Jan 222011
 

My original plan was to take another month off from writing, and come back to you in February.

But then a friend told me that she knew a Monkee who had just hit rock bottom. This Monkee has been drinking heavily for years and years and last week her world was turned upside down when her alcoholism was discovered. And my friend told me that this Monkee needed us.

And so I said, “but, God – the thing is that I’m not ready just yet.” And God smiled and said, “But sweetheart, who asked you?”

That voice might have been Bubba, actually. I get unsure sometimes. Either way, it sounded true. So here we are.

I’m going to write a lot about recovery this year. And I think we can all benefit from it. Because done right, life is one long recovery process. I believe that we’re all recovering from something. Maybe for you it’s not food or booze addiction like it is for me . . . maybe it’s an addiction to selfishness or pride or anger or isolation (which it also is for me). But The Truth is that we’re all recovering jerks. The only other possibility is that we’re active jerks, and refusing to recover. Anyway, nobody recovers alone. We are in this together.

 

Dearest Drunken Monkee Friend,

I have been where you are this morning. I’ve lived through this day. This day when you wake up terrified. When you open your eyes and it hits you . . . the jig is up. When you lie paralyzed in bed and shake from the horrifying realization that life as you know it is over. Quickly you consider that perhaps that’s okay, because life as you know it totally blows. Even so, you can’t get out of bed because the thing is that you don’t know how. You don’t know how to live, how to interact, how to cope, how to function without a drink or at least the hope of a future drink. You never learned. You dropped out before all the lessons. So who will teach you how to live? Listen to me, because I am you.

You are shaking from withdrawal and fear and panic this morning, so you cannot see clearly. You are very, very confused right now. You think that this is the worst day of your life, but you are wrong. This is the best day of your life, friend. Things, right now, are very, very good. Better than they have ever been in your entire life. Your angels are dancing. Because you have been offered freedom from the prison of secrets. You have been offered the gift of crisis.

Kathleen Norris reminded me last night that the Greek root of the word crisis is “to sift.” As in to shake out the excesses and leave only what’s important. That’s what crises do. They shake things up until we are forced to decide and hold onto what matters most. And what matters most right now is that you are sober. You owe the world nothing else. And so you will not worry about whether the real you will be brave or smart or funny or beautiful or responsible enough. Because the only thing you have to be is sober. You owe the world absolutely nothing but sobriety. If you are sober, you are enough. Even if you are shaking and cursing and boring and terrified. You are enough.

But becoming sober, becoming real, will be hard and painful. A lot of good things are.

Becoming sober is like recovering from frostbite.

The process of defrosting is excruciatingly painful. You have been so numb for so long. And as feeling comes back to your soul, you start to tingle, and it’s uncomfortable and strange. But then the tingles start feeling like daggers. Sadness, loss, fear, anger, all of these things that you have been numbing with the booze . . . you start to FEEL them for the first time. And it’s horrific at first, to tell you the damn truth. But feeling the pain, refusing to escape from it, is the only way to recovery. You can’t go around it, you can’t go over it, you have to go through it. There is no other option, except for amputation. And if you allow the defrosting process to take place, if you trust that it will work, if you can stand the pain, one day you will get your soul back. If you can feel, it means there has been no amputation. If you can feel, you can hope. If you can feel, you are not too late.

Friend, we need you. The world has suffered while you’ve been hiding. You are already forgiven. You are loved. All there is to do now it to step into your life. What does that mean? What the hell does that mean?This is what it means. These are the steps you take. They are plain as mud.

Get out of bed. Don’t lie there and think- thinking is the kiss of death for us – just move. Take a shower. Sing while you’re in there. MAKE YOURSELF SING. The stupider you feel, the better. Giggle at yourself, alone. Joy for its own sake . . . Joy just for you, created by you – it’s the best. Find yourself amusing.

Put on some make-up. Blow dry your hair. Wear something nice, something that makes you feel grown up. If you have nothing, go buy something. Today’s not the day to worry too much about money. Invest in some good coffee, caffeinated and decaf. Decaf after eleven o’clock. Read your daughter a story. Don’t think about other things while you’re reading, actually pay attention to the words. Then braid your girl’s hair. Clean the sink. Keep good books within reach. Start with Traveling Mercies. David Sedaris is good, too. If you don’t have any good books, go to the library. If you don’t have a library card, apply for one. This will stress you out. You will worry that the librarian will sense that you are a disaster and reject you. But listen, they don’t know and they don’t care. They gave me a card, and I’ve got a rap sheet as long as your arm. When practicing re-entering society and risking rejection, the library is a good place to start. They have low expectations. I love the library. Also church. Both have to take you in.

