Burnout and emotional wreckage


It was a tough week. Adam and I both had mini breakdowns and decided we were feeling burned out and in need of some sort of break. At least just a little more than our schedule and the weather has been allowing us.

This week started with a detour to avoid a two-feet-of-snow storm in the Sierra that we didn’t want to drive through. We drove west to Salt Lake City on our normal I-80 route, then south on I-15 to Vegas and past the Pacific Crest Trail in Tehachapi. Again, sadly, we couldn’t hang out. One of these times we’ll have a few spare minutes and I’ll jump on the trail for a short jaunt. Ahh, anyway… we were there in the wee hours of the morning and already on a tight schedule because of the Sierra detour. We did end up stopping close by at a truck stop for almost three hours due to 80 mph winds. When the winds stopped rocking our parked truck violently from side to side and we finally got going, I saw a truck that had tipped over and dumped their load of tomatoes on the road. We were late for our first appointment that morning, but glad we waited… and glad we didn’t tip over, too.

Somewhere in these first few days I slipped into a mini-depression relapse. I was a total mess, crying for no reason, then crying for big reasons all blown out of proportion, then not really caring, to feeling hopeless, and letting social media somehow exacerbate it all, piss me off and eventually forcing me to get a grip and spill my guts out to poor Adam, stay the hell away from all the negativity on Facebook while sadly missing all the fun stuff, even though that was all making me more sad while I felt sorry for myself because I wasn’t seeing my friends and family enough and wanting to pack a few things in a bag and run away into the woods where I needed so very desperately to be, all because I was over-tired, burned out and depressive. And somehow a giant run-on sentence feels like the best way to describe those painful days. It was ugly. And it’s hard to admit, but I’m still not complety over it. Unfortunately. It’s a viscous cycle I’m working on jumping out of before it takes over. But I’m at least feeling normal again, and things are feeling way better – so those that love me, don’t worry. I’m okay. It just feels good to get some of this crap off my chest, ya’ know?


A beautiful, tangled-green bush I saw in Arizona - and totally visually described how my head has been feeling this week. Which is somehow calming.

Our third and last delivery took too long. They were behind and we ended up waiting for two hours – even though I was a half hour early for this one – and this hold-up made us a half hour late for our pick up, which was an hour’s drive away.

Know what happens then? Your noon pick up turns into a 4pm pick up because all the other trucks get in before you so they still get in closer to their appointment time. While it makes sense, it’s super frustrating when it wasn’t any fault of your own and you end up feeling punished for it. After being loaded (we were literally the last truck there), Adam scaled, slid tandems, scaled again, and finally drove 20 miles up the road for a better scale – and we finally got going after probably 6:00. A long day.

On the way back towards home we took another detour route to avoid “potent storms” in Wyoming. Our new route’s forecast looked dry and perfect. It lied to us. When Adam woke up to get ready for his shift, he opened the bunk curtain to see giant snowflakes splattering into our windshield as I drove along. It was the straw the broke the camel’s back. He fell apart. We just held on for each other as best we could this week while the other had their tantrums. I’m thankful we’re together out here and can be here for each other. This is much harder when we’re miles apart. We’ve been there and done that plenty!

So now we’re home finishing up some needed time off – just enough for errands, a dinner date, a little shopping and a movie. Our spirits have lifted after getting these things done, receiving a little encouragement from our driver manager, and now we’re hitting the road again with hopes for decent roads and, well, just an on-schedule, smooth run… off we go.

To stay sort of sane, I took a lot of photos this week. I played with a few of them in my Instagram* app, but only posted one. What a weird week for me. Anyway, here’s this week’s scenes in photos:


A rainbow sunset in Wyoming


Really cool canyon roads in Utah - and new scenery for us on our detoured route.


Heading into Las Vegas. That lit-up city can be seen for MILES away.


Despite an emotionally wrecked week, this made me smile. These hills in CA have been brown, yellow and dead all year. They've been getting a lot of rain - and now everything was vibrant green and wonderful! Look at those happy cows!


An Arizona Joshua tree. If I could only somehow attach how it smelled here. I stood in this spot for 10 minutes just breathing and smelling the air. It smelled like perfect desert and sweet sage.


