The Challenge of Anxiety
I know that in my last entry I talked about the fall I have experienced of driving, and that I have learned to make the decision when I am ready. I am happy to announce that I have made the first step, by getting back on the road with a a driving school that is adaptive to my needs. However the first lesson did not come without anxiety.
I have not been on the main road in a couple of months, but I was confident that I could drive it. After all the speed limit was only 35 mph, which seemed comfortable to me. Sure enough, the second that I got on the main road, I had a truck tailgating me, a driver who attempted to ignore a stop sign, and a busy road despite that it was a Thursday morning.
The anxiety came in the form of waves, it was one crash after another. First came the tension in the shoulders, then the rapid heartbeat, the blood drain and death grip of the steering wheel followed. Luckily the anxiety lasted only for five minutes, since the instructor had me to drive to Misquamicut State Beach, which is quiet as a ghost town this time of year. As the number of cars and speed limit reduced, so did the waves of anxiety. I could lean back in my seat, relax and concentrate with no problem.
I can relate this to a horseback riding experience I had about ten years ago. From the age of seven to thirteen, I had been riding horses that were pony or medium sized. Ever since my first fall, I was wary of riding horses that were 16 hands (five feet four) and up. Well on one of my lesson days, my instructor put me on a horse that was not only unfamiliar but had to be at least 16.2 hands (5ft 6 inches). His name was Remington, Remmy for short. Despite that he was a beautiful bay with gentle brown eyes, there was no telling if he had a temperament to match. I felt the same waves of anxiety as I did on the road last Thursday, but once I progressed further into the lesson, I realized that Remmy was even tempered and admirably attentive to my commands. I ended up adoring that horse and was fortunate to ride him several times.
There is no telling if I'll fall in love with driving, the same way that I fell in love with Remmy. Yet I realize now that if I can conquer my anxiety of riding larger horses, I can do the same when it comes to driving. The blessing that comes from my driving anxiety, is that I realize that I have the potential to overcome it and that is satisfying enough for me.
I hope that all of you have enjoyed this post, and you find ways to conquer whatever anxiety you face. It is not easy, but know that you have the ability to conquer it step by step. Thank you for your time!