2. After a night of heavy drinking, you wake up and realize very probably have done something you wouldn't have done in a million years. What is it and how do you deal with it?
It wasn't the beginning, it wasn't the end, I wish it had been, Rick would still be alive, and Erin well, so much with her would have been different, but, I'm getting ahead of myself.
It was around Christmas about five years ago, Abby and I hadn't been together for a while, in fact she was with John then, and I wasn't handling it very well. I told myself that all I wanted was for her to be happy, but, what I really wanted was to be where John was, and that wasn't going to happen. I never should have gone to the Christmas party, it was a mistake, and I only set myself up to make things worse by starting to drink as soon as I got there. I don't know if I had noticed it before that night, but it became clear to me after Abby and John left that Erin wanted my attention, and I'd had enough to drink by then that I guess I was willing to give it to her.
When it came time to go home I should have just left, I don't know what I was thinking, I don't know if I was thinking, I let Erin take me home. I don't know how much I had to drink, Abby said later she thought it was a few dozen beers, maybe she was right, not maybe, probably. However many it was, it was enough to make me do things I wouldn't normally do. I know now that Erin was only making sure I got home safely, I was in no condition to drive myself, and had it not been for her I might well have tried, I repaid her by making a pass at her when we got to my apartment. Nothing happened from it, Erin simply brushed my advances off and made sure I found my way safely to my bed. I wish I could say that was the end of it, but the worst was yet to come.
I wasn't supposed to work the day after the party, I never would have drank, and certainly never would have allowed myself to get drunk, had I been scheduled for a shift. Even when Abby called and said Weaver wanted me to come in I tried to refuse. I was in no shape to handle patients, I was hungover, I needed to sleep, instead I was threatened with the loss of my job if I failed to drag myself in, so I did. Because I didn't stand my ground I made mistakes I never would have made that day, because I was hungover, Rick Hendricks lost his life, and his family was forever robbed of the wonderful young man I met that day. As if what I did to Rick wasn't enough, I ended up repaying Erin for looking out for me by almost killing her later that day when my reckless driving caused me to crash my car.
I never visited Erin the entire time she was in the hospital, what was I going to say to her that would make up for what I had done? There wasn't anything, I knew that. I saw her one more time after that night, I signed the paperwork that would allow her to pass her ER rotation, as if that made up for everything, then she was gone, I've never seen her again.
I wish I could say that over time I've found a way to forgive myself for what I did to those I harmed that day, to the one whose life I stole away, but, I can't. My actions that night and into the next day were part of a downward spiral that lasted too long, and had I not gone to the Congo I very likely would not be here now. I can't undo what I did, but, I can try each day to make sure it never happens again, and I don't think anyone can ask more of me then that.