For as long as I can remember, I have looked forward to turning 16 and getting my driver’s license. A few months ago the long wait was finally over and all the dreams became my reality. One thing that I didn’t take into account, however, is the fact that I am terrified of motorcycles and the idea of getting into a wreck. These fears sprouted from losing my dad in a motorcycle accident when I was younger. Despite the fact that it has been over eight years since he died, I still get extremely anxious when I see or hear a motorcycle around.
One day I was driving home behind a motorcycle, and I genuinely felt like a weight was sitting on my chest. I hadn’t thought of the fact that I, myself, would have to drive past the thing that frightens me the most on a regular basis, and alone. That was definitely one of the scariest moments of my life because I felt like I had no control over the situation. What made it harder: I had never heard anyone express this kind of fear, which made the feeling so isolating.
A couple days later I got to thinking about it, and realized there are so many people who have PTSD around vehicles and fear the road. I wasn’t alone. Now that I have experienced that feeling of panic and talked about it, I also have healthier ways to cope with it at the moment.
I start by taking a deep breath when I’m scared; If I’m already listening to music while driving, I skip to a song that distracts my emotions but not my attentiveness. When you’re driving you need to remember that the majority of the time, you have control over your vehicle and your actions. The more you focus and stay calm, the safer you and everyone on the road will be.
For all of you who are experiencing the same kind of fears that I’ve battled: remember that you are not alone. There is always someone who has had a similar experience, and we are all working on this.
Aislynn J. from Texas has been a camper at Experience Camps since 2017.