Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Overcoming Driving Anxiety


Driving has always been a little bit of a worry for me, it's a fear that grew more after I had Leo. I guess in hind sight it was a little more of an anxiety than just your average worry. I was always a nervous driver and refused to drive anywhere out of my comfort zone, so anywhere that needed me to jump on the motorway or pop into the hustle and bustle of city life...You could forget it. It wasn't going to happen, and if by chance it did...I would be a nervous wreck behind the wheel.

My comfort zones consisted of the town in which I live and then a few of the neighboring cities, but if I could avoid going that far afield then you can bet your bottom dollar that I most definitely would. It is only in this last year that I have actually even driven on the motorway, I drove my little man all the way to Devon, but had his Dad on hand to offer support and advice. I got quite into the driving side of it though and even somewhat enjoyed the experience. It was something that I put off again for a while until a few weeks ago, when I decided to take Leo over to Drayton Manor for the day. It meant having to head along the motorway on my own, but I wasn't worried. Instead of feeling worried and anxious I felt ready. I was ready to finally just drive where I needed to drive, and I was proud of myself, because I knew how far I had come since those days where all I did was worry about driving.

We joined the motorway and we were away, I drove us all the way there, and all of the way back again. I didn't get stressed, I didn't panic, I didn't feel like I was suddenly going to have a meltdown and need rescuing from the hard shoulder. Pulling back up onto my drive at home I gave myself a pat on the back, I had done it. I had ACTUALLY done it. 

I can't put my finger on what has suddenly clicked within me to enable me to just get on with it, I know that to some people it doesn't sound like a lot, but to someone who would actually cry at the prospect of driving on the motorway, it's a pretty big break through. I am now excitedly planning lots of trips for Leo and I to enjoy, just knowing that we can pack the car and head off on our own is such an exhilarating feeling.  If we want to go for a walk along the beach in the middle of Autumn then we can, if we want to head away in the October half term for a few days, we can take ourselves. There is no more relying on other people, no more having to check for the nearest train station.

Of course now that I am more than happy to put the miles on my little Mini, I am having to keep a close eye on the over all wear and tear on my car, and of course the wheels. I know that pretty soon I am going to have to treat my little car to four shiny new wheels, as the current set are nearing the end of their life span. There are a few local places where I can go to get my car tyres done, but usually I like to have a look online and reserve news tyres for local fitting from tyre dealers such as Point-S so I can see exactly what I am paying.

I am already busy planning our next trip away. We are hopefully visiting Newquay in the October half term, and it will be the longest, solo drive I have ever completed. 

If you are a nervous driver for one reason or another, it doesn't have to stay that way. I never thought I would come out of the other side, but I am so glad that I did. The freedom that I feel now as I merge onto the motorway is something I cannot describe.

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