Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ive missed being here.....

I have really missed being here. I have started several posts that are tucked away in my drafts folder...I will get back to them eventually, but for today I just wanted to check in. I have an unexpected day at home and I have several things I want to accomplish, but checking in here was at the top of the list.

I hope the holiday was good for all of you. It is such a challenging time for so many.  So many expectations and hopes for "just this once, can we all hold it together?!" At the end of the day, the dad said, "This was the most "normal" holiday we have had in a long long time." He was thrilled, but I wanted more. That seems to be my nemesis. I always want more, better, always striving for perfection, the best that everything can be. Total abstinence, total sobriety, total sanity, accountability, brutal naked honesty...I set the bar way up here in the stratosphere and I only manage to discourage everyone. I have to work so hard at accepting what *is,* as enough for today. Remembering that we are in a process. That our lives are a process of good days and bad days and how we will navigate each.

I am coming to the conclusion that for some long term, hard core addicts, total abstinent sobriety is a long term process and may never actually be attainable. Things here are better though. I dont live feeling that death is imminent. I am accepting things as "good enough." Progress...and I am learning how to be content there for today. I have been given the most beautiful and bizarre life filled with vibrant imperfect people. And they have been given me.....vibrant, imperfect, wired a little tightly, a little too intense, impatient, pushing for change all the time, craving connection, and always always always their fiercest advocate... Together we make up this big "mess" of a family!

We just finished turning in everything for the SSI process. That whole experience almost killed me. I can only imagine what it felt like to my girl. Filling out numerous packets for all different entities, documenting over and over again all of your most private and humilitating ways that you are not ok,  needing to outline in big black sharpie all of your flaws to convince a stranger that "Yes it is true, I am unable to manage my own care." It was demoralizing, painful to watch. Once again, all I can think is that there has to be a better way to reach out and help people. A way that lets them hang on  to whatever dignity they can manage to hold in their trembling hands.

Molly is pregnant, and now has a fiancee. : ) Such a sweet couple. He proposed Christmas Eve at his  parents house. We all were there together, such a wonderful event, such a wonderful family. Down to earth, real, comfortable.....I just love them.  For Christmas Molly, and lets see what can I call my future son in law..."Grant." That is good. Anyway, Molly and Grant gave his mom and myself gift cards for a pedicure, massage and coffee that we can go to together, for a mom bonding day. I am so looking forward to it.

It has been suggested by my quiet Little One's dr. that she be evaluated for Aspergers. She was livid and now feels that her dr's "intelligence" is in question. She does have many characteristics...and I think the only positive in confirming or eliminating it is that it will explain a lot of who she is and how she does things and what her needs are and how to meet them....and most of all that its all ok! She agreed to the assessment as part of the process of elimination. To "prove its not true." She is such a sweet unique girl who brings us so much joy with all of her interesting interests. There is a big part of me that feels like, "So what."

The one positive with having active addiction in your life for so many years is that everything else pales in comparison. Tattoos....who cares. Pregnant before getting married....we've got this. Autism....big deal! Long me a minute to breathe. Its pretty hard to rattle me anymore.

I read a great book called On Living by Kerry Egan, who is a Hospice chaplain. She was given a medication during her first child's birth that caused a mental break that it took months for her to recover from. She talks about that time, but also her work with the dying. I just loved all of her insights and her realnesss. My current caseload of clients is one very elderly woman who is an absolute joy, and 3 youngish paralyzed people. I love my Hospice work but currently my schedule is too full to add anyone else. After reading this book, I have been wondering what it would take to become a chaplain. It would be similar to what I do now, minus the heavy lifting and personal care. I think I would love it. I mentioned it to The Dad and bless his heart, he said, "I think if you want to go back to school, you should." I feel so old, and where will I get the time and the money? But I am thinking about it.

Ok, Im off to put away all of my clothes that have been piled on my wicker rocking chair in my bedroom for MONTHS!! There, a true confession so you can all know that you are probably holding real life together pretty well in comparison.

Love to all and thank you to those who have reached out privately. That has meant so much. My break from Facebook and blogging and most online life was really needed and so refreshing.

Always praying for us all....


Birdie said...

Welcome back! It sounds,like your Christmas was good enough. Sometimes that is exactly what we need. Perfection isn't real. It won't ever happen. We are all flawed and imperfect.
Did you ever read anything on the Highly Sensitive Child?

Tori Lee said...

I am always amazed how you handle everything thrown at you with such Grace. And you are so right about things not rattling us anymore. Tattoo's please B has so many I can't count but he is sober! A baby before marriage? So what. I remind myself of that often when things feel like too much. We sure aren't anywhere near where I had hoped we would be but we sure are better than we were a year ago.

Love you Annette!

Dad and Mom said...

I had a lot of frustration when I couldn't understand why Alex couldn't just give us this one little thing. Finally I realized it is impossible for someone to give what they don't have. That helped me with my acceptance.

Sounds like you are there too. Even with acceptance there can be frustration and heartache but it all comes down to how we accept it.

Glad you had a good holiday and sounds like hubby has the right idea.

Happy Holidays to you Annette

Anonymous said...


Happy to read your post and that you're managing everything with such beautiful perspective and grace. You can't beat me on the clothes that need to be put away for months ... the laundry basket is a constant in my room and I just throw other clothes on top of that :)

I hope the new year holds wonderful things for you and your family.


Anonymous said...

And ... I forgot to say in my last comment .... I think you'd make a great chaplain!!


Mark Goodson said...

Good to hear from you Annette. It's fun keeping up with things on Facebook. I feel like I'm never really out of the loop. Amazing how you stare down life's adversities right in the eye and say "I've got this". You are an inspiration Annette.

Mary Christine said...

Sounds like a good season of holidays. I hope you check into chaplaincy.

Liz said...

I adore you Annette. Congratulations on the new baby! How exciting. Love you.. Liz