Sep 072012
 

 

 

You guys. I found two Monkee Sisters last night who you’re gonna love. They asked me for advice about BABIES and how to survive them. Obviously, I have no advice other than STICK TOGETHER. KEEP BREATHING. ESCAPE OFTEN. TAKE PICTURES and then LOOK AT THE PICTURES AFTER THE BABY IS ASLEEP. IT’S EASIER TO LOVE PICTURES OF BABIES THAN ACTUAL, AWAKE BABIES.

 

But I thought you’d love their messages, and I hope their humor and honesty will encourage those of you in the baby trenches.

 

 

My Dearest Glennon: 

 

I know you get so much lovin’ each day from all kinds of Monkees, it’s most likely impossible to keep up.  And that is cool by me.  But I thought this was worth a shot.  I have never written you or commented on a thing — but I’m there.  My sister and I both have young kids (2 yrs old and another on the way for her, a 9 month old for me), we live a few states apart from one another, but we read each new post you write, and then for the rest of that day, we text each other our favorite lines.  And then, from time to time, unprompted, we will text one another the hours till bedtime with a “Carry On, Warrior” message.  See — we are true Monkees.  

 

I read all the hysterical comments about your kids, but I always wonder what you were like, or rather, how you got from day to day, when your kids were babies — as in, DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME WITH BABIES OR PERHAPS REFLECTIONS OF HOW YOU GOT BY WHEN YOUR KIDS WERE BABIES?  HOW DID YOU NOT JUMP OFF A CLIFF?  I ask because I’m there.  I look at people like you whose kids are older and I always think — I will never make it there. 

 

My god, my kid is awesome, and I know that, but I these are the things I wonder: Will breastfeeding ever end (I work full-time so pumping is about to kill me)? Will my kid ever eat not-mushed food and enough of it so that I can quit breastfeeding? Will I ever exercise again? Will I ever pay off my student loans? Will I ever have time to read a book?  Will my kid be scarred b/c she’s the first kid at daycare and the last to be picked up? Will I ever eat a meal outside of my house without worrying that at that very moment, my kid is making the babysitter’s life hell? Will I ever feel sexy again? Will I ever want to have sex again? Will I ever be confident enough to have another kid?  I mean — that is the biggest mystery to me right now — how do people have more than one?  Do you just forget everything I’m feeling now? 

 So in short, I am struggling with – you know – the usual.  

 At any rate, I thought you might have some comical or insightful thoughts on having babies.  Although this might come as a shock to you, I really do look at people like you and think SHE’S MADE IT!  HER KIDS ARE OLD ENOUGH TO EAT REAL FOOD!!!!  

 Love to you and all the Monkees,

K

 

TWO HOURS LATER, FROM THE OTHER MONKEE SISTER:

 

Hey Glennon!


So glad you got the chance to listen to Krista. She is the more eloquent (English major) of the two of us. But she and I LOVE having you in our lives, and I bet you had no idea you are our therapy. I am a veterinarian and my job almost kills me daily, then I come home to my 2 year old who started life with colic (which almost killed me) and is continuing with the same jerkiness that makes me wonder why God ever let me be a mother because I am NOT patient . I have a GOOD, no GREAT life compared to so many, and for this I always feel guilty for having feelings of complete misery.

Krista and I always wonder, when do we get to the FUN part of having kids? This is why the Kairos article was so amazing for me. The GUILT I feel for not being HAPPY every moment is immense. I keep telling Kris maybe babies aren’t our bag, and we will be better with older children. But what if I die tomorrow and didn’t enjoy THESE moments? It’s all such a mess. I found out yesterday I am having a boy in January, which I thought I wanted because I am comfortable with boys, but then my sweet, ignorant hubby said , “they will probably competitive and won’t be friends” which made me CRY for the REST of the day! It was ridiculous. The ONLY reason I am having another child is because I wanted Silas have a lobster like I have, and now I get the news they won’t like each other? WTF is the point?! I don’t even like babies!!!


Of course, Kris was my first call to which she said,” Have you read Glennon today yet? That will make you feel better!”( Sorry that your “rough” days are a tool to make me feel better. I call it perspective.) Unfortunately, I read the post about Anna on Facebook (which is not what Kris was referring to) and then I cried MORE.


Thanks so much for listening.  I have so much admiration for you. I read Kelle too (the ONLY 2 blogs kris and I read because you know, we are supposed to be “mothering.”

Thanks G, for Carrying On!

Kandace

 

 

 

How much do you love these ladies? I do. Can anybody answer their questions? I don’t think I’m the best candidate. When Chase was born, I called Craig at work bawling EVERYDAY. Every single day. Because it was too hard. I can do hard things but new motherhood with one baby was not a hard thing – it was a TOO hard thing. So Craig would come home. Every day. And until last night I considered it a co-incidence that he lost his job right around that time.

Hm. Whatevs.

I’m just saying, I still feel like that was THE hardest mommy time for me- ONE baby. And now I look at all three of them running around and wonder what the heck I was crying about back then??? It seems like compared to three, one should have been easy. But it sure as heck wasn’t.

