Day 83 | Relearning How to Drive

May 31, 2017

I hit another huge recovery milestone today! I drove for the first time in almost 5 years!

I still remember the last time I drove really vividly. We were living in Seattle at the time and my health issues were just starting to become seriously concerning. I was driving to the grocery store by myself when my eyes started playing tricks on me.

Everything was fuzzing in and out and I couldn’t get them to focus. I felt like I was outside of my body and was no longer in control of my brain. “What is happening to me?!” I thought. It was terrifying and all I could think was: “Don’t crash the car! Don’t crash the car! Don’t crash the car!”

It was like swimming through peanut butter to stay on the road. It took all the energy I had to get to the grocery store safely in that state. Then the episode passed and I was able to drive home normally.

I never drove again. I just knew it wasn’t safe when my body was given to episodes like that. I now believe that those episodes were probably mini-seizures.

Later, as my health continued to decline I reached a level of illness where the physical exertion of merely sitting up and pushing the pedals would have been almost impossible. So I didn’t drive for years and I honestly thought that I forgot how.

When it was time to move to our new campground this morning Brett asked me if I wanted to pull out of our parking space and drive out of the campsite. I agreed, thinking that’s all I would be doing. It couldn’t be too hard right?

Right! It was easy! And when we reached the main road I asked if we should switch places. He said he thought I could keep driving.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

He was sure. So with a mix of terror and excitement, I turned out onto the main road.

“Oh my goodness! I’m driving! I can’t believe it!” I shouted. “Ahhhhh! I’m driving!”

I was freaking out! Can I really do this?!

(See the embarrassing video on my FB page)

Brett coached me along the way.

“Okay, speed up a little bit… Good job!”

“Stay on the road! Just because there’s another car coming doesn’t mean you need to drive on the white line.”

“There you go!”

“Okay, slow down for this curve… now speed up into it… Good job!”

“A little faster! You’re not even going the speed limit!”

Haha! He reminded me of my dad teaching me to drive for the first time. I guess I still have the same weaknesses! At one point I had to pull over to let 6 or 7 cars pass me! I must have been going so slow! I was so embarrassed I couldn’t stop laughing!

But I did it! I made it all the way to our new campground! Yippee! I can drive again!


By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.

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39 Comments

  • Anna Sierra

    YAY!! How exciting and what a day to celebrate! Praise God praise GOD!! You can see the excitement and grateful smile on your face. Way to go Ana. Blessings .

    June 7, 2017 at 2:42 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Yay! Thanks so much!

      June 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm Reply
  • Bethany Rose

    What a milestone! I’m so happy for you.

    June 7, 2017 at 2:49 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      😊

      June 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm Reply
  • Patty Margaret

    You make me just tear up. Wonderful. ( and great writing!)

    June 7, 2017 at 3:31 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… 😊

      June 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm Reply
  • Grandma Zimmerman

    Wonderful! Ana, so happy to see you doing so well! Thanks to Brett for encouraging you to do
    things you haven’t done for a long time.

    June 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      😊❤️

      June 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm Reply
  • Light4theLord

    Yay! Congratulations!!! I’m so glad you’re doing so much better!
    ~ Light4theLord

    June 7, 2017 at 3:43 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks so much! 🙂

      June 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm Reply
  • Sara Mattson

    Love it! Love it! Love it!

    June 7, 2017 at 4:23 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you for everything you’ve done to help make this possible! 💕

      June 8, 2017 at 4:52 pm Reply
  • Holly C

    Praise God! What a joy it is to see your happiness and being able to accomplish something like driving again! Put a smile on my face watching the video today!

    June 7, 2017 at 5:16 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Yay! 🙂

      June 8, 2017 at 4:52 pm Reply
  • Natalie Julson

    *dances around the room with excitement*
    This is so exciting Ana! I am so, so happy for you ❤❤❤ another prayer answered and another freedom found. If I could I would wrap you up in a big hug and celebrate it with you. So I will have to send virtual hugs your way instead

    June 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww!!! Thank you so much for sharing in my excitement! Virtual hugs back! 🤗

      June 8, 2017 at 4:53 pm Reply
  • Bethany

    What a precious memory! So thankful for this milestone, and for the reassuring words your husband provides each day for you! ❤️

    June 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Yes! 🙃🙂🙃🙂

      June 8, 2017 at 4:53 pm Reply
  • Rebekah

    I am so happy for you Ana! Definitely a day to celebrate and remember. 🙂

    June 7, 2017 at 5:55 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks so much Rebekah!

      June 8, 2017 at 4:53 pm Reply
  • Chris Barratt

    Yippy!!! Congrats Ana!!! Driving again!!! This is so super exciting!!! Loved to hear this story. And that Brett is a keeper!! He is so encouraging and takes such good care of you. Guys like that are hard to find nowadays!! So great job to both of you. Praise God for these milestones!!!

