A girl with too many thoughts...

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Facing My Biggest Fear

Today I faced up to one of my biggest fears ever. I had a driving lesson.

As I previously mentioned in another post (here) I was absolutely dreading it. This is something I have been putting off for a fair while and I never thought I'd actually manage to do it.

The closer it got, the more my anxiety increased. I woke up at 5:30am, after a very broken nights sleep, convinced I was just going to cancel it. I didn't think I could deal with the anxiety for 5 more hours (the lesson was at 10:30am) - let alone do the actual lesson!

I persevered though. I knew that going ahead with it was the right thing to do and that I would really regret it if I didn't, always wondering 'what if'. I've learnt from previous experience that the anxiety leading up to an event is always so much worse than during the actual event. I've also learnt that I tend to regret things much more if I chicken out. So, bearing this in mind, I was determined to go through with it.

I'll be the first to say it: anxiety is a bitch. I felt sick all morning. I was hyperventilating, felt dizzy, my muscles felt like jelly. Not to mention the fact that my IBS flared up (as it always does when I'm anxious), which really didn't help the matter. I felt like I was on the verge of a panic attack right up to the point of getting in the car. Once I got in the car though, the anxiety eased and I started to feel like I would be okay, everything would be fine...

I'm not going to lie, I stalled. I messed up at some points. The instructor had to intervene at times when I went wrong - but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I did it and managed to keep my cool throughout. Despite being an anxious mess this morning, I controlled my anxiety enough to actually drive a car on real-life roads, with other road users - and that is a massive achievement for me. Instead of focusing on any mistakes I may have made, I am concentrating only on the positives, on what I achieved and how proud I should be about that.

The most important thing in all of this, is that I got through it. No matter how anxious you get for something, you can cope and you can push through - no matter how much you think you can't. Yes, anxiety is a load of shit - but at the end of the day, it is only a feeling. You are in control even when you feel like you aren't and you can work through it. Even if the anxiety doesn't go away, you have the ability to keep on top of it. Don't let anxiety stop you from achieving great things that you are more than capable of achieving!

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