I will not drink and drive....because I said I would
In the early hours of September 28th, 2013 I received my first (and last) D.U.I. I've had many people ask me, "why", "what was I thinking?", "what happened"? There are no reasons or excuses for the poor decision that I made that night. I drank and I chose to drive home. The morning and weeks following were incredibly embarrassing, disappointing, and filled with guilt. I kept thinking, "Oh my god, what if I had hurt someone?" I am incredibly thankful that no one was hurt as a result of my poor decision.
I lost my license for 6 months and I refused any/all driving privileges, I took full blame and wanted the full punishment. It was most embarrassing doing the walk of shame back and forth to work but I still had to work and it was all on me. I was rarely able to go workout and participate in my usual stress relief activities. I'm so blessed that my yoga teacher was able to make the drive and work with me once a week during this time. I did a lot of reading and thinking during that time; I was very hard on myself as I felt I should have been. I had tremendous guilt as I let my family and I let me constituents down, I let everyone down.
I received my license back March 28th, 2014. I promised myself that I would NEVER drink and drive again. I will never take a sip of alcohol and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. This was (and has been an easy promise to keep).
If you know me you know that my word means everything to me. My family says things like ," If Megan puts her mind to it, she will do it" , "Megan does what she says she is going to do", etc. That is something that I have always been proud of because I feel that it is lacking in today's society. People say they will do things all the time, when I hear those words from someone it goes in one ear out the other because it's a rare occasion that someone follows through. If by chance they do come through, I'm surprised in a good way.
In June of 2014 I attended a yoga event outside the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The speaker of the event (before we were led through a yoga session) was Alex Sheen. Alex is the founder of "Because I said I would...", he is also local. Please check out his message and his meaningful organization http://becauseisaidiwould.com/. His message struck a chord with me and I knew immediately what I had to do.
On my 33rd Birthday, July 8th 2014. I filled out two of Alex's "Because I said I Would" cards, one for my Mom and one for my Dad.
They read:Dad, I will not drink and drive again. I love you xo ....because I said I would
Mom, I will not drink and drive again. I love you xo.....because I said I wouldThough I made the promise to myself when I received my license back, I wanted to do something more official and really seal the deal.. My word is my word and I take it seriously, and putting it in writing makes it more profound.
It has been almost a year since I gave my parents those cards and it has been over a year since I received my license back and I have not taken a sip of alcohol and sat in the driver's seat of any vehicle. It's not bad at all and it's not difficult. I'm a single, soon to be 34 woman. I still like to go out and socialize. Most functions, especially political functions serve alcohol. I have had no problem meeting friends at a bar and ordering my water with lemon, I end up super hydrated which is great for all of the physical activity I do. I enjoy being a designated driver for my friends and family.I do enjoy having an adult beverage but when I do I have a designated driver, end of story. I drove myself to Richmond Virginia shortly after receiving my license back for a Rob Zombie concert. I had to drive and I enjoyed visiting the city and I was completely sober for the concert. It was the best experience ever! I met the band, I was in front of the stage the entire time. I didn't have to worry about losing my spot to purchase expensive beers or miss anything because I "broke the seal". Most importantly, I experienced it all! I remember it all and it was perfect! Recently I went to Nashville for a half marathon. Everything in the downtown area is within walking distance and my hotel provided shuttle service and was also within walking distance. I had a blast walking from one bar to the next and not worrying about driving. I'm not treated differently when I don't drink. When I'm out people don't look at me like I'm an alien because I'm not drinking. It's ok to socialize and drink.
I love that I no longer drink and drive and I know 100% without a doubt I will never put myself in that situation again. I feel safer, I know that I'm not going to kill anyone because of my actions, and I save money, calories, have less hangovers, and STILL HAVE FUN!As a result of my position my DUI also provided an opportunity for a group of nasty, vengeful, people, to act illegally and unethically. Tuesday November 26, 2013 I was charged with drug possession charges over a pill that was found in the back seat of the cruiser as a result of the incident on September 28th, 2013. (this event I refer to as "pill gate"). This act and the actions that these people took to make this happen was a (poorly) thought out character defamation campaign. I was quickly labeled as a drug addict, no questions asked. There is an ongoing private investigation and I know without doubt that there will be a reckoning...in due time.
I hope my story inspires you to not and drink and drive and I hope that you choose to make that promise. Drinking and driving is not worth it and it's ok to socialize and drink water (or other non- alcoholic beverages) or get a designated driver! Also, think about keeping your word. When you say you are going to do something, follow through and do it.