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It Took the Jaws of Life to Stop My Drinking

“Turn your head, and hold your breath” the fireman stated, and as the Jaws of Life cut me out of my mangled car, I cut drinking out of my life forever.

I remember my last day of drinking more vividly than I should. It’s a day I will never forget. Of course it is true what they say; that it takes a significant emotional experience before you change. The day started as a celebration. It was Mother’s Day. With Brunch came many rounds of mimosas and bloody mary’s. As the late morning turned into a gorgeous spring afternoon, delightful and refreshing white wine was served as the party continued to gain momentum.

Finally saying goodbye to my family, I had some work to get done, but it was so beautiful after such a harsh winter, how could I be indoors? So I found a restaurant with a beautiful patio and began my work, with another glass of wine.

As my work wound down, some friends joined me, but I was already too intoxicated, and if I wanted to continue to drink, my friends demanded my keys. They had no idea what they were talking about I swore. I had steadily paced myself all day. No way I was too intoxicated to drive. I knew my limits better than anybody, and I had not reached them yet. As I ruined well established relationships by demanding, and outright throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of a restaurant, that I keep my keys, not even then did I realize how drunk I was.

I flew out the door and into my car before they could catch me. Speeding away I could feel the anger in my soul that my friends had betrayed me in such an awful way by calling me out on my drinking. I flew through lights and around cars and sped my way home. But I wouldn't get there.

As I flew through a yellow light, I came up too fast on another car and swerved to miss it. My little Jeep couldn’t handle the movement. As I felt my car roll three times, all I can remember thinking is how much trouble I was in.

As I lay hanging upside down, begging for the sirens I heard in the distance to hurry, I evaluated my wounds. One scratch on my knuckle, that wouldn’t even end up needing stitches. Before I knew it, the car was surrounded by fireman and police officers who couldn’t believe I was even conscious. They kept me calm and alert, but couldn’t find a way to free me from what used to be a car.

“Turn your head and hold your breath,” I heard. I did what I was told, and they sawed the car into pieces finally releasing me from my death chamber. I was taken to the local trauma center where I was evaluated, and actually released into the care of my mother. They didn’t arrest me that night like they should have. They took mercy on me, even though I didn’t deserve it. The officer in charge was a father and just thankful I was alive.

I served out my DUI, serving out an extremely tough sentence for a first time offender. I couldn’t be more thankful for it. One year without driving, 48 hours in jail, and an ignition interlock device for another year after receiving my license again.

Five years later, I run by the spot I flipped my car almost daily. I used to think about it every time I ran through the intersection, at times finding a different route just because I didn’t want to relive the pain. However, time has healed the wounds that were more mental than physical, and for that I thank running. As I run through the intersection, I now think of how strong I am five years sober, my healthy body guides me to push just a little stronger every time I get to that point. Not for what I was, but for who I am now. 

About the Author

Alison has been running since January 2014, and has been an Ambassador for Runwell since April. She has completed many local races at different distances. Alison will run the Miami Marathon in January 2015 to raise funds to go towards scholarships to qualified treatment centers to help those struggling with addiction get the help they need. Support Alison and Runwell's cause, click here to donate. 

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