Oh learning to drive.
I should have started to drive when I was 17.
I know. It's pathetic.
For the past 10 years I have hidden away from learning to drive citing various well worn excuses. Excuses which range from lack of funds to "you don't need a car in London." Whilst these are true, it is not the reason I have never learnt to drive.
The main reason? I think am going to kill someone. I am going to kill someone on my first lesson. Yes looking on the BBC interactive map of previous fatal accidents and then seeing another link on another news website and opening the new Crash Map which details all accidents from the past 5 years is not a great idea the day before you have your first driving lesson. Yes, I am a masochistic idiot. I will still admit I looked at all of those black marks and read about the fatal crashes. Even if that meant I had to look up old news stories or police reports. Again a fucking idiot, I be.
Yet, thinking about sitting behind that wheel, being in control of the engine and having that responsibility at my feet leaves me cold. Actually that's not true. If I think about driving my minds higher function disappears and my autonomic nervous system reveals it is incredibly strong. Sweating - check. Nausea - check. Feelings of dread - oh yes. Palpitations - badaboom - literally. Oh the list is endless. Bleurgh. It is exhausting.
So stupid anxiety I am telling you, you suck. I must take control. I will be in a controlled environment. I need to be able to drive. It is a bloody life skill that fucking little oiks can do. I am not someone who fails. I am better than that. I am not going to kill anyone.
So I shall get behind that wheel and I will try. Fuck. Seriously I could not be more frightened. Far more frightened than I ever felt when faced with a hideous situation at work. Perhaps stay off the roads and pavements of south east London for a couple of hours before lunch. Just to be on the safe side.
I equate driving with playing the piano and because I cannot do that I cannot drive. Please tell me I'm an idiot. Please.
Apparently I have sat behind the wheel before.
I've always assumed that I was the only person who got to almost 30 without learning this skill. Yet the more I talk about it and get over the shame I realise that I am not a freak. There are plenty of others in my situation. Yes it is a little embarrassing but I should not equate my self worth to a skill I have never attempted. I have not failed. (yet!) I am not a complete failure.
So here begins my written account of moving forward with my anxieties and telling them, well, basically to fuck off. It could all go wrong. My catastrophising could all be correct but I won't know that until I try. I am so happy to want to try. This is very new for me. I very much want to try. I see it as a new beginning. You know what, despite the serious almost all encompassing feeling of being nauseated, I am also a little excited. A little excited that things can be different. I can be different.
So will you be joining on my little journey? I would love to hear about your experiences. I do increasingly believe in the power of this here little blog and this community who can support each other.
What a delightful welcome to my optimistically titled new feature - Stalled.
I imagine stalling will feature quite heavily in the next few months of my life, hopefully. Hopefully, because if I am stalling I am at least trying. Wish me luck. I am sure I will need it! Ax
P.S. Sorry there have been far too many I's in this post. I know this is my blog but I do want to include you, I need to include you. As whilst it is nice for me to write things down and set them out into the ether I grow because of you. You are great. Seriously.