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the one where soop gets all emo and shit
In my earlier entry of woe, I mentioned my funk, without going into all the specifics. As I reflect more and more on it, I realize it's been building for a while. It probably goes back as far as my wedding anniversary back in November. It was overshadowed by a phone call from my dad about my mom's cancer diagnosis. Frankly this put a pall on the holiday season. Thanksgiving felt tense and everyone was grilling mom about the details of her health and impending operation. Christmas was directly effected since the operation to remove her kidney occurred on Christmas Eve, which I spent all day in the hospital, then all night in a car to make it to Western PA for the wedding of welfy's mom the day after Christmas. Stress meters were flying off the charts the week and emotions ran high.

Then in mid January Welf got her role in the play, which was a joyous event and I'm very proud of her for it. It required so much of her time, though, that I began to feel increasingly lonely and isolated on the road. Welf and I typically talk on the on the phone 1-2 times a day, correspond by text and email, or chat on IM. All of a sudden there was little to none of that and it dragged on for 6 weeks. There would be an osasis in the middle of it though: my upcoming milestone birthday and a wonderful weekend spent with my ador(ing)(able) wife.

At the end of January I turned 40. While this fact alone probably isn't really any big deal to me, the fact that it occurred in this brewing shit-storm makes it bear down on me more than it otherwise might have. On my birthday I scheduled a doctor's appointment. The results of the blood tests I had done were given to me a week later, necessitating a massive change to the way I eat, live, and think. Suddenly I was counting calories, denying myself things I enjoy, and consuming a lot of things that tasted like shit to me. This sudden loss of caffeine in my diet was causing me to have trouble remaining alert behind the wheel. On the Monday before Valentine's Day (that next Sunday) in an act of desperation to remain a alert, I did something I hadn't done in 15 months - I bought a pack of cigarettes. It got me through the remainder of my long haul that night and I didn't buy another when it was gone the next day.

Then a few days later, I discovered on Friday I wasn't going to make it home for the weekend and was going to miss Valentine's Day with Welf. I bought a couple of packs of cigarettes in anticipation of sitting around in the truck all weekend with nothing to do. Then I found out I was going to Newark, NJ however and it would afford me the opportunity to do something I loved; visit New York City. I got all excited making plans and thinking about the things I would do with two days to kill in the city. I could see old friends and soak in the atmosphere. A few hours later, I got another phone call from my dad. My 89 year old grandfather had passed away that morning.

Just in case you're missing the trend here, my emotions keep getting yanked from one end of the spectrum to the other. The holidays, a time of family and fun, even more so with the proverbial blessed event of a wedding, overshadowed by my mom's cancer/surgery. Welf's achievement in community theater filling me with pride, admiration, and happiness dulled by the adjustment of having less access to her and increasing loneliness. The disappointment of not making it home for Valentine's Day temporarily abated by the prospect of going to NYC then finding out my grandfather passed away. It's this constant swing that is so frustrating, because it seems that each blow just hits harder and drags me lower.

My grandfather was more than just the grand patriarch of my family, he is also my name sake. He's Gordon Lincoln Teachey, Sr., my dad is Jr. and I'm the third. My eldest son is the 4th. The silver lining of me being stuck on the road in nearby Baltimore was that I could make it to Richmond, VA where he lived and be with my family. Hornady even let me drive the truck down there. Welf however wasn't able to make it to Virginia. The opening of the play was only a week away. So I spent Valentine's Day with family at my step-grandmother's house and the night drinking a bottle of wine and smoking cigarettes with my brothers. The visitation was on Monday and the funeral followed on Tuesday. That night, I was back on the road.

I did make it home the following weekend for Welf's play which was nice, even if I didn't get see her much since she had performances all weekend, and I was gone again that Sunday night. I bought a carton of cigarettes on my way out of town. Which brings us up to the point where I wrote my entry of woe. Things just don't seem to be getting any better. When I was smoker before a carton used to last me a couple of weeks as I was a rather light smoker. I went through that carton in about 6 days, which just adds to me feeling like shit about myself. Being back on the road and alone was the last place I wanted to be, and welfy was being great about offering long-distance comfort and assurance with promises of a forth-coming weekend together where I could be triple spoiled.

Yeah, I didn't make it home last weekend. I was stuck on the road yet again; an 8.8. earthquake in Chile, Kentucky losing to Tennessee, surely these are the end fucking times.

