My First DUI

We like our products neatly packaged and beautifully wrapped in America. We buy our chocolate wrapped in gold foil and our advertisements in the mail come with scratch off scents to help us know if we want to buy the product. Neat packaging took on a whole new meaning for me, however, when I encountered my first DUI.

PTSD, OCD, DUI, sometimes these letters just become a way of wrapping up the unknown pain of another and fitting it into our everyday vocabulary. I remember the first time I knew someone with PTSD. It meant any-time-of-the-day panic attacks. It meant tears and fear. It was not just a textbook diagnosis but an everyday heartbreak. I remember when I first met the three letters DUI. I had only known those three letters as representing someone who broke the law and risked the safety of others. For the first time in my life that faceless crime had a name and it was "hopeless", "afraid", "lost".  I saw that people who got DUI's did not do it for fun but that those three ugly letters were the neat title we had stamped on their pain and insecurity. I saw a successful friend embraced by a new identity.

I am not condoning drunk driving. I am confessing my own ignorance to the every day battle of those in our society who struggle with mental illness or addiction. Meeting these capitalized and sterilized letters in the faces of people has been more than educational, it has been humbling. It has taught me about grace. It has challenged the way I view others.

I am reminded about the importance of living life with eyes wide open. It is so easy for me to see my own pain. It is so easy for me to understand the complexities of my own struggle and its everyday hindrances. It is so easy for me to focus on myself but the problem is that I can only focus intently on one thing at a time. Let's try to focus on Jesus, that way your pain and my pain will become catalysis to love Him better and thus love one another better.

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