Punt and Kick



Punt: to kick (as a football or soccer ball) with the top of the foot before the ball which is dropped from the hands hits the ground.

This wasn’t what I saw, but this is nice!

It’s football season and if you’re from Pittsburgh, chances are you own something black and gold. Driving home from watching Penny the other day, I saw a black/gold car and couldn’t believe it at first. But then I realized- I can believe it- such is the way of the Pittsburgh Steeler pride around here.

Football reminds me of punting. And kicking. Especially when it comes to something challenging or upsetting. A good friend of mine posted on social media this morning. It was a distress call, a cry of pain. I messaged privately and asked what happened. The answer was- someone overdosed.

This is happening a lot around here (and I’m sure) in many other places. Drugs are mixed with other things, with tragic results. I bet if we all thought for a minute we could think of at least one or more persons who have lost their lives in the past year in this way. And it doesn’t have to be drugs. It can be a myriad of other things, including health issues.

How many things do we have control over? The answer- None. We only have control over ourselves (and sometimes we don’t have that either). We can set boundaries with other people with regards to what we are willing or not willing to do. But in the end we can only control ourselves.

If you’ve read my book, you know that I had to surrender when certain parts of my life became unmanageable. It was too difficult to keep fighting at times (and I am a fighter). I see no surrender lately in the political campaign. It makes me feel bad for the candidates when they can’t feel the beauty of tossing in the towel (at least not till later). 😉

So at every turn, they punt. And kick. And slander and beat the other up. I am watching posts on social media, choosing to hide the ones that make me judge others badly or make me not want to be friends with them. I heard something recently that as Christians, we need to be above all the mud slinging, just as Jesus was. He was a great example of peace. Ever been in a tug of war game? How hard did you try and win? Try laying down the rope and walking away. That was Jesus.

As tough as it is when we lose someone we love, I say this. Feel your feelings. Get all mushy in them, as if you are in a wonderful warm bath for hours and your skin gets all pruney and wrinkly. Then, get your football and go kick a few in the back yard (or where you can’t hurt anyone). When you’re tired and worn out, take a rest. After that, pull up your pants by the belt hooks and get back in there. There’s work to be done.

Philippians/4-13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.




Join me on my graceful journey.

16 Replies to “Punt and Kick”

  1. Great thoughts Joanne. When down and out, don’t give up. Much support needed in a lot of those areas you posted. Keep up the good work.

  2. As always, you have posted another thought provoking post. Daniel said something the other day that I thought was very profound and insightful…he said “We have a mental health problem disguised as a drug problem.”…and that is so true. If we could find a way to help these addicts to not self medicate, we might not lose so many! The problem is that we are so used to ‘instant’ fixes and many medications, like antidepressants, take days or weeks to work and drugs or alcohol gives an instant-but temporary- fix. Addicts will do anything to stop the emotional/mental or sometimes physical pain. I don’t know what the answer is other than treating drug problems as the mental health problems they actually are.
    As for Steeler Pride…those who don’t live in Pittsburgh don’t get it, LOL! Nor will they ever get it! I dreaded moving to Dallas because I despise the Cowboys with a passion. I couldn’t stand the thought of the displays of that star at every turn. BUT..it’s NOT like that! Yes, people wear their Cowboys jersey’s and display that star…on game day. And when football season is over, you will still see the jersey on occasion, but there is not that sense of pride that a Steeler fan carries through out the year!
    Have a great Sunday!

    1. I think my recovery friends might say that the root of the issue is addiction. And that CAUSES the mental illness. I don’t know because thankfully, I do not have an drug/alcohol addiction problem. (I do love food tho!).
      I would have a hard time being in another state during football season. I’ve heard many Pittsburghers say they have found Steeler fans everywhere though. How awesome is that? I love you Cathy. xoxo