Alternate two prayers – “Help” and “Thank you.” That’s all the spirituality you’ll need for a while. Go to meetings. Any meeting will do. Don’t worry if the other addicts there are “enough like you.” Face it: we are all the same, be humble.

Get Out Of The House. If you have nowhere to go, take a walk outside. Do not excuse yourself from walks because it’s cold. Bundle up. The sky will remind you of how big God is, and if you’re not down with God, then the oxygen will help. Same thing. Call one friend a day. Do not start the conversation by telling her how you are. Ask how she is. Really listen to her response, and offer your love. You will discover that you can help a friend just by listening, and this discovery will remind you that you are powerful and worthy.

Get a yoga DVD and a pretty mat. Practice yoga after your daughter goes to bed. The evenings are dangerous times, so have a plan. Yoga is good for people like us, it teaches us to breathe and that solitude is a gift. Learn to keep yourself company.

*When you start to feel . . . do. For example – when you start to feel scared because you don’t have enough money….find someone to give a little money to. When you start to feel like you don’t have enough love. . . find someone to offer love. When you feel unappreciated, unacknowledged . . . appreciate and acknowledge someone in your life in a concrete way. When you feel unlucky, order yourself to consider a blessing or two. And then find a tangible way to make today somebody else’s lucky day. This strategy helps me sidestep wallowing every day.

Don’t worry about whether you like doing these things or not. You’re going to hate everything for a long while. And the fact is that you don’t even know what you like or hate yet. Just Do These Things Regardless of How You Feel About Doing These Things. Because these little things, done over and over again, eventually add up to a life. A good one.

 

Friend, I am sober this morning. Thank God Almighty, I’m sober this morning. I’m here, friend. Yesterday my son turned eight. Which means that I haven’t had a drink for eight years and eight months. Lots of beautiful and horrible things have happened to me during the past eight years and eight months. And I have more or less handled my business day in and day out without booze. GOD, I ROCK.

And today, I’m a wife and a mother and a daughter and friend and a writer and a dreamer and a Sister to one and a “sister” to hundreds of monkees… and I wasn’t any of those things when I was a drunk.

And I absolutely love being a recovering alcoholic, friend. I am more proud of the “recovering” badge I wear than any other.

What will you be, friend? What will you be when you become yourself? We would love to find out with you.

 

When Jesus saw her lying there and knew that she had been there for a long time, he said to her, “Do you want to be made well? . . . Then pick up your mat, and walk.” – John 5:6-8



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  56 Responses to “Recovery”

  1. […] but we are more than machines. more than components. what we are is that vital spark, whether you call it soul, or spirit, or simply the ability to feel. and as Glennon says, if we can still feel, then there is hope. […]

  2. You are such an inspiration! As a teen currently recovering from an eating disorder myself…I LOVE reading your blog!

    I’d love for you to learn more about my story. You can find it at

    http://catholicbling.com/store/ladies/specialty-lines/recovery-line.html

  3. Just reading and it seems the perfect read comes…we are all recovering from something! Amen!

  4. Hello…my name is Tara and I am a daughter of an alcoholic. My dad just celebrated his 21st AA birthday and I could not be more proud. I could not be more proud of you. Like my father you are all very brave. I have learned a lot form my father and I am sure your family has learned a lot from you.

    Thank you for sharing your story. This post brought me to tears. I am very honored to have read this! My dad has told me many times of his faithful day and it is very humbling for me.

    Again, Thank You!

  5. please help me. I don't know how you get these comments, if you will get this since it was a year ago that you wrote this post. I have a friend who comes from a family of alcoholism. In one breath she will say that she needs help and in the next she says she is fine. She has been suffering with eating disorders, alcoholism for YEARS…25 years. She has two beautiful little girls and she is amazing in her day to day life. Honestly, I don't know how she pulls it off. She drinks heavily during the evenings (and sometimes days) and then gets up. She is such a beautiful spirit and people are drawn to her. She loves this attention. I think it keeps her going until she is alone. She also seems to drink when she is with friends that know her well, that way, she doesn't have to be real. My heart breaks for her and I don't know how to help. If anyone could offer help of how I could reach out to her as a friend, please email me. [email protected]

  6. Thanks for the line about being proudest to wear the recovery badge. I've felt guilty at times because I'm prouder of that than the mother badge…But dammit, having kids was a walk in the park compared to sobriety.

