Drove today and it was a disaster... - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Drove today and it was a disaster...


After getting my license 5 years ago, I stopped driving. I haven't driven in years and decided to take advantage of the quarantine to at least make some progress. This is the 3rd time I'm by myself driving somewhere.

1.) I cut somebody off when turning and it could have been a collision.

I don't know driving lingos yet, so please excuse me. I basically had to wait for 3 lanes to be clear so that I could turn to the left to drive the 4th lane. There are no lights at this intersection, and I was coming from the parking lot of the grocery store.

I accidentally cut somebody off. I panicked at the moment and just gauged the wrong time to make the turn. It looked like they had to hard brake, and they honked really, really hard at me. A couple of cars later drove over me out of frustration.

2.) I accidentally blew a red light before the near-collision. It happened very slow though. I just couldn't tell where to stop for some reason. I kept cursing at myself. I'm afraid I might get a ticket over the mail.

3.) I forgot the left turn signal at one point.

4.) Hard brakes twice while going home.

I'm so ashamed and sad and disappointed and depressed and I felt very suicidal for the first time in years. It's just embarrassing to make these mistakes.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 06:17 PM
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Hey congrats on trying by yourself thats a win right there. I've only driven by myself once and I'm going to pay for more lessons soon. I got my license 8yrs ago.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hey congrats on trying by yourself thats a win right there. I've only driven by myself once and I'm going to pay for more lessons soon. I got my license 8yrs ago.
Thank you! Honestly, I thought I made a lot of progress but it's every time I'm out that I get honked at or I do something very wrong. Today was the absolute worst. It's actually traumatic. I thought I had regressed a few years after that because I was so freaked out and stunned by my behavior.

It's not so much as the collision as it didn't happen. Yeah, a collision would be absolutely terrible. But it's more so my decision-making skills when I panic. I keep doing this to myself.

You'd do SO great with a driving instructor! There are good and there are bad ones. I definitely feel like I should pay for lessons again like I did when I got my license. I don't know a lot of road rules.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 06:34 PM
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It takes practice, and even experienced drivers make mistakes. I wonder if you'd be more comfortable practicing someplace where traffic isn't so heavy? Or at a less busy time of day? At any rate, I'm proud of you for getting out there and trying. I promise it gets easier!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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It takes practice, and even experienced drivers make mistakes. I wonder if you'd be more comfortable practicing someplace where traffic isn't so heavy? Or at a less busy time of day? At any rate, I'm proud of you for getting out there and trying. I promise it gets easier!
I would definitely be more comfortable! My sleep schedule is horrible so the first time I went out to drive by myself was around 5:20 AM (didn't sleep yet at that point... there's a pattern) and it was dark outside. I only drove around 5 minutes to my place of work, parked in the parking lot, and then quickly drove home again. It was near empty, like I can count on one hand how many cars were there, and was actually kind of fun. It made me want to change my schedule completely.

I forgot to mention the time I went to the post office by myself to drop something off in the drop-off box. It was at 4:30 PM, quite busy. The same thing happened there and I panicked and did the wrong thing.


Thank you. I know it does get easier, but I truly, truly hope I have it in me that I can improve sooner. I don't want to be someone who will always be an anxious, panicking mess on the road.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 07:06 PM
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Thank you! Honestly, I thought I made a lot of progress but it's every time I'm out that I get honked at or I do something very wrong. Today was the absolute worst. It's actually traumatic. I thought I had regressed a few years after that because I was so freaked out and stunned by my behavior.

It's not so much as the collision as it didn't happen. Yeah, a collision would be absolutely terrible. But it's more so my decision-making skills when I panic. I keep doing this to myself.

You'd do SO great with a driving instructor! There are good and there are bad ones. I definitely feel like I should pay for lessons again like I did when I got my license. I don't know a lot of road rules.
Do you have you're own car?

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Do you have you're own car?

