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Learning to drive

GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
Hello all,

I had absolutely no idea where to put this thread so I'm gonna try here. @The Mix feel free to move it to where you find best suited. 


I want to start learning to drive but i have very high anxiety about it. I've put it off several times, made up excuse after excuse. But enough is enough and I really need to get my arse into gear (literally)

Does anyone have experience of learning to drive with huge anxiety and how you found it? 

I'd really like to hear positive experiences from others around learning to drive.
I feel like some encouragement is what I need to get me into a comfortable mindset of driving

The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

Astrid Alauda

Comments

  • EleanorEleanor Living the Zen life 🧘🏼‍♀️ Posts: 549 Incredible Poster
    Hey @GreenTea, I learnt to drive almost two years ago when I turned 17. I have an anxiety disorder and at the time I was having a lot of panic attacks which made me put it off for a while. The first few lessons were daunting as I didn’t know whether that was going to make me anxious or not. To be honest I was alright with the driving part, it just made me anxious to have someone watching me all the time. But I think that really motivated me to learn quicker and to pass my test first time so that I could drive without being watched. 

    I would say give it a go. If you have one lesson and really don’t like it, then you don’t have to do a second! If you decide early on in the lesson that it’s not for you then you can ask the instructor to take you home and say you’re feeling anxious, they’ll understand. 

    But definitely give it a chance as being able to drive will give you so much freedom and independence!  

    Alis propriis volat 
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Thank you.
    I keep putting it off because I fear making myself look stupid with my anxiety.
    And anxiety wise I go through everything that could possibly go wrong while driving

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • EleanorEleanor Living the Zen life 🧘🏼‍♀️ Posts: 549 Incredible Poster
    @GreenTea You can always explain that to the instructor and I'm sure they will understand. Plus, they will be there to help you out and reassure which could help :) 
    Alis propriis volat 
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    I hope so.. all I keep thinking is ima crash and Kill someone. Like I legit have dreams about it

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • EleanorEleanor Living the Zen life 🧘🏼‍♀️ Posts: 549 Incredible Poster
    @GreenTea Nah that wouldn't happen, the cars are duel pedals so if you are about to do something wrong the instructor can take over 
    Alis propriis volat 
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Yep but that constant fear plays on my mind lol. I need an anxiety friendly and extremely patient instructor

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • EleanorEleanor Living the Zen life 🧘🏼‍♀️ Posts: 549 Incredible Poster
    I get that @GreenTea I was lucky that my instructor was so lovely, you can always search around until you find the one 
    Alis propriis volat 
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Yeh. Might ask around too.

    Thank you

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

    Eleanor
  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 442 Listening Ear
    Hi @GreenTea

    I have always had a lot of anxiety around driving and had similar thoughts to you. I truly believed I just wasn't cut out for driving, because just the thought filled me with panic and dread. So I never thought I would be in the position to share a positive story about driving with anxiety...but here I am 

    So I first started driving lessons when I was 17. I bought a block of 10 lessons, and I actually stopped after 9 because I recognised my mental health totally should have been a priority. I'm 21 now and I have recently gone back to lessons, this time with a new instructor. What I didn't know before is that it's really quite normal to try a few instructors. If the first instructor you have doesn't make you feel at ease, or you don't feel it's working out, it's absolutely okay to change. The instructor really does change the experience a lot. 

    Anyway, this instructor I told her all about my anxiety around driving and previous experiences etc, and she just handled it so well. We spoke about how I could feel more at ease, and whereas I never spoke to my old instructor much in lessons because I was just so focused haha, with this instructor we chat the whole time just about life, gossip, to the point it feels like a little catch up with a friend who just so happens to be teaching me how to drive. Don't get me wrong, I still feel anxious around lessons, but absolutely nothing like I did before. This time round I am making progress, I can associate driving with some positive feelings not all anxiety, and I feel excited about the future prospect of driving. 

    So I believe in you, I really do. Take your time with learning, find an instructor that understands how you feel and that you feel relatively at ease with, and go for it :heart:
  • JayJJayJ Posts: 20 Boards Initiate
    Hi, 

    So I don't have anxiety but I have several medical conditions that meant it took me ages to be cleared to drive. And when I finally got in the car, i was a bit of a wreck because even I didnt know if I was safe to drive. Sweating, shaking, muscles clenching up, the works. But after the first few lessons, I started to feel better. The thing about it is definitely take the plunge. 

    My biggest advice is to not be afraid to change instructors. Its okay to have one lesson and change because you don't get on well with them. If you have no confidence in your instructor, its hard to develop confidence in yourself and your driving. Definitely have an open dialogue with them about how you're feeling as well because they can then work the best way for you and help you the best they can. 

