Aug 272012
 

 

It’s gonna be a long one, Lovies, feel free to take coffee and pee breaks.

First, WELCOME HOME to all of the Monkees (3,000 of you) who found us during the past few days. As I told Craig last night, we love you so much already. We would have anyway, ‘cause that’s our rule, but I especially love that you found us because you were moved in some way by our Adam letter. That Adam. He’s doing a heck of a lot of good. Please, put your feet up and make yourselves at home. Here, We Belong to Each Other, so introduce yourself or stay quiet –  just be yourself in the truest way. We’d like you to stay forever.

I’m going to break this post into two parts:

  1. What’s going on in my (our) OUTSIDE WORLD and
  2. What’s going on my (our) INSIDE WORLD

 

Sometimes I forget to tell you about OUTSIDE world happenings because they seem so much less significant than INSIDE world happenings. And then all of a sudden you see me in Hollywood with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey and 30,000 of you are like – “G, WHAT ON THE HECK?”  Newbies- that’s a Tish-ism we’ve adopted.

 

 

 

So here’s a brief version of the Hollywood story. Several producers in Hollywood have been following the Monkee Revolution carefully. They contacted our agent. They requested meetings with Sister and me. We said, “Um. Okay.” They flew us to LA. My mama and Bobby (5 weeks old!) came, too. I was super excited, mostly to write the following status update. I bought the cardigan two months ahead of time, for just such a time as this.

Hopped Off the Plane at LAX, With a Dream and My Cardigan….

 

 

It is a very confusing thing- to be headed to Hollwood to meet with fancy, fancy folks. At first, I wasn’t sure how to approach the trip in the Monkee-ist way. But it hit me three days prior that all I had to do was be myself and treat every person whom I was blessed enough to meet – from taxi drivers to waitresses to producers – with the same measure of reverence. I wanted to LEARN from each person.  That would be success. I went with NO OTHER agenda than this. So really, when I hopped off the plane at LAX, all I had was a cardigan. No big Hollywood dream. In my heart there is NO DREAM bigger or better than this place, than our Momastery. The miracles that happen here in hearts and between hearts is, for me, as good as it gets. My dream is done, which is So Relaxing. So I went to LA with nothing to lose and no angle and just a big HERE I AM AND THERE YOU ARE!  Still, I know that many of you are wary of trusting Monkeedom with Hollywood- and I am, too. I am being more careful than you can imagine.

Let me just tell you this- Sister and I had three meetings with BIG SHOTS. Each meeting lasted about an hour and a half. Mostly, we forgot to talk about business. During all three, we talked about life and grief and joy and parenting and marriage and recovery and  how brutiful it all is. It was exactly, EXACTLY, like taking to you. We got so swept away by connecting that every meeting ran waaaaay over the scheduled time and at some point someone would look at her watch and say “OH CRAP,” and then she’d look at my agent and say, “can we talk soon?” And there would be huge hugs and once, tears, and always “thank yous!” and “NO, THANK YOUS,” and Sister and I and our agent, Jill, would sit in silent awe for a spell after each meeting. People are just PEOPLE. And there is a whole lotta good in those Hollywood hearts. There’s greed and cynicism in places, too – they told me as much. But we, as a group of Monkees, will not prejudge. We will take Hollywood just like we take the rest of the world, one person at a time.

 

 

So that’s it. I know nothing, except that I met some fascinating and loving people and I had a blast with my Sister and Bobby and Mama and if nothing else comes of it than that was more than enough. Also, we stayed on GLENNON STREET. Sort of. Obviously, all of it was pre-destined. We were just along for the ride. As always.

 

 

 

Kay, next. We moved. We live in Naples, Florida now. We decided to go for it. We sold our house in Virginia and downsized our home and our mortgage and we live in a condo on a lake. We are three miles from the most gorgeous sand and water you can imagine sticking your little toesies into. I feel better. A LOT better. My Lyme arthritis is clearing up. I’m re-energized. There is something about all the trapping and responsibilities that accumulate around a life that make it irresistible for me to say BURN BABY, BURN every few years. So we leave everything. Because we are addicted to change, but also because when you step away from all the extra stuff you’re left with the really important stuff. Your partner and your kids and yourself. It’s been good. It wasn’t super easy for the kids. It never is. But I do not believe in sacrificing all my dreams for my kids. If every generation does that, than who ever actually gets to follow her dreams? Nobody, except for the one who decodes the system and decides that to stay childless is the only way to stay true to herself. No, Craig and I follow our dreams and then we provide everything our kids need to adjust, and they do. I hope from this they learn that parenthood does not mean martyrdom, necessarily. And if they don’t learn anything, well….who cares? PALM TREES!!!!