    And laughter helps tremendously. We make jokes about my drinking on a regular basis. And celebrations. We do something each year for my anniversary. I even got a tattoo-I'm damn proud of rising from the ashes and the symbols on my ankle make that silent statement.

  7. I found you last week and have been reading as many post as possible. My kids watch me laugh out loud until I find one that makes me weep, then I stop and wait for another time. I have suffered from anorexia for 30 year, never getting to even my low chart weight. After I had three beautiful, health children, my husband became humiliated by my issues, so we don't do much together anymore. You sound so much like I aspired to be. Be extra grateful for your husband, there are not many like him. Your are truly a gift in my life.

  8. Only found you yesterday, through one of your funny posts. Just read this one and now sitting here crying at work, I know I am another monkee in need. Will be reading your encouraging words. Wish me luck, I know you think I'll need it. (and I will.)

  9. i love you and your daughter monkee. i am here for you.

  10. hello from the 'drunken'/'rock bottom' monkee here :) your words of support, encouragement, love, understanding, and kindness have melted my heart over the last several days. thank you to all of you who have posted your wonderful words on Momastery! i cannot believe how many of you have responded. and, as hard as it is for me, i am going to call/email those of you who left contact information. i must. i know i can't do this alone. it is so frickin hard for me to ask for help — but i need to. i have always isolated and tried to deal with life on my own — but — we have all read where that has gotten me — drunk and in a stupid place. my phone feels like 10,000 pounds, but, i am getting stronger everyday lifting it and dialing a friend every single day. celebrating 23 days today.

    susie m — i am going to call you and i want to go to an AA meeting with you…thank you. how does this week sound?

    i want to thank my dear monkee friend (M!!!) who emailed glennon and got this whole thing started. she is the most amazing, caring, loving, and beautiful woman, friend, mother, wife, and monkee i know. seriously M…YOU ROCK MY WORLD!!! i am so very blessed for her friendship and for her entire family's love and support. they are my family — i don't know what i would do without them. M and her family supported me and my 7 year old daughter during my 'rock bottom' — i honestly don't know where i would be without her/them. but, i also know how much stress i have added to her life. with each day of sobriety, i hope it brings my M an equal amount of joy and peace :) her simple act has united me with all of you which has provided me more love, support, and encouragement than i could have ever imagined.

    glennon — your words hit me to my core — but — in a wonderful way. you totally summarized what i am feeling right now…so, to my closest monkees, bare with me for awhile, am really raw, sad, tired, lonely, confused, ashamed, humiliated, stressed, etc. right now. you will probably see tears at pickup and playdates for awhile :) BUT…i am also SO very grateful right now for all of my blessings. i have spent the last 5 years (my horrible number of years drinking) feeling sooooo alone and lonely, thinking that my life is horrible, feeling sorry for myself, and feeling no hope. and, feeling like a total failure b/c of my alcoholism. am so grateful you posted something and then so many other amazing women and men responded. every posting has made me cry (but good tears!) and have given me hope and strength. i am amazed at the strength and support we can give all give one another without even knowing or meeting each other…..so powerful :) glennon — i think you are an angel…your impact on all of us is truly amazing and unique.

    if you all don't mind, i would like to keep sharing about my progress (and setbacks…cuz last week i was a mess) and i would love to keep hearing from all monkees about recovery and hope. now that my 'secret' is out — it feels good to talk and share about it. i can't wait for the day when i feel as proud as Glennon to wear the recovering badge. right now…just happy to be sober today :)

  11. The Recovering Badge has my undying respect and I honor all that have the strength and courage to wear it. What an incredible example of the love, compassion and support we have for one another. We are all extraordinary works in progress. So much love to everyone. Brutiful, G!

  12. Hi Glennon! This was such a powerful post. You have an amazing way of warming the heart and soul. I have my sister reading your blog, and she printed out your Recovery post and took it to her boyfriend in rehab. He found it to be really inspiring, and it helped all of us know what he's going through. Thank you! Also, loved the Unwind post. Such a gentle reminder not to let relationships too out of reach and to always show your love. You do rock! I hope to meet you and your family in the near future. Hoping you're feeling better. xoxo Kristi Kim

  13. RBM – just one step at a time. And you are NOT alone.

    G — Love you, and your little man. Mine is now 6 feet tall and 14 years old. Enjoy the moments. They are fleeting. It seems like 8 was just yesterday.

