Cats Rule, Dogs Drool!About the Webmaster/Blogger

(Imagine here, instead of this cute cat with its pretty flower, a semi-professional-looking portrait that has yet to be taken at a time when “bed head” isn’t the state of being for the day.)

Annie Stith is a 50 year old nonconformist spiritual freak blogger, writer, and wanderer-at-heart.

Annie grew up in a large, very poor, dysfunctional and abusive Roman Catholic family in conservative St. Louis, Missouri. At her first realistic opportunity, she ran away to a private out-of-state college on both academic and athletic scholarships for a year, where she discovered the truth that she’d been living her mother’s dream for her rather than her own. She was also told by the first of many Angels who popped into her life at just the right time, that she is a valuable, loving and lovable person in her own right.

After breaking her mother’s heart, at 19 Annie ran to Santa Rosa, California, on a “vacation ” to visit her best friend, and stayed five years to attempt to “find herself.” While working as a Receptionist, she was encouraged into working in positions in Civil Engineering as a Technician, traditionally the domain of only men.

Annie made a stellar rise from Engineering Aide to Tech I, then Tech II, and reached as far as Tech III in four years. After being told she would “never, ever be promoted any farther” because the Department already had its “token broad” in a Tech IV position, she told off the old fart Civil Engineer in charge of Personnel who’d said so and moved back to St. Louis.

Annie then worked 10 years as a Senior Safety and Claims Technician for a local government agency. After automating antiquated systems throughout her Section, Annie spent most of her time being unofficially assigned to special projects with no recognition. This was usually to save her boss’ butt, but since she thoroughly enjoyed the challenging and changing nature of the work itself and quickly topped out the pay scale, she didn’t argue.

Triggered by surgery in 1993, Annie began experiencing unpredictable bouts of deep, debilitating fatigue and pain. In 1996, Annie was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (FM), as well as Osteoarthritis (OA) in most of her major joints and Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD) in her neck and low back. Later, she was also diagnosed with Chronic Myofascial Pain Complex (CMPC) and Bipolar Disorder (BPD). Annie not-so-fondly refers to the cumulative of these conditions as her “alphabet soup.” She had to stop working a typical 9-to-5 job in 1998, and started receiving disability income in 2000.

After a deep depression lasting over a decade because Annie felt completely useless to society as a “throwaway” (and to herself), one day she impulsively yet instinctively splurged on a smartphone with web access and an everything-type plan giving her unlimited use. She met other “disabled” people in Support Groups (one of which was actually supportive rather than a bunch of people whining), then other freaks online, and finally entrepreneurs living alternate lives with alternate jobs. Annie redefined herself as “differently abled,” reclaimed the passion she’d buried, and the rest (as “they” say) is history.

(In the interest of being wholly “out” about the abuse in her childhood, which Annie firmly believes in so that others feel free to tell their secrets, you can read the nasty details of her childhood and its effects here at “The Nasty Details”.)


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