Tuesday, January 30, 2018

It's Been 10 Weeks

I have been retreating for a while now and taking time to heal. Yes my heart has been broken for some time now, I just didn't know what to do about it. It's been sitting there in my chest just leaking sorrow until one day out of know where it just hemorrhaged... That was unexpected. I guess I just tucked away all that deep seeded sadness and anger, hurt and fear from all those years my son was an addict, from fighting with my husband about nothing and fighting with my depression. Now that I think about it I never really dealt with any of it I just adapted to every situation and moved on. Having that kind of devastation, heart ache, soul crushing, pure raw sluggish dripping yucky sadness slowly seeping through my body like lava type of emotions was... has been damaging over the years. I never looked at it! I just wanted to keep moving forward but my that's not how my body works. I had a nervous breakdown!

It's been 10 weeks of intense therapy and a lot of self care to get me to a good place. I'm not so angry anymore and I don't fall apart like I use to, and I can finally sleep normal. I'm much happier and stronger today! I recommend self care to everyone! Please don't be afraid to step up and say I need help with my mental health. There's nothing wrong with that. When you've gone through hell and back you tend to came back with scares. Take care of your metal health! You are going to get people who think your either faking it or seeking attention. The Doctors, therapist and psychiatrist  are ALOT smarter than they are I promise. Some friends or family might even say you are crazy, but you know your not. You have to stop caring about what everyone thinks! Just care about you and your inner circle.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Wings Of Hope

Hi Everyone!! I found new direction to Wings Of Hope! Back to the mission! I'm not giving up!! Stay turned! Check it out... www.wingsofhope914.com

I wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! May God bless you in 2018!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Letter To My 16 Year Old Self

Letter To My 16 Year Old Self: Dear Me

I AM YOU Ana, We are 46 years old writing this letter in 2017. 30 years from now! Knowing I'm writing this to myself at 16 is hard because I have so many things I want to say. Let's first take a deep breath because I know now that we suffer from anxiety and you are not crazy. It's OK, many people suffer from this and you are not alone. I promise!

I know you feel so many things right now including shame and resentment. You have a lot on your heart. But that will pass in time. Forgive your parents and forgive your brother, they don't know any better, raising a son with addiction is confusing and scary and during this time and age there is no help for those who suffer from addiction, no one talks about it and there is a stigma attached to it. Your parent's hearts are broken and your brother is confused as to why he feels this way. You will see how important this is later in life.

You will have two beautiful boys in your lifetime. Both boys will be born strong and healthy and smart. But as they get older one will take a turn for the worse like your brother did and your life will drastically change. You will go through a living hell, a sadness like no other, a sadness like nothing you've felt before and you will lose yourself to this sadness for many years.

But before things get better your baby boy will suffer greatly and he will walk the line between life and death. I won't sugar coast things for you it's going to be a rough ride so prepare yourself. You will be watching your son slowly drift away to heroin and it will take his soul and it will feel like you are morning the death over a son who is still alive. You will fight for him and loose time after time and you will see things you can't unsee and go through things you never thought you would go through as a mother. In addition, you will lose someone (Mariah) who was close to you and your son during this time. You loved her but hated the addict! It will alter your life forever. It will change you and shape you into a different person and this pain will create scars and this loss that will last a lifetime. You will struggle to come to grip with all of it. You have never experience this kind of loss and this kind of grief and it will knock you to the ground. (deep breath) Time will stand still and your heart will ache in places you didn't know existed. The pain from the past will surface, you will have so much sorrow, regret, anger, sadness, pain, grief and heartache bottled up inside you from everything you've gone through that it will cause you to have a nervous breakdown, a legitimate nervous breakdown. You will lay on your couch for days and lose track of time, your heath will fade and won't even care, death doesn't scare you,  you just want this pain to end. You will see and learn a lot about yourself during this time. You will later be diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder.

Be kind to yourself. You fought the good fight and you tried every trick in the book, you even tried to learn about addiction to better your understanding of it. But addiction is baffling and no one will ever fully understand it; so forgive yourself Ana. Life is so unfair and so beautiful all at the same time. (wipe away my tears) But you have to believe in something greater than this otherwise life will have no meaning to you. Keep your faith in God! It will help you get through it. He put you on this earth to learn and to live a free life; so, live it!! You will make good and lifelong friend during these dark days. There's always a little light peeking through the dark somewhere; you just have to look.