  14. Seattle Sun – Welcome, Love.

    For all of us today…..

    "18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
    19 See, I am doing a new thing!

    Perfect. Perfect for every single moment. (thanks Issac. And God.)

    We are all new! And we are all free! It's True!

    So much Love.

  15. Hello Glennon and Monkee family. I am a very new Monkee who stumbled upon this blog and then stayed up night after night reading every single post and laughing and crying and connecting with you all. This post and the follow up comments made me cry AGAIN. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and acceptance and encouragement. Much love to all of you from a Monkee on the other coast. And an extra dose of love and prayers to dear rock bottom monkey.

  16. We are all recovering from something. It is so true. Rock Bottom Monkey, know that those of us who "look" like we have things together- we have our broken parts too, and while they aren't quite so obvious, perhaps, they are just as broken. What a liberating post for all of us- we are enough.

    Thanks for this one, G. Beautiful, as always.

  17. Hi all:

    A client of mine forwarded me this youtube link from the Ted conference she attended. I sent to Glennon today. It is long, but it is WORTH IT monkees. IT IS WORTH IT

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0

    If for some reason the link doesn't work, search TED and wholehearted on YouTube. It is meant to take you to a talk by Brene Brown…

    Meghan

  18. Amy, it may not be alcohol but it still isn't easy. Good for you for being in control. I am proud of you!

  19. I appreciate this post. This is my seventh consecutive day of being in control of the food that goes into my body. Prior to that, I had not experienced one day of control in about five years.
    I know it's not the same as alcoholism, but it was shattering my life. It was ruining my will to go out in public or see myself as in control in any way or of value in any way.
    We're all recovering from something.

  20. Today, like any other day, we wake up empty
    and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
    and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

    Let the beauty we love be what we do.
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

    Rumi

  21. This is my favorite set of comments ever. Each time I come back to check in and read, I am filled with joy. It's like all these words are here to speak to the broken places in each of us. Love is winning!

    You've made it to another new day, RBM (Rock Bottom Monkee). In the words of my midwife, just breathe, feel the earth beneath you, do nothing extra. Sending love to you and all the broken places.

  22. Good luck to you Rock Bottom Monkee. As the saying goes, the only way to move is up now. And we are all here to help one another stumble along and get up from the falls.

    I saw a close family member go through recover and it was nothing short of brutiful.

  23. i'd like to offer Isaiah 43:18-19, but first some background… Isaiah had just spent 40 chapters telling these people that they were going to be destroyed by how they were living and then:

    "18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
    19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
    I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland. "

    Thankful for the new thing, looking forward to walking down the way and hoping it happens to be close to that stream he is talking about. This verse is for you, and me.

  24. Dearest Monkee in Crisis – Sending love and gentle thoughts to you. Please know that we are all holding you in our hearts and will sift through this with you. You are loved, you are loved, you are loved – and worthy of it all.

  25. G,
    I do not have the words to describe what this post means to me. I love you, Mama Monkee. Beautiful and Truth.

    Rock Bottom Monkee,
    You are OK. You are exactly where you need to be. When I was first getting clean, waking up and brushing my teeth was a huge accomplishment. It really was. You are learning how to live, it is scary, but it is beautiful. I am so excited to share this journey with you. This is the beginning of wonderful things. Hard and horrible days sober are still better than amazing days drunk.
    Please call me anytime day or night. 571-263-4058. I would be more than happy to take you to a 12 step meeting of your liking. Give Glennon's
    suggestions a try. They work. Love Love Love to You!
    XoXo Susie M.

  26. G- that was wonderful. We are all so lucky that you are writing and sharing your story. It is making us all better people!
    Jen Z

  27. Dear Monkee in need,

    I wish I was a poet like all those above and I wish I had something "great" to say but I'm not a writer. All I can say is that my husband is 15 months sober. 15 months sober!!!! I wrote a guest post and when I wrote that guest post we weren't together. I hated him and loved him all at the same time but we are together and together people can do amazing things.

