Jamie Stec
2 min readDec 7, 2021

Twenty three years ago I woke up and decided to quit drinking. This morning I woke to pre-dawn panic attacks, called in to work, and sat on the toilet as my bowels convulsed long enough to make my legs numb.

On Thursday I had a session with my therapist and she was so pleased with how I was coping with stress and how I was maintaining during a challenging time of year. And then Friday my husband was in an incredibly awful car accident.

We don’t know what happened. We suspect maybe a hiccup in his blood pressure medication, which has been an issue since his stroke over a year ago. Driving home from work around five pm he exited the expressway and then exited the ramp into the grassy void, flipping his vehicle numerous times. He was ejected through the windshield. He doesn’t know how long he was in the mud before the paramedics arrived.

He broke his clavicle, sternum, and some ribs. He has stitches in his right arm and left shin, and staples in his head. The CT scan didn’t show a concussion, but it did show a concerning nodule on his thyroid, that needs attention.

I told him it was okay, that thyroid cancer is the good kind, but since he’s not a cancer patient, he doesn’t know how hilarious of a joke this is.

He was lucky. Or protected by engineering and government regulations, like my friend the engineer said. He came home the next day. He’s back at work.

I haven’t really slept since then. I haven’t done yoga. I haven’t run. I’ve cooked and cleaned and tried to organize and fix, and I worked a little, and tended to the many dogs that rely on me. But I haven’t taken care of myself.

I’m not sure how taking care of myself or my family will look going forward, but I am officially ending this challenge. I did enough.

Twenty three years ago I quit drinking and I’m still sober. Twenty twenty and twenty twenty one tried to break my husband and I in a few ways, but we’re still here.

These are the things that matter.