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Worst New Year’s Eve Ever: A Sobering Story

The following is a true story of something that a friend of mine experienced in the early hours on New Year’s as told by him in his own words. I am grateful to know this man, Nicholas Corsalini, and grateful for his story. I acknowledge him for his honesty and vulnerability in sharing this.

I am so very tired. I cannot fall asleep again. I turn up the bass in my truck and cruise the final 4 miles on my interstate 95 trip to my doorstep. I am unknowingly on a collision path with destiny, my choices, and what it meant to be source. Long before I even knew what any of these things really meant.

I hear these loud noises buzzing by my ears. There it is again. It sounds like a siren. No that’s definitely a horn. I start to witness these red colors burning into the back of my eyelids, swirling around like a dancing watercolor painting. I crack open my eyes to realize that I am on the wrong side of the road separated by a thick 12 foot median that everyone in south Florida is accustomed to. My eyes dart up and out the windshield as I see a set of headlights directly in front of me. My heart races and the only thing I can do is close my eyes again. Nick you can avoid this, CHOOSE.

Silence. It’s a very unsettling feeling to be in the middle of a hurricane. The eye of the storm is a beautiful place to be. I have stood in a few hurricane “eyes” over my years in South Florida and this instance was eerily similar. I was alone in my head. I could tell my body hurt. I could hear glass slowly tumbling down the sides of my crumpled truck. I could smell the faint odor of gasoline and oil all around me. I open my eyes to witness my choices. When I swerved left I slammed into something. It was such a final impact it felt like a tree. I remember thinking exactly at the point of impact saying to myself, “I can’t believe you just hit a tree…”

Everything is fuzzy when I open my eyes. It’s still early morning maybe 6 am and the street lights are still on. I am in the middle of the street and I can’t make out shapes yet. I’ve been drinking all night and I just got in an accident. I am processing these fucking choices that I just can’t seem to avoid. How can they just be one bad choice after another? I get off felony probation in a week. I was facing 5-7 years in prison. I panic and adrenaline kicks into gear and my eyes focus. Everything outside of my truck is lit in an orange luminescence from the street light directly above me.

I didn’t hit a tree. At least any tree I recognize. It looked more like a mid-90’s minivan. And there was very extensive damage to our vehicles. I look down and see that my seatbelt was harnessed around my body. The sheer wonderment that filled me at that moment could have shifted mountains. I never wore it. It was uncool, uncomfortable and I thought I never would need it because I am the best driver that was ever born.

I look at my legs and the dashboard was pushed back by the sheer force of my 59 miles per hour hitting the other drivers 45 miles per hour combining for a 104 mph collision into a brick wall. This accident was head on and there were literally millimeters between my shin bone and the engine block being pushed far enough back that I would have lost my legs. I move my arms, my torso, my neck and everything seems to be in working order.

Now as I process things my automatic in these days were to run, hide and shift accountability to everyone other than myself. So I mustered all my strength as I pulled my legs out of the collapsed cabin of my Chevy S-10 I put myself in the passenger seat and passed back out in a heap of flesh. I just went through a traumatic soul crushing crash while hitting another car and still the only thing working in my brain was my survival context.

The next thing I recall is someone saying, “Are you ok? Where is the driver?” I slurred out, “I don’t know”. The firefighter or paramedic asked again. Asked for his name, and I said “Michael drove”. I actually thought this might work until three seconds later another man’s voice from behind me said, “There is no way anyone walked away from this accident…” At that point I knew it was bad. I passed back out.

I hear more crunching and tearing like I was watching a building fall around me. Glass was pouring down into my hair and face as I was dragged from the wreckage and then a breeze washed over me. It was so refreshing like this was all just a dream. I opened my eyes as they pulled me from my vehicle and the passenger door and roof was partially ripped off like a Campbell soup can. It landed moments later my accident was so bad that they used the “Jaws of Life” to release me from my metal prison. I laugh at the next moment because I remember me being on the stretcher and I had just bought this new $150.00 shirt from Burberry and I watched them pull out the sheers and cut it right down the middle and my mind was yelling “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I pass back out.

I wake up in the X-ray room an hour later and the x-ray techs are yelling at me because it’s taken an hour to try to get a proper x-ray of me and I keep slouching and falling out of their chair. The exact moment they took the x-ray I sobered up as the police detectives came in. He was an older gentleman with a kind face. And he proceeded to question me about the accident. Me being the little shit I was responded with, “I want to see an attorney”. I must be the dumbest person alive quoting “Law and Order” from an ER room. The detective looked at me and with the kindest most trusting and authentic eyes I have ever seen tells me that he can only help me if I help him and I am honest. I was so torn, I was never that open, authentic, or in touch with what is meant to be in integrity.

Yet I still chose to be in shame and feel guilt for what had happened. And the fear of judgment and punishment had me stuck in my automatic of lying to get out of trouble. I was alerted to the fact my blood was on the driver’s side airbag and my shoe was still next to the brake pedal. It came off when I crashed or scooted myself into the other seat. I was trapped and pain was imminent.

At that moment, as I cried for the third time that I can remember, I made a choice to be real with him. So I confessed. The man I hit was in ICU for 5 days. I broke his ribs, punctured his lungs and put him in a coma for days. I have never reached out to him or his family. I almost killed him. I almost killed a man. I almost killed a brother.

As I write this I will do my first clearing on it.

This is what happened: I chose to drink and drive:

  • I hit a person and I almost killed him.

This is the story I made up about what happened:

  • I was mad at breaking up with my girlfriend. Got pissed drunk and was so tired from partying for so long that I was more just sleepy. I wasn’t that drunk. My friends do way worse.

These are the payoffs I get from my story about what happened:

  • I make bad decisions
  • I am an alcoholic
  • I am a horrible person
  • I almost killed someone and I am a monster
  • I have no soul

The prices I am paying for this story are:

  • I play the victim role
  • I play the not good enough role
  • That I am stupid and make bad decisions
  • Feeling bad about myself for my past
  • I hate myself

The new possibility I see in relationship with myself are:

  • Loving myself no matter what I have done
  • Trusting myself
  • Being authentic
  • Being in integrity

I declare that I will shed all past beliefs and stories and love myself for who I am presently today.

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