    He got sober on his own because I abandoned him. I didn't help him like all these monkee's are trying to do with you. You have all these strangers reaching out to you so PLEASE take someone's hand. Reach out for help. I've learned over the past few years, you can't do this alone and you can't do this without AA meetings. AA meetings scared the crap out of my husband and he wouldn't go. He wasn't about all the "God" stuff, but you know what? It's not just about God, it's about faith and spirituality and finding a higher power. Your higher power could be a fairy or it could be a frog. Whatever it is, find that higher power and give it up to him/her.

    You can do this. Women/men everywhere are here for you!! Find a group that you feel comfortable in. It took my husband a few different AA groups before he found the one he loves. It's far from where we live but they save his life…and our marriage.

    (((HUGS))) and we will be praying for you and your precious family.

  28. A family I used to babysit for and travel with is always crazy and running on high levels of stress–at least they are in my eyes. However, the dad always said these few words to his daughters and his wife when they were freaking out over something, "Calm down. It's not the end of the world. What's the end of the world? The END OF THE WORLD." I use that mantra whenever I feel my self or my life spinning out of my control. I remember that it's is not the time for worry because it's not the END of the world.
    ~Amma

  29. The sign says "we can do hard things" not "I can do hard things." I hope you find your "we" today.

    Breath in. Breath out. Repeat.
    Read blog post. Read comments. Repeat.

  30. Hugs Monkee, you can do it, you are worth it.

  31. Love and hugs to all our Monkees…for being here…For listening and supporting…For being you.

  32. g, you kinda slay me with your writing. and by kinda i mean completely. and by slay i mean awaken, shake me up, and slap me silly across the face. ah-mazing. i love it. happy birthday, chase!

    adding to the chorus of monkees telling our precious monkee friend we support you. tonight at momestary, we are sitting by the fire with you. we are listening. we are talking so that you don't have to talk. we are rooting not for the packers or da bears or the steelers or the jets, but for YOU tonight and as long as it takes.

  33. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Love you G, Love you struggling Monkees (and the ones that aren't struggling today but will be tomorrow). So thankful we can work on recovering together.

  34. Dear Drunken Monkee,
    I wish I had the gift of gab like all these ladies and mostly Glennon. They are all amazing. Just know you are in good company here and that you have a lot of love around you here in Momastery. I can't find the right words of encouragement but I hope that you will get all the support that you need. It sounds like you may have hit bottom and there is only one way out. Up. I've heard there may be many bottoms, just keep getting up and you will get stronger. I hope you get stronger.

  35. Dearest Drunken Monkee,

    AS the sister of two recovering alcoholics, I have to tell you that there are people in this world who miss you. You haven't alienated everyone yet. There are people who will look at you with suspicion as you walk up the path but let you in the front door anyway. And when you tell them that you are sober, they may look at you with suspicion again and then they will throw their arms around you.

    They cannot help it.

    They love you.

  36. Love and hugs, recovering Monkee. I'm bad at words, but I'll say this. If you live in the NOVA area and you'd like me to put food on your table for a while please let Glennon know and she'll give you my contact information. When I don't know how to help, I bring food, and it's healthy and doesn't taste too bad. I don't even have to talk to you – I'll leave it on your front porch and run.

    Love to you.
    MK

  37. Dear Monkee in need,

    Glennon is right when she says that we are all recovering (or in denial). We all have our own mountains to climb, but we are never alone. This outpouring of love is evidence enough of support and community that is available to you. Don't be ashamed or afraid to reach out and ask for it. There are people all around you who are ready and willing to hold your hand.

    And take Tova's words to heart – it's okay if all you can do is breathe. Take baby steps. Some days, I have to be proud of myself for waking up, for opening my eyes, for acknowledging the mess that I am and crying out the only prayer I could muster: "Help!" And help does come. Just put one foot in front of the other, and then do it again, and then do it again. Hold my hand. Hold Glennon's hand. We will climb with you. And when you can't take another step, then just hold on, and we'll hold you up.

    It's okay to be scared, friend. It's okay to be angry. It's even okay to feel hopeless. Just remember, even though your feelings are valid, they are not necessarily true. Acknowledge your feelings as real, and then face the Truth. Read these messages of love. Listen to God, or to the universe, or to whatever gives you the message that you are loved, you are beautiful, you are precious, you are priceless, you are treasured, you are worth fighting for.

