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Driving Drunk Sent Me Crashing Into Recovery

Driving Drunk Sent Me Crashing Into Recovery

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.

2 thoughts on “Driving Drunk Sent Me Crashing Into Recovery

  1. Redemption through confession and facing it all. I’ve been there, and it is painful and awful and gut wrenching and liberating, and empowering and such a relief…

    Love the honesty.

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