Going home

I am home. 

I struggled badly last week as we prepared to leave calgary. I had created a nice, familiar bubble there. I had lovely yoga community. I could walk to work. I had met some new friends. I was so enjoying the amenities of living downtown in a big city. I felt safe, and far away from fires and destruction. 

Every time I thought about leaving I cried. Tears that felt like loss, but were really fear of change, and sadness for having to leave some wonderful people. It scared me, I don’t cry a lot, but I reached out for support from my sober warriors and my therapist and I knew I would be ok.it is ok to miss people and places. It is ok to cry. Just keep taking the next step.

As much as I wanted to stay and avoid more change, we needed to go back. The kids desperately missed their friends. Work wanted me back In my usual office. Our house wasempty.

I considered not leaving for another month. But I took a deep breath and looked around and really saw the truth of our situation in calgary – I was living on a mattress in a beautiful condo that isn’t mine. This wasn’t a permanent solution. I hadn’t chosen to move. I had just ended up there.

At the same time, I had created all the supports I need to be secure and happy during a time of real distress and I realized that isn’t because of where I am, it’s because of me. I know what I need.

So we packed up all our stuff and drove half way to Edmonton. Spent a couple days with old friends checking out the science centre, playing Pokemon go (I’m level 13!) and seeing Chris Cornell in concert. It was mellow – he sings his Soundgarden and Audioslave songs, but in a acoustic format with a cello accompanying. It was lovely.

And then on Sunday we drove home. 

There is evidence of the big fire, but, more, there is bright green regrowth. This is the natural life cycle of the boreal forest.

And our house. After the initial shock of its cluttered messiness (all normal) I settled in. I was home. 

My son told me yesterday that Sunday night was the best sleep he had had since we left. My daughter told me she was not leaving her room for a day, she was surrounding herself with her favourite toys, etc. Hearing their happiness to be home filled my heart.

I feel like today is may 4 and the past few months were a dream. It’s odd, but not as disorienting as it sounds. I expect it will take a bit for that to fade.

Since May 3 there have been many times that I railed against the situation and cried why me? Why us? Life was nice before. Why did this have to happen?

There is no why. It just is. And accepting that is part of my liberation from suffering.

Like getting sober, or dealing with depression, or losing a loved one, or a flooded basement, or start bucks getting your order wrong, this was another opportunity to get to know myself better and to grow. 

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts, prayers and love. Knowing you were with me gave me unending strength.

Stillness and peace


34 thoughts on “Going home

  1. It’s great you learned that you can create a home for yourself anywhere – even back home! I’m glad it worked out and that your kids are happy. That’s always the best, isn’t it?

  2. I always love reading your posts and often think how together you sound even in times of great stress. You are able to think on and reflect about the situation and put that so clearly. I am delighted that you are back safe. You had your own little visit to Oz but like Dorothy says “There’s no place like home” Enjoy some re-nesting time in your home.

  3. I’m so glad you’re home. And getting a taste of city life might give you some ideas of what to do/where to go when ’empty nest’ hits years down the road. Life creates different, meaningful adventures.

  4. Oh Anne….

    the grace and sense of both humor and adventure you have displayed during all of this is so beautiful. I know it wasn’t funny or an adventure, but you turned every problem into a positive…found a yoga community, saw rock bands like a boss, took care of your kids, stayed SANE! really, i have just so much admiration for you and am so glad you are here and sober and sharing this with others….because the stuff we go thru sober is astounding, and your witnessing to that is so helpful to others.
    what a story, and what grace in living it.

  5. I’m so happy that you and your family are home and safe. It’s such a lesson that wherever we go, we can create a home. It may not be ideal or the best of circumstances, but we-as humans-have the ability to adapt. And, you totally created a new home in Calgary-new roots to blend with the old. Your story throughout has been such an example of how we can be forced to make changes in our lives-without wanting them-but not only adapt but create a whole new, beautiful experience. I think the fear you felt in leaving your “new life” was also real and symbolic in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  6. I think it’s so wonderful that you had managed to set yourself up a community and place you felt comfortable to live in. But I’m glad you’re home. Not quite an adventure you would ever ever have wished for but my god what an adventure where you came out top. Great to hear how happy your kids are and ultimately that you’re all safe and sound and going forward X

  7. Thank you for sharing Anne. I’m so happy that you and your family are finally back home. It must have felt surreal at first, but hopefully you are settling in again. Your strength is inspirational. A x

  8. I was secretly hoping you’d decide to stay in Calgary so we could visit all the time, but my selfish wishes evaporated into a puff of happy relief for you as I read this post. I can just picture your kids nestling back in – the best. There’s no place like home, truly.

  9. I agree Jean, a little part of me was hoping Anne would stay as well. Heartwarming part about your kids Anne; teens have their “bubbles” too and it is usually their bedroom with all their special things and their own space. It will be nice for you all to settle back in.

  10. I second mishedup’s comment above. We only get a tiny glimpse into your life through what you share on your blog, but even from that little peek, it’s evident that this entire experience is traumatic and also that you are astoundingly resilient. Even in the midst of your struggle, you still inspire and encourage others. I am imagining the new, green growth and it creates a lovely picture in my mind. Glad you are safe, Anne. Sending much love to you during this transition.

  11. Hi Anne, I hope you are settling in back in your home. I guess soon it will feel like you never left. I used to love Soundgarded, acoustic sounds great! Seems the world is hooked on Pokemon go. I don’t even know what it is? Wishing you the best during your transition back home. PDTG x

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