 

Any Monkee words of love and sisterhood for these fabu sisters?

 

LOVE!!!!!!

 

G

 **photo credit- sheknows.com

Sep 062012
 

I have been walking on shaky ground lately.

When I start to feel that way, I remind myself that the ground is not shaky, so the shakiness must be from me.

I found the animal shelter last week. I’ve been returning each day to sit and pet the pups there. I don’t arrive from a kind, abundance of time and love place, but from a desperate place. From an I cannot sit inside my skin anywhere but here place. From a I need to be with those who are as vulnerable as I feel place.

I went to an acupuncturist a few months ago.  A dozen of my friends referred me to her; they said she was wise and skilled. An MD with thirty years of experience. I sat down with her in a room filled with my friends. She picked up my hand, looked me in the eye and then looked down. Then she looked back up at me and said, “You are so filled with grief that I don’t know where to begin.”

I rolled my eyes. Obviously, I was the happiest girl in the room. Jerk. I let her poke me in a couple places. Afterward, I became violently ill. I came to the conclusion that acupuncture is nuts.

I’m reading a book by Ashley Judd called All That is Bitter and Sweet right now. Actually, I already finished it and then immediately started back at the beginning. I’ve never done that before. Her pain, her humility, her recovery process, and her hard earned perspective and peace have officially scared the living crap out of me.

She’s been through Recovery. She has worked and continues to work hard at it. She says that Recovery is a THING. A THING that she HAS. A TOOL and a PRACTICE to use when she gets shaky. I have a dog kennel and pills. She claims to be emotionally and mentally sober, not just physically sober. I am not sure what those things mean, but I’m fairly sure I’m just physically sober.

I believe in medication. I am sure I will always be medicated in one way or another, because I think I lack serotonin. But when I forget to take some of (my many) meds, I feel different immediately. What I feel is anger. Actually I should call it ANGER. And I just wonder what that is. Where does it come from? And what would happen if instead of shoving it down with pills for a little while, I let it come? What if I let it come?

Ashley says that depression is anger turned inward. Is that true? If it is, I want to help myself. Because I love myself so very, very much. I don’t want to turn on myself. I’d rather turn on the rest of the world, if that’s what I need to do for a while. If that’s what it takes to get healthy. To be recovered. I want to be recovered, not just sober. I want recovery.

Does a recovered person need sixty four pills a day? Does a recovered person refuse to do the twelve steps? What am I afraid of?

I’m afraid of going back there. I’m afraid of having to apologize on behalf of a ten year old girl and a twelve  year old girl and a twenty year old woman. I’m afraid of rocking the boat. I’m afraid of hurting other people by asking them to go back there with me.

I would rather swallow, swallow, swallow. And hold my breath. And keep everyone happy.
But actually, I’m not sure I’d rather do that anymore.

As Ashley says- Either God is God, or nothing. And so if I seek the truth about my trouble, about my anger . . . it will have to set me free. Truth is good. Or it’s not. I’m going to find out. I am not afraid anymore. I don’t believe that there is anything inside of me that is too awful to look at directly. To uncover. One shot at life. I want it all. I want to know everything about myself.

Yesterday, I went to my first AA meeting in ten years.

I logged on to the magical interwebs and found a meeting. Then I called a friend to verify that this meeting actually existed and she told me yes, go. This is what going to a meeting looks like. You get in your car.

It might be raining. That’s okay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You drive and cry a little ‘cause you’re scared.

Then you get very, very lost and freak out because you’re late. You’re late to Getting Better. Jesus, you can’t even get this right. You’ve screwed up already. So you call your friend and she stays on the phone with you until you get there. And she tells you- “It’s okay. You’re supposed to be late.” And that makes sense to you.

When you arrive, there is a sign over the little rickety door in the little teeny house that says “It’s okay. You’re home now.”

You walk inside and sit down at the big brown table with a dozen other people who are reading from a book. It’s not cold but you put on your hoodie because you can’t handle the idea of bare arms in this setting. You need a layer between you and the truth of it all, even if that layer is just cotton. Someone puts a book in front of you, but it keeps closing while you struggle to pull your hoodie on and zip it up to the tippy top. The man next to you (with whom you have made no eye contact) instinctively reaches out and holds your book in place till you get all zipped up. It takes a long time. He doesn’t seem impatient. Perhaps he understands the need for layers at first.

People read aloud from the Big Book that is the story of your life. You can read too, or pass. You read. You’re surprised you didn’t pass. You think maybe you just want to prove to everyone at the table that you are totally literate. You might have some problems, but you read beautifully. Hard words- no problem.

People talk about their lives. You can talk or not talk. You don’t talk yet. No one expects anything of you. You can hear yourself in some of them, though. You can hear your past self and future self and present self. You think eighty percent of it all is painfully cheesy. You also think that you look much different than the other people there. You’re much younger, much sweeter, much healthier, much hipper. Then you remind yourself that your inflated ego is part of the reason you’re in this room, so you tell yourself sweetly to shut the hell up and remain in, as Ashley calls it “receiving mode.”