Our backyard!


 

Our Pool!

 

You guys, I’ve gotta stop. This is getting too long. So tomorrow we’ll talk about the inside stuff. We’ll talk about the dozens of emails I’ve received from women who feel like Adams in their own neighborhoods. We’ll talk about how I finally found the courage to watch The Help last night and how all of my recent experiences have made me desperate to write something that will encourage us ALL to do what we ask our children to do – to include those on the sidelines.

There are so many women who feel sidelined. Whether they were put there by a grown up bully or their own fear of rejection or some set of absurd circumstances and grudges that need to be forgotten, already. Oh my goodness, it’s the same. It’s the SAME middle school cycle. We are afraid to put in jeopardy our own place in the social circles by stepping outside to invite someone else in.

One million Adam letters will make NO DIFFERENCE to our children if we are not practicing what we preach. They will do what we do, not what we tell them to do. This BLOWS. But it’s true.

I received an email last week from a neighbor in my old ‘hood, the one I just left. She just found our blog. She loves it, and she loves us. The thing is that I lived in that neighborhood for two years, and she lived directly across the street from me, and I never knocked on her door. She was an Indian woman, with a big, huge family and there was a bit of a language barrier and I couldn’t fit their family nicely into my brain, so I didn’t try too hard. There were neighborhood parties and her family was never there. And I felt the urge to GO to her and say HERE I AM and THERE YOU ARE and let the chips fall wherever the hell they were supposed to fall, but I didn’t. I was trying to find my own place in the social circle of my neighborhood and I didn’t have the time or energy (or desire, if I’m being honest) to figure this lady out. So I just smiled and waved and hurried from the van to the door . . . bare minimum, you know. I’m smiling and waving, so obviously I’m not a jerk.

And then she emailed me last week. She’s a mother-freaking Monkee at heart. Damnit. What a missed opportunity for me. For her. For the whole neighborhood.

I think we need to talk about these things. So many people are lonely.

I watched The Help last night through lots of tears and laughter and confusion and Craig and I asked ourselves- which one are we? We all want to think we’re Skeeter, right? But are we? I think we’re all of them. I think we’ve got terrified bully parts like Hilly and terrified bystander parts like Elizabeth and deep, deep wells of strength and love like Abilene and terrified, trailblazing, bad-ass parts like Skeeter. Good news is, we’re all terrified. So we might as well play the role of the terrified, trailblazing, bad ass, right?  We each get to decide which part of us we’re gonna invite front and center each morning.

We are all of them. We get to choose, though, who we’re going to introduce to people.

Please, God, let me introduce Minnie and Abilene and Skeeter and Constantine and Celia to the world.

I love you.

You is smart. You is kind. You is important.

Love, G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 292012
 

 

*Monkees – Please forgive the cursing. I don’t know what’s going on lately. I’m getting rawer and rawer and I just can’t edit myself. Sorry, Bubba*

 

Dearest Maggie,

It could have gone either way, you know.

My drinking and drugging and binging and lying and hiding and running were so severe, for so very long. Statistically, I should be dead, dead, dead this morning. Do you know that I force myself to watch that brutal show Intervention every single week so I don’t forget how close I am to the edge each and every moment? How exactly the SAME I am as those lost precious sinking souls on that show?

Maggie, do you know that I really, really, very much miss drinking? That it’s so hard to live in my intense and jumpy and pounding heart and swimming head without anything to take that edge off? Do you know that I take lots of medication to keep me from flirting too closely to that edge? And even with the meds, that edge is where I have to live. Knowing it’s there, but keeping my back turned to it. No turning towards it. No peeking over. No dangling my toes off it. The edge, for me, means death. Not for just my body anymore but for a soul and a family and a blog and a voice and a revolution. God gave me a lot so I’d have a lot to throw away. So it’d all be too hard to throw away, maybe. I don’t know why the Universe did that for me. I don’t know why most of us can’t keep ourselves from jumping over that edge. Even with all we have to lose. The urge to jump is stronger than the urge to stay planted. I’ll stay planted. I know this. And still.