I was very lucky to get the car that I wanted after saving enough money for a down payment and being able to finance it with the bank I have my credit card with for a good APR. It all occurred very fast.

I was so happy when I was approved for the loan, but it was anticlimactic when I got the car because I knew I would have to take on more responsibilities and risks.

If a bad case scenario occurs, I'm completely out of luck because I don't have the GAP insurance (covers the rest of the car's cost if it gets totaled). I would have to pay for the car even if I can't drive it anymore.

Anyways, I do love my car. I wish I'm a better driver for it, though.

(I forgot to mention that it's a 2018 "certified pre-owned" car, so definitely not new! I can't afford a newer car.)
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 07:30 PM
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I was very lucky to get the car that I wanted after saving enough money for a down payment and being able to finance it with the bank I have my credit card with for a good APR. It all occurred very fast.

I was so happy when I was approved for the loan, but it was anticlimactic when I got the car because I knew I would have to take on more responsibilities and risks.

If a bad case scenario occurs, I'm completely out of luck because I don't have the GAP insurance (covers the rest of the car's cost if it gets totaled). I would have to pay for the car even if I can't drive it anymore.

Anyways, I do love my car. I wish I'm a better driver for it, though.

(I forgot to mention that it's a 2018 "certified pre-owned" car, so definitely not new! I can't afford a newer car.)
Oh wow thats awesome. Yeah you might need more practice but still awesome you have a nice car. I'm going to get more practice then get me a cheap 1-2K cash car. I don't believe in getting debt or car payments .

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Oh wow thats awesome. Yeah you might need more practice but still awesome you have a nice car. I'm going to get more practice then get me a cheap 1-2K cash car. I don't believe in getting debt or car payments .
I honestly feel you. It all worked out this way, but it does make me feel very guilty if I ruin this car because of my incompetence. It's a great car and it makes me think I don't deserve it. Then I think about my debt from student loans and now an auto loan and it's just .

I think getting an older car would make you a better driver, too, because you won't rely on backup cameras or other new features that "stupifies" driving. I hope you will share your progress because I am struggling myself and I hope we can support each other!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 07:43 PM
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An intersection with 4 lanes and no stop light? I think your town just wants people to die.

In that kind of situation, the best thing to do is simply miss your turn. Keep driving straight and wait for your phone to recalculate you new directions. Never be in too much of a hurry.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 07:52 PM
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I honestly feel you. It all worked out this way, but it does make me feel very guilty if I ruin this car because of my incompetence. It's a great car and it makes me think I don't deserve it. Then I think about my debt from student loans and now an auto loan and it's just .

I think getting an older car would make you a better driver, too, because you won't rely on backup cameras or other new features that "stupifies" driving. I hope you will share your progress because I am struggling myself and I hope we can support each other!
Yeah my only debt is my student loans but if I work hard I can pay it off by next December. Yeah I need a lot of work but my fear is way less than in the past I would have panic attacks just thinking about driving. I might not be a good driver or know much but I'm so ready to get out there. Plus Uber/Lyft is so expensive.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah my only debt is my student loans but if I work hard I can pay it off by next December. Yeah I need a lot of work but my fear is way less than in the past I would have panic attacks just thinking about driving. I might not be a good driver or know much but I'm so ready to get out there. Plus Uber/Lyft is so expensive.
It's actually a lot easier than how I make it seem. If you just know road and driving rules, you'll do fine. My problems are all ME, and my anxieties make driving really bad. You'll do great!!

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An intersection with 4 lanes and no stop light? I think your town just wants people to die.

In that kind of situation, the best thing to do is simply miss your turn. Keep driving straight and wait for your phone to recalculate you new directions. Never be in too much of a hurry.
Lol! There was a stop sign, just no red lights! Maybe I make it sound worse, but it's the best way I can explain how the road was. There was no way to go straight. It was a 3-way (or a T) intersection. I don't know if my inexperience driving makes me biased, but I do think my town does have fairly complicated roads. But I will say it was a busy time and no one was being honked at except me so it's more of a "me" problem then the road problem.

