Hope After Hopelessness

It all started with my fateful decision to go to a bar and to drive myself there and back. While I did used to drink on a regular basis prior to my DWI, I almost always did so at home. Going to bars was something I did maybe once every year or two. BAD DECISION! In any event, I left the bar that night and drove myself almost all the way home. I was pulling off one of the main roads through my town to turn onto the road that I live on. It was a rainy night, with slippery roads, and as I turned onto my road, my car slid and I went off the road into a ditch. Here comes bad decision #2: I honestly did not think that I was too impaired to drive, but knowing that I did have alcohol in my system, I panicked at the thought of having to talk to the police about my accident. I walked up the road to my house so I could go inside to tell my husband about what had happened. Before I made it through the front door, two police officers came up behind me and asked if I was the one who had been driving the car that was in the ditch down the road. I answered honestly and was then asked if I had been drinking that night. I also answered honestly - bad decision #3. I agreed to take a field sobriety test and submit to a breathalyzer. I blew a 0.23! I was shocked as I truly did not realize my BAC was that high. Needless to say, I was then handcuffed and driven to the sheriff’s office to be booked.

The next several days were beyond a nightmare. I had never been arrested or in any trouble before in my life. I was so depressed, so ashamed of myself, and so full of fear over my fate that I decided my life was no longer worth living. Five days after my arrest I washed down a full bottle of sleeping pills with a pint of vodka, determined to never wake up. I then started to walk the short distance up the road to a large wooded area where I planned on lying down to await the end because I didn’t want my husband, or anyone else, to have to discover my body. Fortunately, the pills kicked in much stronger and quicker than I expected, and I collapsed and had a seizure on someone’s front lawn. They called an ambulance and I was transported to the local hospital, where I spent three days in the ICU, followed by a week on the psych ward. After I got out, I was grateful that I wasn’t successful in my suicide attempt, realizing how selfish an act that was and how much it would have hurt the people who love me. However, I continued to feel depressed and hopeless for quite a while.

Then, little by little, I started to adjust to my new reality. At my sentencing, I was given three years of supervised probation, my license was suspended for 12 months, followed by 12 months with an ignition interlock device, I owe $1,485 in court fines, $750 in DMV fines (not including what it will cost to get my license reinstated), have to attend a victim impact panel and mandatory substance abuse counseling at $105 per weekly session. All for a first offense!

Obviously, this was a hard hit and I will paying the price for my mistake for a very long time to come. However, contrary to my fears that I would never get a good job again, I got a job that I really enjoy working in my field :) In the five and a half years since I got my college degree, this is the first time that I landed a job that actually makes use of said degree - and all with a criminal record. Plus after the initial anger and disappointment, my husband and family have been incredibly supportive. I still owe a mountain of money and things will be difficult for quite a while, but I am slowly adjusting to my situation and realizing that there eventually will be an end to all of this. Things seem to be getting better, and I’m feeling more positive, with each passing day. I will forever be grateful that I am still alive. Life does go on after a DWI, and with the right mindset, can even be better than it was before. I have since quit drinking entirely because I know I was drinking excessively. I feel healthier and more hopeful than I have in years. I’m not sure if anyone can relate to my particular circumstances, but I hope that if anyone else is feeling as low as I was, that I can offer a little hope. A DWI is not the end of the world! Use it as a learning experience and take positive steps towards getting your life back together. No matter how scary or horrible it seems right after the arrest, live can and does go on.
JRBack2Life JRBack2Life
31-35, F
2 Responses Jan 11, 2013

If you don't mind me asking, where do you live? I went through a similar situation, and want to see what I may be facing.

P.S.- I am happy you feel better now.

Well I glad you learned your lesson.