I am a scredy cat driver. I passed my driving test several years ago but I have not driven since. I learnt, not because I wanted to drive but because it was a skill I thought I should get under my belt in case I ever needed it. It takes time to learn and is expensive. I did not want to find myself in the position of needing to drive but having to start from the beginning. Ever the cautious person! Anyway, being the anxious type if something is generally viewed as being potentially a bit risky it is to me something which is definitely very dangerous and must be avoided at all costs.
Now I have moved house I need to drive as the public transport is not sufficient for my needs. Of course I am rusty to say the least and need refresher lessons. I had one three weeks ago which went ok. I remembered a lot which was pleasing. I was quite happy with the lesson overall. The problem though is that I have quite low self esteem and I tend to get self critical very easily. I identify negative niggles and analyse them until I feel bad. As I thought about it I started to become annoyed with myself for not being more able. I felt that I should be more competent since afterall I can legally drive. At the time I did not rationalise that hang on a minute I have actually not done it for about six or seven years. Secondly I became annoyed with myself for being so scared and began to compare myself with all the "normal" people who just go out and do it without all the fuss. I was not fair to myself by saying "the thing is though they don't have anxiety disorders". I started down a path of negative feelings - mainly inferiority. I then compared myself to people at work and how highly educated they are, how much money they have, where they live, how thin they are! Why was I doing this to myself? The negative, self-critical thinking can really spiral out of control. All I did was have a driving lesson and after a couple of days negativity I felt so bad about myself. Now though I am more rational. I got so sick of beating myself up for not being more able and successful or being as "perfect" as everyone else and feeling low because I have these anxiety issues. I just had to be more kind to myself. I thought do I deserve to feel like this about myself and the simple answer is no. I have done nothing to deserve that. I have my own successes and when I look at my life with reason I know I am doing ok. If only I could have more control when the negative thinking begins I would perhaps not go down this path.
Any advice would be greatfully received!