Sunday, 3 April 2016

Living with Anxiety & Learning to drive...

Anxiety is without a doubt one of the most vexing things you'll go through in life. 
It's hard to describe and even harder to understand.
For me, it's an underlying thing and then, all of a sudden it consumes me. 

Learning to drive was probably one of the most daunting things to challenge my anxiety. Heart palpitations before my lessons were a regular occurrence. Often i couldn't sleep the night before a lesson. The whole day leading up to my lesson would spur my mind into a panic, leading me to think i wasn't good enough, i should give up and that i would never remember enough from the lessons to eventually pass my test. 

At the time I felt an overwhelming amount of determination, even if my mind wasn't at a good point to deal with new things, i felt like it was a necessity not to give up and that if i succeeded, this would be an incredibly altering thing and ultimately, unbelievably empowering. 

Every single mistake i made in my lessons stayed with me. More fuel for my mind to be anxious! But i carried on. I did a lot of breathing exercises before my lessons. After each lesson i tried to take a bit of time to appreciate everything i'd done right. 

I think it's important to acknowledge that anxiety doesn't go away. I try to not let anxiety prevent me from doing things. But it's still there. 
Every time i think about driving, my mind tries to tell me that i don't remember how to do it. Or that it would be wiser and safer for me to stay at home. 
It sounds absolutely bonkers! And it kind of is. But it's a reality. Like an inbuilt reaction that i can't stop. I hope that as i gain more and more experience that voice of anxiety in my head will get quieter and quieter. 

The biggest lesson i have learnt is that whilst we do acknowledge our anxiety, and that is a very important step, It's not always correct to listen to it. We can prove ourselves wrong and do things we never imagined. 

You have just as much potential to reach for your goals and pursue what makes you happy.

Anxiety is a part of me, but it doesn't define me. 

Much Love, Beth xxx 

When i passed my driving test last year....