14th March 2017 Angela Hughes

Learning to drive at thirty.

Hello there!

I’m quiet this week because I have been dealing with LURGY. It’s worse because….. its children with LURGY.

[Picture for attention: we found a beautiful park in East Knoyle, Wiltshire. We didn’t want to risk anyone catching the lurgy and it was empty! Taken on potato camera on my phone, because I didn’t think I would want to use a nicer camera but I regretted it when i saw how pretty it was there!]

If I catch it I won’t know what to do because there is nothing worse for a parent than looking and/raising children when ill yourself. Obviously, I’m whining a bit here because I’m tired and stressed just generally this past month.

I have been looking forward to/anxious about taking my driving test soon, so have been in the midst of intensive practice and freaking out about the day itself. I’m a nervous person generally, and I left it too long to have gotten to this point really, but we never really needed to drive until we had children and were quite content with winging it travel-wise.

The husband passed his first time a couple of months ago so we have really been enjoying the freedom it gives to us as a family, we’re very lucky to be supported by our family who had kindly helped us out more than a few times. I have an awesome bunch here.

So anyway, I FAILED my first test. I’m still annoyed about it, but I’m ok with it mostly. I was super nervous, it was heavy rain and I swear my examiner took me on a route I had never driven before (of course he flipping did). I stalled 5 times (5 minors) but ended up holding up a van on a windy hill (Snakey Hill in Salisbury) and then clipping the kerb at the end of said hill and fudging up my test there and then. I knew I’d failed, and the whole test was self-fulfilling in that respect.

He was the nicest examiner I could have asked for, it’s so typical. I had expected fully to have a quiet one with me (I really like to talk whilst driving because it relaxes me) and I didn’t, he was very kind and generous with the allowing of mistakes due to nerves. I think at some point he may have even put a foot on the brake (could be my anxious imagination) and I thought I’d done it there and then.

The lesson I received from the first test fail was: nerves defined the ending of the test. Anxiety held me back (even with Kalms and Rescue Remedy) and I blew it. I was expecting to not pass first time because I was so anxious about it all and wanted to think of it as an expensive mock exam. And it really did help me do that, I know now what the test entails, what I will be asked to do and how long it actually takes (not that long!).

I let my anxiety ruin it for me essentially, I’m pissed off at myself for that.

I know, I know, I’ll crush it next time (so I keep telling myself) but this is what anxiety does to me. I overanalyse, overthink it and eventually ruin things for myself. It’s a long journey with anxiety, I’m learning all of the time. I’m hoping if I do not tell many people when my next one is I’ll feel less pressure (not them pressuring me to pass, just me pressuring myself) and be able to relax more.

I did a full days worth of driving yesterday, doing all of the things I was not comfortable doing. It helped me immensely and I really recommend racking up the hours of outside tuition school practice. In the end, it’s the only way to really combat the fear/anxiety of driving.

Thanks to all those who have supported me so far, it’s helped so much. And I feel like I’m making a bigger thing out of it than I need to, but it helps to reach out a bit.

How does anxiety affect your day to day life?