3 years ago on this day, I was on my way home from taking some girlfriends to my husbands family beach house- he was my boyfriend at the time. I drove our truck down to Rockaway, about an hour from home. My husband was newly sober, about 3 months and I didn’t drink at home or around him. But I was going to have a girls weekend and let loose. He was starting a brand new job on Monday, we went to the beach until Sunday. And on this Sunday, 3 years ago I attempted to drive home, but I never made it home to be there for his first day of work. Luckily it wasn’t because I got in some horrible accident, lost my life or made someone else lose their life. But all those things could have totally been true. Instead of all those horrible options, I was just in jail. First time ever. Mug shots, fingerprints, sobriety tests, breathalyzer and being somewhere I never hope to be again and never imagined I would be.
I learned so much from that trip. Leaving that trip I got pulled over by police and got a DUI. I also got in a fight with another girl in my truck. Everyone in my truck had been drinking, but one person who had also been drinking had an issue with it and it became a problem. Sure, I obviously shouldn’t have been driving. It’s also hard for me to listen to other people who were also drinking and who drive drunk often, they post it on Instagram stories of them doing it for fucks sake. I felt fine, but obviously I wasn’t since I got a driving while intoxicated. But I don’t blame anyone except myself, I made the stupid choice to drink and get behind the wheel and drive. I made the stupid decision to even be drinking on a Sunday when we were going home. I made lots of stupid decisions when it came to alcohol and when it came to who I chose to spend my time with. But I learned from it. I never drank and drove again. I actually never drank again.
I’m proud of myself and I am happy I finally learned alcohol did not serve me in a positive way in my life. I’m grateful that the whole scenario happened. I’m thankful I didn’t hurt anyone. I’m thankful it opened my eyes to my irresponsible behaviors. I’m thankful that because of my DUI and because I quit drinking that people left our life quickly. I’m thankful I couldn’t drive for months and had to attend treatment. I’m thankful for the insane amounts of money I had to spend to not have it permanently on my record. I think when you spend about 10k on a silly girls weekend gone wrong, you really think harder and truly analyze the situation and your life choices. That’s not even including the breathalyzer I had to have and pay for through the next year, riding public transportation and managing to keep a job that required driving multiple times a day all while having a suspended license.
I find it so funny to think back about how I used to use alcohol to have fun and thought I needed it to have fun. I mean, 3 years sober and I haven’t had fun in 3 years. It’s awful. And I am completely joking. I have had more fun than ever and I can remember things I did while I was having fun, which definitely didn’t happen when I was drinking. I had a sober wedding, there was alcohol served but I didn’t partake in it. I traveled to Thailand, sober. And I traveled all over the world all without having a drop of alcohol. A month into my sobriety I spent a weekend in LA with a friend, sober and it was a blast! I don’t require my friends to not drink, but I don’t think she drank much that trip. She’s just a good friend and doesn’t have a problem to where she has to drink to have fun. We laughed, we cried from laughing so hard and had an amazing weekend and I remember it. Because I was sober. I even had a brain injury after that trip and I still remember it for the most part.
What I have learned about not drinking is that the people who have left our life because we don’t drink, and those who have a problem with the fact we don’t drink, probably didn’t leave our life because we quit drinking. I have come to realize it makes people uncomfortable if you don’t drink. Especially if someone has a problem themselves with drinking, you are such an example of how problematic drinking can be and some people can’t or don’t want to quit and being around you is a a problem. I have come to realize it has nothing to do with me or us, if someone has a problem with us because we don’t drink that’s all on them. If we changed from not drinking, we changed for the better! So if you don’t like us now that we are better people, not sloppy drunk shit shows then so be it. Life’s too short for bullshit and half ass friends anymore in our book. We have went through hell, and quitting drinking is only one piece of the story. We don’t judge people who drink, we have friends that drink and it doesn’t bother us whatsoever. We also are built in designated drivers now! Your sober ride home!
