I am going to stay with my sister over the Christmas holidays. This means a 3hr drive on motor ways. Does anyone have any tips on how to overcome the anxiety of making the trip and also saying calm while driving.
Driving: I am going to stay with my sister... - Anxiety Support
Hi Swan thanks for your reply and suggestions. You've just reminded me of how chewing gum does help me relax...thanks. Yes I am alone which doesn't help. Am thinking that may be I would be better not driving but the thought of trains and the mass of people gets me really anxious too!
I know how you feel. That's where anxiety does it's best job on me. Haven't taken mass transportation in a year now. So scared of it. I used to travel with no problem before. Suddenly this anxiety just hit me and can't bring myself the travel that way. You have to weigh in your options I guess. Which method of transportation do you feel will be better for you and your anxiety. Once you choose try and remain positive. Try to keep the what's if's out of your head. I know it's not easy, but try. If you have to, make a playlist of your favorite songs to listen to while driving.
Thanks swan. Yes, just like you it hit all of a sudden. I now realise that it was building up over a long time. I Don't know if you found this. Small things like money worries what clothes to wear etc, stress at work then I started isolating. At the time I didn't think much of it. Then bang it hit BIG! time.
I also lost my mother in 2014 who was a big big part of my life.
What I'm trying to do is set myself small goals and build on those.
I'm in the same position as you. A 3 hour drive to see family over Christmas and I HATE driving. I get so anxious, so stressed and the amount of times I've cancelled on people because of my anxiety over driving is unreal!
Things I find helpful,
Podcasts! Some are an hour long and if you get a good one it will distract your mind from anxious thoughts.
Water, just knowing I have a bottle of water with me comforts me, if I start to feel anxious I convince myself sips of water is all that's needed to resolve it.
Also, phone calls (hands free) talking to someone for 30 mins can be a nice distraction too.
Also, I think into the near future. I get myself excited about what will happen after my journey. I'll be excited to see my family, have a nice bath and cup of tea. It's those little things that give me a lot of comfort.
Also I treat myself a little a take a little snack to look forward to, promise myself I will be allowed it at the half way point, so that way I'm just thinking about the time passing so I can eat my treat, haha! It's sill but for me it all helps somewhat.
Also, if I start to feel at all anxious or panicky I open the window and remind myself I can pull over and take a break anytime I like. I'm not forced to stay in the car and even if I do get a slight panic attack (which luckily has never happened in the car and hopefully never will) it won't last, so pulling over and taking a 20 min break will be enough time to calm down and relax.
Everything will be ok. Look forward to spending the holidays with your family, focus on all the lovely things that await!
Hi Mrun. Thanks so much for your suggestions. I know it's all in my head and I should be fine. Do you fine with the anxiety it gets better as the day goes on? You are SO! right when you said think of what awaits you at the end of the journey.....being with loved ones.
Listening/singing along to your favorite music helps. I had to make a solo road trip from Washington to Kansas 5 years ago when my daughter went into pre-term labor. My grandson spent 21 days in NICU. That trip was by myself, and involved 2 overnight hotel stays in cities I'd never been to. I bought a couple of audio books to listen to which really helped.
Find some music you love or a book on tape. Drive in the right lane with the slower traffic or in the middle Lane. Let all the fast drivers go by. Just do the speed limit and give yourself plenty of space from other cars. It will help with the anxiety creeping up on you. If you have space around you you'll feel calmer and more in control. Enjoy your visit. Xxx
Do not focus on driving so tight. Yes, be aware of your driving you don't want to wreck. Turn up the radio and be calm. My sister was afraid to drive on overpasses. I gave her a little boost. She is now 52 and had that fear for many years. She now tells me that she does drive there with no fear. I told her something simple. If you are afraid of something do it in fear. What have you got to lose? Fear alone is nothing but fear. You take charge and do it. The fear of my lifelong battle of severe Anorexia for example. I had been ill since 14. I am now 56. I got treatment 6 years ago. This was the first time too. The fear of recovery. OMG! I did it. I have recovered. I am living. I have no fears. My sister conquered her fear of driving on overpasses by driving with one hand and rubbing a copper penny in the other hand. I don't know if you want to do this for 3 hours. I suggest music and focus on traffic of course. Think about the fun you will have with your sister at Christmas. Let go of fear. Do it in fear. Live honey. Fear becomes nothing after you stand up to it. Merry Christmas and love you. Enjoy life without fear.
Hi art62grammie. Thank you so much for your positive reply. It's really lovely to hear there is light at the end of the tunnel. Like you I have suffered from anxiety from childhood. I self medicated with alcohol which ended in going into a treatment centre in my 30's. I'm now 67 and have never really addressed my anxiety. You are so right when you say " face that fear". I'm so,so happy for you that you managed to overcome your anorexia...NO MEAN FEET! I've been sober now for 30ish years apart from a couple of slips....when life got hard. You've help a lot with such positivity ( something I'm finding hard at the moment) To know I can recover if I congratulate myself for what I achieve and not beat myseft up if I feel fear. Each achievement is a step forward ☺. A very merry Christmas to you too.
We are human. If we fall back we pick ourselves up and go on. If you slide down you get back up and move forward. I am susceptible to relapse with Anorexia. I realize after being a severe Anorexic for 40 years that I would not stand a relapse. I am 56 and to relapse would be the death of me. That is why I fight hard never to go back. You will be ok. You go visit family and drive with joy. No fear remember. Take care. Love you.
I never have been afraid to drive. I would get a strange feeling sometimes driving though. During my Anorexia days, I would get dizzy and light headed sometimes while driving. I drove anyway and without accidents. I never drove on long distance trips before. I mean a 3- hour trip. I now drive all over the U.S. Just recently during my recovery I remembered that feeling of driving. That memory was not good. I mentioned before in my post that I was Anorexic to control my childhood rape from my dad. Now, I have processed each memory that comes to me. I had repressed them every one. Recovery healed my mind. That included all my past memories. I was very young. I was not big enough to see over the steering wheel. My father would force me to drive at night. That meant me and him alone in a car. Me driving and him sexually abusing me. That is my driving memory. It does not keep me back. It does not keep me from going on long trips. You see, I feel that I have been through the worst in my life and recovery made me have no fear. I will not let my deceased father keep me from living my life just how I want. That is called recovery. I have no fear.
Hi samanthacek. Thanks for your suggestion. I have thought of it but am on antidepressant at the moment and am worried about the effect it may have?