Live your life with purpose! I know things seem grey and bleak but you will be OK and your life will be good. Enjoy being young, getting older comes with a lot of good and bad just like it does being young except being older means you have to figure things out for yourself.

PS: Love yourself and Embrace the change! Healing begins once you get the answers to the questions in you mind and in you heart! Don't forget to talk to Rosa!! Trust me on this one!!

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Sometimes a memory comes back to me like a thief stealing my happiness for a short time. Sometimes those memories are triggered by a song, a smell, season. It can remind me of a particular moment in time... some are good and some are bad.

It's the start of Fall. Fall will forever remind me of Mariah. I first met Mariah in the Fall, she loved the Fall and Mariah killed her self in the fall. Bitter sweet!
 Out here in the desert Fall doesn't just happen once the month changes to September or October it slowly creeps to a crawling cool temp during these months. It's that moment when you wake up one morning and you go outside around 5am to drink your cup of coffee, as soon as you open the door and feel that cool clean air hit your skin you know it's Fall. As soon as that cool air hits me I feel goose bumps on the small of my neck and all down my arms and then my legs. I close my eyes and smile take a deep breath and bask in the moment. I go to sit down in my favorite spot in a cozy chair full of pillows under my favorite tree (it's beautiful) next to our concrete grill. Under the tree is a water fountain with two little chubs on top, at the base of the fountain are pots of random plants. I love the feel of being in a garden. My back yard however is nice but nowhere near a lush full garden YET!! (giggle)
But that little spot under my favorite tree is my ZEN area. It's where I use to go to be by myself. I would sit there for hours thinking and crying for Allen and Mariah. Most of my memories where when they where heavily addicted to heroin. When I would go outside I would feel closer to God underneath my tree and I still do. I use to look up and stare at the leaves swaying in the breeze, as the sunlight would peeked through the leafs and the swaying branches I would often wonder if God was looking down at me and listening. I still do go outside almost every morning and drink my coffee except now I can hear the birds singing, kids at the bus stop talking and laughing and cars driving by. Because for all those years my son was addicted I could not hear a thing when I would sit outside, It was dead silent. Nothing; not the birds chirruping or the wind blowing my wind chimes or cars on the freeway down the street or the sound of the trains horn in the distance, not even the kids at the bus stop... I use to hear nothing and I would just sit there staring at nothing lost in all my thoughts that where swarming in my head. Nowadays, things are so different. I have my son back. He's a full member of society working at job he loves. My other son just moved out and is attending ASU and my husband and I are empty nesters.

MY CRAZY LIFE! But I'm still here... one day at a time.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hi Everyone!!

It's been a while since I wrote in my blog! Hi everyone! I'm sorry for going away for a while, let's get caught up! I'll be updating regularly now.

Currently I am not working. Although I loved my last job, it was not meant for long term. I was good at my last job, especially in the beginning. I loved it!! I would wake up everyday happy about going to work and who I was going to work with... I mean how lucky was I? For the first time in a long time a little piece of pure GOOD found me?! I savored each moment, taking it in with gratitude. At the time while working there Al was still very sick in his addiction, however also during this timeline Allen found recovery but sadly we lost Mariah. My life was ciaos (I'm keeping it real) within those two years working there things got busier because the company grew. I found the more work I took on the more I couldn't handle the work load. I blame my stroke, I was never the same afterwards. The worse part, my boss was a friend and whether she meant it or not she was pushing me out. I knew her prior to working there, her daughter and my son Al went to high school around the same time so she knew my situation when she hired me. She knew my heartache and my struggles, she was a trooper at first and put up with my disheveled life. (I can giggle about this now) She dealt with alot and I am grateful for that! Working there with her was a blessing. I'm forever grateful to God for placing everything he gave me in my life around that time because it helped me get through some pretty tough times. I resigned. (heavy heart) I couldn't perform as needed. It was a huge disappointment for me, only because for the first time in years I found something that was just for me that gave me pride but sadly I had to let it go. But I'm ok with that now!

God has never shut one door without opening another for me. He has always shown me which way to go. So I know something will take its place, I just don't know what it is at this moment? haha! So as for now I babysit my great nephew three days a week. I'm very involved with a non-profit called Gina's Team. I'm on the board of directors and their new Secretary. Although I took a break from Wings Of Hope, I now have the time to do more recherche and try and figure out what it is God is calling me to do with it.  OH and I also was blessed to be able to take care of my mother in law all summer long in San Antonino, Texas while she was very ill recovering from a quadruple bypass. Had I been working she would've had no one close to her to help her, and trust me when I say it was a tough summer for her and her loved ones.

