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Wonderful.Cheese

Driving anxiety...having to drive a new car

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My car died. We have to get me a different vehicle. I'm not even sure what type. I've only ever driven cars but my dad found a cheap SUV.

I'm terrified. I can't do this, guys. I want so badly to quit driving. All it does is cause me to panic. But we have a poor public transportation system here and there are no bus stops anywhere near us.

And owning a car is expensive for me because I maybe drive once a week now that I've quit my group therapies. I could easily get by with just the one vehicle but I am too scared to drive husband's larger SUV. 

WTF am I supposed to do? I've been having daily panic attacks and crying, etc. We see a car salesman in a few days now. :( FML

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I don't blame you. I'd be anxious too if I were facing driving an SUV after being used to cars. I like small cars. They are my comfort zone and also I like the fuel economy. I advise you to get the kind of car that gives you the least anxiety and stay away from unfamiliar types of vehicles. Though I must say that even with an SUV, you would eventually get used to it.

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I have a Subaru suv. Personally, I think it’s much like driving a car, but, it handles very well in snow. It seems like I’ve gotten the impression that it snows where you live. So that would be a plus. Are there any empty parking lots you could practice in? Maybe get a feel for how it handles on turns, etc? 

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I empathize.  Would it help to do it in steps?  Start by just starting as a passenger, then next day try sitting in the driver’s seat, then once that’s comfortable drive around the parking lot, etc.?

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Posted (edited)

I can relate. I hate driving and I'm awful driver. I only drive if I have to. Everytime it costs me a panic attack, so I feel for you. Try to drive always with someone at the start, it helps me a lot if I have someone to guide me and support me a bit. Maybe it won't be so bad with SUV. You never know, maybe if you try it you will love it. Good luck!

Edited by Dr. Marshall

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18 hours ago, jt07 said:

I don't blame you. I'd be anxious too if I were facing driving an SUV after being used to cars. I like small cars. They are my comfort zone and also I like the fuel economy. I advise you to get the kind of car that gives you the least anxiety and stay away from unfamiliar types of vehicles. Though I must say that even with an SUV, you would eventually get used to it.

I should say it is the smallest SUV that is out there right now. But still. Tdoc says I can’t quit driving because I can’t make my world smaller, which is what depression and anxiety want me to do. And I got so worked up o I forgot my meds last night. So I’m extra anxious today. Argh. 

9 hours ago, Rabbit37 said:

I have a Subaru suv. Personally, I think it’s much like driving a car, but, it handles very well in snow. It seems like I’ve gotten the impression that it snows where you live. So that would be a plus. Are there any empty parking lots you could practice in? Maybe get a feel for how it handles on turns, etc? 

Yes snow. Ugh. I hate driving in it. The suv my dad found doesn’t have 4WD unfortunately but it is higher up than my little car was.  

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7 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

I empathize.  Would it help to do it in steps?  Start by just starting as a passenger, then next day try sitting in the driver’s seat, then once that’s comfortable drive around the parking lot, etc.?

I’ve sat in the driver’s seat in a newer model in a showroom about 2 times now. The problem is I have to test drive it to make sure I can handle it. And no meds last night I got so worked up I forgot.  I’m extra anxious. Tdoc says I can’t make my world smaller by quitting driving though. Argh. Tdoc did suggest much the same though that once I get the suv to drive in parking lot and also play around with the buttons and read the manual. 

7 hours ago, Dr. Marshall said:

I can relate. I hate driving and I'm awful driver. I only drive if I have to. Everytime it costs me a panic attack, so I feel for you. Try to drive always with someone at the start, it helps me a lot if I have someone to guide me and support me a bit. Maybe it won't be so bad with SUV. You never know, maybe if you try it you will love it. Good luck!

I totally understand how you feel. Thank you. I hope driving the suv goes ok. 

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Oh, it jogged my memory when buttons were mentioned. Definitely, familiarize yourself with the windshield wipers first, make sure you know exactly how to operate them. I once bought a car, was driving it home from the dealership, it started raining, and I had no idea what to do! They’re all different. 

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I agree with yourtdoc that you should not quit driving. Quitting driving just makes it easier to isolate which in turn will make anxiety and depression worse. This is why I say that you should find a car that causes you the least amount of anxiety.

You'll do fine, Cheese. You will adjust to the new car. It always takes some adjusting for all of us because it is strange at first. But soon it will be familiar and you won't want to give that car up when it is time again to get a new one.

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I hate adjusting to a new car.