There are many people with Traumatic Brain Injuries like I now live with who got them from car accidents and drunk drivers. I couldn’t imagine If I did this to someone. I got lucky, but living with a brain Injury is no joke and I could have caused this to someone by drinking and driving. I also could of killed someone. It makes me sick. I got my brain injury doing what I loved, so I’m at peace with it but I couldn’t imagine if my choice to drive drunk caused someone a brain injury. I honestly don’t think my recovery and mindset would have been the same at all. I have shared my story to drunk drivers who get caught and have to attend a victims impact panel, as a drunk driver who now lives with a TBI that I could have caused someone through my actions.
Most of the negative things I have done in my life, the bad things I have done and the bad things that have happened to me or for me all include the famous line “when I was drunk”. I am so grateful I have not said the words “when i was drunk” in 3 years will never say them again and here’s just some reasons why. It’s not all the reasons, but it’s a few of them for you to maybe understand why drinking didn’t serve me in a good way.
When I was drunk.. I got in a fight with my ex husband due to my own insecurities and issues we hadn’t dealt with- in front of my son!! It became a mess and I’m sure it was traumatizing to my son.
When I was drunk… I rode my dirt bike at Coos Bay and was life flighted to a trauma hospital 3 hours away with multiple back fractures, closer to home and because my husband was drunk, he couldn’t come until the next day.
When I was drunk… I had a horrible fight in New Orleans over St Patrick’s Day and ruined the trip for myself and many others and said some shameful, hurtful things to a friend at the time that you should never say to a friend who’s a mom, especially being a mom.
When I was drunk… I cheated on my ex husband. I can say it was definitely not something I did or would have done sober.
When I was drunk… I said negative, hateful, shameful things.
When I was drunk… I often became secure and often got naked.
When I was drunk… I made bad decisions, put myself in super risky situations.
When I was drunk… I would speak without thinking, do things without thinking.
When I was drunk I made so many unsafe decisions. I did so many unsafe things. I put myself and others in danger. I never thought about the negative things that might happen. I hung around some not great people. I put myself at risk so often. I did things and trusted people that I shouldn’t have been safe doing so. I’m lucky to be writing this. I’m lucky I didn’t ever kill someone, get killed, raped or worst. I made SO many bad choices and I got so freaking lucky. When I drank, or when I was drunk was never a good thing. Never. I would black out often. It would make me angry. It would make me mean and say awful things. It just made me not a good person, definitely not a safe person.
My DUI was the best thing that ever happened to me. Sobriety and taking alcohol completely out of my life was the best thing I ever did. For myself, my son, my husband, friends and family. I am so lucky I finally saw how alcohol did not serve me. Finally. I’m so glad the line “when I was drunk” will never come out of my mouth again.
I will never start a story with “I was drunk” again. February 27th 2017 is the first day of being sober. I don’t like what alcohol did to me, how it changed me and the poor decisions I made while drinking, so for me it’s not worth having it in my life. It was a problem, it is a problem and without it I don’t have near the problems. I love being sober, I love not having to have alcohol. Sure, it would be nice to be able to have just a drink but I have never been able to do that and be responsible. I also never read a sober book until after my brain injury, so 1.5 years after I stopped drinking but I have read some great ones and will recommend them below. I also find it funny when I was super healthy, paleo, CrossFit and cared so much about how I looked and my fitness and health that I put poison in my body. Reading Annie Graces This Naked Mind, it put a lot in perspective for me.
Books I read and recommend:
This Naked Mind- Annie Grace
A Happier Hour – Rebecca Weller
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober- Catherine Gray
Why can’t I drink like everyone else? -Rachel Hart
Sober Curious- Ruby Warrington
This post is fitting for today as I am ending the weekend with my husband at our family beach house. We had a wonderful weekend here, a wonderful weekend that had nothing to do with alcohol and didn’t require any alcohol to have fun. Definitely quite the change from 3 years ago. Proud of us babe.