laughing through the graveyard

A year ago on Monday, I was in a car accident. Actually, a car wreck would be more appropriate.  It spun, it crashed, it flipped, it burned, it exploded.  All but the last one with me inside it.

In telling the story (which I have since done many, many times) I always touch on the fact that, when it was happening, my life and my safety were actually not what was running through my brain during the actual accident.  As my car was heading towards the wall, my thoughts were not about whether or not I was going to be injured, but “oh no, my CAR”.  When I had just made it out of the car and was pulled away by a good samaritan to a safe distance, I saw the car explode and started sobbing, because it was MY CAR.  Despite how much pain I was in or how shaken I had become, it was the damage to my Jetta that caused me to start truly becoming hysterical.  Even when I was stuck in the car, and saw the flames coming from the hood, my brain didn’t go “If I stay here, I will burn, or get smoke inhalation”…but very logically and pragmatically said “Oh wow, flames.  I should be where this isn’t”, which always gets a laugh from people, but that’s actually how my brain worked at that moment.

It wasn’t until hours later that it all hit me.  I was wheeled into the x-ray room and was waiting for my cat scan.  Up until that point, I had not been alone, surrounded by my police, then ambulance drivers, then later my parents, assorted hospital staff my ex boyfriend who I had called in a panic when I couldn’t seem to remember anyone’s phone numbers.  

When the technician left the room, I remember laying on that gurney, staring at the ceiling and feeling the pain radiate along my …well, my whole body. And it finally, hours later, hit me what I had escaped. That I could very easily…have died. And I burst into tears.

I walked away from that accident with a only fractured right hand, and some back problems.  Yes, I looked like someone beat me up like I owed them money, but everything with the exception of my right knee cap (which I think will always just be numb in that one spot) has healed perfectly with not so much a whisper of a scar.

On Monday, I (very cautiously) drove out to Silverlake to grab a few drinks with a small group of friends, to celebrate, and mark the occasion for what it was; something to celebrate. I don’t think I’ll do that every year, and I was sick with a cold when I went out. But I felt, looking at this past year…that it needed to be recognized. I had a great time, and was happy I went out.

I am very fortunate to be alive, and blessed that I experienced such a thing at such a young age, and to learn from it now as opposed to later.

Vive la Allison!

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~ by Alli on Saturday, January 30, 2010.

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