When you start exposure therapy, you pick out a goal to work up to over the course of your sessions. Mine was "drive to work alone," and I'm pretty sure I scoffed as I said it to my therapist, like "Yeah, that's my 'goal,' but you and I both know that's crazy." On day one of exposure therapy, I hadn't driven alone in over two years, so saying that I was going to drive 45 minutes on two different highways to work ALONE felt the same as saying, "I'd like to go to Mars in 2.5 months, please."
Well last weekend, I went to Mars.
Because my exposure therapy wraps up this week (my therapist is a grad student about to start a different rotation), it was time to tackle my be-all, end-all goal. By now, I've driven to work like 6 times with my dad, so getting to work didn't seem as ridiculous as it had back in April, but it was still daunting. (I might have wailed, "What if I don't make it?!" before leaving. Pops was like "GO, you'll be fine.") I was so nervous, I walked out the door without the car keys. Luckily, the drive itself went much better than that, and I sang along with some super-dramatic jams (like "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" maybe...) to channel my anxiety. I merged several times, pulled up close enough to the ticket window on the Turnpike that I didn't have to put the car in park and practically get out, and managed to keep my speed on the Turnpike around 65! (I'm pretty much the grandma emoji behind the wheel.) And then, once I got to work, I turned around and did it all again successfully! (Well, it was Sunday.) I followed it up with a trip to my happy place (Target), although I was so mentally and physically exhausted after all that that I basically went home and collapsed. Progress will do that to you, I guess.
I'm still somewhat in shock about all that I've accomplished in the past 2.5 months. From driving in parking lots, to driving alone for 10 minutes at a time, to driving on 95, in the city, on the Blue Route, and the Turnpike. Holy crap. Here's to doing the impossible! <3