Honestly, you make a great point. I should probably go where it's easier even if it's not the right direction.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 09:00 PM
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It's actually a lot easier than how I make it seem. If you just know road and driving rules, you'll do fine. My problems are all ME, and my anxieties make driving really bad. You'll do great!!


My problem is me as well.....my anxiety lol.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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My problem is me as well.....my anxiety lol.
I don't know why I always feel like my anxieties are worse than average so for some reason, I had it in my head that you will more than likely do better than me because who could be worse than me! But lol, yeah, I'm talking nonsense.

It's a miracle that I have a car and even driving at this point. I think what helps is to think I'm not alone and that 16-year-olds are driving, why can't I? There's a also recent news of a 5-year-old driving to buy a Lambo with $3 in his pockets. Yeah, part of his fearlessness is because he's mentally undeveloped and being so young, but gosh. There are so many people almost half my age doing more than I ever have. I'm equal parts envious and inspired. I need to not be so full of doom, but sometimes I can't help it. I still feel a lot of shame from this morning's drive. It's definitely traumatic.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 09:17 PM
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I don't know why I always feel like my anxieties are worse than average so for some reason, I had it in my head that you will more than likely do better than me because who could be worse than me! But lol, yeah, I'm talking nonsense.

It's a miracle that I have a car and even driving at this point. I think what helps is to think I'm not alone and that 16-year-olds are driving, why can't I? There's a also recent news of a 5-year-old driving to buy a Lambo with $3 in his pockets. Yeah, part of his fearlessness is because he's mentally undeveloped and being so young, but gosh. There are so many people almost half my age doing more than I ever have. I'm equal parts envious and inspired. I need to not be so full of doom, but sometimes I can't help it. I still feel a lot of shame from this morning's drive. It's definitely traumatic.
I'm a 29yr old guy its brutal being ridiculed by family and peers for not driving. But I don't compare myself to others. I've come along way and just getting out the bed is a win for me .

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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I'm a 29yr old guy its brutal being ridiculed by family and peers for not driving. But I don't compare myself to others. I've come along way and just getting out the bed is a win for me .
My entire life, I just always compare myself to others. I think that definitely played a part in my anxieties.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 01:03 AM
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You need practice, you sound very harsh on yourself which could be counterproductive if it makes you want to stop driving again. When's the last time you've read a driver's manual or some other text for new/returning drivers? There's nothing wrong with reviewing things like that, it refreshes your stance and could help you develop a crucial sense of confidence with something like driving. Invaluable.

I'm glad you're okay and hope you don't give up. I've had some terrifying close calls and rule-breaking too, looking back on it I'm happy my feelings of dejection with those didn't stop me in my tracks.

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 01:23 AM
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Best practice in very low traffic roads and gradually work your way up. Not a bad idea to take driving lessons too. I think not having driven for 5 years and suddenly taking it into typical roads in traffic would be quite a shock to the average person as well. 2018 pre certified is pretty much close to being a new car.

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 01:36 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about making mistakes when driving. I've been driving for 10 years now and still make mistakes, it's impossible to drive flawlessly everytime, especially where I live, the UK as the standard of driving and road standards are well below average in my opinion.

Keep practicing and you'll become better, I was always told you don't really learn driving until you've passed your test so you pick new things up here and there!
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2020, 03:53 PM
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If it's been 5 years since you last drove and you're nervous, I would start slower than that for sure. Probably residential streets where there will be less traffic. Or even drive at night on a weekday. Sometimes there wont be many cars out then.

I never thought I'd ever get comfortable driving but after hours and years of practicing, I somehow managed to get comfortable. I still have weird issues though but that intense anxiety is gone. I believe with enough practice your confidence will improve and so will the anxiety. Good luck!
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