(A quick disclaimer before I begin: I meant to post this weeks ago after some editing, and just now found it in my cyber drawers. My apologies for being gone so long! Life has been busy, and I have missed my fellow fear fighters! But I’m back. And although this particular post is a little outdated, it’s still important. And, after all, I did spend time writing it, so I might as well post it. Expect a more recent update soon.)
So, that goal I’ve been chasing since the start of this year? That one about driving three days a week? Last week I accomplished it! I went driving Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday of last week.*
I still have a long way to go, but as pitiful as it is, that is the most I have ever gone driving in a single week. Now to keep it up! Hopefully I can keep up my three-days-a-week-driving-streak as I did the two-days-a-week. As I look at how everything’s been going so far, I’m relatively satisfied with my progress. Do I love driving? No. These days it’s a whole lot of gritting my teeth and just doing it even when I don’t want to. But am I scared of driving? Not as much. I’m getting more confident and not feeling nearly as frightened as I used to. I’m certainly driving more than I used to.
Still, I am a little frustrated. Now that I’ve gotten over the initial hurdle, I just want to be done with this already. I want to have my license, like, yesterday. I wish I was completely, 100% healed and not still struggling with some remnants of anxiety. I wish I was driving every day, felt confident enough to drive alone, and could cruise away like all this was some bad memory.
But stuff like that doesn’t just “happen.” It takes work. It just seems like a lot of work without much to show for it, and I wish I was further than I am. Sometimes I wish I was like C.S. Lewis and had enough money to just hire a chauffer and never learn to drive. (True story. I read about it in a biography about his life.) Maybe it’s a writer thing, this not wanting to drive.
Or a really good excuse.
But, once again, I’ll follow my advice from last week: Instead of looking at how far I have to go, I’ll look at how far I’ve come.
In the spirit of that, here’s a quick look at how I’ve improved with six weeks of consistent driving under my belt:
- I’m driving every week
- I know my way around my car
- I’m not as scared as I used to be
- I had a dream about not crashing a car (Hold your horses. I’m gettin’ there.
I know you’re dying to know about that last one. Well, since I was little I’ve only experienced one nightmare: crashing a car. The circumstances were always different, but it always involved me crashing a car in some way. Why? I have no idea. I was a misunderstood child or something tragic like that. Anyway, guess what happened in this latest dream? I was driving a car, and I didn’t crash it! I
parked it. Hold the applause. Yes, I, Lizzie, parked my car. I did not total it, I did not wreck it. I parked it. In my dream.
Um… Yeah. I may be more excited over that than I should be.
Seriously though, I think it’s a mental turning point. A lot of times dreams are the subconscious telling us something, and I think my subconscious is feeling more confident and in control with automobile, uh, driving. The fact that I purposely took steps and saw myself putting them into motion rather than frantically searching for a brake pedal as I careened out of control says a lot, I think. Of course, I would probably have more reason to be proud if I’d actually been driving in the dream. Not parking.
I wonder what my subconscious is saying about that… Maybe that I’m feeling more comfortable in a car, but content to stay where it feels safe? I guess that’s the next dream to be on the lookout for. The day I dream of cruising the streets, calm and carefree, is the day I have conquered my fear!
…Then again, it’s just a dream.
Fear Tip: Don’t listen to me. I am nuttier than a pecan pie. I just come up with this stuff as I go along.
P.S. Leave a comment so I can catch up with you! What have you been doing these past couple of weeks?
*Whenever that was. I’m afraid I don’t remember now.