I believe my first contact with my higher power came at a moment I didn't expect, and one I didn't recognize until years into my sobriety. I knew I believed in something, I knew there were too many things in my life that felt divinely negotiated, too much so to be coincidence. I knew that I had been protected, that pieces of my life had been orchestrated.
On January 5th, 2006 I found myself in a precarious situation. I had gone out drinking with all of my friends and had had a pretty normal night. We had gone to a couple of places, all places we had been a million times, and our group had started to thin with each place we went. People going home for one reason or another. Not me, I was always the last one standing when it came to drinking, never willing to stop, never wanting to leave.
When I left the last bar it was late, closing time. The one difference on this particular night is that I don't remember leaving. The last thing I remember was my friends telling me not to drive. I think I agreed, and continued drinking for almost another hour. I don't remember that either. I don't remember walking out of the bar, I don't remember going to my car, unlocking the door, putting on my seatbelt, and I don't remember entering the freeway.
The next thing I do remember is lifting my head, looking at my blood-soaked hands, and realizing that I had crashed. I didn't only crash myself, but I had crashed into another person. Thankfully, I was the only person hurt, and my injuries were painful but manageable.
It was the next day, once I was home from the hospital, I had some time to think about my life and situation. I knew that I could not drink anymore, and I knew that I was facing some substantial legal issues, and I knew that I had to do something.
As I laid on my couch, detoxing from years of severe alcohol dependence, a couple of things became very clear to me. One: I was going to jail. This was not my first endeavor with the legal system, and I'm pretty sure they were quite tired of my antics by the time my accident happened. And I felt incredibly foolish that I was throwing my life away for the sake of booze. Two: Inexplainably, my injuries were minimal, and this wasn't the first time I had walked away from a serious situation that I shouldn't have walked away from. It was in that moment that I realized, this was no accident. I crashed my car, into another car, at 70mph without a second of hesitation. They say I never even hit the brakes or swerved to avoid hitting the other car. This was the second time I lived when I probably shouldn't have. And that's when I realized; there must be something else I am supposed to be doing. My plan to drink myself to death, one way or another, obviously, was not the grand plan. That's when I knew I was connected to something bigger than me, and that was when, for the first time ever, I felt gratitude.