Following is an article written by someone I know, that carries a very simple yet powerful message. It is back to school time and hence the lesson here is even more relevant to all of us. It left a huge impression on me and even if it makes a difference in the life of one person out there it would be more than worthwhile.Nancy Mesaros
I was lying on the couch watching an afternoon movie, my little brother running around annoying me and my sister playing with our little dog. My mom was in the kitchen cooking Sunday dinner and my dad was watching golf in his office, emerging now and then to give my mom a hug and pick at the turkey on the counter. My grandma was reading the Sunday paper, commenting on everything out loud. This was a common scene around my house. One which I often look back on with happiness.
This day, Grandma told us about an article on the front page of the paper. It was about an accident that happened the day before on the road in back of our house. This road is notorious for crashes since it is very curvy and dangerous. The curve directly behind the house is referred to as “the death curve”. The accident involved a 22 year old drunk driver who crossed the yellow line, hit an on coming car and killed the women driver. She was a mother of 5.
My parents took this as an opportunity to give my sister and me a lecture on drinking and driving. They often engaged us in impromptu conversation about the dangers of drinking and driving and this was no different. They often explained how drinking can ruin your life. One too many beers, a bad decision to get behind the wheel, impaired senses and your life, and possibly someone else’s as well, can be over.
Three years later, as I was preparing to go to college, my parents sat me down for a long discussion on making good choices in college. Of course they spoke about drinking and how it impairs your ability to make good decisions and the ability to take care of yourself. They often talked to my sister and me about taking care of ourselves. They said that we must make sure we care for ourselves because when we are out on our own there will be no one else to watch over us. We must be able to do that ourselves. A good part of this conversation involved never drinking and driving. They were so adamant about this. I remember all the conversations well.
When I arrived at college a whole new world opened up. I knew I had to study hard, get good grades and take care of myself. All the things my parents told me time and time again. Well, I learned a huge lesson about taking care of myself one night in April, 2015.
There was a party at a house nearby the college. I was invited and happy to go. There was alcohol at this party and I drank more than I should have. Looking back now, I didn’t need to drink at all that night. However, everyone was and I wanted to join in. I remembered what my parents said about drinking and driving. I knew I would not be driving since I could walk back to my dorm. I also, remembered what they said about taking care of myself. What I didn’t know is the effects of alcohol and how quickly you can drink too much and be unable to care for yourself.
Well, I had too much to drink and didn’t feel well at all. I wanted to go home, back to my dorm where I would be safe. I told a friend I was leaving and he and another guy walked with me. I never made it back to the dorm that night.
What happened next would change my life forever. I almost made it back to the dorm when I was approached by two local policemen. I was intoxicated and scared, and they knew it. Even though I was walking, and not driving, I was arrested and charged. Being arrested may not sound like a big deal, but it is. It was a very scary and humiliating experience.
I was handcuffed, thrown in the back of a police car and brought to the local police station. The handcuffs were not removed and I was put in a room alone, where I sat for three hours with my hands behind my back. Since the handcuffs were too tight my hands started to become numb. I also felt sick. However, the worst was still to come. I had to urinate. I called out for help...but no one came. I pleaded aloud only to hear the echo of my own voice. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, my mom arrived. I was ashamed but oh so happy to see her. She brought me home where I slept until late the next day. Upon waking, I had to face my mom and dad. There were tears and lectures and I hurt inside knowing that I disappointed them.
The next two months were filled with lawyer appointments and expenses, court appearances, drug and alcohol classes, counselor meetings, community service and a hefty fine. This was a lesson hard learned.
I hope you will share this with your families and friends to help the message reach as many people as possible.Nancy Mesaros