Then yesterday, I lost my balance while tarping my load in the rain and fell from the deck of my trailer. I managed to spin myself around and land feet first, but I came down hard on my right foot. I tried to walk it off but it got increasingly worse and I couldn't put any weight on it. I hadn't gotten the bungees on the tarps yet and couldn't finish it. I called Hornady to let them know I'd injured myself and that I needed to go get an X-ray to make sure I hadn't broken my ankle. I broke my left ankle several years ago and the pain I was in now was nothing like then, so I was pretty sure I hadn't.

This happened yesterday in Prosperity, South Carolina. It doesn't get any more fucking ironic than that, folks. I told them I was pretty confident I could drive myself to Columbia, SC for the X-rays. They arranged for another drive with an empty trailer to take my load off of my hands and finished bungeeing it up. He got there a couple of hours later and I drove into the city 45 minutes away. I was correct in my confidence and driving wasn't bad. If it had been my left ankle there's no way I could've mashed the clutch, but being the right, I only had to apply pressure to the fuel and brake pedals. Most of it was highway anyway, so I could use cruise control for most of it.

Thankfully it's not broken, it's only a bad "high ankle" sprain. I have crutches and a splint and need to stay off of it for 7 days. I told Hornady this morning that despite the work release, I feel like I could do some light-duty work. I can drive, but there's no way I can climb around on loads and do the other labor necessary in flatbed trucking. They're having me deadhead to Birmingham where I'll be for the next week or so, doing whatever odd tasks they can find for me. I'm not sure what the compensation will be, and I'm sure it won't be much, but it'll be better than taking a week off without pay or having to waste my vacation time to keep the bills paid. Obviously, this means I wont' get home yet again this weekend and it doesn't exactly bode well for next weekend either.

I wonder what the universe has in store for me next week?

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Thanks for this entry. I knew there was a lot of shit going on and probably even more than you've detailed here, but I wasn't exactly sure what. I'm glad I know now so I can be of more help if you need it. Be strong and keep me in mind if you need to bend an ear (I'm trying to be a better listener and more present friend these days.)

I appreciate that Sarah. While my spirits are down and I'm frustrated and sad and stressed... I am okay. I haven't lost my shit or anything. :)

*big giant hugs*

Man oh man. I can't express enough how sorry I am that all this shit keeps happening to you. I know we haven't gotten to know each other very well yet, but I've been LJ-friends with Erin for quite a while and the two of you are in my thoughts quite often.

Don't beat yourself up too badly about the smoking - I'm currently a light smoker (a pack a month if things aren't stressful) and have been trying to quit for a while. There are worse things you could be doing to alleviate stress; smoking isn't that big of a deal, IMO. When things calm down again, you'll go right back to smoking lightly or not at all.

You're an incredibly strong person. I'm not sure if you've acknowledged that fact, but give yourself some credit for being able to make it through the last several months of shit without completely losing your mind. Lesser folk would have crumbled. You completely rock and this streak of crap can't last forever.

I had quit cold turkey for a year, and then began light "social" smoking on weekends when I was home a few months ago, utilizing loose tobacco and a roll-your-own machine. I want to get back to that point. Frankly, I can't afford to keep smoking like I have been... but right now, as much things feel beyond/out of my control and having to change things about my life and lifestyle, it's soothing to have something that I enjoy... and it feeds the little baby nihilist in me just a little which always helps me in times like these.

Believe me, I completely understand about the inner baby nihilist ;) Sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do. I'm pretty much a social smoker, but there have been occasions over the past several months or so where nothing tasted/felt better than a solitary late-night drive and a smoke.

Were you a heavy smoker before you quit?

No, I smoked less than a pack a day before.

Well, that's good. At least then you won't be jonesing like my aunt would be - she's up to almost three packs a day. Eeeesh.

Life can sometimes suck big time. I do hope things turn to the better for you soon.

Re: smoking - have you ever tried vaping? (e-cigs) I have tried unsuccessfully for years to quit smoking and finally got around to the e-cig thing and vaping and I love it. It's way cheaper and no tobacco, tar or preservatives and no second-hand smoke or having to smoke outside. Yet amazingly it still acts like cigarette smoking. Dude, it's fabulous. I can give you more info if you want.

Life will get better, worse, and better. Fluidity and all that.

