Anxiety is never good. Especially anxiety attacks. Ringing ears, hot flashes, blurry vision, shakes, tinglies… it honestly makes you feel like you’re dying. And yet it seems that there are things we encounter every day that bring us to the brink of these literal “nervous breakdowns“. Training a new employee at work, running late for a doctor’s appointment, driving tests, driving in general.
Today we focus on drivers tests, as I just took mine today and had an anxiety attack exactly one hour before it. Why is a drivers test so nerve wracking? Could it be that they dress the instructor up like Cruella De Ville? Some sharp aging woman with horn-rimmed glasses and a notepad… and she never speaks! That is setting someone up to be terrified… even if she’s not critiquing them.
Could it be that you’ve never driven the car you are testing in ever in your life? We bumpkins don’t offer a “drivers ed” car, so you have to bring your own. I wound up in my mother’s brand new hybrid… not at all daunting right? it’s new! It should practically drive itself! Well, folks, new and self-driving or not, it takes a minute to get used to a vehicle, and it’s the driving instructor‘s job to notice your nervousness. Luckily, unless you have an attack while driving (which could be considered a “dangerous health issue”) they can’t take points off for anxiety.
Then, of course, there’s OTHER PEOPLE!!!! Especially up here in good ole VT where people see a snowflake and forget how to drive. I wound my way through narrow busy downtown streets filled with construction, people double parking, and idiots driving like…well… idiots, and somehow, after managing to avoid parallel parking, I made it back to the DMV with only 11 points deducted out of the 21 it takes to fail. I wonder if my anxiety level had been down more, if I would have made the mistake that cost me those 11 points.
I think many things in life could be more easily accomplished if the hype about them was not quite so huge, and maybe the rules loosened a bit. I mean, why can’t I listen to music and drive? Don’t you think I would be a bit more relaxed? OR!!!! At least let me smoke a cigarette… I can do that and still keep both hands on the wheel.
On that note, my cigarette is almost gone, so it’s back to the daily grind of a working mother for me. Enjoy your day folks, and your smoke break.
Next week we will discuss ways to lower anxiety without medication.