Please don’t yell at me. I’m already yelling at myself enough. I don’t need a social media scolding because, trust me, I’m being much harder on myself than you can even imagine.

The realization happened yesterday. I was driving in Lincoln on a quick day trip and my children were in the car with me. Yes, my children were in the car. My phone sounded that text message sound; it’s the Mario Bros. power up notification and is super amazingly awesome…but I digress. I picked up my phone and read the message. I chuckled and quickly sent a text back. Then I set my phone back down in the front seat.

And it hit me. No, not a car or any actual physical crash. It was an emotional realization of what I had just done.

And the sad part is, I know it wasn’t the first time that I had sent a text to someone while driving on this trip. I even know it wasn’t the first time I’ve done it this month or even this week. But it was the first time I truly realized how impactful my decision could have been.

I was a full block ahead of where I was when I heard that text arrive, and I remembered nothing of that past block. I hadn’t seen any buildings. I don’t remember any pedestrians. I don’t even know how long it took me to respond back. What seemed like only a second actually caused me to truly put my life, my childrens’ lives, and lives of people around me in danger. And I’m sorry. I’m truly, truly sorry.

What’s weird is I’m thankful it happened. I’m thankful my actions absolutely scared me to my very core. I came home and told my husband how ashamed I am of myself. He admitted that he has caught himself doing it too, and I began to wonder how many of us text and drive without realizing it. My kids were in the car. They watched me texting and driving as though it’s okay, as though I’m careless enough to just let it keep happening.

I’m so ashamed. Even moreso, I’m fearful of it happening again. So I am deciding to take serious precautions. For one, I’m talking to my kids, apologizing to them, and explaining how serious the results of my actions could have been. Honestly, there is no difference between drinking and driving and texting and driving in my mind. It’s still distracted driving, and it’s not okay. Lives have been lost, and my heart hurts that I could have hurt someone because of an extremely immature and poor decision.

It’s time for me, at the age of 33, to grow up. My phone will be in my purse in my back seat where I cannot reach it. Call me. Phone calls go through the speakers of my car safely and I never have to take my eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel. If you text, don’t expect a reply back right away. If I’m driving, I’m not ignoring you. I’m paying attention to my own safety and the safety of others first.

That’s just the way it is. And if you’re guilty like I am, I urge you to take precautions to stop yourself from texting and driving, too. I’m sorry for my actions and extremely thankful for another chance to correct them before somebody gets hurt.

Bailey Koch

The story of Bailey Koch finding her love for and strength in writing begins with near tragedy. In February of 2012, Bailey's husband was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a semi truck. As a method of getting information to friends and family, Bailey began a Caring Bridge page. Immediately, others began commenting that Bailey should be a writer. "Yeah right!" Bailey thought. "There's no way I could do that!" "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" was published in March 2015 and is written by Jeremy and Bailey Koch. It details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. High school sweethearts, Jeremy and Bailey know their lives were meant for each other and to help others by being honest about their story. They are proud parents of two beautiful, and often rambunctious, boys, Hudson and Asher. You can learn more about their journey and even purchase the eBook or paperback copy of "Never Alone" at Additionally, a new book written for families to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression is now available. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is available at as well. Jeremy and Bailey found their purpose in helping others find hope when suffering from a disability, especially unseen illnesses like depression. Jeremy, who suffers from suicidal thoughts, continues to learn to live, not simply stay alive, through hope from God and the acceptance of help. Bailey is his biggest supporter and left her teaching job, after being in public education for seven years, to focus on what the two know to be God's plan. Bailey now works as a Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and will graduate with her doctoral degree in Special Education from Walden University sometime in 2019. Jeremy and Bailey co-own and operate Natural Escapes, a landscaping and greenhouse services business that also includes a paint your own pottery and canvas family art studio. The passion to advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves is strong. Bailey has a message of hope and acceptance for all; she has plans to completely demolish the societal stigma attached to mental illness.