Monday, June 1, 2015

Guest Post: Tina and "Rita"

Tina and "Rita" sat by each other in my class and decided they would check in with each other after the class so neither would get another DUI. Great strategy, ladies. Below is what each wrote.

Tina wrote:
Well my DUI was 20 years ago. I was 23 at the time. 

It happened. I have learned from this class that Carol taught that drinking and driving never mix. I could have killed myself or someone else. 

Since then I have had to depend on others for everything. THE LAST TWENTY YEARS! I have had to get rides to work stores, and even this class. Lots of money I have had to fork out over the last twenty years, yet God has really blessed me.

"Rita" wrote:
This experience humbled me because now I give more thought to the next person before I get on the road. 

I've spoken to my child about this experience on what to do and what not to do. I've talked to others so they can get a better idea of what could happen in you get on the road with alcohol in your system. 

It humbled me. Hope my experience can help someone else.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Guest Post: Father Fails to Take His Own Advice


I recall days prior to my DUI when I felt I was invincible. I had a top paying job, a wife that loved me and three beautiful kids.

Then I made a decision to have a few beers with some friends and co-workers after work. That night changed my life. While making the hour drive home from Orlando, I lost control of my truck. I could blame it on the weather, but I won't. I should not have been driving.

I totaled my truck and spent the night in jail. My kids are aware of what happened. I have spent or am going to spend a small fortune. What a wake-up call this has been!

I can promise you this. That was the last time,  and it will not happened again. My family need to see me home alive. I try to do right by my children and had given them good advice. I say,
Call me before you drive. It is better to call me than to end up in jail. 
They noticed that I didn't heed my own advice. For this I am forever changed in their eyes because they know that Daddy went to jail for driving drunk.

I totaled the workshop truck we were building. Two years of work down the drain.

Travis

Guest Post: Alcohol No Longer My Choice for Socializing


Even in my darkest nightmares I never imagined this would happen. I couldn't believe that I was getting arrested. As soon as I saw the flashing lights behind me, I knew. The night wasn't going to end well. A smack in the face of reality that would only get worse.

I started planning how I was going to get out of jail when I didn't have my cell phone or wallet as they were in my car. I began to freak out. This night I spent in jail was the longest night of my life and it changed my life forever.

I thought that once I got out, things would get better. But they didn't. That next week I was really down and so ashamed of my actions and the decision I had made that night to drive while intoxicated.   Every day after that I told myself I would never drink and drive again. In fact I really haven't felt like drinking at all as I hate alcohol and all the trouble it has caused me. I don't need to go out. I have found that hanging out with a select few friends and my younger brother is a better way and I don't have a hang over the next day.

Yes, I used to think that drinking alcohol was how you are sociable in society. I have since realized that it is the easy way to have friends and those drinking buddies are not real friends. I have decided to focus on getting all of this trouble behind me and saving money to pay for this DUI.

In addition, I am going to sign up for online classes to finish my degree, get my promotion that I am in line for, and hopefully purchase my first home in the near future. I am scarred to death of getting arrested and getting jail time for a second DUI. I really know I have changed and will not drink and drive again.

John

Guest Post: DUI Signals the End of a Drinking Career


This DUI was the last wakeup call in my drinking career. I knew it was a sign that I must change my life. I ended up going to rehab shortly after the crash. The reason being was that I was on crutches, but still drinking.

In rehab I learned about the twelve steps and I got a sponsor. Now I avoid

people, places and things

that will tempt me to drink. My life is 100% better now that I am learning to live alcohol free.

This new lifestyle will allow me to actually achieve my goals instead of just dreaming about them. I have the best job I ever had now that I am sober. I also feel better physically and mentally.

Rolf

Guest Post: DUI Only Made a Bad Situation Worse



My DUI couldn't have come at a worse time. I had just broken up with my fiancé, moved back in with my parents, and had been diagnosed with lymphoma. I was attempting to drink my problems away every night.

I couldn't see how destructive my drinking habit was until that night I crashed into someone else while intoxicated. I realized finally that I was extremely selfish by being negligent to the point of effectively forcing my problems onto others. Drinking impaired was not the solution to my problems.

Now I focus on working out and turning my negative thoughts and emotions into positive actions. Late at night when I get alcohol cravings, I have found alternatives. I drink carbonated beverages instead. I play my guitar or video games. That crash was a huge wakeup call.

Tyler


Guest Post: 911 Call Gives Me a Wakeup Call


I am very glad to be here because I felt that God had an angel watching over me. I had a few drinks not knowing that it would come to this [my DUI],  but I'm glad I'm here because I could have lost my life or killed or hurt someone else. 

I had been driving while intoxicated, not knowing where I was going or remembering so little. A lady followed me while I was intoxicated. she called 911 and followed me until the police took over. She saved my life and I'm grateful in this situation. It really shook me up, but I appreciate this lady.


GOD BLESS! 

Anonymous

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Guest Post: Jennifer Bell

The Night I Was Arrested
The drug K2 appealed to me last year because it was cheap and didn't show up in drug tests. On June 27, 2014 I was arrested for DUI. Luckily they didn't find the K2 in my truck.

In November of 2014 I was hospitalized for heart problems as well as lung problems.

