So part of our goal with Bubba On The Road is to talk about the things we deal with while on the road, and while getting ready to go on the road. So this post will be deep. And revealing, and maybe more info than you want to know. But I’m going to tell the story anyway, since being open about these things is what we are about here.
Both of us, Eric and Tiffany, deal with mental illness. We both deal with depression and anxiety. Social anxiety is particularly bad for each of us, which is part of what makes us work together. We don’t want to be anti-social completely, but we don’t want to be surrounded by people all the time either. We revel in the idea of being in the middle of nowhere, just the two of us and our cats, just being alive and enjoying the outdoors without being bogged down with social expectations and having to put on that happy face all the time.
We do want to meet new people though. Part of our goal is to make friends around the country, hang out with them for a bit, then move on. Maybe we’ll come back to them later, maybe we’ll run into them on the road, or maybe we’ll just be Facebook friends. That said though, we don’t want to be at parties or large gatherings of people, we like our quiet time and we like being with each other.
Depression also afflicts us. We’ve gone the gamut from just a constant state of non-feeling, to complete bed ridden, not leaving the house and not wanting to do anything with anyone at all. Sometimes we just exist, sometimes we get excited, sometimes we feel like shit. This is life.
I (this is Eric writing) also deal with a thought disorder. My head can be a complete mess at times. It started almost two decades ago and I’ve been dealing with it, both medicated and not, since then. I’ve been hospitalized four times in about six years, and it got so bad that my doctor recommended I apply for disability. I had spoke with others at the time, and most said it takes years to get approved, if you get approved at all. I was approved in two months. I’m not sure what that says about my state of mind or mental health, but that can’t be good. I’ve dealt with delusions and paranoia, hallucinations and disordered thinking. I’m medicated now, and for most of the time before that, I was in control.
Then I spent six months working a stressful job, had previously been dealing with a divorce, and my appendix almost killed me. That was the tipping point. At that point, I was hospitalized for the first time, medicated heavily, gained seventy pounds from it, and eventually became more or less stable. I’ve gone through many medications, some worked better than others, but nothing made the bad things go away completely. I deal with it, I struggle to keep in control, and every day I try not to punch people in frustration.
I didn’t work for three years. Then we moved to Wisconsin, and I figured I was ready to try working again. I spent some time working part time at a job that was okay at best, but I wanted to get back to being “normal”. I have been building web pages since 1999, both professionally and on my own, so I spent about four months at a web development firm working full time in an office situation. I wanted to kill people. Every day I went to work hoping I didn’t snap and just hit someone in rage. It wasn’t working, so I left. I went home for lunch one day and never went back.
After that, I got a part time job again, feeling the need to make money but not in such a stressful environment. I’ve been there for a little over a year, but today I put in notice that I was leaving in two weeks. The stress has been building steadily. I didn’t tell anyone at work, but there have been times where I punched the wall when no one was around. Had I done it much harder, I’d have bloody knuckles. Why did I do this? To take out the anger I was feeling, the stress that was growing. It was better that than punch a coworker.
So now I’m taking a break. We are going to be living on my disability while on the road anyway, so we might as well get used to it now. Things will be tight, but that’s what we have to do. Better be anti-social and introverted than in jail or the hospital.
So how do we deal with this on the road?
We’ve both talked to our doctor about traveling. Fortunately, we both see the same psychiatrist and she understands and approves what we are doing. She said she has to see us once every six months in order to renew our prescriptions. For the first year, we will be doing that. However, we will also be transferring our home base back to Florida, so we will have to find a doctor there. The doctor I was seeing is no longer in practice there, so we will have to find someone else. If nothing else, we can keep our doctor here in Wisconsin and just come back twice a year until we can figure out something else.
For medication, we use CVS/Target, so we can pick up our medications anywhere in the country. We have insurance, so we can afford that easily.
For other ailments, we will have to either come back to Wisconsin to see our general practitioner, or just go to an urgent care clinic and use insurance to cover everything. If we have an emergency, we will have to use an ER to take care of things, but hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
For our pets, we will be getting pet insurance, but for the most part, we’ll just have to deal with things as they come. All of our pets are over 7 years old, so its not like they are young kittens, but we’d still like to be able to take care of things. Emergencies will happen, and we have a backup fund for that.
As things go on and we get our videos going, there will be more info about how we deal with things and what we deal with more specifically. We don’t plan on being shy. Watch for more info, learn some things and follow us on our travels.