    Driving is very freeing so definitely give it a go! Good luck, you'll be great!!
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Just a quick question before I reply to posts in the morning,

    When did you do your theory test?

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • DandelionDandelion Posts: 262 The Mix Regular
    I started driving when I was 17, I was so nervous about it. It took me about 40 hours, 10 months to pass. I did my theory maybe 6 months after I started learning. My driving instructor had a really good theory website that he gave us, so I would recommend asking your instructor if they have anything similar to help you. If not I think there is an app it costs a few pounds but I would definitely recommend it. For me to be completely honest I don’t really drive now as I am still to anxious about it even though I’ve passed my test, but I’m hoping to maybe start again soon. 

    For my friends and my sister they said after the first few lessons they sort of got used to it and they absolutely love driving now, it definitely gives you more freedom. 

    Good luck with everything and I hope you find an instructor that you like ❤️
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Thank you for all the comments. 
    I've taken in your stories and feel less alone in terms of the anxiety around driving!

    I spoke to people at work today who really helped and were encouraging, one person even offering to take me out in their car to practice if I wanted to! 

    The whole idea is such anxiety provoking but I just keep needing to remind myself of the freedom that will come!

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

    Dandelioncoc0mac
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Where's the best place to even start looking for cars?
    Ovbs want a used one to try and keep costs down

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture

    Perfect for this thread

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

    Eleanor
  • Salix_alba_2019Salix_alba_2019 Posts: 577 Incredible Poster
    Awww bless, you'll be absolutely fine!

    My advice would be to do it when you feel most ready and not to give yourself too much time to think ;)
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    thank you lovely!

    i feel really ready now. i think being stuck in lockdown has made me realise how much a car would of been useful to go see people in bubbles

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • DandelionDandelion Posts: 262 The Mix Regular
    Autotrader is a good place to start looking for second hand cars. Dealerships near where you live are also an option. I got my car from a second hand VW dealership near me 
  • PoppyBPoppyB Posts: 207 Moderator
    @GreenTea I can totally relate to your situation - I put off learning to drive for years (I'm 24 now!) because every time I would set off in the car I felt that it was control of me and I didn't feel safe which led to panic attacks, crying, shaking...and I basically accepted that I was never going to drive.

    But when lockdown hit in March and the roads were completely empty I decided to face my fears and use all this extra time to finally started practising in my dad's car and doing different manoeuvres/roundabouts etc. I'm now more used to how the car operates and I feet a lot calmer and I'm hoping to start proper lessons once lockdown is lifted.

    So my advice is to learn at a pace that is comfortable for you and find an instructor that respects and understands your anxiety whether it's family, friends, work colleagues or a professional instructor. And remind yourself why you want to drive in the first place! 

    Hope that helps, let us know how you get on <3 
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Thank you.
    Kinda gone back to being in 2 minds about this

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • AidanAidan Woo titles are back! A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....Posts: 2,079 Boards Champion
    I've had driving lessons before, and I think a lot of it is down to the instructor. If your instructor can make you feel safe, and your instructor can teach really well it makes all the difference. Ask friends or local people you know who taught them to drive, or check out reviews on google etc.

    I used to feel like I might cause an accident before I'd had my driving lessons too, but then I thought about some of the right pillocks I call my friends who can drive so why can't I? :lol:

    I don't know if that's too helpful lol, but I hope it is!

    For full disclosure I've got my provisional and had my lessons, but haven't taken the test yet or actually got a car anymore because my sister took it for a drive and got hit by a wall that wasn't watching where the car was going...
    "Do, or do not, there is no try" <(•.•)>              
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Oh damn. Thank you for all the advice Everyone. 

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,121 Skive's The Limit
    Think it’s quite natural to be nervous about learning to drive, and obviously this is exacerbated if you already ha e anxiety. But it’s worth it.

    Certainly for me, who grew up in a rural area, it meant a great deal of freedom. Things have changed since I passed, the test is harder and I think it’s more expensive to get on the road, but don’t think it’s something you’ll regret.

    find the right instructor and you’ll be fine.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
    Laine
  • AzzimanAzziman The Mix convert Posts: 743 Incredible Poster
    Honestly best thing to do is just go for it. People often worry about whether they can drive, how good they'll be etc, but truth is, you can't make any of those assumptions without actually doing it, spending time on it and working hard at it. If after all that you still can't, then you can deliberate over it, but you can't know until you try. So go for it, give it your best, and see how it goes!x
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Thank you. Gonnna try book lessons soon. 

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 5,100 Part of The Furniture
    Update:

    I've made a decision to wait. Wait until next year as I fear a covid spike this year and I don't want to start driving if I have to suddenly stop for ages. I'm going to wait

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

    PoppyB
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