I’ve been working more on my driving anxiety, both with a therapist and by driving more. After initially talking about my anxiety whilst driving and delving into the depths of what I feel whilst out on the roads, we talked about why I feel this way and the origins of my fears. Surprisingly, or not, depending on your point of view the anxiety had little to do with the act of driving and a lot to do with my mental health.
As I drove more I noted the circumstances and frequency of anxiety whilst driving and we talked about these bouts and why they occurred as well as ways to counteract them.
As a result of all this work and effort, on Tuesday I had an appointment in the middle of the city at a venue I have never driven to before and I had the opportunity to take myself using my car’s satnav. I’m no stranger to satnav and remember using it frequently when I used to work and do home visits as a GP. However, I have not used satnav to drive since my driving anxiety began.
The drive itself was eventless and dare I say enjoyable. Relinquishing control of navigation allowed me to enjoy the drive and focus on the information around me. I got there on time and drove back without incident.
When I returned home I felt exhilarated and like I had taken a step towards achieving something important, and I think that thing was finding my independence again in the aftermath of some life changing chronic illness.
I feel less afraid of having to get into the car and driving into traffic situations, even though my mind still tries to stop me with images and scenarios that cause stress. I have re-realised that driving does not demand of me anything that I’m not capable of dealing with. I hope to bring you more accounts of me being pro-active and driving further afield.