Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good, kind, people....

First off, thank you all for your wonderful and very kind comments on my post yesterday. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The minute I made my mind up, voila! I was at peace once again. Amazing how that works. I don't know about all of you....but my gut reactions to things are pretty trustworthy. I have pretty good instincts based on what my innards speak to me. If something gets me all out of my peace zone and I am not able to settle myself with what I, "you are afraid, but step by step you will be ok," then I know I am heading off in a direction that is not part of the bigger plan for me. I can be afraid, or sad, or angry, but still know what the next right thing is for myself, because I can feel it in my insides. Your words of kindness meant so much.

Now for the good and kind people....besides all of you. My girl's new counselor is wonderful. She has been spiraling in her depression. This is the typical progression. He told her to make an appointment with her psychiatrist for a med change. She kept meaning too...but that too, is part of the progression. We have done this go around for many years now. Part of the depression is this inability to get herself motivated enough to make a phone call, answer the phone, get out of bed. So a couple weeks passed with no appointment being made. She went in for her counseling appointment and they had a good talk. Later he called her and said, "I made an appointment for you for tomorrow at 6." She was *graduating* from phase 2 of her OP program that night but he said, "this is more important....go the next night to pick up your grad slip."

What this tells me is that this kind man saw this as a medical condition. Not just laziness, not just rebelliousness, not just being a "loser junky."  He did for her what she couldn't do for herself. There was no condemnation, no clucking his tongue and shaking his head in disappointment. No asking, "How bad do you want this? How important is this to you?"  This is the FIRST time in all of our years of doing this that we have encountered someone (other than yours truly) who took action on her behalf just because it needed to be done. Plain and simple. In my opinion this was such a compassionate act.

One of the things that I am MOST grateful for through this journey are the acts of kindness that my girl has been the recipient of. Especially the acts of kindness when she is at her sickest. The nurse who hugged her skinny little self on her way out the door this last time she went to her dr to ask for a referral to the chemical dependency program. The nurse in the ER room who shared her own AA journey and said, "Its just how *we* are honey. Take the help." The girl who came out to the car the first time she ever entered treatment...."Come inside with me. You will never have to feel like crap again." The extended hands, the non-judgement, the camaraderie of fellow addicts who are deep in their recovery.

Unfortunately, there has been far more of the negative... BUT the simple acts of kindness from strangers to my broken child will stay with me forever. I will *never* forget them. Someone who loved my kid who didn't have to. It wasn't expected of them....they just did it.

How can we nurture more of this in our world? I think just by each of us choosing to see broken people as human beings. Fallible, sometimes very ill, beautiful, human beings....with the potential for greatness and healing. Greatness in my world is as simple as choosing to get up out of bed and head out to your meeting. Choosing for today to do the next right thing one more time.



SoberMomWrites said...

In my life I've been called a "care a holic" because I do naturally things just to make people happy, or smile, or ease their discomfort in some way. Fortunately the hubs feels the same way so that, over the years, there has never been a disagreement about things we've done for others other than to say, maybe we should have done more.

I bring all this up to say that for a while I felt bad about doing these there was something wrong with me. But I outgrew it.

Now when people ask me, "But why would you do that?" I say, "Why wouldn't you?"

It's so amazing how a smile, or a compliment, or a hug, can change someone's day...or maybe even their life!

Why WOULDN'T you?

So happy for your girl. So sad about the way depression is still viewed.


Mary Christine said...

I was sober in AA for over 20 years when my daughter went to NA for the first time. I drove her to the meeting and picked her up. When I picked her up, there was an older woman with her arm around my daughter. Taking care of her, taking her under her wing. Speaking to her lovingly, but very toughly.

Until that moment, I never really truly appreciated what we do when we reach out to the shell of the person who comes into our programs.

Now whenever I see a newcomer, I think of her mother and it is easier to love her.

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful post, Annette. I think we all do encounter the sweet angels in the world who somehow know how to love people through the hard struggles. And I agree that greatness sometimes is just choosing to get out of bed, go to one more meeting ... I have told my boys, "I am proud of you for living one more day the best you can - whatever that looks like." God bless you.

Hattie Heaton said...

Each of those kind folks are "Jesus" to you and your daughter.....Mother Teresa said that in the least of these ( aka our kids in crisis) we as a society can find Jesus. Lovely post.

Mrs. Dubose said...

It is always the kindness that gets me. Every time. Hugs and prayers to you and yours. xo

Signe said...

How beautiful this is. The older I get, the more I get choked up when I see/read about people being kind to each other. I thought I appreciated it when I was younger, but it didn't choke me up like it does now. Maybe I'm just more aware of how fragile and tender people really are, now. I don't know, but thank you for sharing this and I'm happy that your daughter was the recipient of so much kindness.

Syd said...

So many people in the programs do care and are willing to do what they can to help the newcomers. I have to be careful about having a boundary and not getting lost in helping others. I'm glad that she is getting help and has people who have been down the road and know the journey.

dawn said...

This is timely.
For the past week I have been orchestrating an intervention for a family my pastor referred to me. Their daughter has been living in her car, the granddaughter being cared for by the referred couple and the other grandparents. Tough stuff. Its not getting any warmer here in MN, so the Dad has been beside himself. Anyhow, , the intervention unfolded beautifully and the young mother is going to treatment!!!! I received a text from the referred couple tonight when I got home (the intervention took place at church) and,, yes, they were enormously grateful. But Annette, I could not take credit for this. Our pastor opened our intervention meeting with prayer and I give ALL glory to our heavenly father. You could feel His presence. No, at the end of the day, for me, this was just feeling good and the rich blessing of having a career I'm passionate about and keeps me sober one more day . Its about giving back. Its reciprocal and its truly an honor.
I'm SO SO SO SO thrilled to learn your girl followed through with psych - no matter how she got there, she did it. Because yes, once the drugs are gone its just us, our mental illness, and those FEELINGS... Hope she has great success working on new meds!! And yes, always praying

Mary Christine said...

Where's Annette?

Anna said...


Your words are such a comfort to me. Thank you for writing.