Wednesday, November 14, 2018


I heard this place where some of us (many of us) dwell, called "Purgatory." That place that is neither wholly healed and sober and thriving, but also does not consist of the permanency and finality of being dead either. Its the place where we all are doing the best we can each day. Where sober "most" of the time is better than using multiple times everyday, day after day after day.

We have a new opioid dependency clinic in our county. This is so very needed and such a long time coming, but today I called to check on the status of the rumors of a methadone clinic coming to our town. THAT would be a life changer for my girl. She has been driving or we have been giving rides, down our mountain for literally years to either treatment or to the methadone clinic. Has it led to total abstinent thriving sobriety? No. It has often been miserable, uncomfortable...physically and emotionally, its certainly inconvenient, expensive......but she keeps getting back up and making the drive, hoping that eventually she will feel better and things will actually be better. Recently she said to me, "You know how you hear of those people in meetings whose compulsion to drink and use was totally removed from them? I don't know why I don't get to be one of them, but I think this is just the life that I am called to live. This is my cross to carry. My life is a life of never being truly comfortable, of always having to work at being ok." 

I recently watched a documentary about the champion surfer Andy Irons. The documentary included several interviews with psychiatrist, Dr. Andrew Nierenberg, who is dxed bipolar himself and made this profound statement, "We have to learn how to become comfortable living an uncomfortable life."  That is the purgatory that my girl lives in each day. That is the purgatory that so many of our kids live in each day. It reminds me of The Princess and the Pea....something just never feels right. There is always something rubbing or poking or speaking in an ear or moving or itching....until you are just desperate from some relief. Then a relapse happens, relief, "ok get up, brush myself off, start again," and on and on the cycle goes. Of course there many variables to this scenario for each individual. 

I guess I am feeling like this is it. You know we always ask, "What if this is as good as it gets?" Well.....what if?  Maybe this IS as good at it will get. Can I be ok with that? I think so. Things are calm and have been for a long time now. We live a different life than most of our friends. We are tired. We have spent years surviving the unthinkable. We crave quiet and calm and routine. Im ok with this. I have lost my drive for advocacy work, I just want to do today at my own house with my own family (and trust me when I say that that is plenty.) Maybe this lull will be temporary, maybe not. When a parent calls me from the ER, or reaches out in real life or through email for support, I am there completely, but as far as political advocacy, online advocacy....I . Just . Can't. That door has closed for some reason. I have to assume if its not burning in me the way it was, then its over for now. Maybe God has a different plan for me. For us. Maybe we are all walking our way out of this decade-plus of trauma and fear and uncertainty and its time to just live our very real, perfectly imperfect lives with what we have been given. We are all different people in so many ways then when we started out and for that I am so very grateful. 

Thank you to all who have read here for so long. I have loved the connections I have made here through the years. I will be around....I have some business changes happening after the new year and where else would I go to process all of that, then right here? God bless us all......




Linda deV said...

When will I become comfortable living with the uncomfortable? I look forwArd to that day.

Very nice to hear fro you Annette. The best to you in your new adventure.

Anonymous said...

I resonate with all you’ve have said, know you are not alone. It’s exhausting living always on high alert, I strive to find calm living in my skin surrounded by the fear of things that are just out of my control. Yes, one day at a time is plenty. Thank you for your candour.

Dad and Mom said...

Annette, good post. I am going to put a link to this on the post I just wrote.

Anonymous said...

Dear Annette, Thank you for creating this space where so many of us have been able to share our burdens and get support. I'm glad that your daughter is doing better now and that she is actively trying to improve her life. I understand what you say about craving peace and quiet. I have a powerful need for that as well. I've seen others in the blogging community reach a point when they just stopped writing for reasons of their own. It seems that you may have come to that point, too. I'll always wish you well!


Anonymous said...

I must add to my first comment. I didn't mean to minimize your daughter's struggles. After all, you referred to them as living in a kind of purgatory. I hope for all of our children's sakes that they can find a way to become more comfortable and healthy.