    With love,
    Rachael

    P.S. Glennon, thank you for heeding the call to use your gift of words at a time of need in this community. More than just this one special Monkee needed a hand today.

  38. Recovery, not just for alcoholics anymore!

    This advice is crucial to all Monkees who want to use what we most want to get rid of as a path to what we most want more of in our lives.

    Thank you for sharing your gift G!

  39. I don't have anything encouraging to offer. No words of wisdom and certainly nothing poetic coming out of my mouth. But I do have love. And I know that there are many, many women here that feel the same. I know that any of us would be honored to meet you for coffee at any hour of the day or night. Or sit on the phone with you for hours on end. So if you know any of these women to do that with – DO IT! Because I promise it would be just as much of a blessing to them as it would be to you. We desire to help each other. We are looking for our chance to help someone else. I think that is why we are here together.

    I hope you are being gentle with yourself tonight. It is hard. Being a woman. Being a mom. Being a wife. It is just hard. But get this…..we can do hard things. And when you feel like you can't do hard things, there are others here to help you. Let them.

    Love to you.

    Tricia

  40. A- Can you tell us about the 40 day thing? I can't remember exactly what I told you…we were pretty desperate at that point. I may have been making crap up.

    Remember when you were trying to get a grip on the eating and your car accidentally went to the McD's drive through and you yelled "JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL!!!!"

    Good stuff. Addiction can be funny. Not usually, but sometimes, thank God.

  41. Sharyn, all of you . . . you are all poets. Thank you. On behalf of Monkees everywhere…thanks for showing up for each other.

    "A hero is someone who gets up when she can't."

    (Saw it on Tattoo Tom's facebook page.)

  42. Dearest Monkee,

    When I first found this community, I told Glennon that this place reminded me of a song called "Borrow Mine." It's all about how, when we run out of hope, we can borrow it from those around us.

    Monkee, you give me hope. And because I get hope from you, and from Glennon and my son and my husband, I have a surplus that you can draw from. And the rest of us, too, all come here with nothing more than love and enough hope to get through one more breath. Then another, then another. And eventually those breaths, one after another, will become baby steps. And those baby steps will get longer and stronger till you can find a new path. A better one. One that will make you stronger rather than weaker.

    One more thing. You're probably feeling right now like you're the least lovable person in the world. You might be feeling like you're weak and pathetic. Monkee, let me tell you something: Weakness is a virtue. The ability to be open to being hurt, if only it makes us more able to love others, is a gift. Those who learn to hurt themselves, often learn early on from others that they deserve to be hurt. But you do not — Do Not and Never Did — deserve to be hurting. Not for one more second. That's not what you're here for.

    We don't learn to be strong by never falling. We learn to be strong by getting right back up when we do fall. We're all here for you if you need a hand up. We'll give you the hope you need to get up and start over and over and over. One breath at a time.

    Much love,
    -Sharyn

  43. Sending my thoughts and prayers to this special Monkee and all of us who are struggling through something. This is such a good place, a place of respite.

    "You have been offered the gift of crisis.
    …[Crises} shake things up until we are forced to decide and hold onto what matters most." – love this. So true in so many ways. Hold on fellow Monkee to what is good and true and it will hold back.

  44. Glennon: What an incredible thing to offer…To say I see you, I understand you, and believe in you.

    I just want to say to the monkee…

    I don't know what it is like to be you. I have my own pieces to pull from, (I have lost, and been lost so truly that I clench my teeth and then smile and little when I think of those valleys in my life), but I don't know what these days are like.

    What I do know, because I have had the truly miraculous, humbling opportunity to be the one in the room with lots of people as they try to drag themselves off the floor (I'm a psychotherapist), is that this space you are in is just one room, in an extraordinary castle that you are only just now being given the tools to explore. I also know you are just as worthy, brave and deserving as all the heros I have ever seen. Even as a drunk, you are actually enough.

    I currently love several active drinkers, and I feel like I need to say that sobriety doesn't make you lovable. You already are. Sobriety makes you available to love and be loved.

    The god in me recognizes the god in you.

    I will pray for you because that is the best help I have to offer.

    And if you need a distraction, go see the KIngs Speech. It is a story of heroic courage, one person working very hard and growing into a man he was not sure he could ever be. All done very, very publicly.

