When things fall into place, it’s great; but, when things fall out of place or, worse – when they keep falling out of place without any indication they’ll get better, it’s difficult. Everything about it: from feeling anxious to thinking you’ll never work through things – it’s way overwhelming feeling that way.
The good thing is that most of those feelings are momentary and often triggered by bad things that happen to us or around us – breakups, family disputes, getting fired, finding out you were cheated on, getting sick, realizing your best friend isn’t really your best friend, etc. And, most importantly, they are solvable! Whether you’ll work them out on your own, with a friend, your therapist, your parents or that lovely neighbor you love having a chat with, it’s up to you.
So, what’s taxi got to do with mental health and this topic? Read below:
DISCLAIMER: Therapy is a wonderful way to work through things, and Springfield Yellow Cab team is a strong advocate of getting all mental health one needs. The title of this post isn’t intended to offend or sidetrack anyone from their routines and/or ways of dealing with things. The idea for this blog actually came about after our team’s received numerous phone calls telling us things like “your driver saved my life today,” “the ride with your cabbie changed everything,” and our drivers sharing their cab stories. Hence, the inspiration. Here’s just a segment of it…
STORY NUMBER: 1
“I got a call to pick up a passenger, so I did. She was visibly distraught, and could barely speak. It was about 3 PM on a workday. She waited for me in front of her office. I didn’t want to say anything or ask anything but her address. The lady gave her address as her voice was cracking and eyes filling with tears. I sat there, let the radio play, as she sat at the back seat of the cab. As we were approaching her address, she said: ‘Can you please go the longer way? This may sound weird, but I really need to just… go someplace, anywhere, around. Can you do that for me, please?’ I said, and I remember it like it was yesterday: ‘Of course, I can. Don’t feel bad. I’ll do anything I can to help you feel better. You aren’t the first one to ask this.’ She then broke into tears, said ‘Thank you,’ opened the window, and continued gazing in the distance. ‘You know, honey, we all have it bad sometimes. I don’t mean to pry but if there’s anything… ‘ She interrupted me and said ‘No, but I appreciate it. This feels nice, the ride. And the wind. And you. Please, drive me some more, I just don’t want to go home’, so I did. After driving around for about 30 minutes longer as a round trip, she stopped crying, and I took her home. She looked better, thanked me, asked my name and left. Later that day our dispatch got a phone call asking her to give me a thanks from a girl whose life I saved earlier that day. It was so emotional. I still don’t know what it was that triggered this gorgeous creature to such pain, but I’m more than happy she’s well… and that I helped.”
STORY NUMBER: 2
“I worked night shift and got a call to pick up a client at about 2 AM. Left immediately to the location, and saw a girl standing gorgeous, all dressed up. Barely 16 years old, I’d say. As she was entering the cab, she gave me the address and started talking about this guy she is seeing. She was on her way to him, and over the Moon! ‘He keeps ringing me up, I don’t mind going there this late, you know’, said the girl as if she was feeling ashamed for taking a cab at 2 AM. I saw she wanted to talk more, so I asked if he’s calling her only at night time. She confirmed. Oh, she was so smitten with him! She didn’t seem aware that, what they had, wasn’t a relationship but a guy taking advantage of a naive girl who was in love. She then continued talking about how great they have it together, and how she understands that she can be difficult sometimes, so it’s okay that he hits her when she deserves it. My stomach tied in a knot, and blood rushed into my head.
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‘He hits you?’, I asked trying to keep my cool. ‘Yeah, but only when I do something bad, like change the channel when he’s clearly into the game or something.’ I understood right there that she had no idea what she was getting herself into… and it wasn’t upon me to say it, but I had to. As a woman to woman, as a friend, as a mother of a 10-year-old girl. I stopped the car for a moment and told her not to be afraid. I then told her that, even though she doesn’t think it’s so, she is in an abusive relationship with a guy who clearly doesn’t care and could seriously hurt her both physically and emotionally. She kept saying that’s not true, that he loves her, and that he’s just got a temper. ‘Hitting someone for changing the channel isn’t called having a temper, it’s called abuse… would you let someone do that to your mother? Your sister? Your best friend?’, ‘OMG, NO!’ she screamed! ‘I’d kill them!’… ‘Ok, so… why are you letting this guy do that to you?’ She sat there in silence for a few moments. I asked her if she wanted to go back home or continue to the address? She wanted to go to him, so we did. I dropped her off, told her to take care and be smart, and drove off. It wasn’t even five minutes into the drive when our dispatch assigned me a call to the address I had just left. I went there right away (after all, immediate taxi access is crucial, especially in potentially burning situations!). It was her. She entered the cab and said ‘I couldn’t go in. I deserve better’, and started crying. I drove her back home. She hugged me on her way out and said she was lucky to have got me as a driver that night. I was so happy that this young, beautiful baby decided she’s better than anyone’s abuse. Maybe she knew all the things that I said already, just needed someone else to say it. Whatever it was, I was grateful for her that night, too.”
STORY NUMBER: 3
“A typical workday, and an hourly service call to a neighboring location. I go there, and there stands a guy, suit and tie style, with a laptop bag over his shoulder. He enters, gives me the address, and we ride. The longer we ride, the more I notice how shaken the guy is. I caught his stare in my rearview mirror, and ask if he’s ok. He hesitates for a moment and says ‘I just lost my job, the company is moving overseas. We’ve got a mortgage, my wife is pregnant, and we’ve got a kid who just started first grade. My mother is in a nursing home, she’s got Alzheimer’s, and that home is more expensive than you can imagine. My wife is a freelancer, she works from home, but her income isn’t enough to support us. No, I don’t think I’m okay.’ I honestly didn’t have anything groundbreaking to say; instead, I listened to him vent. He needed it, and I didn’t mind.
‘I had a string of unfortunate events happen to my family last year, thought we wouldn’t make it. But we did. Still standing and all’, I said, making conversation… ‘What happened to you?’. I stopped for a second and said ‘We lost our child in a car crash… My wife had severe spine damage, but she’s recovering well now.’… ‘I am so sorry to hear that, and I apologize for even making a problem out of my situation when, clearly, there are things far worse.’ ‘No, that’s okay,’ I replied, ‘Your pain is yours, and I’m sure a guy like you will find a solution.’ He smiled and said ‘Well, that feels nice to hear. Thanks. Can you please take the longer way, I just can’t go home just yet and face reality.’ And we did. We drove for the next hour. I paid for the ride out of my own pocket. ‘Hey, why?’ ‘You need it more than I do at this point.’ He looked at me and said ‘You are a good man, you helped a lot today. Thank you. Hope your wife gets better.’, and left. Not sure if I helped but seeing a shaken man enter and a semi-optimistic guy leave my cab definitely brought me joy.”
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