This has been an eventful week for me, it began with the rush of Monday and getting the girls back into the early morning routine. If I hear my girls screaming about some lost article of clothing they “need” one more time at 7:30am on a Monday I just might lose my Oh-So-Supportive-Mommy badge of honor!
Tuesday rolled in and filled me up with the joy of being human.
Amazing how Monday could be overwhelming with the preparations for the holidays and the next day I am again presented with a fresh perspective.
Tuesday readjusted my line of focus and had me back on the track to serenity.
You see on Tuesday I had the pleasure of heading over to a Youth Treatment center I visit when they invite me.
This is a very cool facility, the kids (sorry guys if you’re reading this I’m using the word kid today but I mean it well) range from 13 to 19 and are struggling with mental health issues, and specifically substance abuse.
The students begin their program by heading into Algonquin Park for a period of time where they experience the Outdoor Leadership Experience. Out there in the wilderness they are away from the demands of daily living and environmental concerns and they begin the process of change.
Next they head to the facility I visited. It’s a non-profit residential facility where these kids experience the outdoors, therapeutic and academic programs and receive holistic treatment. The kids begin to rebuild their lives and learn how to live.
To say I am honored to be on their short-list of invitees is putting it mildly, the center’s mission essentially matches my life’s goal!
I’d been there before but this time I wasn’t certain I’d know any of the kids and was actually feeling a bit nervous. I knew it wasn’t a typical speaking gig, it’s a laid-back discussion-style environment where I share my story with them and they share theirs with me. They have the opportunity to ask questions and we discuss. Oh and these kids ask some very direct questions, I LOVE that about them!
I grow so much with every question, it teaches me more about myself as an adult and my younger self.
When I was waiting in the lobby area a group of girls came down the hall to me and when a staff member asked if they remembered me they responded “Oh Sober Julie, of course! We love Sober Julie Doing Life”
I was all a flutter inside.
Last time I was in I had mentioned how my blog has helped me to grow and suggested they try blogging or keeping a journal for their own benefit. I did tell them the name but honestly hadn’t thought they’d look at it.
I was floored.
These kids have so much “work” they have to do, they’re in a structured environment with most of their time planned for them…..I would never imagined they’d choose to browse Sober Julie Doing Life with their limited free time.
How very cool is it that they felt the same connection with me that I had with them.
These kids show me the world through their eyes, they share with me in ways I wouldn’t expect. I appreciate their stories, insights, challenges and successes even when they can’t see them.
These kids probably wouldn’t have chosen to hang out with a 38yr old mother who is valiantly trying to stay hip. I suspect when I use the word hip they cringe…and me? I don’t know that I would have let down my “capable adult” facade long enough to truly experience the time with them as I do before becoming sober.
On this Tuesday, there we sat in a Treatment Facility in a circle.
A bunch of “at risk” ragged hearted teens, a messed up alcoholic woman all making magic by sharing our past shames, challenges, joys and hopes.
On Tuesday there was magic made in that room…..
On the chance that these fabulous kids are reading this one day, thank you.
Thank you for your time and your hearts, I appreciate you exactly as you are!!
AA Daily Reflections ~PRINCIPLES, NOT PERSONALITIES ~December 22, 2011
That person over there, or the one right here, may be the one God has chosen to give me the message I need for today. I must always remember to place principles above personalities.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)
Do NOT Play this video if you’re offended by swearing.