K(no)w Hope after Depression

Just like you, I still get stuck in moments. There are days I wake to that can seem overwhelming. Mostly, however, I find today-the present-can be a gift.

If I sit alone and brood, then all the negative, bad, and ugly thoughts come back to me. If I decide to drink to escape and hide the truth, then things could get far, far worse.

I never really understood depression. But depression knows no race, education level, or economic background.

There’s this stigma that comes with depression: that people who have it are weak, fragile, sensitive, etc… but In all honesty it can happen to anyone. You can sleep for days and be well “rested,” but still feel exhausted inside.

Week two was a week of feeling low, hopeless, and unmotivated. I had minimal desire to work. I didn’t want to be out: I didn’t want to be social. I wanted my bed, and my bed, only. I would go to work and people would ask “Hey, are you ok? (Without me even looking sad(because if you know me I’m always smiling))You look tired!” And of course I’d tell them I was fine.

I slept and slept, like a baby. Still, for some reason I couldn’t summon much energy. I’d get up late (an hour and a half before work), then head to work, complete my shift, and come home to my bed the rest of the night. I had no one to talk to because not many people I knew had been through a similar situation. I definitely abhorred myself.

But the search carried on…

I religiously probed the internet, day in and out, for any answers I could find. For a week straight I was uncertain what I could do, but I wanted to take immediate action to make sure I did not have my license revoked. I knew I didn’t want/or could afford a lawyer, so I ventured on alone.

That week, I received multiple calls from lawyers and insurance companies trying to sell me their services. My mail (I now know what fan mail looks like) back home was piling up! I hadn’t told my siblings or parents, but luckily my mom usually piles up all my mail and keeps it nicely saved until I’ve finally picked it up. The calls were irritating, but I took advantage of some pretending I wanted a lawyer by asking questions I wanted answers to. (Eventually they stopped calling.)

DUIs are weird cases. You don’t get the same discipline as someone from another state. Even in state, it varies by cities. Reddit was full of people sharing their stories on DUIs, but not many were from California. Eventually, I did come came across a phone call informing me that I’d have to wait out the 30 days from the issued ticket to take any actions necessary for a reinstatement.

I later called DUI school: they told me the same thing. So I held off calling the interlock device shop because at this stage there was no point installing the device until I got closer to the suspension date.

Lucky 30! I was a free man. For 30 days I could drive like nothing happened. My fears all vanished (like Thanos when he snaps his fingers in Endgame) after that week. Although I knew 30 days would come quick. I also knew I had to work as much as possible, save lots more, but still go out with friends while I could.

Week 3 was a week of relief. Like I mentioned before, for perhaps 20 days I could go out and drive as much as I wanted before facing any restrictions. Eventually, I convinced myself that everything was going to be alright: that this one mistake I had made was not the end of the world for me. Although I would have to face many bills to regain my license back, I wanted to look fear in the face and get my confidence back: so I did.

You would think after receiving a DUI ticket I’d not want to go out and drink anymore: wrong. I wasn’t going to trap myself at home any longer, so I set up some days to go out and drink. I was done living in fear (of course not driving drunk again).

Contrary to what you believe, that I may have a drinking problem, I really don’t. I don’t encourage the use of alcohol as a method for forgetting your problems, or using it so often just because you want to feel the thrill of it. Instead, I feel its a reward of hard work. Look, some of us are not drinkers, and that is perfectly okay. But drinking for social purposes doesn’t make you a bad person.

I will always regret that night I stepped into my car and decided to drive home. Now more than ever I don’t regret it because I got caught, rather because I now know someone could have got killed.

Perhaps, in retrospect, that night couldn’t have happened any other way.

I’m a believer of ‘things happen for a reason.’ And although it had to happen to me, I fully accept the consequences I will face. But now as an activist, I urge you to please use Uber or Lyft when having more than 2 beers. No matter how expensive it may be, which will most likely be less expensive than a DUI ticket. Do not put your life at risk, and definitely do not put other lives at risk.

Depression is real, and I wont ever forget the feelings I dealt with week 2 of this ludicrous fiasco. Steve Maraboli says it best: “The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”

As I write this blog, I have hit week 4. Most of week 4 was spent in the hospital looking after my beautiful sister after receiving an unexpected surgery. My 30 days have now dwindled to a trickle. I have about 5 days left before I am on suspension for 30 days. Regaining my license is a possibility, but with 3 requirements. I’m beginning to hit bumps in a road, and I cannot get to work without spending double the amount of money I otherwise would if I have my car. Stress is high, anxiety is lurking, and my bank account is running down. ( The Reality Train was coming!(All in Blog 4))

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