I so miss the other side. I feel so sad that I’ll never again curl up with a glass of wine and get overly giggly with a new friend. Or be able to stay out past ten and get wild and make stupid fuzzy memories with old friends. Or have two mixed drinks and get all lovey-dovey and loosie-goosie and have that different kind of sex with Craig that happens after two mixed drinks. I miss drugs. I miss halter tops and platform shoes and bars and flirting and dancing wildly. God, I miss beer. A couple Coronas with lime? Forget about it.  I miss being able to turn off my brain. It’s so tiring to live without that option. It’s so very, very exhausting. Of course, all those things I miss- they are not real for me. They are like someone missing milk even though she is allergic to it. You can go ahead and have some ice cream since everyone else seems to be enjoying it- but don’t forget that the third bite’ll kill you. The truth is that I never had “a couple Coronas” in my life. Eight Coronas, maybe. Five pills. Twelve lines. Three nights in jail. One Hospitalization. It goes like that for me. IT GOES LIKE THAT FOR ME. REPEAT. REPEAT, GLENNON, REPEAT.

For you, Glennon, it’s not like the Skinny Girl Margarita commercials. Wine in the morning is not cute, the way Hoda and Kathy try to suggest it is. It’s not cute. And they should cut that shit out, by the way. It’s patronizing and offensive to those of us who have really been there, with our trembling hands and our bottles of wine at ten am. We’re on our knees in our kitchens, Hoda and Kathy- and we don’t use fancy glasses. Not at ten am, assholes. We don’t have makeup on either. And we’re not giggling. We hide and we tremble and we cry and we drink straight from the bottle.

I’m Sorry, Maggie. Sorry. That’s the first time in three years I’ve called anybody an asshole in my writing and I’m sure it was a big mistake that I’ll pay for through the nose. But I’m writing this unedited and I’m writing it for you and for your Lobster and I guess for me, too. And I needed to say all of that.

Maggie – Do you know that once in a blue moon, bulimia pops into my life again like a terrifying jack in the box? Every few months, I’m home alone, and I get lonely and twitchy. And I start eating and eating and eating. And I feel too full. I am not fat, Maggie. It’s not about that. I’m actually sickly skinny right now because of my Lyme and parasites. But still – I am compelled to throw up. Compelled- like I’m a puppet and someone else is pulling the strings. Even now. And as I’m hanging over the toilet and seeing stars from my-self inflicted electrolyte imbalance I think- I am going to be so pissed if I die right now. It will be so sad. My kids will lose me. My family will think I never got better. They’ll think I was a fraud. The book still needs editing. And crap, the kitchen is such a mess. But I still do it. I still throw up. Isn’t that crazy? Craig doesn’t know this. My parents don’t know this. Well, till now. But I needed you to know, Maggie.

And still I would insist to you that I am getting well. Well is not black and white or forever and ever amen. It’s not.  Well is a long, forever continuum. I’m not sure we ever exorcise our demons completely.  And so when my bulimia pops up, I never feel mad at myself. NEVER. Shame takes us closer to that edge than any single binge will. NO. Life is hard and I’m doing the best I can. So I just take inventory and love myself something FIERCE and then start over. Every single moment I am someone brand new.

Maggie, sometimes I go to a party and the first thing a friend says is, “G! Don’t drink that punch. It’s full of vodka.” And I always think- DAMNIT.DAMNIT. Is it too much to ask to just once “accidentally” drink six glasses of punch before I “notice?” Wouldn’t that be such a funny and awesome mistake? Just once?

I’m so scared of parties, Maggie. I want to be invited to them, but I’m scared. I don’t know what to say when someone offers me a drink. People want to know why not? I don’t want to make people uncomfortable.  I don’t want them to think I don’t drink as some sort of moral statement. Sweet Jesus, no. But, no thank you, I’m a recovering alcoholic is SUCH a major party buzz kill. And then kind people don’t know if they should be drinking around me. And it all gets so uncomfortable. A big old mess. Just trust me. It’s not as easy as – no thank you. It’s not.

Lots of times we haven’t been invited to parties because people don’t know how to handle the drinking issue. And I understand, but it stings. I don’t really even want to go, but I really want to be invited. I’m usually great fun till about 800. Then I have to go home. Because people get loud and loose and Craig’s eyes start shining and he starts to have FUN. And I feel left out and very lonely. And tired.

Sobriety feels really lonely sometimes. To tell you the damn truth- it feels lonelier than addiction did to me. Granted, I felt nothing much during my addicted years.

I meant to write about something else today. But I woke up this morning and found three messages from Monkees who have recently lost their lobsters to addiction. And it kills me that I have nothing to say- nothing to help make sense of it. I can’t answer their question….why did YOU make it and my Lobster didn’t? I tried as hard as your Sister did.

Jesus, that kills me.

If I could choose one super power, it would be the ability to reach into my computer and pull the writers of those emails through my screen and into my living room. I would make two very strong cups of coffee and we would sit on my living room couch for hours and we would talk about your Lobster and cry and we would laugh, too. And you would understand that there is NOTHING, nothing we did righter than you or you did wrong-er than us. Life is just freaking crazy. Just totally freaking crazy. And you would understand that there was no magic wand that you were forbidden access to and that actually, I’m not all better. I’m just like your Lobster. Just exactly, exactly like your Lobster. But I’m here and she’s there. And that’s so unfair.

