson) but the instructor put me at ease…a little. She drove me to an industrial estate, explained the car controls and let me loose. 30mph is FAST when you are just learning. I don’t remember 30mph feeling fast when I was 18. I do remember driving about 50mph and not feeling too scared. Another weird thing is not having an engine noise (the car is a hybrid). It’s taking some getting used to. I did a lot of left turns on two roundabouts, which weren’t too busy, so not too worrisome. However, it still felt a bit overwhelming. I think I thought I’d climb into the driving seat and everything would come rushing back to me. Even after 20+ years. It didn’t. I’m not dreading my next lesson but I’m glad I didn’t have to drive home (even though I pictured myself doing this). I think this will be a slow process but I’d rather that was the case and I became a safe, confident driver.
I thought I would document this, like I did with the launch of my book. I’m sure there are other anxiety-ridden people who will benefit from knowing that they aren’t the only one that feels like they’re scared of the world.