When you pass your driving test (no matter what age or how many attempts) it’s a new sense of freedom. You can go anywhere you want (fuel allowing!) and there’s no limits to the places you can go. You can listen to your own music and sing out loud till your hearts content – freedom!
But for the periods of time that I was not able to drive before and after surgery and all the other procedures in between, I felt relieved. So relieved that I didn’t have to go anywhere and sit in that seat and be uncomfortable. But also relieved that I wasn’t putting myself nor anyone else in danger.
But since surgery (and everything else), I think I’ve become an under-aware driver, this is obviously more dangerous. Because I never feel 100% in myself daily, my mind is tired, my back is in agony, I’m not comfortable, I’m stressed and anxious, it all plays on my ability getting in to that car and driving.
Now of course I would NEVER knowingly cause an accident, god forbid that I am ever in an accident, but not feeling safe driving is a big thing for me to admit. I never want to hurt anyone because of my lack of confidence in my ability to be behind the wheel. But the main problem I have is not feeling I have the quick reflex to respond should something happen, and that makes me petrified. I have lost the feeling of being a safe driver. I don’t feel safe.
But there’s another problem too, sitting driving for any period of time results in pain. And if I have to sit for too long, I usually can’t get out of the seat, let alone the car. My legs don’t work and my back won’t let my legs work. All of this causes me pain and stress and makes me far more anxious than it ever should.
So when the pressure of those around me wanting me to go here or there and involves driving, it automatically makes me stressed. Not one person realises just how much driving makes me ill. I get myself so worked up because I know what will happen after, if I can even get out of the car, but also if I don’t feel myself that day, which is usually the case, the last thing I want to do is drive, anywhere. I don’t feel safe enough to drive, therefore I don’t want to drive, so why do I need a guilt trip about it?
But nobody seems to understand that, and I get fed up explaining or trying to justify how I feel, so I stay home. Then I get pressure for not going anywhere. That catch 22 thing again *sigh*.