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Fear of driving-but I'm going to do it!

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letitout posted 8/7/2013 07:24 AM

I have a fear of driving. Panic attacks of fear of getting lost. I know GPS and all of that, but still in my mind it's terrifying.

But, I am going by myself to a conference about an 1 1/2 hours from here. I am so afraid, but I am just going to do it. I will be so proud when it's over. But getting there and back Whew!!

My IC has been working on this since I need to gain my independence and start a life outside my home. Without being able to get out, I will never be free to pursue my own dreams, have friends, etc..

I have been practicing getting "lost" in areas where I am sorta familiar with and it has helped some, but GPS's aren't always right I found out, but eventually I find my way home.

Anybody out there have this fear? Anybody out there have any other methods that might help me get over this?

MovingUpward posted 8/7/2013 07:45 AM

Before you go, you can use google maps and mapquest to see if they show the same place. Google maps has a street view where you can actually see images so that you can verify before leaving if the destination is correct.

Good luck to you

ItsaClimb posted 8/7/2013 08:05 AM

I hear you. I haven't got a fear of getting lost, but I hate driving with a passion and only drive when I absolutely have to. I really only feel comfortable driving in areas I am VERY familiar with i.e home to the shops, home to my daughter's school, home to my work... and a couple of other areas. It's ridiculous and makes no sense, but it's a very real fear. Something I find quite limiting.

I really hope that your drive goes well and that it helps build your confidence!

Newlease posted 8/7/2013 10:30 AM

I travel quite a bit on my own and I get lost a lot, but I don't stress about it. I always find my way, eventually. I just look at it as a learning adventure.

What exactly do you fear about getting lost? That you will never find your way? Or do you fear ending up in a dangerous neighborhood? I have done that and I simply keep driving until I get out of it. And if I get REALLY lost, I call someone or ask directions from a local.

You can do this - I'm very impressed by your bravery in attempting something that causes you such anxiety. It sounds like you are doing good prep work. And like most things that scare us - once we navigate it successfully, the situation loses its hold over us.

Sending strength and peace.


Crescita posted 8/7/2013 10:39 AM

I like to look for landmarks to help orient myself. It could be a mountain, bridge, stadium, church, even a Walmart. If I can find my way back to whatever landmark, I know I can find my way from there. It also helps to learn the main roads and a few street names in either direction so you can be sure you won't miss a turn.

gonnabe2016 posted 8/7/2013 10:56 AM

I am so afraid, but I am just going to do it

Yay you!!!

I get lost all the time, so it doesn't stress me out at all (unless it's making me late for an important appointment). If the direction I'm going *seems* wrong to me, then I just stop somewhere and ask.
Cities that are laid out like grids (Tucson) are awesome for me, as are cities that have tall landmarks to use as a compass (Tucson again).

As the others pointed out.....look at a map. Become familiar with the main roads and the general sense of direction. I used to carry a big 7-county atlas map (that was platted in my car) with me. And if I was out of my area, I'd stop and get a map of my current location. That way I could pinpoint where I currently was because if I knew where I was, then I wasn't really lost I just wasn't where I wanted to be yet, kwim?

(my phobia is parking. Not *how* to park, but *where*. My very 1st question whenever I'm going somewhere that I'm not familiar with is "what's the parking situation?")

peridot posted 8/7/2013 14:08 PM

I don't trust the GPS. I always use Google or Mapquest before going any where I'm not familar with.

Kajem posted 8/7/2013 15:19 PM

No words of advice, just sending strength and peace. Let us know how it went.



gma56 posted 8/7/2013 17:35 PM

Good for you !!!
I second Moo, Google maps street view will show you the area.
I've always been the driver on trips and getting lost was an adventure before GPS. I always say I took the scenic route. Allow yourself plenty of of lost time so you don't have a time panic.
You go !!!!!!!!!!!

[This message edited by gma56 at 5:36 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]

letitout posted 8/7/2013 18:25 PM

Thanks for all of your words of encouragement! I did go to the conference and only got honked at once because I didn't know where I was and I suppose I wasn't going fast enough for him.

Friday I have a job interview in another town. Since I did it once I can do it again.

I will try google maps and mapquest sounds goochi (great-as my DD would say!)

itsaclimb: I hear you. I only go to specific places that I know. I hope it gets easier for you.

To all of you who can just get out there and go and get lost, I'm jealous. I will get there some day.

gonnabe: Parking is a real issue in my area. No real parking, you just have to find a spot and hope your car wont get towed or ticketed. ug I hate it.

Thanks to you all

peacelovetea posted 8/7/2013 18:29 PM

I used to be horribly afraid to drive on the highway and/or anywhere I didn't know where I was going. Then I started school in the city 20 minutes away, so I had to learn to commute by both bus and car. (I was terrified of figuring out the busses too.) Now that I've been doing it for 2 years I don't eve think of it any more, and I can drive all over with no anxiety any longer.

The only way out of anxiety is through! The more you do it, the less anxious you will be, and so you will wonder why you were nervous at all. Go you!

miadianna posted 8/7/2013 18:42 PM

I lived 20 years never driving on the expressway because of anxiety due to something that happened to me when I was 21 and got lost coming home from Chicago. It was the scariest experience of my life and triggered a fear in me. I also think I learned it from my mother who never drove on expressways and has driving anxiety. I have green sign anxiety, when I see that green sign my heart starts pounding and I can't breathe.

I just didn't go places that required expressway driving, which limits you a lot. I had no idea how to do it but when my kids got older I knew they would be going to college soon and I wanted to drive to see them and help them move in and out so I taught myself to do it. Little by little. I've done well, can't count the number of times I drove to see them or help them in many ways. I still don't like it and avoid it when I don't have to, but I "can" and that makes the difference. Also practice makes perfect. The less you do it, the more out of practice you get. I don't find driving relaxing at all. Dread it most times.

Don't worry about others, stay in the right lane and don't panic about people getting mad at you. Let them pass. Who cares? That's what I tell myself. I do breathing exercises and positive self-talk.

I don't like the fast, constant speed driving. I actually am relieved when there is a traffic jam because I can slow down, take a break from nerves and collect myself.

sadone29 posted 8/7/2013 19:41 PM

Good luck! I also have major anxiety issues around driving. Wish I could help out with ideas, but I don't even have a license so I haven't had to deal with it yet.
I'll be getting mine soon though! It's getting way too inconvenient with kids.

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