Some of you might remember that I mentioned my experience with anxiety. I have a severe anxiety disorder, that has stopped me from doing many things in my life. At the moment, I have it under control, I have discussed this with my GP, and am currently on the right tack.
So, a year ago, I passed my Driver’s Theory test, and ONLY two months ago, I began my driving lessons. For that whole year, my anxiety pushed me from continuing on with this journey. It caused me to retreat into my overly anxious mind, and convince myself that there’s no need to start driving yet. I pushed it off for months and months, fearing the very idea of venturing out onto the roads in a vehicle. I let my anxiety control my life, and stop me from doing things I was so desperate to do. I allowed it to isolate me, which I was entirely oblivious to. I had an unknown fear of physically sitting behind the steering wheel, often convincing myself that I would cause plenty of accidents, and perhaps be the cause of many deaths. This is the kind of manipulating things anxiety does. It takes a firm grip on your pragmatic, creative and brave aspect of your brain, swaying you from what you truly want to do.
I now refer to my anxiety as ‘Trumpy’ (as suggested my dear Mother). I like to imagine that this controlling, demanding, manipulating, oppressive little demon on my shoulder, is the current President of The United States of America. It helps, as I can tell him to f**k off legally.
After visiting a local Psychic about two-three months ago, whom told me to get a move on with my driving (which was so accurate, wow), I finally had to do it. I knew it was time, time to conquer this irrational fear. I sussed out a reliable, understanding and encouraging driving instructor, whom instructed me to let go of all that crippling stress and anxiety, and just focus on the task ahead.
And here I am today, awaiting my already booked Driving test, my 12 lessons completed, and the car insurance sorted. I am desperate to be in the car all the time. There is no stopping me. Even as I type this, I am desperate to be out on the roads. I am so proud of how far I’ve come, and my driving instructor likes to remind me of this, which is most encouraging. A little bit (more like a lot) of self belief, goes such a long way.
Don’t let your anxiety pull you down. Try your utmost to avoid sinking into its pit of overwhelming, suffocating, and crippling doubt. It is not good for you, your mind or your body, AND not necessary. To live your life to the fullest, you must push yourself. Take it one step at a time, and do the very best you can. In order to escape this persistent fear, you cannot avoid it, you cannot swerve around it, you must confront it, head on. Don’t let your fear, kill your dreams.
(Side note: I just took this picture in the side mirror of my car, desperately trying to avoid my neighbours and their watchful eyes.)
P.S. If you or a loved one are struggling with an undiagnosed mental illness, you are not alone, help is always there. Click the links below, and I hope it is of some help.
‘Thinking will not overcome fear, but Action will.’
-W. Clement Stone.