“Saving Grace”

sara - wilsonville, Oregon
Entered on November 7, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change

Unconditional love is what my family gives me: the only constant in my life besides waking up and blinking. Family is the only solid substance I can remember in my life since birth. I believe my family chooses to be in my life, rather than being forced to be in my life. Easily, several times in my life, my family could have been absent from my bad choices, my even more horrific consequences, and my harsh realities. Time after time, bad choice after bad choice, I continue to find myself surrounded by those who love me the most, my family.

My worst and most recent bad choice was an accumulation of unfortunate events in the late hours of the night on April 7th, 2007:

Bad choice #1: Drinking

Bad choice #2: Driving

Bad choice #3: Speeding

Bad choice #4: Failing 7 sobriety tests

Bad choice #5: Refusing to give the officer my parents’ phone numbers.

Instant bad outcomes: DUII and 1 night in jail.

Regardless of my bad choices and constant screams to be left alone (my screams were really cries of desperation and help, which my mom was able to read) my family surrounded me.

I sat on the cold, hardwood floor in my kitchen, still drunk from the night before: bawling. First to embrace me with a hug (while I expected everyone to be infuriated with me) was my mom, second my mimi, (my grandmother) and my sister. Not knowing how to express his fear, his utter shock and disappointment, my dad didn’t acknowledge my existence for the next couple of unbelievably difficult months. Looking back, my dad calls his actions following my DUII “tough love.”

The repercussions and consequences as a result of April 7, 2007 were to be dealt with in the following months. What was to come no one could have predicted: A.A., probation officers, lawyers, Diversion, sold car, losing license, $6000 worth in fines, countless hours (of both my family and my time) making sure all my punishments were done on time, constant U.A.’s, and out patient rehab. Every time I experienced one of the consequences listed above, it never failed to shock me. At times, I felt like giving up all together. When I expected my family to be just as discouraging and scornful as I was on myself, they surprised me. My family was my saving grace. After each blow, each consequence, I could look to my left and look to my right and realize who was truly there for me and truly loved and supported me, even when I failed to love myself: my family.

To this date October 17th, 2007 and on through July 19th, 2008, I will be dealing with my consequences from the night of April 7th, 2007. Dealing with these consequences is now just a part of my life. My family helped me realize and constantly reminded me, that everyone makes mistakes. What truly defines one’s character is how they deal with those mistakes. In return for their love and support, I will give them my sobriety, lessons learned, maturity and growth, future goals, and realized never ending gratitude. Without my family, this I believe: I would not exist as the person I am today.