Sunday, February 3, 2013

I don't enjoy driving this slow.

I have three great big huge fears in life: driving, escalators, and zombies. Two of these fears are rational, one is not. I will leave that up to you to decide which is irrational =)

I want to focus on driving, though. I hate it. I used to not hate it. It used to not be an issue, I used to go ninety over train tracks, and down hills. I even lost my license for awhile because I loved to speed so much. I was in an accident that changed that. It wasn't a horrible, over the top, near death accident. But it has shaken me to the core, and I detest driving.

It was a few months before we were married, I was following Tom in his Neon, and he had his truck. Their was construction so we had to take a detour on a gravel road, I was going a nice, 35 MPH. Not too fast at all. All of a sudden I lost control, and the car was all over the road I felt as though someone was holding me back in my seat and I kept hearing in my head "don't move" my shoulders felt pinned, flush with the seat, it happened so fast. The next thing I knew I was in the air, suspended by my seat belt, when I looked to the passenger window all I could see was the grass flattened beneath it, and when I looked out my window all I could see was the clear, blue sky. I knew that I needed to turn the car off, so I did that. Soon I heard someone pulling at my door screaming "unlock it, hurry, are you okay?" It was Tom, I was still confused the door wasn't locked, but gravity was working against us so it took us both a bit of time and team work to open it so that I could climb out, and I had to slide down the roof of the car. Tom hurried me up to his truck, all the while checking me for injury, when we got to the truck he told me to sit and wait, and he grabbed the Powerade he had for his lunch and ran back towards the car. I was so confused, when I looked up I realized the reason. The car was on fire! He put it out and returned to me. A neighbor had called the police and they came with an ambulance and the paramedics checked me over, and I did not have a scratch on me, the car was totaled. (which ended up being a great financial blessing...thank you GAP insurance!)

Through all of that my head/neck did not move, I should have suffered whip lash, I did not. I know that the Holy Spirit was present that day. I could feel it. Tom, being the smart guy he is, forced me behind the wheel that very same day. I was so scared, but he kept telling me "if you don't do it now, it will be harder when you do" So, I did. But, not on gravel for several more months.  Ever since then I have had serious anxiety when it comes to driving, especially on snow and ice, and in large areas with tons of traffic. It seems to be getting worse.

I had a panic attack this week. The roads were snow/ice covered in some areas, and I HAD to get to the bank after work, and Tom was at work. I didn't have a choice, I prayed and breathed deeply the entire way, everyone passed me, and I didn't go over 30 MPH. By the time I got to the bank I was a mess, I only had a few moments before they closed, I ran in, did my transaction, and then walked swiftly to the restroom (it's a branch inside a grocery store) where I vomited and then began to cry and freak out. After I calmed down, I texted a friend whom I had plans to meet to come and get me, and then Tom to tell him  I was NOT driving home. They both know me well enough to simply say "okay"

It was horrifying, but I made myself get out and do it the very next day. Why? Because I could very easily stop driving altogether, and that's not okay. I drove my sister yesterday and on the bad parts I was getting pretty anxious. She was annoyed by my anxiety, and over cautious driving, and kept asking why she couldn't just do it. I need to do it. It scares me to death, but I need to do it.

My point in telling you all this is to remind you that those are PEOPLE in those cars around you. People with issues, and stories, and reasons for driving like that. Please don't get mad when you see me creeping along on an icy road, please just pray for me, and pass me, nicely.  Even if it's not me, remember that you don't their story. You don't know if it's their first time driving since a horrific accident, you just don't know. So, please be kind and patient with us. We don't like being this way.

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