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  • Writer's pictureStefan Neff

The Courage To Be Sober Chapter 3

Taking Accountability For My Life

Life has turning points or as I call them learning opportunities to skyrocket our lives. Let me tell you a little story about being accountable for my actions! When I was fifteen almost sixteen years old my friend sold me his dune buggy. I remember this day so vividly like the memory was stamped into my brain forever. On this beautiful summer's day in Langley, British Columbia Canada is where I grew up as a kid, on this unforgettable morning the sun was shining and the bird was chirping, I was ready to drive the new buggy that I had just got the day before. But the first mission of the day was to smoke a big fat joint to enhance the ride that I was about to embark on. Yahoo, time for some fun, I said to my friends, let's burn up the road and test this machine out, let’s see what it can do off-road.

I was so excited my body was raring to go, I had one friend on the passenger side and another standing up behind the seats. I fired up the buggy and we were on the way to some crazy fun, the wind was blowing and throwing our hair the noise of the buggy was pure power beneath me. The petal was floor racing down the road even though I had no license, I didn’t

care, all I wanted was to be free from the restraints of my parent's control over me. I asked my friends do they want to go faster? All I heard was YES let’s GO FASTER!

I put the buggy in fourth gear and off we went like the bullet train leaving a station in Tokyo Japan. I was thinking I was going to go off-road just up ahead, I turned into the driveway much too fast and what happened next changed my life forever!!! I hit a patch of gravel and the buggy went out of control, then slid into the one tree that happened to be in front of me. I tried to miss it but, with no avoiding the tree my friend's head went sideways into it, and my other friend went flying through the air like Superman. I slid over the gear shift that snapped off breaking two ribs.

My friend was unconscious with blood coming out of his ears and eyes. I thought he was dead right in front of me, I panicked with fear and ran into the woods towards my house. I ran all the way home through the swamp and straight into my home. I could hear the police and ambulance sirens from a distance and was totally freaked out with what was about to happen to me. Was I going to jail for murdering my friend, I was in big big trouble now, I knew I had done something wrong! The police had found me under the covers in my bed hiding from the truth.

I didn’t want to face the truth about what I had done. My father said what did you do wrong now Stefan? I walked out of the bedroom with a feared look on my face like a scared rabbit being hunted by a wolf. I was so nervous, that the police put me into the cop car as they started to talk to my parents. I could see my dad speaking to the officer with his normal scowled look on his face, which I had seen many times in my life. I knew I was going to be in for it tonight. I remembered after the officer let me out from the back of the squad car, they were going to let me stay at home.

My father started to say he told me soo. I knew you were going to do something bad if you bought the buggy. I told you that I didn’t want you to buy it, but you didn’t listen to me. You almost killed your friend today because of your actions. I found out later that night that my friend was in a coma, and the doctors said they are not sure if he would ever wake up or ever walk again. I was devastated over what I had done to my friend. I had a hard time accepting what I had done, I didn’t want to visit him in the hospital but I had built up enough courage to face my reality and go see him. I knew it was going to be hard but I did it anyway.

By taking responsibility for my actions on that day, I could move forward on the path of forgiveness and release the guilt that I had towards what I had done. I now know he made the choice to drive with me, he has his own responsibilities for his own actions in his life. We all have choices in life, good, bad or ugly.

How did I take responsibility for my action?

1. I created my own happenings or situations.

2. I stopped blaming others for my life’s problems.

3. I am the only one that can make me happy.

4. I understand how to love myself.

5. I stopped being afraid of who I am.

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