I’m so sorry, Maggie. I’m so sorry.

Robert Frost said “In three words I can sum up everything I know about life: It goes on.” I think he meant that it goes on for you, Maggie, here. And he also meant that it goes on for your Lobster, Somewhere Else. I really, truly, deeply know that to be true. I don’t know what Somewhere Else looks like but I believe in it, and if you don’t –  then I’ll believe harder for the both of us. Maggie, this place is too hard for some of us. It just is. And maybe it’s not because some of us are weak. Maybe it’s because some of us are paying closer attention to all the messes down here. There are a lot of real messes. It’s not in our heads. It’s real. This place is hard.

It is bullshit that you lost your Lobster, Maggie. And this is a big risk I’m about to take right now because I never ever EVER step into another person’s pain and try to make it better. I can’t tolerate that, really. Even so I am going to tell you that while I grieve for you, there is a part of me that is relieved that your Lobster is free. I know how hard it is to live like she did. To be her. To carry around her heart and mind. It’s too heavy. Her life meant something, Maggie. It meant exactly what it was supposed to mean. And if and when you want to tell us all about her, you have an open invitation to Momastery. Talk about your Lobster here. Thousands and thousands of Lobsters will learn from her and love her. You write- I’ll post. Anything at all.

Please, please forgive her for being the lightning rod that she was. Celebrate her life and her freedom when you can. And YOU. Celebrate YOUR freedom now. You are free. Live your life. Lay hers down. It’s too heavy. You are still her Lobster, forever, and so you need to keep living. She wants that.  I know it, because I’m her.

I love you, Maggie. I rarely cry while I’m writing anymore. But I’m crying quite hard this morning.

I wish I could do better for you. I wish I could take it all away. But we can’t do that. We need it all, I guess. We need the opportunity to turn this shit into something holy.

All, all my love. Please keep in touch, Maggie. I miss your Lobster for you.

G

PS. This song is for you and your Lobster, Maggie.

 

Aug 312012
 

Monkees, I’m okay.

I know things are a little heavy around here. I think sometimes we gotta let it get heavy before we can lighten up. We have to look things in the eye before they’ll back down. Grief and sadness are like that.

I know that there are lots of you who relate to the way I wrote yesterday, and lots who don’t. And that’s okay. I hope I don’t scare you too much when I get like that. That voice. It’s a little scary in its desperation and drama, I know. Maggie’s letter about losing her Sister, well, it did me in for a good twenty-four hours. It took me back and up and inside out and upside down and I cried hours worth of holy, cleansing, thank you-jesus tears. Release. I cried for Maggie and her big Sister Emily (Maggie has a lobster left on this side!) and for myself and for my Sister and my parents and for Katie and for me. When I hear those stories, I can’t help but feel: we lost another one of us. It takes me down. But I’m coming up for air now. I know many of you really want me to lighten up. Thanks for not saying it. Thank you for letting me be me. My whole life I’ve felt like maybe I’m just TOO MUCH. All my feeling and thoughts and sadness and ecstasy. Thank you for helping me let go of that. I can be my too much self and still be loved. Craig taught me that first, and you’ve confirmed it.

Listen. Maggie’s coming to visit me in Naples. We are going to spend two days together, sitting in beach chairs, looking at the ocean, talking about Aunt KK or not, healing together. Maggie will be my first visitor in Naples. Strange, right? Strange and so, so perfect and awesome. Maggie and I both feel like Katie MUST have a hand in this.

Yesterday while we were planning, Maggie said, “I can’t believe you’re having me visit. How do you know I’m not crazy?”

And I said, “Well for God’s sake, I hope you’re a little crazy or this visit is going to be a total BUST.”

I love Maggie already. And I’m so grateful that she still has a lobster on this side. I plan to become her crawfish.

I’m here to tell you. The Love Revolution is REAL. Life is short, as Aunt KK’s family’s learned the brutally hard way. It’s time to take some chances with each other and LOVE BIG and OPEN WIDE and expect miracles.

I invited Maggie to write about her Katie, and she did. Monkees- meet Maggie and Aunt KK.

