GUYS- I HAVE MY DRIVERS LICENSE AGAIN! I can now legally drive and I am so happy about that! Freedom is finally coming my way.
So let's back up a little so I can tell you about it all. My goal for driving was actual to be driving by the end of 2014. I pushed it off and didn't start getting things rolling until the end of the year. I finally got in touch with someone around November of 2014 and she met with me in October to go over some paperwork. She ended up getting me in touch with a man named Jon who would be my driving instructor for the hand controls.
I let my license expire when I turned 21 because I knew I would have to take a driving test again (because of my disability and the restrictions I need on my license) and I wasn't prepared for that... because I let it expire, I was told I would need to take the written test to get a permit (I had no valid license to practice driving with). I suck at tests and I had a lot of anxiety about taking the written test. I finally went in to the DMV to take the test and the wouldn't let me. It was very confusing but I ended up getting a permit that day and I schedule a meeting with Jon to practice with the hand controls.
Jon worked about 2 hours from where I live and because it's hard for me to get a ride- we decided that if we both felt comfortable, I would just take my driving test the same day I went down to practice. This was a bit scary because I had not drove since my accident and I wasn't sure how I was going to react to being behind the wheel again. I basically didn't sleep the night before because I was so nervous.. but it ended up not being bad at all.
Jon and I practiced for about 2 hours before I felt comfortable enough to take my test. Driving with hand controls was a lot easier than I thought and being in control of a car again wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I was so shocked at how comfortable I felt. During my test, the instructor told me I was a great driver. (Jon didn't test me- someone else did) and I ended up PASSING with a score of SEVEN! I only missed two things (I braked hard once bc the brakes were touchy and I backed out into the other lane a little) so I got my license on the spot! I was so happy and so proud of myself.
Now for the future- I have to find a car. I was going to use my dads car because he never uses it but because of personal reasons I plan on trying to get another car. I should have my hand controls in about a month and then I can start applying for jobs!
I'm proud of myself for facing the fears I've had for two years and I'm proud that I'm taking control of my life again. It's a slow process but this is just another step in the right direction and it was a great start to 2015.