Well this sucks. I’ve officially been convicted of a DUI. I have to go to jail for 48 hours, I’m on probation for 11 months and 29 days, I owe $350 in fines plus court costs, and my license is revoked for one year. Shit, shit, shit. One dumb ass decision lands me here today almost 1 year later. The justice system promises a fast and speedy trial, but I feel like a year is a whole long time to wait to get blood results back. I can sit here and dwell or make excuses and blame other people. But the reality is that the only person who did this to me was ME. Acceptance. Maybe it’s the 10 months of waiting for my BAC results, or maybe it’s me growing up. Either way, I know what I did was against the law and there is no way out of this mess. My BAC was .169. Legal limit is .08. I was WAY over the limit and there is no reason I should have been driving. Luckily I didn’t hurt anyone or myself. Fast forward to the dreaded guilty plea, and here I am… officially a criminal. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider running away. But where could I possibly go? Would it even be worth it? This kind of crime isn’t sufficient enough to warrant lifelong hiding.  So what next?

The hardest part doesn’t seem to be the criminal record, it’s the drinking. For 11 months and 29 days I am not allowed to drink even a sip of alcohol. At first this seems like no big deal. I’ll just make excuses not to go out with friends and fake drinking when I do go out with sprite and cranberry juice, add a lime; maybe even an O’Douls in a glass every once in a while. Walking out of my probation officer’s office I felt comfortable with this. But the real world is different. Drinking has been a huge part of my life for so long. I drink socially or have a glass of wine with dinner or drink a beer to relax. Now I cannot do even that.  Is it weird that I feel like a part of me has died? Alcohol is so important to me that this is what I’m most upset about? What does that make me?

Addict is a label I’ve considered before but always end up saying “Oh, no I can totally control it!” But can I? Doesn’t this DUI conviction contradict this? I drink to the point of blacking out and have absolutely no idea what happened during some nights… Waking up in strangers’ hotel rooms sometimes on the other side of town, waking up with my car in the driveway without any recollection of driving home, coming out of a blackout and having no idea where I am, receipts showing places I don’t remember going.  These instances were not once in a while and the memories never come back. This happened just about every time I drank. But I chose to remain blinded to these signs. Maybe this DUI is a blessing in disguise. Maybe this will set me on the right path. Only time will tell. All I can do now is chose acceptance….