Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

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Another Alcohol Post

June 21, 2009

As a recovering alcoholic I don’t make it a habit to go out too much, but my conviction is so strong that I do go to the bars with friends once in a blue moon. This past Thursday was one of my co-worker’s 21st birthday, so a group of us went out to celebrate with her. Despite being surrounded by drunk people and alcohol, I never feel tempted to drink myself. I just enjoy a couple of O’douls and think about how much I’d rather be at home watching a DVD, but sometimes I feel so isolated in my sobriety that it drives me crazy if I don’t get out with some friends once in a while. Unfortunately, social interaction in my age bracket almost always involves alcohol and I usually find myself in situations most sober people are advised to avoid. While I strongly agree with that logic and even offer it to people in similar situations, I simply don’t apply it to myself. Honestly, if the events of the past 3 months of my life don’t drive me to drink, I can’t imagine that anything will. My mind is made up and it’s not something I’m concerned about.

Anyways, to continue with my story, one of the girls I was hanging out with was planning on driving home after the bar closed. This was the second bar we had attended that night, and I didn’t think anything of her driving when we switched bars, but this time it was pretty clear that she shouldn’t be driving. Her speech was slurred and she was having some problems even walking straight. I told her I’d give her a ride home or call her a cab, but I got the “I’m fine… I’ll be okay” line I’ve used so many times myself in my lifetime. After pressing further, I got hit with “you’re the one that’s got two DUIs, why would I listen to you?” Here’s a better question: why wouldn’t you? I don’t want to see anyone go through what I’ve been through… and I certainly don’t want someone to die after I couldn’t convince them to find another way home. I don’t want to ever have to live with that kind of guilt. It’s so frustrating being able to see the big picture and to be able to realize the severe consequences of such minor actions. Lots of people think “I’ve driven home drunker than this and I’m always fine.” Yeah, that’s probably true, but do you realize how many times I drove drunk and never had anything bad happen? In 10 years of having my license and 5 years of being able to legally drink, I got one DUI and one Hit & Run. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve gotten behind the wheel of a car with alcohol in my system… that’s an extremely small percentage. Also, one time, two weeks after my DUI, I got pulled over in downtown Seattle completely wasted. I was so drunk I barely even remember interacting with the cops and I woke up the next morning in my bed still wearing jeans and found a business card in my pocket with a hand-written note that said where my car was left. Even though I was more drunk that time than I was for my DUI or my Hit & Run, I never got into trouble for this incident. I can only imagine how different my life would be today if I got booked for two DUIs within a couple weeks of each other. So yeah, out of hundreds of times driving drunk, I had a potential problem only three times. Some people might get away with it for their whole life. However, it only takes one time and sometimes the stars don’t align for you. Things just go bad… and when they do, they can be tragic. One of my best friends was killed by a drunk driver when we were 14. Two of my buddies from high school were killed in 2002 when their friend got into an accident while driving with alcohol in his system. It really makes me wonder how I ever reached a point where drinking and driving was an acceptable thing for me to do. I guess once you hit 21, it’s really easy to make that excuse to drive home. Again, I never listened to anybody, so why would anybody listen to me? Well, because I understand the consequences of those few times when you don’t make it home without hurting yourself or someone else and I’m sober for Christ’s Sake! I’m not trying to be a nuisance, just trying to save people I care about from fucking up their lives with one little mistake. It can be a pain in the ass to get a ride home and have to track down your vehicle the next day, but believe me, the $10 you spend on cab fare is a lot cheaper than the thousands it will cost you if you get a DUI or worse.