Sep 172012

I’ve been fielding lots of questions about my college years lately. These are hard questions to answer because those years are hard to describe, and by describe I mean remember.

Here’s a snapshot.



My college experience was a little….vague. I am told that I had an excellent time, but I can’t be sure. Mercifully, I mostly recall college as a seven year black out, but sometimes a memory of something I did, said, or worse, WORE, hits me like a wave of nausea, and I marvel at how I made it out of there alive.

Throughout college I had this sweet little ritual where I’d enjoy a couple dozen drinks and then go for a walk, perhaps at 3 am. And then, usually, I’d get lost and decide to go ahead and sleep in a cozy parking lot or under a tree somewhere in town. It was like camping, except without a tent, clue, or functioning liver. There must have been a strict No Camping rule in my college town though, because I was often awakened by annoyed men and women with guns. These uniformed bandits were not my parents, although it would take me a good three minutes to understand this. They would ask me why I was on the ground and I would assure them that I planned to explain just as soon as they told me where we all were, and also, my name.

Fortunately they actually would be able to teach me my name because, well, we’d met before. We went way back. And they’d invite me into the back of their cozy car and put shiny silver handcuffs on me. And I would sort of settle in and ask them how their families were, and they’d tell me. They liked me, and I liked them. I went to school in a sleepy little town, and so I like to think that maybe the night police shift was glad to have the company.

So we’d continue to catch up and all would go smoothly, but inevitably during the ride to my new camping spot my officers would get frustrated. Because every time they turned around to check on me, my handcuffs would be off and placed in a tidy pile on the seat beside me. So they’d stop the car and put them back on. And I’d take them back off. My wrists are very small and I had decided that while it may have been silly for one to sleep under a tree in January, it was ridiculous for one to PRETEND that one is handcuffed. I just couldn’t fake it, though I did try for the sake of my police friends. I have a paralyzing respect for authority, so I was always vehemently on their side. But they really were going to have to do better with the handcuffs. I understood that they weren’t arresting child sized people often, but still. I explained that it was probably important to be better prepared.

{A few years ago, Craig and I were watching Cops and I noticed that police forces had started using plastic cuffs that look like garbage bag ties which close more tightly. I got very excited and told Craig that I was positive that the plastic tie handcuff innovation was inspired by me and my mini wrists. He stared, as always, and then asked me to never share that theory with anyone. But it’s hard not to discuss what may have been a real contribution to the law enforcement community on my part.}

When we got to the station I would say hello to Tom and Carla, who were often in charge of checking me in. “Booking,” I believe they called it. They were lovely people, just lovely. And they’d lead me into my very own private cell which made me feel like a bit of a celebrity, to tell you the truth. Special treatment, you know. One time, after having been there for a few hours I called Carla over and asked her if I could be released early for good behavior. I’d been quite well behaved that night, if I did so say myself. She said no, it didn’t work that way. But she did agree that I was being especially good, so she shared her granola bar with me. I was deeply touched.

Eventually I’d fall asleep and I’d awake in the morning and call my long suffering friend Dana, who had always wisely slipped an index card with our phone number into my back pocket. And she’d pick me up and we’d go to Waffle House and discuss what we were going to wear that night.

Wow. Strange, but true.

I started thinking of these stories yesterday when I got an email from a woman who is a sheriff deputy and reads this blog daily. In her email she thanked me for inspiring her. I was up all night thinking about her and how proud I am that she’s reading my blog. I forwarded her email to my dad with the subject line: DAD– THE POLICE ARE READING MY BLOG! which was probably so much more enjoyable for him to receive than my usual announcement “DAD- THE POLICE ARE READING MY RIGHTS!”

You guys, I don’t want to sound boastful, but I think I’m finally coming up in the world.

Joelle, Tom, Carla, Grandpa, and every other kind and dedicated officer. Thank you. Thank you for protecting me from bad guys, even when the bad guy is me. Thank you for serving so bravely and honorably. Thank you for improving all of my camping experiences exponentially. And thank you, especially, for the granola bar. I was really hungry. I appreciate you.




And for those of you who’d like a deeper, heavier, truer snapshot of real addiction today, click here. 


Love Again,


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  38 Responses to “A Little Help From My Friends”

  1. hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. The Sun Holds The Power of Change

  2. […] Glennon’s husband is dark and handsome. Their three children are adorable. She is surrounded by a close-knit intact family who supported her through years of florid addiction to food, booze, pills, and “bad love.” […]

  3. LOL I’m laughing at your experience with law enforcement, because I’m pretty sure those officers remembered you quite often to their colleagues. In a good way. Really ;o)

    I have four siblings; each are drug addicts and/or alcoholics. One has been sober for almost 7 years but I know life is a struggle for her. Your story helps more than you know.


  4. This is one of the first posts I’ve read on your blog. Just a suggestion for the senile 30-somethings like myself: could you indicate that it was “first posted on xx/xx/xxxx” so we won’t think we’re losing our minds? :)

  5. My mom died last week and she was a Leaver who struggled mightily to be in the world. Your “Fifteen” post spoke to me so profoundly today. I so wish my mom had had a chance to read it. Thank you for your writing.

  6. G~ You truly are my very favorite little ex-criminal! Loved the blog today, as always!

  7. I found you a few weeks ago and I love you and your words. You are awesome. Simply awesome! Oh – and I have tiny wrists too. If I am handcuffed anytime soon – I’ll let you know if I can make it out! :)

  8. This story is Hilarious. I was referred to your blog on Facebook and it is great. I am new to blogging and always looking for blogs that are well established like yours. A blog like yours is inspirational to me.

