So as most of you know, last year I had gotten myself a DUI. 45 days later, August 25th, my license was suspended. Since then I’ve been driving with a Baiid Device in my car. It was originally for 6 months, but I violated it and it was extended to 9 months. Lesson learned… the next morning you are still drunk. Anyway, so the time is about to come to an end. This Friday I get my license back, and shortly after I get the Baiid Device removed from my car.
When I first had the device put in my car I was honestly really annoyed. The problem I saw with it is not only can you not drive drunk (obviously), but you can’t drink at all… and if you do, you have to be very careful that your BAC is under .005 before you try to drive. Now those of you who know my family, we’re a wine at dinner kind of people. Or a beer at the lake. All of those were off limits to me. I was annoyed, but grateful to have my driving privileges back. I thought I’d just count down the days, hate every day of it, and then be done.
You know what? It wasn’t that bad, and all in all I have to give the device a good review. I learned a lot from it, a lot more than I thought I would anyway. For instance, you are still not okay to drive the morning after drinking (and subsequently I found out if a girl gets hammered at night, she usually has alcohol in her system until around 5pm the next day). I learned that 1 beer and 1 hour is pretty much right, and more than that and you are not legally not safe. I realized how many times I had put myself (and others at risk) not only of bodily harm but of getting a DUI. There were many a nights where if I was too shitfaced to drive, I hopped in the car with someone who was driving… and thinking back on it… had a few drinks before hand. I learned it was actually easier to take a cab to and from a night out, instead of dealing with the hoopla of “Are you SURE you’re sober?”. I learned that a lot more people drive drunk than I even realized.
The two most important things I learned? Oh yeah, epiphany coming here. I learned I drank too much, too frequently and it changed my behavior to something I didn’t like. That first month I wasn’t allowed to drive I really wanted to go out… as the month passed I realized that (while okay for others) my want to go out once a week was too much for me. I started to think about why I wanted to go out, what good I would get out of it and why I wanted to drink. What it came down to was I wanted to go out because I saw it as a break from my daughter, since my divorce I had been a single parent and the world rested on my shoulders. Going out with my friends and having a few drinks was how I was coping with the stress of all of that, not to mention being sick. I had a lot of fun, I did, but what I had to figure out was why I didn’t want to be at home.
This whole time Ryan and I haven’t gone out much, just a few times here and there. Mostly because it became a hassle and we didn’t feel like dealing with it. So we spent a lot of weekends at home this past weekend and I learned something doing so. As the time progressed, we spent more and more time at home, we watched movies, had friends over, did special things things for our kids and had dinners to ourselves. We worked on my house and made quite a few memories doing it. As the time passed I learned why I didn’t want to spend time at home. My home didn’t feel like a home. Up until last summer, things were always dramatic at my house. Of course the divorce and following restraining order, but also a traumatic relationship and my Crohns flaring not once but three times. Home was where I was alone to think, and home was where I had to face my demons. I was too busy facing said demons and trying to escape them to even consider my house a home. Once Ryan and I started dating I wasn’t alone with my thoughts anymore, I didn’t spend what time I had at home over-thinking things as well as the future, I had someone to talk about everything with. I had someone to share my thoughts with, and I had someone who had similar thoughts. So as time passed, things came out in the open, and I was able to lighten up a bit. I didn’t need to go out and get loaded to feel carefree, all I needed was someone to talk to and a cup of coffee. Once things came out it was easier to relax, it was easier to enjoy my house and my life and make those memories. With all of that time, all of those memories, I made my house a home.
Things have progressed quite well these past handful of months, and now this suspension is coming to an end. I’ve learned a lot and I’m sure I have a lot more to learn. Am I done drinking? No. I’m sure we’ll still out once in a while and get drunk and dance like monkeys. I’m sure I’ll have that glass of wine with dinner at my Dad’s house. Now though? Now I don’t NEED to get loaded to have fun. I don’t WANT to go out constantly (ha, if at all, Sarah finally turned into a homebody). I learned what a risk it is, not only to myself, but to my friends, family and relationships.
Sure, I wish I never got that damned DUI, but honestly, if I didn’t, things would be much different now. I’m not quite sure I ever want to know how that would turn out. So in a way, I’m glad it happened. That stupid DUI changed my life, and it changed my life for the better. I can only hope life continues to be great, that I continue to be happy, and that things keep working out. I’m happy, and it’s almost painful to admit, but the DUI and facing the resulting (or always there but hidden) demons gave me this chance to turn things around and be happy with my life. Everyone needs a second chance, and I’m glad I got mine.
Not only that, but I might miss that device a little bit. I named him Sammy… and what will I ever do with out that thing beeping for attention and distracting me from my music. :)