Refresher Driving Lessons Update
Well 1 month has passed since I set my big New Year goal to re-learn to drive and here’s my refresher driving lessons update.
To recap, I drove for many years after passing my driving test when I was 17 but then after being the victim of a couple of car accidents, I made the decision to stop driving.
I decided this year that I wanted to try and overcome what had become a fear, get back behind the wheel and see if I was able to drive again.
It was a scary start but I threw myself in head first and called a few local driving instructors to see if they offered refresher driving lessons. I explained the background to my situation and one of them particularly really seemed to understand my motives and fears and was genuinely keen to help me get back to driving again. So I arranged a lesson!
Rather than feeling scared as the lesson date approached, I actually felt really excited. I love a challenge and although I was nervous about whether or not I’d be able to do this, I was really eager to at least try.
On the day the instructor pulled up outside, introduced himself and seemed lovely. As we’d already agreed on the phone, he drove us to a quiet road next to a big square park and explained that he would do a lap of it first, pointing out the different ‘obstacles’ we came across on the way – you know, traffic lights etc :). Then it would be completely my choice as to whether I wanted to have a go at driving it myself or not.
He said there was no pressure on me at all to drive that day or do anything that made me feel uncomfortable but half way around I was almost itching to have a go myself – I really surprised myself, I thought I’d be gripping the wheel in fear!
We swapped over so I was behind the wheel and he ran through the controls (just to be sure I hadn’t forgotten everything!) Then he ran through the journey again so I was prepared.
And off we went! It was a bit of a weird feeling, knowing instinctively how to drive but it still being a little bit unnatural. We drove the lap a couple of times and then he directed me how to drive back to my house. An hour and a half passed very quickly.
The instructor was lovely, very calm and explaining everything in just enough detail that I didn’t feel patronised but did feel prepared. I was elated that I’d accomplished so much in such a short amount of time and told all my family and friends straight away – it was almost like passing my test again!
We arranged a second lesson for a week later and that also went well. This time I drove from the beginning and we had a ‘proper’ lesson with me driving on busier roads, going faster, doing some manoeuvres etc.
At the end of the lesson I took my phone out to book in the next one but he basically told me he didn’t want to see me again because he was confident that I was absolutely fine to go out on my own – a total shock! It filled me with confidence though and I couldn’t wait to tell my family.
The only real issue now is that I do not have my own car. My husband has a 4 wheel drive and the thought of driving such a big car did scare me at first but I’ve decided to keep the momentum going and drive as much as possible. I work most of the week and he has the car so I only have the opportunity to drive at weekends but in the last couple of weeks since the lessons, I’ve driven a short distance every Saturday and Sunday. With Miss M in the car too! Luckily she has been a pleasant passenger on those occasions.
I really wish I could afford my own car as I would then be able to drive every day and I know my confidence would really pick up faster but I’m getting slowly used to driving the 4 wheel BUS and it isn’t quite as bad as I thought.
I haven’t been out on my own, on the motorway or attempted any difficult parks so the challenge continues and I will keep you updated with my progress. Right now I’m just thrilled with what I’ve achieved so far and so happy that I made the decision to do this now. It was the right time.
Thank you so so much to everyone who wrote such lovely comments on my last post – they really inspired me to do this and I really appreciate your support. :)