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A New Chapter

Updated: Jul 5

I just stepped away from W-2 employment, a status that I have held, mostly continuously, ever since I started working, almost 30 years ago. Part of me shudders even saying that number… wow. Almost 30 years. I almost can’t believe it myself. The last 10 plus years, at one agency, a community mental health agency with clients who have grown near and dear to my heart. Some clients I had to say goodbye to, were with me for those entire 10 plus years. The remaining, at least 4 years, or somewhere in between… it’s heavy and liberating at the same time…

The work that I have sown since those nearly 30 years ago, has seen me through so many stages, so many chapters, of my life. From a college student escaping the traumas of childhood to a wife working while reluctantly going back to school, to an ex-wife still struggling to survive demons while building a new family. Then a wife again, with a growing family. The one constant has been a sense of needing to at least work towards seeing justice served. In so many forms. Economic Justice. Community Justice. Personal Justice. Justice that doesn’t feel like “Just Us”. Through all of the stages and chapters, that has never wavered.

But here we are. I must say, taking this next step, I can count on one hand, the times that I have had to make a decision of this gravity. The gravity of it all. Each time I have had to make a decision such as this, through reflection, through the sense of knowing that I just had to follow the path being laid, I knew that my life wouldn’t be the same as it was before I made that decision. And still, make the decision I did. I had to.

How can I help people that I care for… my littles, my family, my friends, my clients… see the importance of self-care if I continue to burn at both ends myself? Through the tears that many of us shed, through all of the uncertainty for more than a few involved, I do hope that most, if not all, can understand. Even when it took me so long to come to that understanding myself. It was time…

One hope that I have for this major transition in my life is that I have enough time to exhale. Really exhale. Exhale to the point that I can than breathe more life into forging ahead with the next chapters coming. And while part of me is admittedly anxious (nothing new there, haha) about the pockets of time I may have, and filling them up, as I have been conditioned to do, a larger part of me knows that I need those pockets of time in my life, at this stage of my life. And I don’t need to be so ready to fill those pockets up! Albeit, the only empty pockets I need in my life are those pockets of time… but anyways…

Onto the next chapter!

Which for all who don’t know by now, including the lurkers- here’s looking at you!- mainly consists of building up my private practice, Boundary Span, LLC (check it out further at!) It may even include a return to adjunct teaching at the college or grad school levels. What it will surely include, is more time for rest. Like, real rest. I need that at this stage in my life. (I’m a social worker y’all, I can’t help but to talk about life stages!!)

Yet, even with the planned rest, something that… ahem, I am not exactly used to, I’m working harder now than I have EVER worked in my life. I owe it to myself, and to all those who I pour into, and pour into me, to live and to love even harder too. Stay tuned!!

Annette Deigh, MSW, LCSW

Boundary Span, LLC

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