I was driving drunk while my five and seven-year-old children were in the back seat of my car. I have to live with that.
My intentions that day were not to hurt anyone. I was depressed and self-medicating; both had taken over. That sounds like a bunch of excuses I realize, but it’s the truth. I was ashamed of the mother, wife, and person I had become and I tried to drown my pain with booze. The accident was inevitable, but my recovery is a gift.
There were many signs early on that indicated I had a problem, I simply chose to ignore them.
On January 10, 2010, I couldn’t hide the truth about me any longer. I placed my children in the back seat of my car, buckled them in and started home. I don’t remember the car ride. I only remember hearing my son yell, “MOMMY” as I veered off of the road and hit a tree. I don’t know what I was thinking in that moment.
The reality of the accident set in as I was being pulled from the rubble and I look over to see my five-year-old daughter lying on a stretcher. I screamed for her! The guilt was immediate and the fear was relentless. What have I done? I remember thinking, what have I done?
My daughter survived the accident and I am four years sober. I can’t take that day back and I can’t hide from my truth anymore. I am an alcoholic. For so long I denied the truth about myself because I didn’t want to be labeled a drunk. I was afraid of what other people might think of me if they ever saw the “real” me. But who was I kidding? They knew, everyone knew, but me. My drinking became so disruptive. It cost me friends, jobs, my home, and nearly my daughter. After the accident, I couldn’t live with myself and I had nothing to offer my family and daughter to show that I was remorseful except, being sober.
I always say that living sober is the best amends. This is the only way I can say I’m sorry every day without having to say it at all.
I chose to share my story on Oprah Winfrey’s Life Class back in July of 2012 to advocate for other women who are feeling the same was I was; stuck, alone, scared, and confused, not at all a good place to be. Because I took that first step in admitting defeat, the relationships with all those who matter in my life are at peace. I am at peace. My past, my guilt, my addiction and in my recovery, I am at peace. I have forgiven myself for the mistakes I have made and take each day as an opportunity to reach out and start the conversation about addiction. Luckily, through recovery, I have learned that there truly is a softer and easier way.
This post was submitted by Amy B.