Update time! Last post I wrote about driving, I had gone a long hiatus (don’t you just love that word?) without driving and was hoping to get back behind the wheel soon. I am pleased to report that the last two weeks have been better. I have gone driving four times in the past two weeks. It’s a small accomplishment, but it’s still progress. I am planning on going at least two days this week as well. I’m getting closer to my goal of driving three days a week!
Again, my problem will be sticking to the committment. I’ve managed to drive pretty regularly the past two weeks. Now I just gotta keep it up. Like the slogan here says, one day at a time!
Emotionally, I’m doing really well. Driving is losing some of its scariness for me. I feel determined and confident. Don’t get me wrong-I still get the hives when I think about driving into town. I can’t go into town without having my heartbeat double in rhythm or have my hands clench around the steering wheel like a woman in labor. Nor can I think about passing a driver’s test without wincing. However, I am feeling more comfortable behind the wheel, and more familiar with my car. Next I’m hoping I become more road-familiar.
There are a couple things that have helped change my thinking recently:
1) I was offered a babysitting job in the summer. To be able to accept it, I need to drive. After consulting with my dad, he believed I could get my license in time if I started working at it every day. I said I’d take it. Now I have no option but to drive. I’m pretty nervous about it, and kind of like, “What was I thinking?!” I’ve definitely put some extra pressure on myself.
What if I don’t get my license in time? But I have to. I told the lady I would babysit her kids, and I don’t take that lightly. I do my absolute best to keep commitments when I make them, and try to make promises I can keep.
Oh, boy-what was I thinking?!
2) Xochi Dixon’s guest post (read it here: https://thefearlist.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/guest-post-fear-of-trusting-god/) about the fear of trusting God really got me thinking. In all my fears, isn’t that what it really boils down to? Not trusting Him? It really made me evaluate myself and my fear of driving. Has God ever let me down before? Has He ever abandoned me when I was afraid? Hasn’t He proven Himself faithful and good? Hasn’t he proven Himself bigger than any problem I’ve ever faced? The answer is a resounding yes.
Then why on earth am I so afraid of driving? What possible reason could I have not to go for it with all I am? Xochi’s post helped me realize a) that I was not trusting God with my problem, and b) that I could. Thank you, Xochi! 😀
3) A long time ago, I was watching some show where a therapist suggested one of her clients write a goodbye letter to her addiction. I thought it was ridiculous and weird. Giving a persona to an addiction? Writing a letter to it? Cuckoo-alert! But out of nowhere, I wondered, What if I wrote a goodbye letter to my fear? Would it help? I didn’t know, but this fear has plagued me for so long I’m desperate enough to do anything. And the thought kept coming back. So I finally decided to do it. Here’s a sampling of what it said:
We’ve had a long run together but it’s time to say goodbye. You’ve done nothing for me, and frankly, I’ve done everything for you. I’ve given up dreams and even my dignity for you. I’ve stooped for you and cowered for you, and I’m sick of it.
I’m ready to live my life, and I don’t want you a part of it. I’m going driving tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. And you can’t stop me. Because if God is for me, than who can be against me? I’ve had enough. I can do this. For, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Did you hear that, fear? All things.
Can I really start again with all we have between us? Can I really leave you alone after how many years we’ve been together? You better believe I can. So far it’s done nothing for me. Can I just walk away, without a backwards glance? Sure I can. Why look at what’s behind when I can look at what’s ahead?
Surprisingly, writing this letter did a world of good for me. Which leads me to:
Fear Tip: Write a goodbye letter to your fear. Try to specifically mention the fear that’s been troubling you, as well as how it’s been troubling you. It may sound silly, but it’s a great way to get your thinking changed around. As in my case, it marked a mental (no, I did not become certifiably insane) and emotional change for me. Writing it out helped me sort through the feelings, declare a course of action, and let it go. It was a mental turning point. Saying goodbye helped me realize that I could and was leaving it behind. I’d said goodbye. Now it was time to move forward.
You can burn it up when you’re finished-but I’m tellin’ you, there’s a reason therapists are paid so much! Believe it or not, it’s not just the awesome couches.