Where I live, you can obtain your driving license at the age of 18, but I’ve made up my mind when I was a teenager not to drive, as I’ve seen how scary it can be (or maybe because I live among guys who drove at as soon as 11 years old, thus making me traumatized?)
Fast forward to two months before turning 24, I put “driving license” on my vision board, giving myself from February 2017 to February 2018 to achieve that goal. Or if all else fails: the goal was to drive before turning 25 at least.
I remember my first driving lesson vividly because I refused to touch any pedals, even when she’d request me to push the throttle. Let me just say that I was lucky to have an instructor who was calm and lenient, which helped me mute my anxiousness, or at least render my nervousness void.
For instance, I didn’t catch the speed bump on one inside road one time, and I hit the brake so hard that it startled my instructor. To my surprise, she only said: “So what? Even I didn’t see it. No need to hit the brake so hard.” So. Calming.
To my misfortune, I had to have a different instructor for my parking classes, as my initial instructor didn’t teach parking. The transition from someone lenient to someone so loud and scary caused me trauma. I was counting the minutes until the training was over as she was yelling her directions as to me. I was proud of myself for not crying at that point.
For the emergency brake bit, she told me: “drive angry!” and when I passed this logic to the other instructor, she couldn’t help but laugh. Now that I think of it, it was instructions like these that exacerbated whatever feelings I already accumulated during my driving experience.
I’d like to admit that driving anxiety was there whether or not I chose to train, so it was NOT something I developed the minute I signed up for classes. It was there from my late teen years when I decided not to drive at all.
Then the routine went something like this: the night before I had training, I would wake up so many times in the night and at times, insomnia would be my friend. Along with trauma and anxiety, I faced morning nausea, where I’d fill my glass with my “nervousness remedy,” which consisted of: green tea and a few chamomile flowers in my tea filter.
It took a toll on my physical, mental, and emotional threshold, and I kept all of my issues brewing internally. There were rough months to undergo basically.
Driving late regrets
Do I regret driving late? YES! When I put two in two during my reflection, I realized that I wouldn’t have had this anxiety so severely if I attempted to drive earlier in life. Every fear and panic attack only accompanied me after the 22, which was after I completed university. The unemployment, in addition to being away from this constant day-to-day socializing (university) caused me to freak out more than normal, avoid humans, avoid opening up, and so on.
My current situation is this: I refuse to drive alone, and I’m going to need to drive alongside someone for a while before I can fly off on my own. Embarrassing? Yes, but at least I took note of my anxiousness and I decided to do something about it.