Sunday, May 15, 2011

Character Defects Turned over to my HP = Doing the Next Right Thing

Over the weekend, while at my oldest son's baseball tournament, I was faced with a situation that could have been handled in two different ways - the "old Annette way" or the "new Annette way". I'll try to keep the story as brief as possible. A mom from the opposing team was angry that her son's team was losing by many runs against our team. The electronic field scoreboards were not working at the park, so I had brought my manual scoreboard that fits into the backstop fence so our fans would know what the score was. Every time we scored a run I had to manually flip the numbers and got to talking and was behind on flipping like 5 runs. I began to flip to get it to the correct score and this mom from the other team starts yelling at me "Yea sweetie - you just keep flippin that fricken score some more!", I in turn said (not yelled), "what would you do if the actual field scoreboard was working?, attack it?"...from there she yells to me "Bring It!!!!". Here's where the "old Annette way" would have kicked in full of vengefulness and hostility - I basically would have gone over there and kicked her ass up one side and down the other and would have probably been thrown out of the park. .........However, the "new Annette way" kicked in almost immediately - I kept my mouth shut and my butt parked in my chair and ignored her for the rest of the game. She made another comment loudly after the game was over and we had won that she "wished she could take care of me in the parking lot". Again - ignored her completely.

I went home and had a wonderful evening with my family eating pizza and watching movies. Before bed, I got on my knees for my nightly prayers, and the 1st thing I prayed for was that woman/mom at the ballpark......I prayed that God would put some love in her heart and show her that she was probably upsetting her son and his teammates; I prayed that God would give her the patience to continue sitting through the rest of her son's games for the weekend without so much anger and hostility; I asked God to rewind the days events for her and replay for her what she looked like out there in the stands at a 14 yr olds baseball game.

I went to sleep with no anger, hostility or resentments towards this woman - only good thoughts. I got to the game this morning and low & behold, who are we playing but that same team. My 1st thought was "great, now I'm gonna have to majorly control myself again today and I don't know that I can put up with this woman's crap for another entire game".

But I was pleasantly surprised....when I got to the game this morning, that same woman came over and apologized for her behavior yesterday and told us how embarassed and upset she was with herself for acting like that towards us. It was a heartfelt apology that was graciously accepted by us.

My point in sharing this story is this: Instead of getting all fired up, angry, hostile, vengeful and physical, I chose to follow the suggestions from my recovery program....I realized that this woman was spiritually (and possibly mentally) sick. Instead of feeding into her crazy drama, I chose to pray for her instead and avoid further retaliation and arguments. I thought of a passage from my BB that says, "....a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while........For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit." So I did just what was suggested by my recovery program....I didn't allow myself to retaliate in a negative way back at this woman, I didn't harbor a deep resentment all night regarding her actions, instead, enjoyed a quiet & peaceful evening with my husband and boys and prayed that God would guide this woman and show her His will for her instead of her running riot on her own self-will..............And it all worked out very pleasantly.

I choose recovery & sobriety today because my life is so much better with it......I'm so glad I did the next right thing instead of kicking her ass and thinking about the consequences later when my entire family and our team would be totally pissed at me.

Living sober is good......and so is God!



  1. you know Annette, this is a "life happens" post. This is the kind of thing we have to face everyday. We have to face it and rise above it and like you said, do the right thing!!

    The longer I work the steps and have sobriety, the further I am away from being the crazy nut at the baseball field. NOT that I WOULDN'T want to be the crazy person, but I am sober and I KNOW BETTER & expect more from myself. I think you showed a lot of restraint, but isn't it funny when you actually pray for someone else what comes of it. Without you reacting to her poor behavior, she had to look at herself that night when she realized she couldn't get a rise out of you. She knew she would have to face you again and knew you wouldn't go to that level.

    Way to go for not getting down that low, I give you a lot of credit!!!

    Hope everyone is doing well!!

  2. Thanks doggielover!.....I never realized how good it feels to do the next right thing instead of run riot on my own self-will.....I definitely look forward to doing it again :)

  3. Way to go Annette. It's amazing how simplier our lives can be when we work the program into our daily lives. Agree?

  4. Cinoda - I agree 150%! It really does work if you work it!

    Hope everyone had a great weekend! I know I did - lots of baseball and the boys brought home another trophy!!!

  5. Dear Annette,
    Why not make it easier on yourself by just sending love & light without judging and or supposing that this woman in the ballpark was spiritually/mentally ill?
    You even ask God to set her straight in a certain way?

    You mean well but ... why don't you get out of people's sight on God but only noticing the difference and let him do The Work?

  6. You know Annette I actually love this post. I am a single mom of 4 kids that all play sports. I have witnessed these kinds of confrontations repeatedly. I even heard one lady ask another if she needed to go to the car and get her gun. Incredible! I hve learned through my fairly new walk with God to pray for the people that you find "difficult" and it is amazing what happens! I have followed this blog for about a year and a half, never posted before, but until about a month ago I read it every single day. I quit reading because of posts like from anonymous above. With all of the negative aspects in the world, why be negative on here? It seems as if more and more often people post on here and are kind of dogging someone out or make negative comments. It was a real downer for me so I stopped reading. We are all looking for a little hope and happiness, and we have enough crap in everyday life. And who is anonymous to tell you how to pray to God? Jesus died for us so that we can have a PERSONAL relationship with know the kind of relationship where you can pray however you want. There is no right or wrong way. Thanks Annette and Emily for the things you post!

