I have not always been anxious about interstate driving. At least, I don’t think I have. But 11 years ago, after moving to the Nashville area I had an incident. (I’d like to call it a hideous debacle, but that seems a little dramatic) Anyway, 11 years ago this gal was”pre-cell phone, pre-GPS” so navigating was dependent upon good directions and an internal compass that did not lead you astray. (My internal compass has always been askew. I have often said if I ever get lost in a forest, PLEASE come get me- I’ll just wander in circles until a bear or at the very least, the mosquitoes, eat me alive). Anyway, I was trying to get home from Nashville back to my little suburb of the world at night, in the rain and somehow I couldn’t reverse the directions properly and went the wrong way on I-40. It took me about 20 minutes to realize I was going the wrong way as I had never made this trip before. Then there were gigantic, evil semi’s flying up on my tail and I couldn’t slow down to see the exits very well, and when I finally found an exit with a return on-ramp I was almost out of gas. I had to pull off onto a sketchy looking exit where the gas station had bars on the windows and lots of shady characters were skulking around to get some gas and pray someone non-evil would give me real directions back to my home. (Is your heart pounding or is it just me?)

Fast forward 11 years. I have driven back and forth to Nashville 14 times in the past three weeks with my mom-in-law in the hospital. Can I do it? Yep. Is it partial misery? Yep. So today, I have begun my own personal little War on Driving Anxiety. It’s called EMDR and I am delighted. It’s a wonderful therapy used primarily to treat PTSD and other anxiety related issues. We offer it at Branches where I work and I have been saying for years now that I need to do it, but then it’ll get a little better and I won’t. I have to admit I tend to not be very good at maintenance. When something becomes a big problem I deal with it, but the little nagging things I often let go. I’m realizing though, those little nagging things often rob the joy from my life.

So here is my woman-to-woman encouragement for you: take care of yourself. Go to the doctor and get a check-up. Go to the dentist. (Haven’t been in 18 years or so and I’m going this summer!) Deal with that stuff in your childhood you’ve never talked about but it keeps you stuck. Join the Y, or Weight Watchers or just take a walk and get moving. Write that apology letter that’s been on your mind for years. Set your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier than your kids get up so you can have one cup of coffee in peace to start your day. Buy a new bra. (You know you need one- we all do.) Read your Bible. Call your best friend. You’ll be able to give and serve well as you care for and nourish your own body, heart and spirit.


One response »

  1. I have interstate anxiety. I think it started because I learned to drive in a one red light town & went to college in a small town. I lived no where near the interstate till I was 24 years old. Anyway, having a GPS in the car has cut down on some of that anxiety since I have absolutely no sense of direction. With that said, I will avoid the interstate if at all possible. But I drove Emma to Chattanooga and back the other day and did it pretty much anxiety free! Debra Jones

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