Friday, January 29, 2016

There is nothing noble here

I have come to the conclusion that my drive to "help" others is actually rooted in my own selfish need to feel useful. Apparently I can't save my daughter, but I can talk with other parents and I can share what has brought me some peace and an ability to go on living despite carrying the greatest heartbreak I have experienced thus far in my life. I can immerse myself in other families as their loved ones work toward leaving this earth and I can comfort and tend to the physical and emotional needs of the dying and their sad families. I can help the disabled perform the most basic of human bodily functions and I can love them and give them their dignity while they have to endure the humiliation of needing my help.

I feel energized when I am in the thick of it with other families. Maybe that is sick. Maybe that is my co-dependence. Maybe I am on a huge power-trip. My need to be needed. Maybe it all comes from a deep place of my own dysfunction....but is anyone's motives purely pure all the time? Isn't there usually a pay off in most of what we do? My pay off is.....I can't fix one huge part of my life, but I can do some good over in another area. It is what it is.

I am getting better at balancing out my life and I love my days off and I am finding things to do that don't include work, or being productive every moment. That is big progress for me. I am very very content just "being" these days. I used to think I would never quit working until I physically couldn't do the work anymore. Now I don't think that way. The dad has a big project with work coming up this year and I am not taking on any more clients so that I will be available to be home MORE than I am now. I love quiet. When I drive, I don't have anything music, no talk radio, none of my audible books. I think and I pray and I just drive. If little one is with me, we talk to each other. She is such a unique and interesting little person. I love her company.... my little old soul.

I think of Alanon's slogan...when I got busy I got better. Serving others takes the focus off of myself and that is not necessarily a bad thing. lol

I am still lighting candles for our lost kids and praying and thanking God for them and for the fact that we were picked to be their parents. Despite the heartache, my girl is a blessing to me. Please, you keep praying too.



Birdie said...

Oh, Annette. I don't think you are selfish at all. If you are then the same would have to be said about Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Ghandi or Malala Yousafzai.I don't think that Nelson Mandela spent years in prison for selfish reasons. Yes, you (and I ) love caring for others and it brings us great pleasure. I understand the feeling energized when you are in the thick of it. When I am at work and with the people that need me the most I feel almost euphoric. It isn't selfish, it is the knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at that moment.

I think you are a beautiful soul. I think you would be doing the same thing no matter what place your daughter was at. And yes, when you help others you get better but not because of selfish reasons. It is The Way to all things good and beautiful.

Dad and Mom said...


Everyone has their own motives for what they do. It can only be known by the doer what the motive and benefit truly is and if the outcome is achieved.

One of my dad's favorite sayings and as I look back the way he lived his life is that there are givers and takers. His motto was to try and keep his scale balanced. At all times we are either a giver or taker. There are some with their scale slightly askew both ways. I came to realize that givers are not always givers to get some extrinsic or even intrinsic reward. Sometimes it comes down to just keeping your scale balanced.

In own own circumstances with our children we entered a world of unknown. As for myself I became a taker. I took knowledge, experience and ideas from others. It was all freely given but none the less I feasted. In my way I tried not to waste but to learn from each person and apply whatever was given in a way that helped me, even though misguided as I was in trying to fix my son the lessons were learned by me.

In this journey I took from people that offered with a hand out. I took from people in which they never even knew I feasted, all those writers, commenters and souls sitting in meetings and sessions.

To me it isn't about giving to make myself feel better because it is an area I can control in an uncontrollable event. Giving is a spiritual and healthy place where we all go to keep our scale in balance.

For some of us the toughest word my not be giver or taker, the toughest word my be BALANCE. Work to make sure your scale is in balance.

Mark Goodson said...

Hello Annette - I can only speak from my experience in other 12 step program but...
You should not feel anything but good and useful when you work with other families. That is a GREAT energy. It is like (or might be like?) helping someone in early sobriety. And I am jazzed up hearing about his story and all the awful things that occured. I am jazzed up because I can relate, and I can help, not because I take pleasure in his pain or anything like that.
You do great work and deserve that time off. Shoot, you've helped me a great deal virtually. Dealing with the loss of my friend, posting about my blog when I had doubts of it being worthwhile.
I have trouble just "being" especially now that I am plugged in to the electronic sober and recovery community. I need work on that as well. Sounds like you're well on your way to progress.

ML B said...

Hmm, are just a giving, open, thoughtful, insightful soul, whose purpose is to sign a light for others. That is noble!

Grace-WorkinProgress said...

We all have addictions some are just more acceptable than others. I think no matter what they are we are running from something. For me I finally had to stop doing and see what it was I was running from. It was the deep seeded belief that I caused it. Something in me made people I love reject me.

Really I just couldn't accept that I didn't have control over something or someone I really wanted to control for all the right reasons. Everyone has their own life to do as they please even if I can see just how bad things are.

Being still made me really uncomfortable but in the end I found acceptance and peace like I had never had before. Take time to focus on yourself for a change you are worth the effort.