Al is over two years clean and sober!! (deep breath) He has had a few big disappointment lately. But he's grown so much spiritually that he's handles it well and was able to keep moving forward without interruption. He still struggles with day to day life things like how to manage his time and how to manage his money. (smiling) But he's trying to figure it out. I have to remind myself he's only been back in society for two years now, it's gonna take time. So my husband and I do our best to not hover over him and get all in his business. But we do pull him aside from time to time and have our talks with him about our concerns. Amazingly he listens and talks it out with us with grace. I just love him so much and I just can't get enough of him! His energy is so positive and his light is so bright and beautiful! He's finally opened up his heart to love again and I pray he finds someone who will help him grow. Mariah will always be apart of him as she is apart of me. We carry her in our heart!................... I miss her!

 My family is doing well and I have all I need. I no loner feel like I'm drowning in a abyss of deep water. (close my eyes and I take a deep breath) Instead I feel the water just above my ankles, it's cool to the touch and the water is crystal clear but there is current of water still out there so I just sit on the side with my feet dangling in. FOR NOW! I don't feel the need to tread the water these days! Thank you God, thank you so much!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

18 months

Al is currently 18 months clean and sober! Did you hear me?? Eighteen MONTHS clean and sober! As each day passes with Al in recovery and doing well, little bits and peaces of our pain gets chipped away. Time does in a way heal most wounds. Having our son back has healed our family and has brought peace and balance back into our lives. However there are places in your heart that need more time and care to heal. I'm finding that out these days.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Last Time I Saw You Alive

The last time I saw you alive, I wish I would've talked ugly to you; said put the straw down no I don't want to; take another line... I should be writing them. My friend you are a composer of music and magic instruct your limbs to serve a purpose greater than self indulgence. Do not be fooled into thinking you're pain has sharper teeth then anyone else's. I had a chance but said nothing because I was high; this is how I got started a bottle of Jack and a mirror memories and scissors... dreams drenched in ether slice by razors, potential roads like 20 dollar bills numbing the feeling on the tip of my tongue... that I and this tongue should be serving a greater purpose....

At a last ditch attempt at self-assessment I decided to look at my life in the eyes of love ones where they see everything especially the ugly... from years of drug use from lying with to lying to Angel's; friends I had forsake, taking so much more than I had given I had streamline self-centeredness into a science but there was righteousness there, a willingness to craft these ills to alchemy and poetry into a seer stone but honestly HOW could I speak ugly to you when I was yet to speak it to myself and in these nightmares in hindsight there is no poetry no alliteration to soften the blow; some realities have no simile. Truth is like truth... how can I form my lips to call your suicide a tragedy when I left you alone in that room, kept company by narcotics and 1000 ghosts draped in your disappointments. I can only imagine all the voices you heard all but mine, smear make up on it to disgust if you must; truth the truth is seldom pretty but she is always beautiful it is in times like these that I need you to please talk ugly to me my pain needs it too many times we caress sadness when it needs to be shaken torn from its place of comfort, forced to grow wings to survive or die; don't just tell me I can go up and be whatever I want to... tell me that whatever I want better be something I am willing to achieve that dreams will dissipate under the weight of addiction and that there is a distinct difference between living like a rockstar and actually being one.

Sometimes all you are when you wake up one day is a coke head and a poser. Fear not we are all divinely flawed individual's perfectly ugly; there's no point in hiding behind pretty lies we are the sum of the hideous scars that hold together the remainder of all pretty pieces. The last time I saw you alive, the last time I saw you alive... the last time I saw you alive I wish I would of talked ugly to you it would've been the most beautiful thing I never said. - POEM BY Joseph Green

Friday, November 11, 2016

I Can't Remember Shit

So much is going on these days. I find myself busy, very busy. I'm struggling personally right now. My head filled with so my thoughts. They just keep rolling like a digital sign that never stops.  I wish I could fix my brain. Ever since my stroke I don't feel, look or THINK the same. If frustrates me to no end. It's funny... the things I wish I could forget seems to stick around in my head like a magnet and the things I need to remember drift aways as soon as it enters. Good memories lost, things happening right today, gone. I can't remember shit!! You have no idea how this makes me feel!

