In my recovery from enabling, without a doubt the hardest action to me to take, the hardest thing for me to do...is nothing. You see, I am the oldest child. I am the oldest of four. My little sister was sick all of her life. From the time I was six years old, I was asked to step up. My childhood was basically over. I was my mother's helper. I was a doer. I learned that what it takes in this world to be valued is to do something. To accomplish something. To take action. For all of my life, I have prided myself on my ability to make decisions. I can describe my process to you and have described it many times to people over the years: You have a problem. You survey the possible solutions, doing your good homework, you make a decision, and you take action. Simple. Right? Just do it. It's a clear step by step model. It works in business, it works in volunteer work, it works as a mother running a household. It's the American way. It's the get-it-done way. And get it done is what we want, right? Let's get it done. Until I met alcoholism and drug addiction. Nine years ago, I realized---found out---my husband at the time was an alcoholic. I had no idea. I know that sounds actually stupid, even disingenuous, but he was extremely high-functioning, an infrequent binge drinker, and he hid a lot of the drinking from me. Until I found out. I was in his face 24/7. He was going to stop, and stop NOW. We had knock down, drag out arguments. We said terrible things to each other. He did dramatic things, like take all of the alcohol door to our neighbor's house and say there would no longer be any alcohol in this house. If I can't drink, you can't drink. He drove the car to Atlanta at 100 miles an hour with me screaming stop this car now. It's a wonder we aren't dead. We were both crazy. I was going to make him stop and he wasn't an alcoholic. Then came Al-Anon, and I got a little better, but only a little. I stopped going after 18 months. You see, I am a very stubborn person. I didn't know how to stop doing what I had been doing all of my life, and I quite frankly, didn't want to stop. Because it worked in every other area of my life, and I got tremendous accolades from "getting it done." Getting it done was WHO I WAS. Until drug addiction with my son. I guess my HIgher Power saw it all coming. Not that he orchestrated, but he could see the road ahead. He could see the dramatic collision that was coming. Not my son's self-destruction. Mine. I had to learn how to be a different kind of person. I am still learning how to do that. It will take the rest of my life. I am learning how to stop. When you first start learning how to stop, it feels awful. Terrible. Miserable. You almost can't stand it. Because there is a huge, huge void that appears---where all of the "get it done" once was. That huge void feels very very uncomfortable, almost unbearable. It is a physical, sick, anxious feeling. At first, it feels so awful that you just go back to the tried and true, the "get it done." But you find out once again that doesn't work. So back to the void. Try it again. And if there is a system you have built---a strong support system---inch by inch you start to---even for just a few seconds---you start to glimpse the incredible peace that exists in the void. The relief. The incredible relief. You don't have to be in charge. You don't have to fix other people. You don't have to solve all of the problems. You don't have to have it all on your back, you capable person, you, just because you can see what needs to happen, YOU KNOW what needs to happen, but....you can't make it happen. You can actually let go. You can say I don't know and mean it. You can be silent. It's an on-your-knees experience. It is a flat-on-your-face experience. But unlike despair and grief and deep pain, there is redemption in this kind of humility. There starts to be a yearning for more of it. And more and more. The glimpses are so wonderful, that it starts to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You start to be willing to spend more time on it, because it is amazing. Learning how to do nothing is a journey. A long, hard journey. I believe it is the journey to true maturity and true peace and true respect for other people. I wish this journey for all of us, because I believe it is the only true path that leads to good things for all of us. For our difficult children and for us. Two friends and I met earlier this year. One had read the book, One Word. She challenged us to adopt One Word for our lives for this year. Mine is silence. I looked at a lot of other words, but I chose silence. It will be the biggest challenge of my life, to see and to understand when silence is the answer. And then to practice it. Holding you all close with this wish today.