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At times it seems that truck drivers are thought of as little more than robots sitting in the seat. We are expected to perform our duties no matter what the weather, how we are feeling, or whether there is actually time to do the job safely. While this can affect both genders of drivers, women drivers tend to feel the stress and loss of humanity a bit more than the men do. For some, this can lead to depression and loss of self-identity.

These feelings are hard to deal with. Depression can lead to feeling inadequate, distract you from what is really important, and eventually, if left unaddressed, can change your attitude from positive to negative. Depression may further isolate you, which intensifies the loneliness of the road. You may also develop paranoia and think that others are against you or talking about you behind your back.

Losing your self-identity due to being treated in a non-human fashion combined with depression can cause you to forget to take care of yourself properly, take time for yourself, or lose site of your gender given qualities. Signs of this are subtle; perhaps you stop wearing neat-looking clothes, or showering, or wearing makeup if you usually did. You, to yourself, are no longer a lady driver; you are just a truck driver in your mind, nothing special. You quit caring except to keep drowning in depression and negativity.

To combat the above as lady drivers, we need to remember, that while yes, we are a minority among commercial drivers, we are also unique. We have overcome challenges many women are too fearful of even contemplating much less trying to do. We have had to prove ourselves to our peers, our companies, and to our families and friends … and we did it!

We are special … we lady drivers. We stand out among the others and garner looks of wonder from non-drivers who wish they had our courage. We are strong to not only do the job, but to keep doing it safely, productively, and professionally. We are the ones who will reach out hands to our sisters coming up who wish to enter our profession. We have reason to be proud of ourselves.

It is ok to have feelings, at times yes, even bad feelings, but don’t wallow in them. Find a way to glory in being a lady driver. Perhaps start wearing a bit of makeup again if you once did, have your nails done, wear a pretty pair of earrings, anything to feel good about yourself and to remind yourself that you are not just a truck driver … you are a woman first, truck driver second. Most of all, whether you are male or female, remember you are human before all else and do have feelings even if it seems no one else remembers.

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