  7. Anonymous 11:18pm
    Im going to put it out there...Its simple...God is busy and sometimes needs a little proding. Annette didnt walk up to this woman with her bible and ask for her to come pray with her!!She asked God to check in with this woman who was having a bad go of things. This is just my opinion but in all honesty if you check back on older posts, you were asked if you were drinking (only because someone cared)if youre hitting the hooch while your typing (love& light)you might want to wait till day break.

  8. Anonymous 11:18 - I seriously worry about your negativity and lack of optimism in your seem to be in a very dark place and I pray that your HP (what or whomever that may be) can give you the strength to life you out of it and put love in your heart and bless the words that come out of your mouth, as well as the words that you type. I was not trying to have God put this woman in her place and I certainly was not judging her - trust me, there was no judging necessary - she was completely out of line and out of control and EVERYONE on both teams noticed it i.e., it was extremely evident. I prayed FOR HER.......NOT TO HER - big difference. And the reason I did so was that maybe no one else could overlook their anger towards her and turn the other cheek and pray to God that he show her love, hope and optimism. Maybe your idea of what is appropriate behavior from a parent at her son's 14 yr old baseball game is different than mine, and that's ok, but I forgot to mention that a referee that was on break watching our game even told her very firmly that if she didn't keep her mouth shut, she would be removed from the park......hmmmmm...that is an indication to me that her behavior is not appropriate at all - but I didn't need a ref to tell me she was being inappropriate - it was obvious to all.

    Anon 11:18, I truly hope you find SOMETHING that can bring a smile to your face and some positive things to comment about - you can continue with your negativity on here all you want (those are your personal thoughts & opinions), however, the negative comments will not end my posts and/or comments and will not affect my life in any way, shape or form....I'll just continue to pray for you and hope to someday see a miracle from God as I saw this past weekend with the irate woman.

    Happy Tuesday to everyone and I appreciate the 2 posts following Anon 11:18 - I'm happy to see that SOME know what I'm talkin about and have dealt with similar situations in the past.

  9. Annonoymous 11:18

    This is a positive, supportive site. These are the people who have helped me get sober, stay sober and get me through some of the toughest things in life. I am disappointed that YOUR constant negativity has turned off someone who comes to this blog on a regular basis. That is a shame. Can’t you just keep your negative comments to yourself? Don’t you realize that there are a lot of people in this world that are hurting and reading this blog. They have so much negativity in their own world that they try to escape to a safe haven? We are all alcoholics here who HELP & SUPPORT each other in a positive and loving way. There is NO room on this blog to attack, be petty or nasty to ANYONE who posts.

    Annette uses the same recovery group that I do, in this group it teaches you to pray for others because they may be spiritually sick., it teaches you if you pray for others that they will feel love and act in a more positive way. I will pray for you because right now you are acting spiritually sick and I hope that you will see that lashing out at people that are just here to help is not the way to go. In my recovery group I would suggest to someone acting like this to maybe work on looking at where they are getting their resentments from.

    If you are having a hard time with alcohol and need us, we are here for you, we are ALL sick; we all need support and love. But if you are here to just criticize and be hurtful, PLEASE stop posting your mean spirited posts. People can disagree on a blog, that is for sure, we all have free will, but don’t just attack someone without due cause.

    Love & Light!

  10. Anon 4:04 - I know where you're comin from about the not needing any more negativity to add to our daily lives, but keep comin back to the blog.....I can almost guarantee more hope, love and optimistic posts/comments will override the negative - for the most part, I think this is a terrific group of readers/commenters :) We just have to remember that we are all in very different places in our sobriety and unfortunately, some are still in that extremely dark place of indecision as to whether or not they will become willing and let God take the wheel. And we all know that we have to make that move very independently - no one can make that move for someone else. All we can do is pray for those that haven't yet become willing to take action.

    AND....I'm sooooo glad to hear from another mom of athletes - WOW! glad she didn't threaten to get a gun for me this weekend - that's really scary! Wanted to keep it brief in my original post, but she did say very loudly as she passed me when leaving the ballpark that "maybe she should meet me out in the parking lot....I know I could take her"....hmmmm, that doesn't sound very positive or sane to me either - she definitely needed some prayers :) Hope to hear more from you in the future Anon - loved what you had to say!

  11. Anon 4:13 - Love your insight and post! Thx for your understanding & support :)

    FYI - I'm fairly sure that if I would have walked up to that woman with a Bible in hand and asked her to pray with me, she would have gotten physical with me....and I'm not talkin bout getting on her knees and praying with me :)

  12. I received this in my daily emails and thought I would share - I think it speaks for itself:

    We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength.
    The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would
    have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear.

    Alcoholics Anonymous © Copyright 2009 Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., page 68

  13. Hi, Annette --

    I don't always comment, but I do always appreciate your posts. You always give me something to think about. Thank you --


  14. Montana, I hope you are doing well, so glad you posted!!

  15. Thanks, Doggielover. You -- along with Annette, Emily, Randy (whose posts I miss!) -- are an inspiration to me.