  9. I admire you’re ability to talk so openly about “those years” (and everything). “Those years” were hard for me. I find myself trying avoid “those year” questions at cocktail parties and in the hallways of my kids preschool. How do I answer those questions quickly and politely when my anxiety rages and wants to defend and explain every choice I made? I try to remind myself that “those years” define who I’m so proud to be today….. but today, YOU reminded me. Thank you….again and again.

  10. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I feel exactly like so many other women here. Thank you for lifting me up and reminding me that God does love all of us no matter what. Can’t wait to read your Carry on, Warrior!!!!! Also, have you heard this song “Carry on” by the group FUN? Check it out yo. I sing it loud, barefoot in the kitchen. Carry on Warrior.

  11. Thanks for always being so honest, and thanks for walking and not driving drunk:)

  12. […] Now, if you go to Glennon’s post from today, you might possibly wonder why I would want to say that and today, I don’t, but there are lots of other times when she does, like here and […]

  13. Thanks for sharing… I, too, am of the small-wristed folks and the skinny-finger folk. When my husband went to buy my engagement ring back in the day… they literally made him turn around, drive all the way back to MA (store was in NH) and confirm the size b/c quite frankly they thought he was marrying a 10 yr. old. What full-grown adult has a size 4/4.5 finger? Me and I suspect some other Monkees out there.

    Perhaps they should name the new zip-tie thingies ‘The Glennons’?

  14. Glennon-

    You have been “up in the world” your whole life, I promise you that. It’s so inspiring to watch you use your up-ness in such beautiful (legal) ways. You’re a treasure.

  15. Hilarious story and, as always, so well written. Oddly, the fact that you have small wrists struck me probably more than it should. I have very small wrists as well, and though I haven’t had the chance to break out of handcuffs, I do know that it’s impossible to find watches that look halfway normal on our tiny wrists!!! Have you found anything that works and isn’t greater in diameter than our actual wrists?!! Just one of life’s small inconveniences :)

  16. Joelle’s whole family has a history of Law Enforcement service, right in the county where I grew up. I’m suprised we never met until we were neighbors. 😉

  17. I enjoy reading everything you write. On pins and needles for your book!

  18. Wonderful post. Police men and women, especially those who treat people like people- no matter what their circumstances, are TRUE HEROES.

  19. I can’t wait to read your book. Over and over. Your writing is a gift and the way you love others is an even greater gift. Great post!

  20. I just wrote last week about how I didn’t want my kids to find out what ‘what I smoked’ or ‘with whom I slept’ or ‘when I spent the night in jail’ until they were well into adulthood…because in as much as I’m not ashamed of my past – I sure hope my kids will be smarter than I was.

    Love your honesty here and I agree – the cops are the good guys. Love them.

  21. What a great post following Thank a Police Officer Day. Their work, done well. It makes a difference.

  22. Glennon,

    I love the way you talk about really crazy, hard stuff. You use humor without making light of the situation. You can be serious and fun and are always honest about everything. I think I’d love to have you as a friend. Since you live across the country and have thousands of people who think the same as me, I’m happy to read your blog and have you as my blog-friend. Thanks for sharing.

  23. I recently found out that we just missed each other in that sleepy little college town – apparently I was graduating as you were entering (does this make me an “Old Monkee”? – LOL)…I am glad our paths are crossing again here :)

    You have a special gift for finding the gems in the depths of the blackest rocks. It is a lesson I wish for everyone, although it unfortunately often requires painful rocks, sometimes thrown at us repeatedly before we finally pick them up and look deeply inside of them to find the glistening jewel. Peace and love to you and yours on this crazy journey…may our paths cross again soon, and may there be much fewer rocky bruises in your future. Looks to me like you may just be sitting on a huge pile of precious gems :)

    • Not sure why everything is suddenly in italics – meant for it just to be the word “just” – as in, “we JUST missed each other…” Oh well, gives my response a little emphasis

  24. I know of that other little camping spot you speak so kindly off. My husband went to collect our son from his respite when he went to school in that same little town. I also am very appreciate of that police force that kept him safe.

    Thank you for the linked blog, Fifteen. It helps me understand and love even deeper my loved one challenged by the disease of addiction. You help all of us who have been burned by the hot lava.

  25. Having slept in a snow bank in Wisconsin in February (more than once) I hear you. The joys of drunk camping are slight compared to the joy of making friends with a kind officer and a shared snack.

  26. I seriously love you – you put yourself out there. You made mistakes, but you’ve learned and you are moving forward with life. You make me laugh, you make me cry, but most importantly, you make me love harder. I cannot wait for your book. Thanks G! Have a great, brutiful day! : )

  27. I am constantly amazed at the humor you can find in what is so not funny. Thank God you overcame your addiction and can now have a sense of humor about it. I so admire you.

  28. I am hopeful that Joelle, Tom and Carla read this. May God bless them for caring.

  29. Wow. Thank you for writing this, and the post at the bottom that you linked to. ((HUGS and SMILES)) :)

  30. My husband is a police officer and I can not tell you how many times he has come home with stories of drunk college students/young adults passed out in various places throughout town. It is incredibly reassuring to hear of a ‘success’ story in which you were able to overcome your inner demons. This is especially important to me today as I myself just blogged about the dark side of drinking… and driving. A dear friend of mine lost her three year old in a drunk driving accident just two months ago. Alcohol is a dangerous drug and I am thankful you were able to overcome your addiction. God Bless.

  31. Hilarious, as always. What a way to start the week – Thank You!

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