First off, StormChaser, you are a saint in my eyes
A school bus driver?? Never in a bazillion years could I do that job. Our children (and their parents) desperately need people like you and I, personally, am so grateful that people like you are willing and able to do this job. I'm not fond of driving and I get real cranky in a closed environment with a lot of other people's children. Thank you for being there. You are a hero, indeed. Never forget it!
Depression: I've been visited by that demon from time to time. He ain't no fun. But, please, do not turn to antidepressant medications. That stuff is HORRIBLE! It will make you feel worse, just in a different way. Please make that the option of last resort.
One of the most effective things I've learned to do is sit quietly (or not, sometimes), outside if possible but definitely looking into the sunshine if indoors, at the same time of day as often as possible. I drink my first or second cup of coffee outside almost every day. At the end of the day, after work but before getting on with household needs, I have a cocktail outside in the sun, too.
Our circadian rhythms (wake/sleep cycle) are regulated by the pineal gland, a tiny pine-cone-shaped gland right between the eyes and a couple of inches back. It reads light throughout the day so it can direct your other body functions to stay on schedule. Modern technologies have blurred the boundary between dark and day so the depression this blurring generates does trigger depressive episodes. Keep to the same sunshine break schedule and you'll sleep better and feel great during the day. I started doing this during a depression in 2003 and I haven't seen a depressed day since and I sleep like a baby.
Sunlight is more powerful and speaks more deeply into the psyche than artificial light so go completely outside every chance possible for best results. And don't wear sunglasses but don't look directly at the sun, either; just enjoy whatever's in your outside world. Sunglasses would block the sun, diminishing the full effect of this heavenly remedy.
I live in Texas so it's probably more comfortable for me to go outside at the same time every day than you might want to in Pennsylvania but you don't need to worry about Texas sun. Your body will lock its clock into your environment and that's the only environment that really matters to you.
I also believe in wallowing. I don't want to be a little bit happy every day for a long time so when I have occasion to laugh, I laugh L-O-U-D and I'm not apologetic about it. I'd rather feel completely GREAT right now than just a little happy today so I can maybe be a little happy tomorrow, too. I wallow in happy.
I wallow in depressed, too. And anger and frustration and ill and . . . I think it's helped keep the depression away. When I get the blues and want to cry a bit, I do not try to stop the flow. I go with it instead and let those tears fall with as much passion as need be put forth. That gets it out of my system very effectively so I'll have the blues a day or two, lots of tears, and then I'll wake up all refreshed and ready to move on in a day or two. Try it. Wallow.
My best friend of almost 20 years died last month after a very long lingering illness. I wallowed. I cried. I threw things. I slammed doors. I put fear into the lives of two grown men; they haven't recovered yet. I wallowed. She watched. I miss her terribly but I'm at peace now. Or I would be if I could get those men to come out of hiding.
The Ugliness: Since I live in Texas, our laws are likely to be as different as our sunshine but I've had a rough year and have been forced to learn a lot more about criminal defense in my state than I ever thought I'd need. Mine isn't a traffic issue; it's horrifically hostile neighbors and a very long and slow lawsuit. Have you seen the 1990s movie "Pacific Heights" with Melanie Griffin, Matthew Modine, and Michael Keaton? That'll give you some idea of what my world's been like. I've spent LOTS of time in the sun lately, trust me!
The short version - my neighbor called the police one day, saying I'd stolen her water hose (I didn't). They came and issued a citation for theft to me because the neighbor told them she wanted to press charges. Had she not said that, none of the rest would be happening now.
A few weeks later, I got a letter from county court saying I needed to meet with the assistant DA to plead guilty or no (no); if I just didn't show up, there would be a warrant issued for my arrest. I had transportation issues that day so I walked to the JP's office. It's only 7.5 miles away - what WAS I thinking?? Anyway, I was feeling quite self-righteous by the time I got there 2.5 hours after marching away from home.
I tried to convince the assistant DA to drop the charges but she would not. That was February. She told me then to expect trial no earlier than May (didn't happen) but I'm pretty sure the charge will be dropped later this week.
Here's what I suggest you do: When you meet with your DA's representative, take with you letters of recommendation from people of authority - your boss, school principal, fellow drivers, school teachers, parents, your Sunday school teacher, anybody who will speak highly and knowingly of you and is held in high regard by the community (friends, schoolmates, family, in-laws won't do). If you've ever won any work-related awards or certifications, take them. Since this is a workplace situation, keep the personal side of your life out of it as much as possible. Keep it professional. If any of these authority figures will go with you, please do take them. If you can present a strong and united front that will vouch for your ability and your professional work ethics, that ol' over-the-horizon truck driver won't stand a chance.
Statute of Limitations: Why was he allowed to file on you two months after the fact? Every crime comes with a statute of limitations - the length of time that can elapse between the committing of the crime and the calling it a crime (filing charges).
In my case, for example, there's an 18-month statute of limitations for petty theft. If she hadn't told the cops on the scene to file charges on the spot, she had 18 months to think about it. She could file at any time until 18 months to the day the "crime" was committed. If she waited 18 months and one day, the statute of limitations would make her devious little wishes null and void. No charges could legally be filed at that time. No charges can ever be filed after the statute runs out.
I did not hire a lawyer and I will not hire a lawyer even if the charge against me is not dropped. It's a petty thing, although one that leaves a permanent scar. If it involved something as valuable as my job, especially a job I like, I'd hire a lawyer but don't let them talk down to you or patronize you in any way. This is your life, your job, your money. You direct the show. The lawyer is your hired spokesman, on your payroll now.
Arm yourself with knowledge. You seem like a smart cookie to me so let's make you a strong one, too. I've been studying up at a website called "Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer." It's an easy-to-understand interpretation of the laws, their penalties if broken, and how the legal system works. I bet there's a similar site for PA law.
Another one I use often is "oncle" and the website lists a link to PA so I know it'll be helpful. It's the actual law as it's worded on the official record books. I'm a proud geek and I love this stuff. It gives me more confidence to see the actual wording of the law myself than rely on someone else's interpretation. Just type in the "crime" as it's worded on your legal documents and you'll go straight to it.
Good luck! Get some SUN!! And WALLOW!