April 4, 2004 was like any other cool spring day. Although I don't remember much about how the day progressed, I do remember this feeling of heaviness settling in my chest, as if I was sinking into a pit of blackness that I would never get out of. Instead of wanting to drink a beer for fun, it became a need and I consumed every bit of alcohol in the house. Even though I had cleaned off a 6 pack by myself, I needed more and got dressed to head downtown to get some. I remember seeing Chris coming outside to try and stop me as I left but I didn't care and ignored him, and drove to a gas station just down the road from our house, grabbed a 24 case and proceeded to pop a top of beer and drive into town. During that time, I don't remember what I was thinking, except that I knew I was flirting with death and daring God to save me. If he really did love me and wanted to be in my life, then He wouldn't let anything dangerous happen to my life. I reached over and opened my bottle of pills, spilling half the medication on the seat and washed the rest down with another sip of beer.
The sun was beginning to set as I coasted around the corner of the university, when much to my surprise, a police car was flashing its lights behind me, signaling me to pull over.
I rolled down the window for the officer who had pulled me over to let me know that my head light was going out. He could smell the alcohol, saw the pills scattered on the seat and saw the case of beer resting on the floor. He opened my door, asking me to get out of my car, escorting me by the arm. I was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, as he put the handcuffs on me, he must have felt the wounds on my arms because he pulled up the sleeves of my shirt revealing the angry cuts and scars. I was then escorted to the hospital in which to have my blood alcohol content drawn and to have my stomach pumped. By then I was coming in and out of conscientious, fighting with four police officers, several nurses and doctors to pull the tube in my throat out. At the moment, I heard a voice using my name; "Heather, you cant come home yet, I have plans for you, you aren't done yet". I was so scared and in shock that I stopped fighting and let them take care of me as I drifted off to sleep. A peace that I never knew existed settled over me…no longer was I scared, I found hope in His presence. The battle for my life that night was over, God had won.
Even though this incident took place nearly five years ago, it seems as if it happened yesterday.
This was another turning point for me. Because my arms were a mess and because of the amount of pills I had taken, I was escorted to Richard Young that night after being released from the hospital. The courts then assigned me to outpatient counseling which then set other events in my life in motion. Each event was building on another to heal me. God knew that this legal invention was what I needed to help me realize that I did not want to continue the bondage that my own father was in with alcohol. I wanted to desperately break that cycle. I am proud to say that I am the first in five generations to break the bondage of addictions. However, being free from drinking was just the beginning on a long road of other addictions I was ready to be free of.