Learning to drive..while experiencing mental health difficulties

Well it feels slightly weird actually having to type a post title that isn't 30 Day Snap Challenge - Day....
If you have checked out my 30 Day Snap Challenge posts, towards the end you will have seen that I have started driving lessons. Ooohh, how exciting!
I thought I would blog about this subject as obviously I'm currently experiencing it.
I have always thought "oh I'm not really that bothered about driving" but then other times I'm like "oh I really wish I could drive right now." Unfortunately the ability to drive with a full licence doesn't quite happen overnight, oh what a shame!
So after saving I have decided to take the chance & just give it a go.
As my good friend Ally once told me, "feel the fear & do it anyway"..
Ever since she told me that quote it has stuck in my head.
Since suffering with anxiety & panic attacks it makes the whole experience kind of even more scary. For those of you who haven't experienced anxiety, it can become a problem & effect your every day life. Things that used to be simple, such as catching the bus can be a big struggle..doing the weekly shop can trigger a panic attack & sometimes it can stop you from leaving the house (your comfort zone, where you feel safe).. Admittedly I am struggling abit to leave the house at the minute, even more so since my mum is off work after a couple of operations.
 So I thought what would be a good way to actually get out the house a little bit at a time & learn a new skill..the idea of driving lessons appeared.
So I thought I would share some of my tips on starting to learn to drive while at the same time struggling with your mental health. I'm also going to be blogging about my progress over time too.
Tips on starting/wanting/learning to drive
- Ask around for recommendations -
Sometimes getting peoples opinions on instructors is the best place to start. 
Obviously sometimes there might be a mix of opinions.
- Search online / do your research -
Once you have been given a handful of recommendations my next piece of advice is to do your research by searching online. Using simply a search engine such as Google or ask Jeeves. Most driving schools do have websites now & some also have a section with previous learner drivers feedback. You could also use an online directory such as yell.com. Basically all you'd have to do is just search driving schools in your area. Simple as that.
- Pick a few & get in touch -
After you've researched your recommended instructors/driving schools you will have probably been able to narrow the selection down. So the next thing to do is get in touch with your possible future instructor. If you don't enjoy speaking on the phone or aren't comfortable with that, that's absolutely fine. Most people do have an email address that you can contact them on that. You could just basically start by asking a few basic questions. Such as making sure they do still cover your area, how much the lessons cost, whatever you fancy really. I felt the need to be honest with the instructors I was emailing & thought if I was honest it would just put me at ease. I basically just stated that I suffer with anxiety & panic attacks. I emailed a few instructors the same thing. I emailed two males & two females. The male instructors response was abit like "well I'd recommend you wait until you are fully better"..Let's be honest we could be waiting a while & why should we be sectioned out?
Luckily both the lady instructors were lovely & completely understood. I also asked if I felt at anytime during the lesson would I be able to stop & go home, still pay for the lesson of course. The chances of this happening are very slim but atleast I know if this situation occurs then I know I will be okay. That was absolutely fine.
Next thing is to make up your mind..
- Making your mind up & taking the first step -
So now you've had abit of communication with the instructors you will probably have an idea as of which instructor you are going to begin your driving lessons with. All that is left to do is book your first lesson & your one step closer to gaining that driving licence & the freedom that comes with it. You can just book one lesson & see how it goes. It might not be the right time for you. Remember to try & book a time when your most alert & still going to be calm about it.
- First lesson is booked, I'm a mix of emotions -
Now your very first driving lesson is booked & your a mix of emotions. This is completely normal, suffering with your mental health or not..you will still feel nervous, anxious, excited, scared about your first lesson. The feelings & thoughts might get so bad that you just want to just cancel the lesson, trust me..don't cancel it, you might regret it. The build up to something is always so much worse than the actual situation. The first driving lesson is more talking through the car & it's controls. You do very little driving so don't worry about it. The first lesson is pretty chilled.
- Help, I enjoyed the lesson but just didn't get along with the instructor -
We aren't all going to get along with everyone, that is just part of life. Atleast with driving lessons if you don't like the instructor you do have the choice to change & get a new one. Luckily for me, I haven't had to change. I've got lucky first time, my instructor is so lovely, understanding & seriously can't praise her enough. If you feel you enjoyed the lesson but aren't too sure about the instructor you can either..not book anymore lessons with that instructor & find a new one or stick it out abit longer & see if the instructor grows on you. Whatever you feel is best for you.
Do you have any tips or advice to share?
Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥


  1. YEY glad things are going good so far :D!!! you need an instructor you get along with because you don't want that extra hassle on top of everything else!! hehehe also important to know (from experience) there's always gonna be a lesson that just goes AWFULLY! hahaha!I had a couple! It's totally normal :)

    1. Thanks :) & exactly..I know that's gonna happen so bring it on ay :) xx

  2. this is brilliant. well done beaut, great advise! i only wish i was more honest with my instructor... x

    1. :) thank you..well now you can do that next time round? :) x