I drive a subcompact. It replaced the subcompact that I totaled in November. However, I sometimes need to drive my friends A&T's cars. A drives a small SUV, T drives a small pickup truck. What I noticed is that from their cars in some ways I feel safer. The sightlines are better because you sit higher up. I can see better around me. I bet, once you get used to it, you'll like the SUV as much as or better than your small car.

Are there any really big companies near you? Sometimes really big companies have "campuses" with multiple buildings. Those are great places to go on weekends to practice driving because the streets are full size but there's no one there. You can also use google maps to search for business parks, universities, or deserted malls. Any of those places would be good for practicing driving. My practice order would be empty parking lots/business parks, then quiet residential streets, then main streets, then county highways, then interstates once you're confident in how the car responds to gas and brakes.

You can do this, Cheese. Really! Keep us updated.

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Thanks again @Geek and @jt07 and @Rabbit37 for your words of wisdom. 

Well today is the big day. We have an early afternoon appointment with a salesman. He has a few different vehicles to show me. Everyone is still pushing this small SUV on me though. But geek is right, the visibility is better in the small SUV. But, nervous!

I will let you know what happens. I hope I don't crash the vehicle because I panic. Yikes. 

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1 hour ago, Wonderful.Cheese said:


@Geek@jt07@Rabbit37

We have an early afternoon appointment with a salesman

 

With that I don't envy you. Dealing with car salesmen - either new or used - is painful. I wish you luck! I hope you find a car that you like at a good price.

By the way, I just found out that for some reason, I can't delete tags in quoted messages.

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Jt, it didn’t create a notification for me, so maybe not a big deal? 

And cheese, when you do get out on the road, just remember, you pay just as much taxes as the impatient idiot behind you. Just breathe, take your time. You’re gonna rock, I just know it. 

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@Wonderful.Cheese how'd it go? I hate salesmen. I hope you found something you like (or at least can tolerate).

 

@jt07, I have found I can't highlight/select and delete, but if you set your cursor directly before the tag and then press delete/backspace, that usually works for me. Tags behave oddly. Like Rabbit, I didn't get notified of the quote, which is also weird.

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7 hours ago, jt07 said:

By the way, I just found out that for some reason, I can't delete tags in quoted messages.

@jt07 That made my ears perk up, so I messed around with the above message a little, and it looks like I can. I didn’t, because it’s not my message. How did you try to do it? Is this some admin power I didn’t know existed? I could also be wrong.

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27 minutes ago, Gearhead said:

@jt07 That made my ears perk up, so I messed around with the above message a little, and it looks like I can. I didn’t, because it’s not my message. How did you try to do it? Is this some admin power I didn’t know existed? I could also be wrong.

I just highlighted the text that I wanted to delete and right clicked and cut. The text left but the tags remained.  I also tried to backspace over the tags. Nothing would get rid of them. Maybe this is a piece of weirdness from the last update that VE was talking about.

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Ok. So it actually went better than I thought. I ended up getting the small SUV. It had better visibility and was less expensive than any car they had which was weird. It drives nice. I can’t see out the back window as well so that will be an issue but I will be careful. I have already almost forgotten the feel of driving the car. Parking is harder but I think I will get used to it. I hope. For now I park far away. Today I parked straight on the second try (I had to drive I had a physical appointment with my new primary care dr). And I got rained on! Darn. It’s blue. I have to think of a name for him. Because obviously that’s most important. Lol

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yay for better than expected!  that's great news.  I'm glad that you feel like you'll adjust.  I do think you'll adapt on the parking...but if you're like me and you never do, parking far away gets extra exercise in. ;-)

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It’s good you found a car you like. Practice helps with parking. I’m just now getting used to driving an automatic transmission after years of manual. My Subaru has taken some getting used to and seems big but next time I’ll know what to look for better,  some of us aren’t as car comfortable and any little thing can help. I hope this car gets to be second nature soon. 

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Glad the car is working out for you!  I drive a '92 Subaru Legacy wagon.  It's a little wiggly without extra weight in the back, so we keep a bunch of gear packed.  I live on the CA coast, and we just took a trip to Tahoe.  It was a test, though it's also made it up to Oregon.  Tomorrow I'm taking her back to the sierras for a camping trip.  I'm nervous to be doing the drive by myself, but looking forward to the destination.  We named our car Frankie, after Frankenstein, because she has a lot of parts that are not original.

I'm bringing music I can sing to, and I am a careful driver.  But making this trip alone has my anxiety on fire.

my dad has a big Dodge Ram pickup that was for hauling a horse trailer.  I honestly felt safer riding high up in that.  

Anyway, safe travels!  Getting used to a vehicle is key.

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