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Cars, ADHD and Anxiety

by Stephanie Hurd in Uncategorized
January 18, 2016 0 comments

So once again it was driving time.  I was trying to do everything humanly possible to control my anxiety. I had a breakfast with protien, I drank two teas, took medicine for my headache and even began to clean. I couldn’t understaND WHY I WAS SO ANXIOUS!

So I went to the bathroom and my front door opened and there was my husband. We were talking which of course calmed me down. I was so glad to see him. He is often times my soothing grace (And other times makes me anxious but I love him for pushing me anyway).

Anyway, the phonecall came that my driving instructor was outside. All of a sudden, I couldn’t for the life of me remember where my purse was. I looked in the kitchen…the livingroom. I couldn’t see it! The anxiety was back. I thought to myself: Great, we just covered how much it costs if he shows up and I am not there, $50!

Remember though, Michael was there. He saw my purse blended in with the stairs. I was ready to go. 

 

 
So in the driving classroom, the instructor said we could skip things if we wanted to, one was downtown and the other was traffic circles. However, we would have to let the instructor know when we got in the car.

  
I get into the car and the instructor says: We are going to ddo highway driving today and go downtown, are you okay with that?

I looked at him and said: I am nervous about it I’ll admit.

To which he replied: So in other words, ready or not here I come. Don’t worry, my main priority is to make you feel comfortable. So we will start by making sure you are not nervous and you are safe.

SAFE! Now that word I like. being safe was the best idea to me. He showed me stuff on paper to make sure I had the concept. 

Before even getting to downtown I was scared of messing up….so I messed up. I ruened into the wrong lane. I had to remind myself that when I drive I can’t second guess myself. The instructor agreed. Someone yelled at me and all I could think was:that’s fair. 

Downtown was about to happen whether I thought I was ready for it or not. So first was getting onto a street I have been on a hundred times with Michael but have never really driven on more than a few minutes. I got downtown and he began giving me instructions…and making me read the direction signs more than I have in my entire life. Before he would just say left or right turn. Now I had to find the road. I had to make sure it was a two way or a one way. 

For people who aren’t ADHD, please understand it takes us twice to four times as much work to concentrate. 

As I have been driving, I have had to do a few tricks. I talk myself into staying in my own lane and following curves. I have to remind myself people have stop signs and it is okay to go. I have to call out pedestrians like I used to call out punch buggies. 

This is a lot of work! I don’t want to kill someone, I want to be safe. I want to be in the right lane. I want people not to have to beep at me.

I did well for the rest of the trip until I was coming back. He was asking me what does the diamond mean? I couldn’t figure out where the diamond was  and as I was busy looking for it, the instructor stopped the car. Why?

 

I was so busy trying to find the nonexistant diamond on the road I failed to stop. Too bad I found out where the diamond was after.

 
Well mine didn’t quite look like this. It had a picture of a taxi and a bus. But yes, this is what I was supposed to tell him!

So yes, downtown was not as scary. as I thought.
 However, I could not blieve how different it was to drive on the highway! I also did not figure out why I couldn’t seem to maintain speed…until I was off of it. I was too embarassed to tell my instructor my seat was not quite as adjusted as I would have liked it to be. 

Well I managed to stay fairly close to 100 kms an hour. 

Another sucess story today I only changed lanes badly once and it was because I hyperfocused on a car. But I didn’t turn into it. I just didn’t lane change. I eveentually was able to do the lane change.

I am very happy I still went driving. I am becoming a little more confident. Though I told him backing up and parking will be my next challeneges. Wish me lucky moments because ready or not, I am trying this. I may be nervous but I am getting there. 

  

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