    Namaste my dear one

  45. "Don’t worry about whether you like doing these things or not. You’re going to hate everything for a long while. And the fact is that you don’t even know what you like or hate yet. Just Do These Things Regardless of How You Feel About Doing These Things. Because these little things, done over and over again, eventually add up to a life. A good one. "

    This is beautiful. And brilliant. And applies to a lot of life, I think … for almost all of us. Well okay, I don't *hate* everything, but there have definitely been times recently when I felt I just *didn't want to* and I've been learning all over again that I don't have to *want* to Do Those Things, I just have to do them and keep doing them and keep doing them … and you're so right. They do add up.

  46. Just want to be another voice to this dear Monkee to remind her that she can do this hard thing.

  47. Ok, this is why this community exists. To remind us that we all belong. To break through judgments and hardheartedness.

    Dear Monkee who is just needing to take one breath at a time right now,

    I, too, know what having your life upside down, and impossible is like. When you think it will be impossible, and you can't take another breath. I used to say, over and over, "it's gonna be ok,"
    Because it will be. No matter what, it will be ok. People love you. People care. If you can ask for help, do it. If you can't, that's ok too. I know that sometimes it is literally impossible to speak up, much less ask for something.

    And yoga, and all those things are great, but sometimes I literally couldn't do them. It took every scrap of strength to just keep breathing. Find safe people to sit with you, cry with you, rage with you. Let it out. You don't have to hold it together. You don't have to explain if you suddenly need to crawl under the bed, or run around the block. There is healing and peace on the other side of the pain and grief. I promise you there is. I've found it over and over. You just have to trust that if you let go of all the things you are clinging too, that are holding you down, that there will be a safety net to catch you. It's there. I am living proof.

    all my love, all my peace, all my grace to you today. Let others carry you right now. Let others believe for you. Let others have faith.

    Tova
    natgardesigns at yahoo dot ca

    PS. Andie's right. My best friends are recovering alcoholics and addicts. They have radiant hearts. I know you do too. You might not see it right now, but I know it's there.

  48. Monkee in need. You CAN do this! It may not be one day at a time for a while. At first it can literally be one minute at a time.

    You woke up today, you are here, you are breathing. One minute at a time you can do this!

    I believe in you!

  49. This might be my new favorite post because it reminds me of two different times Glennon said these same things to me in person. Once, years ago, when my food addiction was out of control and I was eating compulsively, I saw the truth about my life for a split second. It scared the crap out of me,and I went a bit crazy. I called Glennon, and she was at my house five minutes later. She showed up with a book and a lot of love. Then years after that, when my marriage collapsed and I again caught a small glimpse of the impossible mountain in my path, I called her again. I kept asking her through hysterical tears what I was going to do because honestly, I didn't know. She assured me that all I had to do at that very moment was to breathe in and out. Thank God for that assurance. The expecations for those first few days need to be set very very low.

    Monkee in need, I'm so glad Momastery exists. I hope you keep reading.

    Glennon, tell them about the 40 day thing. The 40 day thing was so very helpful for me.

    One last thing…this was indeed a great post. Except for the yoga horse shit.

  50. love to the monkee in need too! hugs!

  51. tears in my eyes…uh-gain. :)
    i'm printing this and sending to my now sober brother. it's really powerful. thank you!

  52. Glennon, you do good work. :)

  53. Lots of love!!!!!

  54. Good luck, Monkee!
    If you don't have a yoga video, stream one online. Yoga Journal is currently offering a free video every day for 21 days – all different levels of difficulty and all different lengths. Yoga will help you learn to love yourself and will give you a respite from your thoughts. Do it! (http://21daychallenge.yogajournal.com/)
    Love,
    Brooks

  55. Oh Glennon! You are simply amazing! This made me cry and cry. I hope it is okay if I write a little note to this special monkee…
    Dear Monkee, I come from a long line of amazing people who are recovering alcoholics and know from loving them that it isn't easy to get started on the path. I can imagine your pain and am sure that it some times feels easier to just drink again to deal with the pain. But in the end you are loved for who you are and people will be there to help you through. No one that matters will judge you. All of us have something we need to work on. I know I do. We are here for you. I am a good listener if you need a friend.
    As I am writing this, I realize that those in my family who are recovered alcoholics are the most generous, loving people I know. Not sure what that means except that I imagine you are, too.
    With love,
    Andie
    [email protected] (just in case)

    PS Glennon, You do Rock!

  56. Love to our Monkee. We are here for you.

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