First Time Pass!

One of my biggest regrets was that I  cancelled my driving test when I was eighteen. My nerves got the better of me but, looking back, it was just a few jitters that I could have easily overcome rather than the full blown anxiety that I have now. Had I persevered, it would have opened so many doors for me (and the odd escape hatch). Then, over the years, when I tried again, lack of money or M.E. got in the way. Last year, when I finally made the decision to go back to the dentist (and see the one who specialised in scaredy cats like me), I told myself, ‘If you can do this, you can start your driving lessons again.’ So that’s what I’ve been doing. It hasn’t been easy, despite my incredibly patient instructor, Freedom Automatic Driving School. This week, I secretly took my driving test. Only my instructor and I knew about it so I had to think of ways to hide the extra lessons just before the test. I’m used to failing but not good at it, so tried to pre-dash my own hopes so that I wouldn’t be disappointed. So, yesterday lunchtime, I sat my test. All the additional lessons were on and around the Team Valley – my test route went around Newcastle and into the city centre…busy, busy. Kamikaze students finding their phones more interesting than the road didn’t scupper me, nor did the lorry driver who didn’t want to let me merge (god, that was hairy). The thought of failure actually relaxed me (marginally). The examiner was fabulous and put me at ease. He didn’t think I seemed nervous at all. At the end of the test, I was braced for the words, ‘I’m sorry…’ and promptly burst into happy tears when he said I’d passed with one minor. That surprised me as I hardly ever cry but it was such a relief after so long. I can’t afford a car yet because, seemingly, nobody wants to hire someone with M.E. (even the M.E. Association) but that hasn’t lessened my happiness. As an aside, my instructor and I stopped off at Valley Farm for a small bottle of Coke and a glass of lemonade so I could have a break: £6.20 – shocking prices.