|Photo Courtesy of FabForgottenNobility|
This is the place where I hope to allow my vulnerability a place to shine. A place for uncertainty that leads to strength. Where risk taking leads to empowerment. Where emotional exposure does not shut me down, but lifts me up. And in doing this, I hope to help you to do the same.
In this life, we walk together, sometimes more closely that we are comfortable, sometimes so distantly to barely touch souls. Baring our hearts is never easy, but unless we can come to grips with what tears us apart, we can never find the place inside of us that makes us whole.
I chose the awesome name for this blog based on a book I am currently reading, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. If you are not familiar with Brene's work, I invite you to learn more about her by visiting her incredible world, which you can find here. Daring Greatly starts out by quoting a powerful speech by Theodore Roosevelt, "The Man in the Arena" and speaks of the importance of getting involved in life and trying your best, and that it is not the critic who counts, but the man in the arena who is struggling to keep it together and make it out alive. It's he/she/(the mom) who counts.
As I write this today, December 29, 2012, (my youngest brother's 40th birthday! Happy Birthday, Steve!) we are nearing the end of a very important year for my family. A year that started out on the most desperate and horrible of notes, and after fighting greatly for the things I know to be right and true, we are emerging as a family on more solid ground, reconnecting in ways we never thought we could.
When I look back to Jan 2012, this is what I see... My 15 year old son addicted to drugs, desperately failing out of school, and suicidal. My 13 year old son dutifully following in his big brother's path, as they do. The relationship with my husband in precarious disarray. The frightful looming necessity to sell our home in order to find the money to care for our older son. My son's school calling CPS over the way they felt we were parenting our boys. The school serving us with a lawsuit to protect themselves against the rehabilitation our son was sure to need. Our insurance company refusing to pay for the care my son so desperately needed, to the tune of up to $15,000 per MONTH.
By the end of this year, my older son, in treatment for the past 10 months, is on his way towards recovery. We learned he has a microscopic seizure disorder in his brain that affects the way he acts and learns. He is on medication that allows his brain to make the necessary connections it needs so he can read, and so he can think before he acts. My younger son is settled in a new school, away from a nasty group of young addicts that both my boys called "friends." The lawsuit? We found success so we did not have to sell our beautiful home, even though we got a full price offer on it! And, that pesky insurance company? I reported them to the CA State Insurance Commissioner, so they had to cover my son's treatment, deemed "medically necessary." And, in a complete 180, the school district has invited me to be a part of a parent advisory council on finding ways to keep kids in our community off drugs. Wow...
Indeed, I have learned how challenging it is to be the one in the Arena, the Mom in the Arena, fighting greatly for her family. I did not know how I could face coming up short time and time again, but I did. I did not think I had the strength to overcome my angst, and face the fight I needed to fight, but I did. All I knew was that our family is worthy, and we are good, and we live life right and true. I asked for strength, and I found it. I tried to achieve, and was able. I am not out of the Arena yet, but I feel the hardest part of my fight might be behind me. I can respect how far we have come during this past desperate and painful year. It has humbled me greatly.
I invite you to walk with me as I continue to dare greatly. I hope you will find strength here to help you to dare greatly in your own world. For as we find strength individually, we can find strength in togetherness. I hope to help others as others have helped me, so feel free to ask me about anything I share in this space, and I will answer you as best I am able. Leave me a comment, or send me an email, and I promise to do what I can to lighten your way too. Be brave, friend!
Let's do this, ok??!