Wednesday, June 6, 2018

On Being Afraid

I know! Surprise!! Here I am.... popping in out of nowhere to share my thoughts. Life is very very full at the moment, thus my lack of staying in touch out here. I miss writing though, and have been thinking about once we get through Molly and Ryan's wedding, (which is June 23!!!!) reconfiguring my blog to talk about my Hospice work. I have so many stories from that part of my life. I feel like talking about my girl's  addiction and mental health has run its course for me. She continues to fight daily to be ok, she does not give up, and for that she has my deepest respect and admiration. I think it just all is what it is and I've processed and mulled over and thought about and tried to figure out and agonized for so long, that I am just done with that. This might be as good as it gets and can I accept that? I think so. I recently bought her a bracelet that says, "Nevertheless she persisted." That is my sweet girl. She is a quiet, steady, fighter....who may not always get it right, but she gets back up, brushes herself off, and starts out again. 

So on being afraid....recently a friend asked for my advice on his living situation. There was some conflict happening and he was looking for a new place to move to. On the story went. I responded with a plethora of wisdom...."its their problem, let it be their problem, only take what is yours to carry and figure out, and I ended with this bit of insight....."you don't need their shitty living environment anyway!" (Gasp)

He responded with, "Your right. I think maybe they are afraid too." 

That response took my breath away and humbled me. It shut my mouth. In all of my righteous indignation I wasn't seeing people. I was seeing injustice, rudeness, words, anger, retaliation....but not people. The beauty of that response brought me to tears...the kindness and gentleness of it. The realness of it. 

You know how "they" say we hear what we need when we need it...the very next day I had an interaction that I began to respond/react to with my girl, and I remembered my friends words. I was able to say, "I know you are afraid honey, so am I. We will just keep figuring it all out each day." 

And then I could leave it at that. 

All of this has made me think of our behaviors, our reactions, our responses....just like our kids substance use, they are all a symptom. They are the secondary issue. There is always a root that is beneath our reaction....anger, fear, rejection, shame. Sometimes the root can be a good thing, admiration, pride. 

This recognition by my friend that this person who was being so unkind to him, was actually afraid was so touching. What if we all could look beyond the initial behavior we see and understand the emotion behind the behavior? Of course that is not always easy.....but awareness is the first step toward change. Understanding the "why" behind the behavior helps me to live in compassion. To live more deeply than just my initial responses to other's initial behaviors....we end up crashing around into each other, all on this surface level with nothing much being accomplished that is of substance. 

Anyway....I have been thinking and thinking on this. "I think maybe they are afraid too." A sentence filled with grace. 

Much love to all. I hope you are well, anyone who still hangs around here, thank you for being here!



Anonymous said...


I'm still here and love reading your posts whenever you have time to post. Your friend is indeed a very wise person ... something for me to think about.

Looking forward to hearing about the wedding and beautiful Landon. I hope you and your entire family enjoy every minute of it.


Musings Of A Crazy Cat Lady said...

Compassion is very powerful and often underrated. Lovely post, thank you for sharing.

Mark Goodson said...

That is a moment of grace, for sure. When we recognize our own behavior or insecurity in others and realize we're all in this thing together! Great to hear from you Annette.

Lolly said...

I think this way too. The people we encounter that are harsh or overbearing or mean or rude... all of them, every single one, is dealing with fear or abandonment issues, of not feeling loved or accepted. They are afraid. The whole darn world seems to be fueled on fear lately. I long for a kinder more nurturing, accepting, and grace-filled world. Didn't they teach us in Al Anon that "Hurt people hurt people?" What a messed up place this world is....
I've missed you and your wisdom Annette. That grand boy is adorable by the way.

Anonymous said...

I'm still here reading!!
I liked what you said about seeing big, abstractions like injustice and rudeness instead of people and their own fears.
I hope the wedding is good and that you have more time to write after it.

Grace-WorkinProgress said...

I understand about your feeling that writing about your daughter has run its course. That is when you know your healing. When I started my blog my pain was so great I needed to talk it out and I did. Today writing feels less and less satisfying and living seems to take up all my time. The point is to find happiness now and it seems like you have. Enjoy it.

Deidra Greenleaf Allan said...

Thank you for your blog and insightful words. I wanted to let you know about a blog that just started up, Al Anon Chronicles, which contains poems written by the mother of an alcoholic son. That's me. I've found that sometimes poetry can provide a solace that other forms of writing cannot so I am trying to find ways to share them with people who might appreciate them. Take care, and thanks for being here. Thanks for your own words. They're inspiring.
Best regards, The blog address is

Jean Heaton said...

I love his perspective. And, the bracelet was a lovely idea.

Mary Christine G said...

On good days, I can do this. On most days, I am just in my own dang self!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I've been following your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Tx!
Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!