Last week, I made a vulnerable post in an Acton, Massachusetts private Facebook group, and because of how vulnerable it is, I want to share it with you.
I am Kate Duffy and I’m a recovering alcoholic, not anonymous obviously, so please share if you are moved to do so. Even though I share my story publicly, this one is outside my comfort zone, yet I’m posting here as I want to make an amends that’s long overdue. I’m not sure I will find the person I am looking for, but I’ve learned I am responsible for trying.
When I was struggling, I drove drunk. The next morning I would wake up terrified, because I clearly knew it was wrong. However, when I drank, the delusion that I was “fine” would take over all rational thought, and even though a part of me knew at some level it was wrong, I inevitably would get in my car when I shouldn’t.
One Friday or Saturday night in January or February of 2010, I stumbled out of Daniella’s, a Mexican restaurant (on the same side as Crossroads) that would turn into a dance club after dinner. I got in my car, and as I attempted to straighten up, I drove up alongside a parked car and sideswiped this red car as I left the lot and drove home. (Horrifying) The next morning when I woke up and went into my garage, I was terrified as I saw the red paint of someone else’s car all the way down the left side of my car.
I am coming up on 10 years sober in April, and what always happens before an anniversary is that many old memories surface and the trauma that was my life (and my poor family’s) for these years gets revisited. It has always bothered me that I was never able to make this amends.
This morning I posted a TikTok (I put it in the comments below) in an attempt to see if the person that this happened to back in 2010 happens upon this message.
Today, fortunately, I care more about my recovery and doing the right thing than the embarrassment of this post. I care more about talking about the problem of drunk driving than really anything. I easily could have killed someone and often wonder how I didn’t.
Today, the problem of drunk driving is far worse than it was back in 2010. Covid and the stresses of the world have caused more and more to be hurt or killed by a person who drives drunk. I will do whatever I can in this lifetime to help stop people from driving drunk, to help people find the strength to take away someone’s keys, or to learn how to confront the addiction of a loved one.
While I don’t have the answer to stopping the problem of drunk driving, what I do know for sure is waiting for an alcoholic to know better isn’t it.
Please give your keys to someone sober. Please take the keys from anyone who is drinking and thank you for reading my attempt at an amends that is long overdue.
What is your reaction to this post? The response I got in the Facebook group and on TikTok has been overwhelming. I’ll share my reflections on that another time, but for now, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Leave them below.
Kate, reading your story makes me think of the times my children drove drunk. It was painful to live through their mistakes but I have forgiven them and pray their lives are better. I congratulate you on making amends to the person whose car you ran into. Hopefully, they will come forward and you can tell them your story. I
With this post, you have opened the door for ALL of those in recovery that haven’t had the courage to openly apologize. What a blessing.
You are so brave, Kate. The way you face your demons and fight their attachment to you is really amazing. I have trouble just recognizing my demons never mind correcting them. But I do hope that in addition to making it a priority in your life that you be sure to understand what a gift you are to those around you, to those who benefit from your work and to those who have lost their way. You have more than made amends to those people who have been hurt in the past. To me and my family, you are a super star who never stops giving! Love you, Kate!