      1. I’m no expert, but having done my psychiatric rotation at Bellevue Hospital in NY I can attest that the majority of what is encountered in mental illness is that the patient self medicates with drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, binge eating, self harm, bulimia and aneroxia nervosa to alleviate the signs & symptoms associated with the stigma of mental illness. It’s about control. When one truly thinks about it, every single person on this earth suffers from some type or form of mental illness… it’s just varying degrees. Will you allow your illness to rule your life or will you be able to find other mediums to release the urges? It could be that the mental illness runs so deep that self medicating, bodily harm, & risky behavior seems logical to an otherwise average individual, or it could be that the severity of the mental illness is so minimal that what may be deemed as healthy such as gardening, writing, singing, cleaning etc. etc. that being able to blend in with society is much more easily obtainable. Now this is not to say that every addict encountered is consciously or unconsciously self medicating themselves with outside entities, I just feel that the stigma that comes with a medically diagnosed mental illness is something that we as a whole look down upon with shame. On my unit we had everyone from the Wall Street suit, the mother, the homeless individual, children…. the main commonality I saw was that they didn’t want anyone to know why they were there, so scared that even when they were opening up they needed validation that their loved ones or friends would not be informed of what actually goes on in their mind. Addiction does not cause mental illness, it may in the undiagnosed person aid it in coming to the surface but it is not the trigger for the causative effect.

  3. Well said, Joanne. Heroin in particular is devastating cities in this region. You know the drug epidemic is bad when it hits our FB feeds. Thinking of your friend and hope he or she finds healing.

  4. Hi Joanne, I really like your inspiration for this powerful post! The title caught my eye immediately! Our son was a kicker and punter in high school and college. Just a week ago, a former teammate, co-worker and friend (of his & ours) lost his battle to drug addiction. This was the second child this family lost. Kicking, punting, the pain of addiction all coming together in one post Wow! We must all join hands and lift each other up in prayer. I love your analogy with tug-of- rope! We try so so hard to win and so many times no one does! I pray we all feel some peace and kindness in our hearts and put down our ropes! This election has certainly brought forth alot of negative enery, resentments and anger in so many people. I don’t read any of the mud slinging posts on facebook .Much better to just kick and punt on a grassy field somewhere! Go Steelers🏈

    1. Cindy, your words are profound and inspirational. Who among us has not known of someone affected by addiction? It is so hard when we see the loss in others. It touches us deeply. Console them and then we must keep going.
      Thank you for the love and encouragement! xo Joanne

  5. The determination, grace, and faith I see in you is why it was ‘love at first sight’ for me. What a wonderful message – that last passage is a framed print on my son’s wall. We talk about it every day.
    Thank you, sweet Joanne. Xo

  6. Superb and timely post, Joanne. In Colorado we’re orange and blue, and one of our neighbors had his truck painted in those colors. A 3 story Victorian house not far away had “layers” painted–foundation was dark blue, with shades of lighter blue every 4′ until the middle of the second floor when the orange hues took over, etc.–so I understand the loyalty of colors. But what touched me most was the tie in with your wonderful book and then also what we as Christians think about.
    Well done, dear friend. Very well done.

    1. Wow, the lengths people will go to support their teams! When I did the event calendar at one of my previous jobs, we knew not to schedule any programming during Steeler games Marylin. No one would show if we did. 😄
      Thank you for your kind comments xoxo

  7. It’s sad to hear about these things. Especially when we are led to believe we have no control. It’s true that each individual has a free will, but we, who love these individuals also have the choice to speak out what the word of God says about our loved ones, especially children. The saddest part is that we’re taught we don’t have that kind of power – but we do, and the sooner we discover this the better off our lives will become. Speaking the end result – “My children are taught by the Lord and great is their peace”. This is in Isaiah, and I take these promises personally for my own life and those of my loved ones. It’s true that seems strange, but stranger, in my eyes, is leaving everything up to chance. One way or another our faith in fear or our faith in God’s promises will be the determining factor, as Job attested to. It’s a lesson I’m learning acutely. God asks us to choose Life, that “both you and your seed shall live.”

    Great post to lead us in provoking our faith.


    P.S. Hope your book is doing well, Joanne!

    1. Marianne, thank you for your thoughtful words. These are scary times and we need God more than ever. My book is doing well and I’m considering writing another this winter! Blessings, Joanne

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