Taking this DUI class and making me write an essay has opened my eyes to the dangers of smoking K2. Not only could it not control my anxiety, but I found myself withdrawing from my kids. I have lost a few friends from my K2, yet I didn't stop until November when I was hospitalized.

I am not taking K2 now, but I have side effects from the former K2 use: COPD, not sleeping, higher blood pressure and anxiety. It also made my PTSD worse.

I am changing through grounding and meditation. I have discovered that my family, my kids, my own mental and physical health are worth more than trying to get high.

Taking control and making myself responsible for my actions are the most liberating things. My teenagers and boyfriend have responded and they respect me more. It feels good to know I am free and working on my health.


Guest Post: Emmette T.

My life was never what it seemed. I look back at what my life became--a slave to addictions and all the excitement they brought.

Drugs can be used for good or bad. Knives help us in our daily life; however a knife can be deadly. 

So with alcohol. Alcohol can lower blood pressure, but in excess its use is a mood altering emotional roller coaster. I know. I have learned that I cannot have one drop of alcohol because I do not have the self-control to know when to stop.

In December of 2014 I gave my heart to the Lord and I am not saying that faith is the only answer to this problem of addiction, but Jesus is my answer and my choice to follow him is the catalyst to change my life forever. 

Guest Post: Julie Andrews

When Impaired Drivers Collide! 
What an experience! Getting a DUI has totally changed my outlook on being so careless. I know in the past I had driven under the influence and I thought at the time I was okay. But after seeing the video of rookies participating in the BAC study [in Carol Johnson's DUI class] I know now that on several occasions I was putting myself and others at risk because of my decisions.

I do enjoy having a drink every now and then. I am not an alcoholic, and can honestly say I don't use any substance as a "happiness device". So many things are effected when using drugs or alcohol. Truthfully being that intoxicated is not only unhealthy, but it can make you not feel well and can make you forget things.

Some of the things that can trigger one to use drugs and/or alcohol could be the company you keep, and emotional stressful situations. There are many other things that can cause someone to run to these substances. Triggers are keys--keys that can open doors to problematic situations. So to being aware of what causes you to have to have a drink or to use drugs can help you make changes to avoid those situations. This awareness will usually help you overcome the needs.

Now those who are addicted, have a range of triggers or keys again. Identify what makes you want or need your substance will enable you to address the underlying issues. I have watched friends and loved ones be taken over by these substances.

Personally, I keep the mentality of mind over matter. Too much of anything isn't good for me.  I choose a different lifestyle because of these experiences. Having to deal with my DUI, for sure,  has made me really think before I act. I never want to go through this again and I won't! That is for certain!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Guest Post: Floyd Chapman's Journey to Sobriety

Floyd Chapman was a student in an April 2015 DUI class I taught and he gave me permission to publish his journey to sobriety. The picture shows Fred as a garden caretaker at Lighthouse Ministries in Lakeland explaining the hydroponics system in a tour of this unique garden. 

In the 1970s I started out with smoking pot and drinking beer. I was influenced by family, peer pressure of friends and my own pressure to fit in with the "IN” crowd. It seemed everyone was having a good time and I was one who never wanted that good time to end. In the 80‘s and 90’s there was more of the same, I did whatever it took to keep my high going legally and illegally. Suddenly there came jail and prison with other so-called friends. 

In the late 90s I really got tired of jail food and tired of those friends. I desired to change things, but I didn’t change all of my addictions. In 1998 my child was born while I was in jail--I had missed the birth. Suddenly I desired to get sober and change. However, I was around users. Finally in late 1999 I stopped using illegal drugs. It was hard to stop cold turkey, but I did it. 

All but one—alcohol. I did not stop drinking and smoking cigarettes. I lied to myself and rationalized. I justified that a few beers was okay.

However, in 2007 after drinking 42 ounces of beer within a hour, I decided to drive home. I blacked out and landed in a ditch. This was lucky because I know I could have killed someone—even a child. This was my last wake-up call. It came down to ME--not all my bad influences. I stopped. 

Then in 2010 I found the Lord. In 2012 I started working for Lighthouse Ministry using my past for good to help others. Life is so much better since then. Good-bye to those years of addictions and hello to sobriety and a better life.me. Suddenly my peers and so-called “friends” were getting worse and so were my addictions.  I did whatever it took to keep my high going legally and illegally. Suddenly there came jail and prison with other so-called friends.

In the late 90s I really got tired of jail food and tired of those friends. I desired to change things, but I didn’t change all of my addictions. In 1998 my child was born while I was in jail--I had missed the birth. Suddenly I desired to get sober and change. However, I was around users. Finally in late 1999 I stopped using illegal drugs. It was hard to stop cold turkey, but I did it.

All but one—alcohol. I did not stop drinking and smoking cigarettes. I lied to myself and rationalized. I justified that a few beers was okay.

However, in 2007 after drinking 42 ounces of beer within a hour, I decided to drive home. I blacked out and landed in a ditch. This was lucky because I know I could have killed someone—even a child. This was my last wake-up call. It came down to ME--not all my bad influences. I stopped.

Then in 2010 I found the Lord. In 2012 I started working for Lighthouse Ministry using my past for good to help others. Life is so much better since then. Good-bye to those years of addictions and hello to sobriety and a better life.