I did it! I finally did it! I know what you’re thinking, “why are you writing a post about passing your test?”. Yeah, I know seems a bit self-absorbed considering how many people pass their tests daily, right?
Well, the reason I am writing is not that I simply passed, but all the stuff that happened before I passed.
This was my fourth attempt at my test and over the past four years I suffered from severe driving anxiety to the point if I even thought about it, it made me feel sick and my hands start sweating.
I started driving when I was 17, at first everything was fine, I was cocky and confident (as you are at 17. Many apologies to anyone who knew me then!). Then I moved house and had a small break from driving. I then started with a new instructor who was great! Super funny, made me feel really comfortable etc. Then came the test day. My first attempt. It was HORRENDOUS.
From start to finish it was simply awful. I stalled more times than anyone probably ever and cocked up continuously, I ended up hysterically crying and my driving examiner wouldn’t even look at me and just told me to drive on. I was genuinely traumatised and never thought I’d drive again.
Fast-forward one year, I decided I would do an intensive driving course – you know because I could drive and just wanted to get it out the way. WORST IDEA EVER.WE squashed 8 hours of lessons into two days, my year off had severely impacted my ability to drive safely and my driving instructor was a bit of a shouter and as I am as soft as a marshmallow I spent most of the time crying.
I bailed on my test day as I wasn’t ready.
So that’s 2 down! At this point I was triggered, every time I was in a car or even thought about driving I felt physically sick and sweated. A lot.
Fast-forward again another year and a bit and I meet my upstairs neighbor (I live in flats), Doug. A young, funny guy who happens to be a driving instructor! At first, I was hesitant, I really did NOT want to drive. But I gave it a go. We spent lesson after lesson me freaking out, crying, refusing to drive any further etc, etc. But slowly I started to gain confidence, I become a better driver, I controlled my stress and anxiety and harnessed it into motivation to fucking do it.
A few months on and I’m test ready – POW – everything is great, I’m confident and life is good.
I got 5 minors and a major – for the silliest thing! Not silly as in I should have passed, but silly as in I should have known better.
Absolutely gutted, but instead of wimping out for another a year as per my track record, I rebooked my test that very day and we started again almost straight away.
In the month between failing and my test today I grew from strength to strength. My confidence sky-rocketed.
Today was my test.
I started the day with my favorite drink – BLACK COFFEE!
Off to a good start. Coffee is the elixir of life.
Then we went, everything went perfectly!
4 minors later and I’m holding my certificate in my hands.
I cannot explain what an emotional day it has been, I have overcome so much to get to where I am today, which seems outrageous as it’s only driving but its hindered my whole life.
So I came straight home, rang the insurance guys and got my little car insured.
Then I hit the road – yes an hour after my test, I know I’m very impatient.
I took myself on a little jolly to Tesco down the road, brought myself a CD (I know right, what year is it?! my car doesn’t have an aux lead), put petrol in and drove home. SUPER CHUFFED!
I even managed to park properly the first attempt.
Basically, I’m over the moon!
I guess the moral of the story is – Keep going.
You just have to keep going, you have to do what makes you uncomfortable. Its the only way to improve.
I cannot thank Doug Macdonald from BSM enough for his unwavering support and continuous jokes to distract me from how stressed I was.
So, in conclusion I fucking passed and I couldn’t be happier!