Spiny pickers in Arizona.


Part of our trip back was on Route 66. I'm gonna walk it some day.


New Mexico's ominous sky that snowed on us for hours.


Then it fogged on us in Kansas (and later in WI).


Finally close to home. Plugged into a dock, waiting to be unloaded.


The end of the week. We got our truck and trailer washed. What a gloomy day, but at least it wasn't freezing out!

*if you’d like to follow me on Instagram, search for _toots_magoots_

Tonight I love journaling. Sometimes it feels like it’s all you’ve got. Even though that’s never true, it’s a small comfort in tough times.


15 thoughts on “Burnout and emotional wreckage

  1. I am a middle aged female powelifter who is starting truck driving school in June. I have read all of your blogs and really enjoyed them. I am excited, but I also know it will be hard to stay in shape and eat well. It is encouraging that you have done both of these pretty well.

  2. Robin, do you have (or have you seen) our cheese commercials with the tag line that goes something like happy cows are California cows? I wondered if you were referring to that or if it was unintentional. ;)

    • Know what? I have seen those commercials… but wasn’t thinking about it when I wrote that. I’m sure it stirred up from somewhere in my conscience, though! And to add to that… pretty sure we hauled California cheese back to Wisconsin on that run! :)

  3. You’ve had a pretty amazing year with a lot of emotional ups and downs – finishing the PCT, going to trucking school, starting a new job. That’s a lot to handle in a relatively short period of time. Now, add the stress of driving in the snow and you’re ripe for some emotional trouble. If you can, I’d say take some time off, at least a week. You’ve been go, go, go for so long, you need it. Take care of yourself.

  4. Beautiful photos. I hope you get time for a break. I totally understand and can sympathize with your run on sentence. I get that way too sometimes and it’s BRUTAL.

    It’s important to try and get enough sleep, exercise, eat healthy, get a few minutes a day to yourself to meditate (for me, I generally go for a walk on my lunch break at work), and get regular longer non-work breaks.

    Sometimes it’s really hard to get all that in.

  5. Love your pic of Utah! Its beautiful. Hang in there just because you got the guts and you two are together, winter isn’t really all that long, sounds like you need to get “out in it” and just breath. Luv you

  6. Your warts and all of information impress me. Your strengths together are formidable. It is a geometric rather than arithmetic increase. The very best always, in all ways. Those photos are superb. jim

  7. I often seem to experience bouts of depression this time of year. I think it is a lack of sunshine and exercise for me because with the cold and short days it is hard to get outside. But take heart only another week and the days will start to get longer! Here’s praying that you will experience unexpected joy surprises and clear roads!

  8. Your photos make me remember the beautiful sites that kept the “romance” in trucking. Always going to be a lot of crap out in your industry……that makes you appreciate the peaceful beauty even more. You both are one up on all the solo drivers. You have each other when the emotional break downs happen. You both are blessed. Love ya guys.


  9. Sorry to hear you were feeling down. Hope it passes soon.

    And fog is scary! I always want to slow way down but then I’m afraid I’ll get rear-ended by all the crazies who still go 5 or 10 over the limit. What do they advise you to do in Trucking school? I usually split the difference and go about 35 figuring at that speed I won’t die if I run into the 50-car pile up, and I won’t die if someone hits me from behind at 70.

    • They say to never over drive your headlights and just be aware of stopping distance. Getting rear-ended in a truck probably won’t hurt nearly as much in a truck as it would in a car, but still wouldn’t be fun… although in this case, I’d worry more about what’s ahead and make sure I enough room for myself to stop in time if there’s danger ahead. If that means I’m proceeding at a crawl to feel safest, then that’s what I’d do. It is a scary situation to be in. I’ll always put my flashers on if I feel I need to be noticed a little more. Don’t be afraid to do that in your car, too – just warns the traffic behind you and sometimes those few extra seconds is all they might need to realize they need to brake.

  10. Hey Kid, life sucks and then you buy a popsickle, sounds like maybe you need a couple days of p-town time, or a hook up with Mr. green lol. Take it easy and keep the shiny side up!!!!!! Love you Papoy

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