Archive for March, 2010

Changing of the Seasons

Cyndee McCarthy, MADD Victim Advocate

 Changing of the seasons reminds those of us, impacted by the crime of drunk driving, of things we sometimes wish we could forget.  Good times: an afternoon spent at the fireplace during the last snow in March, sitting at the table and coloring Easter Eggs, young adults running in and out of the stores looking for their Prom attire, and special dates such as Mothers Day and Fathers Day will hold a new meaning. No matter how different we feel time still goes by and emotions seem to change along with the seasons. 

 As a MADD Victim Service Advocate, my advice is to stay focused on what is important through  every season.  Remember to take care of yourself. Below are just a few steps that may help you get through the seasons. 

 Survive One Hour at a Time.

The pain that devours you is so overwhelming that everything you do to manage your survival has to be broken down into tiny, manageable increments. Before you know it, a whole day has gone by and you have managed to survive.

 Survive One Day at a Time.

Begin to live one day at a time, accepting the loving comfort that family and friends are so willing to give, but know that some down time of quiet solitude is also important. At the end of each day somehow you managed to drift off into sleep, and the next day would come, even if you didn’t necessarily welcome it.

 Take Care of Yourself.

You are no longer the person you used to be. It’s like having a stroke and you have to learn to walk and talk again, except in this case, you may remember to walk and talk, but you don’t know how to eat, sleep, dream, or love. You may not even remember how to care for yourself or for anyone else. All of these have to be learned again. In essence, you begin to reinvent yourself. Just do something for you! And don’t feel guilty about being selfish about it. You can’t do anything for others if you don’t take care of yourself first.

Have Faith.

“Be the Miracle”. We each can be a miracle no matter what situation we may find ourselves in. Again, believe it to be true for you and it will be. How will you know if it works if you haven’t tried it?

 Keep Yourself Busy.

Find something to do to keep yourself occupied so that you aren’t so caught up in that cycle of loneliness and despair. Try to occupy your own time and mind with something that will make you feel useful. We can always talk to ourselves if there is no one else to talk to.

Keep a Journal.

This will help to alter a negative into a positive. Even if writing has never been one of your hobbies, you must realize that what you are experiencing is incredibly unique. The important thing to say here is this: I keep writing about what I am experiencing so I won’t have to hold it all in.

 Give Yourself Permission to Grieve.

Despite what other people need or expect of you. Realizing that other people can’t fathom your pain, it is yours and yours alone.

  Give of Yourself and Connect to Others Who Hurt.

Do volunteer work, plunge into a project in which you comfort others, and/or allow your love to manifest itself in doing positive, creative things that can enrich other peoples’ lives. The best way to cope with pain and sorrow is to console another.

 Article by Roe Ziccarello of Sound Feelings Publishing

 Here at MADD we work to “Help Survivors Survive” If you have been impacted by a drunk driving crash contact us here at MADD Nebraska:  www.maddnebraska.org  If you need immediate assistance please call our crisis line: 1-877-MADD HELP

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 On the eve of St. Patrick’s day, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is urging all Nebraskans to celebrate safely and if alcohol is a part of the party-please designate a non-drinking driver prior to the celebration, never serve to anyone under 21 and drinking underage is a crime.

The Luck of the Irish” will not be enough to protect you should you encounter an impaired driver, but all of us can play our part in preventing needless deaths and injuries by making the simple decision to designate an non-drinking driver and always wear your safety belt.  Special holiday outings can take a tragic turn if people choose to drink and drive.  Law enforcement provides a crucial check and balance during high-risk holidays. On the 17th, you drive drunk there is a good chance your luck will runout as law enforcement will be on high-alert.

In 2009, alcohol-related traffic crashes claimed the lives of 78 people in Nebraska and more than 3,000 injuries and countless personal property damages. 

Nationwide, there were 137,000 alcohol-related traffic deaths – that is the equivalent of a 747 jet going down once week every week of the year.  Alcohol-related deaths and injuries are 100 percent preventable and personal responsibility will go a long way towards ensuring that our friends and family arrive alive.

MADD is also calling on all restaurant and bar owners to practice responsible beverage service practices by declining alcohol service to persons who are not of legal drinking age, cutting off alcohol service to guests and patrons that are impaired, and providing alternate transportation for those guests who chose to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with alcohol.

MADD recommends that adults designate a sober driver before celebrations begin and that might involve calling a taxi.  #TAXI® (Poundtaxi) is a taxi service that supports MADD’s mission.  By dialing #TAXI (#-8-2-9-4) on any mobile phone, callers will be connected to the first available or preferred taxicab company in their local calling area. Callers don’t even need to know the name of a cab company and the service helps avoid busy signals at peak times. #TAXI is available for $1.25 to $1.79 per call, depending on the wireless carrier and takes no money from taxi companies.  #TAXI makes it easy to get home safely.

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving - Make the right call.

Between now and March 31, #TAXI is offering consumers an opportunity to help themselves and MADD. By registering their mobile phone number, consumers will have a chance to win one of three $100 taxi vouchers.  In addition, once registered, #TAXI will donate fifty cents ($0.50), up to $10,000, the first time a registered mobile phone calls the service. For complete details, log on to: www.cellwand.com/MADDContest/tabid/108/Default.aspx

Outstanding DWI Team 2008

It is that time of year again!  MADD Nebraska is requesting nominations for outstanding work done, in our state, in the area of DWI, MIP, traffic mobilization, education on underage drinking, prosecution and probation in 2009.  All of these areas represent work that is essential to MADD’s mission to eliminate drunk driving. Just follow the link to get the nomination form: http://www.maddnebraska.org/lea/awards

Law enforcement is the front line to eliminating drunk driving on our roads across the state.   Arrests made, in relation to impaired driving, save lives.  Lives of our family members, neighbors and community friends.
 
Last year alone, there were more than 13,000 DWI arrests made statewide. That is equivalent to 36 arrests each and every day of the year – 36!
 
I would also like to take a moment and reflect on the families of law enforcement personnel and thank them for all that they give up – often law enforcement is called away from traditional family settings (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, vacations) to testify, work late shifts, reconstruct accident scenes.  MADD knows and appreciates the hours law enforcement agencies commit to – to ensure our roads are safe to drive day or night.
 
I want to encourage law enforcement to utilize the MADD webpage designed for them: http://www.madd.org/Professionals/Law-Enforcement.aspx  This is a resource we are proud to share and also MADD would encourage all of you to view www.stopimpaireddriving.org provided by the National Transportation Safety Administration.
 
Make sure your agency, outstanding officer, elected official gets the recognition they deserve for the hard work accomplished, lives saved and a community that enjoys a safe drive home to be with family another day!
 
Nominations due to the State Office April 7, 2010.