I am sure that many people have heard of different compulsions such as compulsive eating, drinking, or even compulsive gambling, but no one has heard of a different kind of compulsion;compulsive driving. Just like the other addictions, compulsive driving has its woes, but the problems that compulsive drivers (like I am) face are minor in comparison to the problems experienced in other addictions.
One of the consequences that I myself have experienced as a compulsive driver is mechanical problems due to the rapid accumulation of excessive miles on my car. I used to have a 2006 Honda civic that I would drive everywhere. Since I purchased that car, I have driven to Las Vegas four or five times one summer and twice during those times i drove to Utah. Local driving consisted of frequent trips to Rancho Cucamonga, Pasadena, and Newport as well as frequent driving to Palm Springs from Palm Desert, which also added on the miles. As a result of all of my driving, my car finally died about two weeks ago, and I am now driving a Toyota Camry which I love, but which I will attempt to protect from my compulsion to drive.
Another consequence of my compulsive driving is family pressures to reduce the number of miles that I accumulate. My family expresses their concern and astonishment when I tell them that I need to go out of town for a commitment. For example, my two closest friends live out of town and neither of them can drive in to see me very often due to the circumstances of their lives. I choose to go visit them in spite of the miles that I accumulate in doing so, because my friendships are more important to me than miles (much to the chagrin of my family). In addition, I have various doctors that I see in the Los Angeles area (which is 100 miles from where I live), and my husband complains when I tell him that I have an appointment to see one of those doctors, because he believes that I should see one out here in the desert. I respond by telling him how much I like the doctors who are out of town, and he grumbles over the miles I accumulate as well as the money I spend, since the doctors I like are not on my insurance plan. Okay, I admit it; I am nuts. Sometimes, however, it is necessary and a little fun to be” nuts” even if there are consequences!
Not only do I experience pressure to reduce my driving from my husband, but I experience the same from my parents as well. My husband and I bowl in a league that is in Rancho Cucamonga, because it is the least expensive of all of the bowling leagues that we have participated in, and it is also the most enjoyable as well. We drive to Rancho Cucamonga every week, and my parents balk at that, because they think we should be bowling in a league in Palm Springs which is closer to us. Once again, it is fun to be “nuts!”
A third and final consequence that I experience from my compulsive driving is the frequent questioning that I get about how many miles I put on my car (now that I have a new car I can expect the questioning to be more and more frequent). When I admit (or rather confess) the number of miles that I have on my car, I can see the rolling of the eyes, the frowns, and other disgusted looks if I drive more than my family thinks is necessary. I console myself by telling myself how fun it is to be “nuts!” and I drive the way I want to, despite the consequences. Even I, however, have to admit that I do need to make some adjustments to save miles on my new car, and prolong trips to the mechanic for as long as possible. Nevertheless, I will continue to enjoy being “nuts!” and I will always be a compulsive driver, because I love to drive!