 

 

Dear Glennon,

Hello friend. I know in your post you told me to write to you about Katie, my sister, my lobster, and you would share it with your readers. Honestly, at first I thought-no way! There is no way I could share these thoughts, these words the way that you do daily, but I have been so touched not only by your post but by all of the comments that continue to pour in from readers. I am amazed at the stories people have shared about their own struggles with addiction, or losing a loved one, or not having a lobster to lean on, and I have been uplifted by their stories. I could not let all of those words linger without a response to you. So here is our story, for only you, or for everyone- either way, I will have shared it and I can only pray that it helps you, or helps someone else. Like I have said before, I don’t open up to many, if anyone, but you have bared your soul to me and to so many, and I feel that there has to be healing in sharing my thoughts, my feelings, our story.

 

Over the last 3 months, for the first time, in my ENTIRE life, I have walked this earth and lived this life without my Sister, my lobster, Katie in it. As the youngest of 3 girls, I have never been without a friend in this world. But our trio is down one, and we are finding it so difficult to march on without her. She was our spirit. She was loud and funny and commanded all of the energy in the room. She taught me how to laugh and how to make other people laugh. She was, without a doubt, the funniest person I know. I can still hear her laughter now- I pray that I won’t forget that sound. She was a shining light- until she wasn’t.

 

You spoke of feeling things more intensely, and that is exactly it. When she loved, it was all encompassing. She loved her friends immensly, and I thought they were the absolute coolest. I was every bit the annoying little sister that followed her around and hung on every word she said. I bawled when she went away to college. When she was gone, it felt like a piece of me was gone too. But she wrote me letters and my parents took us to visit her, and I wanted to be just like her. Beautiful, funny, smart- the person that everyone wanted to be around. As a teenager, she was obsessed with U2. I remember when she found out Bono got married, she locked herself in her room for days. She was so in love with him that she put a poster of him on the ceiling above her bed so that he was the first and last thing she saw EVERY day! (puke). But it was her love and it was intense.  And she loved her family. Our parents, her sisters, her brother-in laws, and my boys- her nephews. We talk about Aunt KK everyday. And my everyday prayer is that they will have some memory of her, some place in their heart that knows her spirit and how much she loved them. 

 

My words will not do her justice, just like now they cannot. But much the way Katie loved fiercely, she hurt with an intensity that I thought I would never understand. Until now. Now I think I have an idea- isn’t that a shame? Now I get it but she is already gone. I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t get over the struggles she faced. So our parent’s got a divorce, so she lost her job, so she got a divorce- bad things happen to good people all of the time right?? But she felt it all to her deepest core,  just like she loved us all in the deepest parts of her heart. She could not escape that pain. She could not get it out of her head or out of her heart.  Why was that HER struggle? Why did she have to live that way? I will never be able to reconcile why she was given that lot in life and not me. 

 

As much as she loved, she couldn’t comprehend how much she was loved and cherished by so many.  And so . . . a  prescription for pain medication turned into that escape she needed, and that escape turned into an addiction, and we lost her. It happened slowly and in all honesty, we had no idea how bad things had become.  And then on May 6th, after struggling with an addiction to prescription pain medication, at 37 years old, my beautiful big sister Katie died from what we believe was a drug overdose. We have done unbearable things in the past few months. We picked out her burial site. We wrote her obituary. We buried her. At 37. We said good bye. And cruelly, we now have to try and move on without her.

 

I have no doubt in my mind that she is happy and safe and at peace in heaven. I know that I will see her beautiful smile again. I know all of this in my head, but my heart is broken. I feel broken. Selfishly I want her here with me, even though when she was here I was so frustrated with her.  I am so blessed with a wonderful family. My parents, my other Lobster Emily, my amazing husband and two sweet little boys. I am so lucky to have this life but I wonder if I will be able to pull myself out of this deep sadness. I don’t even recognize myself. There is physical pain in my chest, on my heart, that I have never experienced before and wonder if it will ever go away. Was this what life felt like for her?? I cannot bear that thought. And now I miss her so much it hurts.  How can I be so sad that she did not have this life I have but feel so mad that I have to keep living it, without her, and with this grief? I want to tell her how sorry I am. I want to be there for her in a way that I never was. I want to go to her house and scream and stomp my feet and lock the door and make her better. I want to talk to her just ONE more time.

 

 Even after three months, each day Emily and I say to each other, “I can’t believe this is real, I can’t believe she is gone”. I am repeating your words in my head, Live your life. Lay hers down. Live your life. Lay hers down. MY life has always had her in it. But this is our new normal. I am so grateful for the insight you have given to me and so many. I feel like I know Katie even better now. She spoke to us through you and now I understand. So I will say to you what I wish I could say to her one more time.I am here for you. Always. And I love you so much.

 

Thank you, again, for listening. You have given me an opportunity to release my thoughts and my pain and I am forever grateful.

 

Maggie