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I just have to report good news, since so many of my topics are about when I'm worried or flipping out.

I got in a wreck on Saturday.  It was entirely my fault; I spaced out and ran a red light.  Quite unlike me; I've become one of those good drivers with no tickets or accidents on my record (you shoulda seen it before I reformed myself!).  Fortunately, even though it was an SUV that hit my little sedan, we both had slammed on the brakes and he only hit the driver's side at about 10-15 MPH.  No airbags deployed; noone was hurt.

Now for those of you who haven't been in an accident, it's fucking terrifying.  I'd forgotten how terrible it is.  Adrenaline courses through your system and you shake and cry and spend a lot of time standing in the middle of the intersection saying "are you OK?"  "yeah, are you OK?"  "yeah, I'm OK, are you sure you're OK?"  "yeah, I'm OK"...Then the police come and ask you what happened and make you fill out forms, and the fire truck comes and they make you sign a release saying you're OK ("are you sure you're OK?"), and everytime anyone asks you if you're OK you start crying again...

So two things were different this time.  First, I saw it was my fault and took responsibility for it.  After all, there were several witnesses who saw exactly what happened.  And I couldn't see how it could help to make my insurance company do an investigation to come to the same conclusion.  And second, I recovered quickly.  I talked with friends that afternoon and checked out whether I had done something irredeemably awful and should never be let out in public again.  They said no, and I listened (after crying a little bit more).  I told the insurance guy what happened and took responsibility again.  And by that night I was no longer completely rattled. 

I feel bad about it, especially having put someone else through it, and I dread what my next policy renewal will cost.  But I do have great insurance and a great driving record.  I even have rental insurance so I'm driving a car that's twice as nice as mine while mine is in the shop.  The insurance company and the body shop are being very nice so far.  I went to the bank this morning to take out a title loan for the deductible (the car is paid off and 8 years old, so the deductible is $1000), and the credit union was very nice.  It helps that I've been as meticulous with finances since BP treatment started as I have been with my driving.

Anyhow, all this is very nice.  I don't feel like a horrible person, just someone who made a mistake.  No drama, no self-flagellation.  What a relief!

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hi nars,

this is really good that you're establishing that this was not a hugely bad thing you did. about 10 years ago i flipped a pathfinder while working - it was a company rented vehicle. the truck was a right-off because it was rolled but neither i nor my assistant were injured and no other vehicles were involved.

at first i took it really bad, but that night i somehow managed to get myself into the right frame of mind about it and within the next couple of days i had it in perspective so it didn't trigger a huge depression for me.

so well done to you for getting this in perspective so quickly.


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