Depression seems to be getting stronger. I'm not sure if that's because I'm dealing with the side effects of my stroke and it's depressing me even more or if I'm just a fucked up in the head person! The damage from the past lingers and won't go away!! GO AWAY please, just leave me BE so I can find rest! I just don't like myself right now.

My son is doing amazing! He's still clean and sober and that's the only thing keeping me sane. Thank you Lord for sparing my son. His life is evolving and he's finding himself FINALLY! He's been dating an old friend of his from high school. I adore her, she's such a blessing. Sometimes I feel guilty about moving on, I think to myself; what about Mariah would she think? I wish I could tell her we will never fully move on from losing her. But we are going to pick up the pieces and keep going.

Friday, August 26, 2016

I Even Listen To My Fears

Since her death I’ve been on a mission to build something in honor of her struggle. I can’t explain the sorrow that lives in my heart. The pain has simmered down to a low boil, but it never goes away entirely. Her name comes up a lot. Her memory still lives inside us. For me that's the hardest part, living with her memory; it haunts me. There are some days when she is ever so present. A song or and scent even her favorite quotes pop up out of nowhere. She has forever changed my life. Life is different now, and it has whole new meaning for me.

I keep her picture in my house and at work. It's a reminder of her time here with us and a reminder for me to never forget what she taught me.

Since starting Wings Of Hope her story has opened up so many doors. But every time I take a few steps forward it seems like I keep getting road blocks. All I want to do is help and spread awareness. It’s exhausting mentality and physically. Help is few and far between when it comes to addiction. And at times it frustrates me to no end. I do feel like I’m heading in the right direction, although there are so many challenges I just can't stop! I feel a calling deep in my gut it yearns to be heard. This calling lingers in my soul and won't stay quiet it wants to be freed. So here I sit anxiously awaiting the next move. Every chance I get to tell people about Mariah and Allen I do. I feel I have an obligation to speak out about this. Our struggle is like so many others out there, needing to be heard. 

I don't know where this road will take me but I will keep walking down it until God tells me to stop. Right now in this very moment, I'm at peace. I try not to worry about tomorrow. I try not to guess what's around the corner. I do my best to lift my hands to God and say "I give it all to you"! Let go and let God guide me. So I sit and listen, I close my eyes and take refuge in the silence. I pay close attention to all signs life gives, I even listen to my fears. There's always a message floating in the air traveling between our conscious and subconscious and if you can drown out the mumbling of the world you can and YOU will hear God. He's always talking to us. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Wings Of Hope

So I started Mia's Dream Team all on my own. It was a struggle to get the help that I needed to take this to were I wanted it be. It was frustrating me and at times it was down right discouraging.

One day after work I was driving home thinking about this non-profit I wanted to start in memory of Mariah and I was feeling overwhelmed. As I was driving over the loop 101 bridge going north on my home from work I had a conversation with God, I'm sure people driving next to me thought I was crazy because I was talking to myself but that's how sort things out in my head, I talk to God.  I said "God please guide me, I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing but I don't know what to do next". The next day I had reached out to my dear friends Mama Cathy and Heather. (Mother and daughter) We ended up having lunch and by the end of this lunch Wings of Hope was born. God had answered my prayers in a big way. I decided to change the name from Mia's Dream Team to Wings Of Hope. Before I knew it we had already planned and been approved to have a benefit in the main auditorium at our church. Started a fundraiser, and booked vendors. I know Mariah would be so proud of us.

Heather and Mama Cathy have been there for me, Allen and Mariah at the peek of their decline. It's been almost two years since they have walked along side me breathing life into me and giving hope to me and to my two addicted loves. It seems fitting that God would put us together on this project. I do believe he was shaping us the entire time.

I already filed for our LLC and once we earn enough funds I plan to file for our 501c. Wings of Hope founding board....

Ana M. Counts - Chief Executive Director
Cathy Clegg - Chief Development Director / Treasure
Allen Counts - Board Chair / Peer Commination / Speaker
Heather Massey - Vice Chair 1 / Head of Social Media / Secretary

Our mission: 

To spread awareness on the growing epidemic of addiction. Our goal is to walk alongside families of addicts, provide helpful resources and to provide essentials to those in recovery and eventually God willing, to be able to provide scholarships to those who need a little help getting into a treatment center.

What started out as one person building a library in memory of Mia turned into a crew building a non-profit. www.wingsofhope914.com