Best to ya.

I haven't tried vaping. I see the kits all the time in truckstops. I would if I knew someone who did, but I don't see me plunking down that kinda cash to just try it.

It's not spendy, at least not where I got my kit from. And you can cut down even THAT cost - which is a lot less than cigarettes - by refilling your own cartridges, which is very simple.

I spent a few weeks researching after a hard sell at the mall from a company that's really overpriced and bad, and found the one that I couldn't find one bad thing about. If you want, look into it:


Feel free to ask me any questions. I'm a really happy convert! There's also an e-cig forum for all kinds, but Vapor4Life has the biggest sub-forum and you can read stories from new users here if you're interested:


They have fantastic customer service and always seem to throw in some freebies when you order. And they have great warranties - see warranty thread too:


Yeah, I'm really sold. They have several options. The kit I first bought came with two batteries (which are the "cigarettes" so you can switch between the two), a USB passthrough (yet another "cigarette" that you can hook directly into your computer so it's automatically charged as long as it's plugged in and you can vape directly from that) and then yet another gizmo to plug into your car battery to vape from there. Honestly, just look at the stuff I linked to for a bit. I actually stopped some old geezer in a parking lot and gave him the Web site. I was a bit embarrassed because I sounded like I must work for them, but if you read the testimonies from folks on that site you'll see there are a lot more than just me who are really happy. I don't miss smokes at all and I've saved a bundle. And right now here in Washington State I believe they're about to pass a law that will raise cigarette taxes by a dollar a box, I believe, so my timing truly was perfect. ;)

I'll check out those links later and maybe I'll give it a shot, thanks!.

So I was looking at these links tonight. I'm curious about the "cartomizers". A box of 5 is $10. I get the impression that a single cartomizer can last up to a day before running out depending on usage? Is that how it works? Also, I see that they can be refilled if you're willing to do the work yourself, but it seems to suggest that you can only get so many reuses out of a cartomizer before it becomes unusable. What's your experience with that, if you have any?

It depends on how heavy a smoker you are. Vaping is a different experience than smoking, as you would soon find out. My cartomizers, without "dripping" or refilling, can last three days or longer. The refilling is a piece of cake with some of the methods folks have come up with and take very little time or work. I was afraid to do it until I found the easy way and then I ordered some juice and now I make my own concoctions and they're really, really tasty!

They also FREQUENTLY - and that is no exaggeration - have discount sales and coupon notices. Get on V4L's e-mail list and you'll get them for any holiday and in-between. That will save you even more on your order.

I've heard a cartomizer can be refilled up to four times. I actually don't refill, per se - I "tip" it off with a few drops every so often. Makes it fresh all over again.

Feel free to ask questions in the V4L section of the e-cig forum. People are extremely helpful. They'll direct you to refill methods and flavors and longevity, etc.

I have not bought a pack of smokes since early December. Absolutely no desire to at all.

Here are some youtubes for you to watch. The first one shows the filling and spinning method - super easy:


This one is a tour of their facility in China - fascinating stuff:


hopefully it gets better. it has to, right?

I would say it can't get any worse, but I've already thought that a couple of times, especially in the past couple of days. I thought, y'know... fuck February, good riddance. Then the second day into march I injure myself.


You weren't perchance driving down I75 near Corbin yesterday morning, were you ? It's funny, I see Hornady trucks all the time and I always crane my neck to see if I recognize the driver. :)

Nope, I was in South Carolina heading for Prosperity. Ha!

Oh, irony your name is Prosperity. SC. :)

Let me know if you're traveling the I75 corridor and stopping (I know time is money for haulers).

I hope your recovery week goes well. Hang in there.

Unfortunately, if I'm traveling that part of I-75 I'm heading out and have no time, or I'm heading home and am eager to get there. Me and Welf just need to mee up with you some weekend in Danville one weekend for dinner or something.

Fair enough. I just figured that once you made it home you wouldn't want to come back out to have dinner with near strangers. :)

February ate it raw with a side of slaw, that's all I have to say about that. I'm sorry things have been shit for a while, you're a good guy and you deserve better.

P.S. When you do make it to NYC, let me know, I'll buy you a drink. Or a dirty water dog, your choice. No smokes, though, they cost like $10 a pack here.

You're definitely high on my list of new people to meet when the day comes I make it back to NYC. :)

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