Sunday, November 19, 2017


I have to say that taking a break from Facebook and from so much of the media that I allow to permeate my life has felt so good. It has been quiet. Quieter in my spirit and that feels peaceful. I opened myself up to an influx of information and opinions and some of it is good, factual, logical, information, but some of it felt so oppressive and dark and often hopelessly sad...I needed a break and the break was most definitely the right choice for me. 

It has given me time to think about just doing my own life. What if I just focused on doing my own life each day? Being present in each moment, creating a simple life of reading books, walking, caring for my sweet clients, and savoring our magnificent baby and the joys that my children are experiencing in their adult lives?  What if I let go of the need to turn the awfulness of addiction and mental illness into something good by advocating and sharing our story and letting everyone know that they aren't alone, that I am here too and I am figuring out our path the best I can. What if my need to reach out to let other's know they aren't alone, was more about ME not being alone? What if all of these years of working on these particular issues, was all about coming to this place of calm and quiet? 

My girl has been coming with me to our Nomadic Shelter for the homeless each Saturday night and helping. Real people, without homes, with holes in their shoes, coming in drunk and hungry, smelling, dirty, some are angry, some are sad and hobbling, their aching joints are sore, the vast majority are filled with gratitude and humility...and all have a story. That I am there, amongst the smell of stale alcohol, slurred voices, watery eyes and red faces, is nothing short of a miracle. A miracle that took place when I wasn't looking, when I wasn't trying to make it happen, to progress, to get better....I just noticed that one day there I was, standing in the middle of a bunch of alcoholics and addicts in active addiction, and I was ok. I had no surges of panic, no anger of my own to navigate, no tears...I was really ok. I could meet them where they are at, I could show them to where they would sleep for the night, help them get some fresh socks and a toothbrush if they needed it, explain how the dinner line would work, I could hug them, make eye contact with them and smile. 

For my long time know how huge this is. 

It recently occurred to me that that spot inside of myself, that the trauma of alcoholism had long ago broken inside this little girl's heart, that scar of weakened fragile tissue that has been present for so many healing. God is doing for me what I have not been able to do for myself. I have come to Him on my terms, not in a church but in my living room, usually in my pajamas and bare feet, with morning breath and a big cup of cream laden coffee sloshing around in my hand, with all of my fearful baggage tucked onto my shoulders, wreaking of desperation, and He took me in. He met me where I was at and He loved me and accepted me and let me be right where I was, until it felt safe enough to begin to follow Him. I am no different than the homeless, the mentally ill, the addicted, the broken. I needed to be saved and rescued too. I had to learn to trust someone I couldn't even see. To listen for His voice, to follow His direction, to leap and hope He was really going to catch me. 

So for today, for now, I will continue on this peaceful segment of my journey. It might not be this way forever, but for today, this is good and right. 


Lolly said...

This was beautiful Annette. So tender and honest. You had me weeping by the end. It's so true..all of it. You are one of the good people in this world. I'm happy and proud to call you my friend. May God continue to bless you on your journey. Love, Lolly

SoberMomWrites said...

My friend if you do not write a book about your journey there is no justice.

Linda deV said...

You give me hope.

Birdie said...

As you know, I had to quit Facebook entirely. Dozens of horrible posts for every good one. It was making me scared and depressed and angry.

I struggle with loving addicts and alcoholics some days. Yesterday and today I saw a woman who is intoxicated every time I see her. Yesterday she would not get out of bed to use the toilet and just went while laying down and then I had to clean her. I mean, she is in a bad place, really bad. I move between compassion and feeling used.

You are a good person, Annette. You always inspire me.

Linda deV said...

I pretty much quit too. I’m so good with that. It was no good for my soul

Grace-WorkinProgress said...

Your post says it all. It has taken me a lifetime to feel peace. To stop looking for a solution or running from my pain. There is no one to blame it is just life and we do our best.

Mark Goodson said...

Your simple life sounds wonderful, Annette. Truly. I can hear it in your voice as I read, if that makes sense. It is definitely the right move for you at the moment. I've found some tricks on FB to minimize my interaction with the phonies of the world while staying open in case real people find me. It's working. For now. Twitter is where I find my true real people. I have a digital tribe there that keep me coming back.

Incredible how you and your daughter's relationship has grown through all the ups and downs of her mental illness. You've been a rock for her. Someone there to guide her through the darkness. It is truly inspirational.

Journey on! Inward!