By in Personal

Reflections on a Bad Experience

In 2012, I experienced something that would change my life forever. I was involved in a DUI car crash, and yea, I was the influenced one. It was the night of Feb 24-25th. I was only 20 years old. Let me go over the back story and some of the gritty details that I surprisingly remember (for having such a high BAC) and then I will get to the reflection. I will warn you, I have some suggestive phrases in this work, no curse words though. For being a sensitive topic, I did my due diligence to make this PG-13. I do, in return, expect any of the readers to not flag me and to view my work as a motivator, an informational piece, or just a simple memoir about my life. Thank you.

I was invited to a party with some "friends" on Friday night. I always had a bad feeling about these people but didn't realize how "toxic" this said group of people really were. Shot after shot, they made me a fool of myself. It was all peer pressure. No one else was willing to get to the level I was on, and from there I became quite mad. I began lashing out at people, physically and verbally. I almost got into a fist fight with one guy who wouldn't shut his mouth. Not even some marijuana was enough to keep me calm, it just made the situation worse. The Bacardi 151 must have been tainted with demons that night. As the party leveled off, I decided I wanted out. I was in no shape to leave. My one and only friend out of the whole group asked me how I was and I insisted I was good to drive; four times. He asked me if I was able to pick up some food from a local deli, which I agreed on. Once I started the car and began moving out of the driveway, that's when my memory began to lapse, and the irreversible actions took place.

Next thing I remember I was shouting on the phone and swerving around on this road. Next thing... BAM. I get out of my car, stunned and coughing from the smoke coming out from the hood. I cursed a loud into the night and ended up standing on the side of my car, holding my head. Next thing I remember was laying down with a bright light in my eyes. I hear voices but could not recognize the faces. The paramedics were reassuring me on how "everything is ok, just relax" that's when I began to panic. I started hyperventilating and what not but eventually was subdued. Next thing I remember was the cold air and being pushed through the hallways, always looking straight and hearing foreign voices. I kept asking what time it was. All I got from it was 4:45, 6 something. The next thing I remember was being abruptly awakened by the officer who came to my crash. As soon as I heard the word, "officer", I knew there was nothing I could do. I calmly complied to a blood sample and he left me, another indistinguishable face.

After that, I woke up sitting up and hearing these clicks, then a dull throb. I feel the presence of another human and ask in my stupor, "Doctor, what's going on?" He replied, "Sir, I am stapling your scalp back together. It was pretty bad when you came in but will be good as new. Just please stay still." I shuddered after hearing another thump and blacked out again. Next thing I remembered was waking up in a quiet hospital bed. I felt very calm and relaxed with all the IV's and pain killers running through me. I believe around 8:30, a nurse walked in to check on me. I was over my drunkenness and was somewhat chipper. I asked her "So when am I able to leave?". She looked at me with a blank expression. "Sir, you can't leave yet. Your hip was fractured from the crash. You can't even walk." I was taken aback when she said that. "Also, be wary of your forehead. We had to patch that cut up." She handed me a mirror and I stared at this gnarly cut that stemmed from my eyebrow to my scalp, which was scabbing. She took some vitals and was on her way. I laid there, confused, hurt, agitated, and aloof. I couldn't believe I was in there.

My family visited me in the hospital, they showed concern but were not appalled at my actions. They knew it was an accident. My dad debriefed me on what happened to my car. I ran into an old telephone pole head-on. Completely totaled. The rear view mirror is what cut my head so bad. Thankfully the airbags deployed, and the fact I was wearing a seat belt. Turns out, I made it to the deli; the food was on the floor in the bag still. I was on a familiar road not to far from my friends house. How I was able to navigate the roads without being pulled over, is beyond me. My girlfriend arrived a day or so later. She was incredibly saddened from the event and gave me a well deserved hug and kiss. She felt horrible after hearing that angry drunken voice mail I left her and I was able to apologize. I had no ill will toward her. The events of the night put me in a frenzy and I apparently released most of it on her. I was released three days after, once they knew my hip was going to heal naturally, and the fact I regained feeling in my pelvis. The day I exited the hospital, is when my new life started.

Now at 23, at the end of 2014, I can really reflect back at this event and truly analyze it, from an unbiased and also an emotionally charged perspective. Those "people" (how i label them now) were out to get me. Always plotting, always talking skewed and incomplete when around me. Despite the majority of them even younger than I, they must of had malice toward me. Some of them even ceased to talk to me for months, fearing I would rat out their under aged binge. The criminal implications were even worse. So much running around I had to do, with my dad as my chauffeur. I had to spend a lot of time in court, the firsts of my life. I felt like an ant under a sunshine magnifying glass. There was one hearing that was really important and I almost didn't make it. I had to get an epidural shot for some minor surgery the day before and the whole time I was sitting on a rubber doughnut with my head down, in fear of throwing up.The humiliation, money lost, and community service put me at the bottom of the totem pole and made me realize how much I messed up. I went to alcohol classes as well. I was able to talk to people that were in the same boat as me, some were worse off. The wisdom they gave and overall life experiences they shared, made me realize I would've ended up a statistic if I did not change my ways.

There is a light end to this tunnel though. I was able to make it back to work, and regain my bearings. A spark of my first novel idea came to me. My girlfriend at the time, whom I left the angry voice mail for that night, had a fallout with me though. I am truly grateful she was there for me at my lowest, but sometimes things just don't work out. Eventually I ended up back in college and now I am finishing my degree. I have a much better outlook on life. I wear the scar on my forehead as a reminder of the worse of times. I am improving my physical health by biking and weight lifting. My job is challenging and career related. I seem to be more open to new people in my life and enjoy talking to people, unlike those prior to my accident. Overall, I compare my self now to the Phoenix, which rises up from it's ashes after death. Sometimes, people learn the hard way with life, and that's exactly what I did. And honestly, I think it was meant to happen. I can only imagine how much debauchery I would still be involved in if I did not change. Or maybe I would've been a coward and took my own life, or someone else's at that matter. I don't consider myself a bad person, just had a period where I made really bad decisions. Thankfully, I am where I belong today.

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MegL wrote on November 15, 2014, 3:30 AM

Sometimes, it takes something really serious to turn your life around. I know someone else that happened to as well, though he lost part of a finger from the crash. Funnily enough, he went back to education too. I am very glad that no one else was hurt in the crash.

allen0187 wrote on November 15, 2014, 10:39 PM

Very inspiring post! Glad you made it out of the situation a better person.

BarbRad wrote on November 16, 2014, 1:52 AM

I'm glad you learned from your mistake and have turned your life around. Many in my own family have had to learn and grow through similar mistakes.