I completely lost control of my car last night–but I didn’t lose control of my emotions.
Even though the slight January thaw we’ve been having around here has been wonderful for the spirits, it hasn’t been so wonderful for driving. When I was leaving my boyfriend’s house last night, I wasn’t even thinking about the thick layer of ice that had frozen over the entire length of a long hill, just conveniently located right before a busy intersection. When my car began to literally ski down the hill, headed straight for another vehicle, I tried to maneuver myself into the lane next to me, in hopes that I’d have a little more time to try to stop. I remember thinking to myself to turn the wheel just a little, so as not to over-correct and make the situation even worse. This only resulted in me sliding back and forth, and back and forth, still careening down that hill, until I found myself and my car start to spin around just like that tilt-a-whirl ride at the carnival. By the time my car stopped, I was completely in the other lane of traffic, facing the opposite direction from which I had come. I think the only reason my car did stop was because I was now facing uphill.
My heart was of course pounding by the time this was all over. With how busy that road can be sometimes, it’s a miracle that through all of that, there were no other cars in any of those lanes. Both my car and I are perfectly intact.
What did I learn from this?
A) My faith has to grow even more, because I really feel like Someone had to have been watching over me a little (okay, a lot).
B) I have to stop worrying so much about the financial strain graduate school is causing me right now, both because of what I’ll be able to do in the future with my School Counseling degree, and because things would definitely be a whole lot worse if I was trying to buy a new car right now (I literally JUST paid off this one a couple of months ago)!
C) I handled the stress of that moment like a superhero. Once it was over, I kept my cool and drove very safely home–I didn’t let anxiety take over. All of the work I’ve been doing over the past few years to improve my emotional responses is clearly paying off!
Oh, and D) Seriously, I need to remember how awful that hill is sometimes, even if it seemed just fine a day–or an hour–ago. It’s always a good idea to be an even more cautious driver, even if it means getting where you’re going a couple of minutes later (Okay, promise I’ll try to stop sounding like your mom now!).
No matter what you’re dealing with at the moment, whether that’s anxiety of your own, or depression, or low self-esteem, or whatever–you’re capable of overcoming it. A couple of years ago, a car trick like that probably would have sent me into complete panic mode. I’m glad that didn’t happen today.
Check out the Techniques section to see how you can start working on some of your own issues!