Dec. 13th, 2001
"I wager that I can take five shots."
That's a strange sensation. Am I rolling...
"Mom get Dad on the phone! I'm fine. What should I do?"
"No sir, I must have swerved around something in the road."
It's all a blur...
"Remove your clothes, shower and then stand here for delousing!"
I don't feel hungry for a hot dog and bread.
"Thank god you arrived when you did!" "I would have been here earlier but they wouldn't let me get you out before 11"
The rest of my life
So, that event was the conclusion of my drinking career. If you haven't figured it out I was drinking and driving and I rolled my car into a ditch on the side of the road around 2am. I had to deal with the immediate consequences of that one night for a few years but I guess I have been dealing with the consequences ever since. Luckily, no one was injured including myself. The financial, legal, and emotional toll were great though and I'm very grateful for having wonderful parents and friends to help me through. I had to attend various classes and group meetings and legal proceedings. I'm very lucky that during this period I was able to schedule my work around those requirements. I was able to get a work driver license and I was able to borrow a car from my parents. My car insurance doubled and probably is still higher than it should be. My car was in the shop for about six months and although the body shop did an excellent job my car was never the same. I was never the same.
I told a few close friends and a very few coworkers. I was extremely scared that having anything of this sort associated with me would reflect negatively on me and cause issues within my career. I still hesitate to tell people as I don't know the reaction people will take. But I guess if you are reading this then you at least know me to some extent. I did a ton of soul-searching about this and many other issues. The result of that is that it's not worth it to me emotionally, psychologically, socially and especially legally and financially to drink or be involved with any alcohol or drugs that aren't explicitly meant to make me better. This was an extremely difficult decision mainly during the first year after my accident. I started to realize how almost all social interactions involved alcohol. You should try giving up alcohol for more than a couple of months while doing all of the same social activities that you are used to. The temptation was great and my peers didn't help much. Fortunately, most of my closest friends weren't heavy drinkers so I didn't have it in my face constantly.
After some time and various meetings the appeal diminished to the point where I completely don't miss it. I still have to deal with the occasional question of "Why not?" or "Do you have a problem?" although most people just ask something like "So you don't drink now or ever?". Most of the time this is innocent and polite. I mostly just give short answers without any detail and that typically ends the topic. I have never thought of myself as an alcoholic and I did meet quite a few self-proclaimed alcoholics to compare myself to. I do believe that I have issues that I attempt to minimize when I drank and when I drank I would typically I drink too much. So maybe I do have a problem with alcohol but as long as I stick to my path, which is wide, brightly lit, with great big flashing signs, then I will be all right.
So, now you know. If you want to know any details then I can either answer them in the comments or you can contact me through some other mode.