My Fifth Driving Lesson: Anxiety

Since my freshman year of high school, I have dealt with the monstrosity that is anxiety.

At first, it was because my school was swallowing me up and eating me whole, consuming all of my free time and dictating every aspect of my life. I was in a new school, with an entirely new set of friends, no orchestra, and lots of high-pressure situations. It didn’t help that other aspects of my life weren’t going superb, either. Long story short, I started to become anxious and get anxiety attacks and the like. I think my first real attack was the day of my birthday party in 9th grade because one of my best friends threatened not to show up. That day was stressful enough, and the drama of it all kind of just caused me to breakdown for a solid 15 minutes.

Eventually, I got the hang of things (with the help of a LOT of YouTube videos), and my anxiety really only flares up when I’m in the middle of a stressful college application deadline (that, too, did pass) or I fall out with a friend. Basically, it’s been happening less and less.

So you would think that driving (a $30,000 dollar hunk of metal that could hit other hunks of metal if I made a mistake, costing me thousands of dollars in insurance until I die) would scare me. Except, it doesn’t. At all. In fact, driving is kind of really fun.

Someone who does get really anxious, however, is my poor instructor, otherwise known as my padre. Every time a car comes remotely my way, he yelps in fear (causing me to become scared by the noise) even when I safely and calmly pull over to let the person pass. It’s objectively hilarious, and it’s even funnier because he’s not worried about us dying, he’s worried about his insurance rate going up.

Of course, I would like to say that today, as I drove around and around (and around) the colony behind my house, no accidents happened or were even close to happening. I feel like I’m a careful enough driver as it is (I drive 5 miles under the speed limit and always slow on my turns and all that), so these experiences are pretty much just making me feel part-annoyed/part-stressed.

On a more general note, I’m glad that driving does not give me anxiety, as I know it does for some people. Actually, if you get hit while driving anxiously, all of your muscles are coiled up and become more severely damaged with injuries. Bracing yourself is the opposite of what you should do before a collision. Maybe, just maybe, I can do this driving thing after all.

-FangirlingForGood

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