    June 7, 2017 at 6:31 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you! I definitely agree with you. That’s why I’m keeping him. 🙂 You will enjoy tomorrow’s post about how great he is. 😍

      June 8, 2017 at 4:55 pm Reply
  • Christine Brassard

    Bravo from Quebec!

    June 8, 2017 at 3:34 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww! Thanks!

      June 8, 2017 at 4:55 pm Reply
  • Cora

    Praise God! I’m so happy for you!

    June 8, 2017 at 5:50 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Cora!😍

      June 8, 2017 at 4:55 pm Reply
  • Bethany Rose

    Ana, I just read the Spoon Theory from your resources. What an accurate description. I wish I knew about it sooner. It is so hard to describe chronic illness to healthy people. And when they look at you with that face that says, “What are you talking about?” it can be tempting to just give up and never explain your life to healthy people. But now I have a resource for describing what my life is like. Thank you for sharing, and thanks to Christine Miserandino at butyoudontlooksick.com <3

    June 8, 2017 at 10:12 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Yay! I’m so happy someone noticed the new resource and signed up! I was worried it might not have been working. I guess I need to announce it. I’m so glad you were helped by the Spoon Theory. It’s such a simple way to explain it and you can always just send your friends right to the article. Blessings to you! My fellow Spoonie! 🥄

      June 8, 2017 at 4:58 pm Reply
      • Bethany Rose

        The resources are all wonderful, and it was very smooth signing up. I was actually already signed up, and it still worked. Yes, an announcement would be good! ❤️

        June 9, 2017 at 7:31 am Reply
  • ashley nicole

    Wow, what a huge answer to prayer! You’re doing great on your road to recovery! Praise the Lord! You are an inspiration, Ana 🙂

    June 8, 2017 at 10:47 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thank you so much Ashley Nicole! 😊

      June 8, 2017 at 4:59 pm Reply
  • Holly Hibbert

    Oh this is so wonderful to read!!!

    June 8, 2017 at 6:56 pm Reply
  • Kara Swanson

    Hey Ana!
    I totally understand your excitement–and you’ve given me some hope of driving eventually. 🙂 I was diagnosed with Lyme about…three years ago?…and we realize I’ve had it for six years. So about as long as you have. I’m almost 21, and so had Lyme since I was pretty young, and because of it have never learned to drive. We’ve done several treatments, as you have (though thankfully I’ve not had to have IV treatments) and I think I’ve finally found something that works! 🙂 But yes, a lot of the same symptoms. Crippling knee pain. Insomnia. Fatigue. Aches. Anxiety/depression. My doctor also said I have Lyme in my brain, like yours–and in my heart and liver, among other places 🙂 But things are looking up! And God has been as sufficient as ever through all of this.

    Actually I found you because Brett and Jaquelle reached out to me about helping out with the YWW! 🙂 I’d love to hear more of your story…if you ever want to connect. 🙂

    Anyway, thank you for sharing! Its been an encouragement to me, and also very relatable. Praying for you and Brett as you guys continue to take it one step at a time and for continued healing. <3

    (whoa, that was insanely long :P)

    June 8, 2017 at 8:35 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Hi Kara! Thanks for commenting and sharing some of your story. I’m so sorry you’re also dealing with Lyme Disease but glad to hear you’ve found a treatment that’s helping. It’s so crazy hard. Thank you so much for the prayers. I’d love to get in touch sometime. That’s awesome that you’re helping with the YWW!

      June 9, 2017 at 11:25 am Reply
  • Leslie

    Nice seat cover 🙂

    June 9, 2017 at 9:47 pm Reply
  • Sister in Christ~

    Lol, I love reading your blog…
    💗👍

    Praise the Lord for new milestones!

    June 11, 2017 at 7:00 am Reply
  • Erin

    Oh my goodness!!!!!!! That is so exciting!!!!!! YOU’RE GETTING BETTER!!!!!!! Yippeee!!!!

    June 11, 2017 at 9:25 am Reply
  • Essie-Marie

    Great job Ana!! It’s been amazing to learn about your journey. Thanks also for the resource, it looks very classy and I hope it will help my dad who is in a rough situation.

    June 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm Reply
  • Sarah Grace

    Hey Ana! Congratulations on reaching this milestone! I know it’s huge, and I’m so happy for you! <3 So, so cool!

    I just recently found your blog, in a very random, roundabout way. Already from reading your "my story" page, and a few of your posts, I have been so touched, humbled and inspired by you and Brett and your story. Thank you for sharing your story! You have no idea how inspirational it is to me, and so many other people! God bless you, Ana! I am praying for you and Brett. <3

    June 13, 2017 at 5:31 pm Reply
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