I was 23 when I finally got my driver’s license. I am now 26, and this is my hand after I drive on the highway. It is definitely one of my biggest fears, that I had to overcome.

When I was younger, around 10, I was involved in a car accident and I think that kind of stuck with me. ⁣

When it came time to learn how to drive I couldn’t make myself do it.

I watched all my friends get their licenses as I depended on my husband and parents to drive me. ⁣

At 22, I had two kids and still couldn’t drive. I tried, don’t get me wrong, but every time I got in a car to practice, I had a panic attack. ⁣

Every time a car got behind me while I was practicing, I had to pull over and cry. ⁣

When I turned 23, I decided I would book my license test, and literally force myself. I wasn’t ready, but I felt very pressured and that I needed to drive. ⁣

When I took my test, the instructor asked me to back up into a stall, while other cars waited around me to back in. ⁣

I froze. ⁣

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I remember staring at all the cars waiting for me, and the instructor waiting for me to back in. She even said to me, “It’s OK just relax, you can do this.” ⁣

I sat in the middle of the parking lot in that car for a good minute before I could move. ⁣

I backed in perfectly. ⁣

“Well, you passed!” she said. ⁣

I burst into tears. I tried to explain to her I wasn’t crazy, and that this was just a huge step for me. ⁣

I have been driving for three years now, and I still have my moments.⁣

If I go on the highway, or somewhere I’m not familiar with the roads, I panic. ⁣

I hold my steering wheel so tight my hand goes numb and turns red. I clench my teeth so bad I get a headache. I get so sweaty I need the window down even if it’s cold out.

It’s a work in progress, and that’s OK. ⁣

I’m just sharing this to let you know that fear of driving is real. And it’s scary. ⁣

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It’s OK if you don’t want to drive, or don’t even have your license. ⁣

Get it when YOU are ready and comfortable. ⁣

Don’t let anyone make you feel less than for not driving. ⁣

You will drive, one day, when you are ready.

Originally published on Facebook

 

Caitlin Fladager

I’m a 25 year old mom to two amazing kids. I’m married to my high school sweetheart. I got pregnant when I was 18, and married when I was 20. I started early on most things in life, but I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’m an advocate for mental health and self love.