The Down Side of the Open Road

I struggle with anxiety and depression. I have for some time.

There are parts of driving I really love. I can work alone and independently. Once I n longer hauled for a mega carrier the great level of freedom the job allows became even greater as the corporate micro-managing ended.

In some ways the same things I love can be a problem. The road is lonely, solitude can be both good and bad. After 14 months of driving, which were an overall positive experience.

I was making more money than I had ever made before. We were barely making it on less, but we were making it. Now no matter what I brought in it was just never quite enough. Apparently I was buying a lot of Marijuana, I knew I was buying some, but really I had no idea how much. I was making more money but sinking farther in debt. Even that loan I got and refinanced so we could live under a roof wasn’t getting paid. It was paid religiously before.

The solitude was getting to me. I loved the Second, but I felt like I was an inconvenience when I was home. Her overactive sex drive had sort of dried up on me during this time and coming home once a month as I did was no longer a guarantee of anything happening. Remember this was the problem that at least on a superficial level brought us together in the first place. Depression was hitting me hard and I wanted to be home more than I wanted to be on the road. The road is something of a trap though. It’s difficult to find something else while you are driving.

Then I injured my shoulder. It wasn’t a single injury. It was it turns out Shoulder Impingement Syndrome, which is a repetitive motion injury like carpal tunnel. Driving a truck is not a hugely physically demanding job. It is a lot more work than people realize, it certainly isn’t just sitting in a climate controlled cab staring out the window for eight hours a day as a lot of people seem to think. There are some physical hazards though and I ran afoul of one of the most popular.

I don’t remember the very beginning of my being home particularly well. I do remember that it took longer than it should have for Idaho Worker’s Comp to decide it was a work injury and to start writing checks, technically I worked in Idaho. I was very surprised to learn that my short term disability policy had changed with the new year and no longer actually paid a sum worthy of mention.

So emotions were high all around, the money which was tight before was for too long even more so. We weathered that storm though. Eventually we started getting worker’s comp, and much later a small amount of VA disability as well. Eventually things settled into a routine. It was obvious that things had changed at home. To this day I don’t really know why though I did find out that the Second suspected that I was sleeping around all over the country. It was a ridiculous notion, not only was it by this point beyond my moral limits, but it had always been beyond my social limits.

I am not the sort of person who has the qualities necessary to go out to a place, a bar, a grocery store, a library, or wherever and meet someone of the opposite sex and take them home. My first wife had regular exposure to me as a friend of a friend, my next three relationships (yes three) From the Second to my current Fiancé, I met on Craigslist. I was very sad when I learned that the personals section of Craigslist had been taken down. Yes there were prostitutes (I don’t care), and scammers (I do care but they’re actually pretty easy to spot), and I suppose human trafficking probably did happen (all manner of other sketchy things also happen), but and antisocial dweeb like me has also lost the most reliable way available to meet other likeminded human beings. I wouldn’t know how to go about cheating on my wife with no real idea where I would end up from night to night and no ability to go anywhere I can’t park a truck, during the hours I’m legally allowed to drive it. I’m sure there are drivers out there who do cheat on their wives. The time, effort, and skills required to do it are fare beyond me, even if I desired too.

Anyway stilted as thins were we settled into a routine of relatively normal life. We had a lot of doctors appointments. It turned out she had a habit or regularly over drafting my checking account that she hid from me. It’s kind of my fault there for not paying more attention to it and her I guess. I just assumed since even then we had a lot of talks of budgets and how things would get paid, that things would progress more or less according to a plan. Maybe they did but it certainly wasn’t the plan we had discussed.

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