Then you hold hands with a few strangers and end the meeting with some sort of chant or prayer or song. You don’t have to say it if you don’t want to. Many don’t. You can’t but not because you hate it, just because you’re a little choked up. Something about being with people who are willing to admit they’re a little broken, and they need help. It feels like: finally. It feels like Momastery.

Then the meeting is over and you smile and say hello to a few people, or you don’t. I stayed and smiled this time. I used to sneak out like a mouse hit by a beam of light and that’s okay, too.

Then you drive home thinking: well, that was something. It wasn’t everything. You’re not better. You can’t think of one life changing thing that anyone said. But that’s not important. You started. Progress is slow, but so is regression. The life changing thing is that you did something healthy and hard for yourself. For that, you’re proud. You’re proud of yourself.

This is what the sky looks like when you leave your meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll go back again. Today. You are younger today than you’ll ever be in your whole life and you really do have plenty of time to learn. You are not afraid of yourself. Not anymore.

 

Love and Peace and Adventure.

G

Sep 052012
 

 

Last week, Arianna Huffington launched a new column in which she chooses her favorite Huffington Post articles from the previous week. In her first installment, she chose our Adam letter.

It made me proud and thrilled because it validated what Monkees know –  that children and kindness are BIG IMPORTANT NEWS. I mean, I don’t know many of them since I don’t watch the news, but do I know that there are A LOT of THINGS going on in the world. And with her choice, Ms.Huffington asserted that teaching children to be kind and brave is NEWS. Breaking news. Just be brave and kind. That is NEWS. Not just to kids but to you and me, too.

It feels like there are so many other things we need to be, but maybe that’s not true. Maybe we don’t have to be hot or sweet or brilliant or talented or even happy. Those things are nice, but they fade and are often out of our control. The idea that all we have to do is be kind to ourselves and others and try, sometimes, to be brave is NEWS. When you think about it, if everyone else adopted this NEWS, there’d be a heck of a lot less Bad News to report.

Anyway, I didn’t want to tell you that Ms. Huffington picked our letter because it seemed too braggy.

But I sent the article to Bubba and Tisha immediately, of course. I always do.

The first time Farah (the editor in chief of Huff Po Parents and now a dear friend) contacted me to write for her I died. I just died. Then I immediately called my parents. Writing that sentence makes me so scared. Who do you call when your parents are gone? Who do people call who don’t have parents waiting to celebrate every tiny and big thing?

My mom answered the phone. We’d just spoken three hours prior. Still, she answered like this:

“Well, Hiiiiiiiiiiiii HONEY!!!” Like it’d been four years since we’d checked in. Like it was a thrilling unbelievable SHOCK that I was calling. Like I was in a third world country and the likelihood that I’d have found a phone was nil. Like I’d been missing for years. She always answers like that.
“MOM, Guess what?” I said.

“OH MY GOD, WHAT? WHAT?” She squealed.

“THE HUFFINGTON POST just asked me to write for them!”

“WHHHHAAAAAT?? Nooooo WAY!! YOU ARE KIDDDDDDING ME, SWEETHEART! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I KNOW YOU ARE KIDDING ME!! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT.”

“No! Mom, I’m not kidding. I promise, I’m not kidding.”

“Oh my Gosh, Hold on. I have to tell your father. He is not going to BELIEVE THIS!!!!” (*squeals again* Yes, Tisha really squeals. All the time. Every day she squeals. And while she squeals she puts her teeny fists up near her face and shakes them and smiles so big it looks like she might crack. Or explode.)

The next thing I hear is Tisha yelling (without covering the mouthpiece) –

“DIIIIICCKKKKKK! DIIIIIICKKKK! The Huffington Post contacted Glennon!!!!! They want her to write something!!!!”

Bubba yells back –  something far off and muffled that I can’t make out.

Tisha squeals, “Wait a second! I’ll find out!”

“Honey?”

“Yep, still here.”

“Daddy wants to know what the Huffington Post is. What is the Huffington Post, honey? Is it a newspaper? A book? We’re SO PROUD OF YOU!”

That’s how it goes. They don’t know. They don’t care. They just listen to my voice and if I’m thrilled, they’re thrilled. I think this means they finally trust me to be excited about the right things.

My dad sent me this email in response to the Arianna Huffington post news AND to this post, in which I called Hoda and Kathy Lee assholes. (In my defense – I apologized to Bubba first.)

 

G-

“These are wonderful rewards for your hard work and deep faith in yourself and your gifts. I am very proud to be your Dad…99.9 % of the time. Except when you use ASSHOLE in print. But I did appreciate the preemptive apology. They are ASSHOLES but perhaps next time you could refer to them as Ilene Sullivan did to me when she indicated that I was a “Sorry sack of Siberian sheep shit.” It is more entertaining and much classier.

 

Love you,

 

Dad