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







Friday, May 6, 2016

Speaking Out

Sometimes I can't believe we have come so far. Every day he strives to be better than yesterday. He makes me so proud. He just spoke at a benefit on April 27th and my husband and I could not be prouder. He spoke so eloquently with honesty and with heart. I hope his message resonated with someone. Allen has always told me that he hopes one day he will be able to speak about addiction and recovery freely and help others who are battling addiction. Well , last night he got that opportunity and he nailed it.

It's not an easy thing telling the world about something so personal. But knowing what I know now, hearing stories like this would have helped me in his early years of addiction. I think had he seen someone like this at the time he started in his addiction maybe it would have made him think to himself... this might be me someday? Awareness is everything! The more we know about addiction the more we can fight this and maybe prevent the many tragic deaths. It's time we all start speaking out, let our voices be heard, our tears be seen. It's the hush-hush mentality that's killing them.




Here's to the next journey in your life my darling. Daddy and I love you so very much.




Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Shame On You SNL

SNL, what where you thinking? I get that all is far in the comedy world however seeing how your very owe people died from drug overdoses one would think you would be a little more careful when making fun of drug addiction. - Ana Counts

Story on CNN

"I would think after the loss of John Belushi, Chris Farley and other beloved members of your cast that you would have realized that heroin addiction is about as funny as genocide, but judging by your show last night I'd have to say, apparently not," said Maureen Cavanagh, the founder of Magnolia New Beginnings, a support group which helps people find treatment and comforts families coping with the loss of a loved one from drug addiction.

"You have just attempted to make a serious health epidemic into a joke and it is nothing less than disgusting. Apologize and make it right," she wrote on her group's Facebook page. - 
Maureen Cavanagh


Tom Farley Jr., Chris Farley's brother and author of "The Chris Farley Show," took to Twitter to say he was "pretty bummed" by the sketch and was upset because it came from people he said he loves. - Tom Farley Jr



I'm so sick of society overlooking this epidemic. It's NOT A JOKE, it's not a joke to me and to the thousands who suffer from addiction and the thousands of families who suffer alongside their addicts. You disgust me!

Ana Counts
Mother





Friday, April 8, 2016

On The Bright Side

I saw my monkey yesterday... he moved out of his sober living home and moved in with two really solid friends he met in recovery. 2 months of rehabilitation, 7 solid months in Casa Milagra sober living community and on the 10th of April he will have 9 months of sobriety. If only you could see me smiling.

As he was standing there I couldn't help but notice that he looks so darn healthy now. He went from 115 pounds to 155 pounds from pail, frail and thin to glowing, strong and muscular. Thank you God... I don't know what you have planned for him but it has to be something good.

    BEFORE
  


   AFTER




Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Liver... he may have an issue

Allen has been doing so well in his recovery. He's been very disciplined in getting healthy. In fact he made a doctor appointment to get a complete physical including blood work. Last week he got the results of his blood work and his liver count is high. They advised him to stop drinking... but he's been sober for almost 9 months and prior to that his DOC was heroin not alcohol. When he told the doctor that he doesn't drink and has been sober for 9 months the doctor told him he wanted to re-test him next week. MY heart starts to pound and worry floods my mind. I can't help it, I'm his mama and having done tons of research while he was using I knew one of the long term side effects of heroin use is "Liver and kidney disease". I know it's in Gods hands, let go and let God but praying keeps my mind at ease. Please keep him in your prays too... thanks!


Everything WILL be alright!