I’m a recovering bulimic and alcoholic. For twenty years I was lost to food and booze and bad love and drugs. I suffered. My family suffered.
I had a relatively magical childhood, which added an extra layer of guilt to my pain and confusion. Glennon- why are you all jacked up when you have no excuse to be all jacked up??
My best guess is that I was born a little broken, with an extra dose of sensitivity. Growing up, I felt like I was missing the armor I needed to expose myself to life’s risks – rejection, friendship, tender love. I felt awkward and unworthy and exposed. I felt naked. And I didn’t want to walk through life’s battlefield naked. I didn’t think I’d survive. So I made up my own little world called addiction and I hid there. I felt safe. No one could touch me.
On Mothers Day, 2002, unwed and addicted, I discovered that I was pregnant.
I alternated between staring at the test in my shaking hand and staring at my bloodshot eyes in the bathroom mirror. I tried to force these truths to mesh: I am a drunk. I am alone. I am pregnant.
And because I had no clue what else to do – I prayed. I prayed the only way I know how to pray – in moans and accusations and apologies and tears and wild promises.
When I finally stood up from the bathroom floor – I decided to become a mother. I walked out of the bathroom and vowed to never again have another drink, cigarette, drug, unhealthy relationship, or food binge. That vow has been hard to keep. In a whirlwind, I found myself married to a man I’d known for ten sober nights. Marrying Craig turned out to be the best decision I never really made.
During that time, I discovered that I was strong. That was the first true thing I ever learned about myself.
I also learned that wifedom, motherhood, and Life, sober, were really quite difficult.
Ten sober years and three kids later – I’ve learned more true things about myself and life.
I’m usually an honest person. I am creative and kind. I’m brave and loyal and trustworthy. I’m smart. Wicked smart, sometimes. I’m quite funny. I make big mistakes and I say I’m sorry and then quickly forgive myself. I love to learn. I soak up books and people like the sun. I forgive easily. I’m a great listener. I stand in reverent awe of other people, with all their strength, pain, loss and triumphs. Incidentally, my quest to become a good mother has transformed me into a good Sister, Wife, and Daughter. I’m still learning how to be a good friend and neighbor and citizen of this brutiful world. Oh yes- and I’ve become a person of great faith. God and I are really tight. It turns out He’s wild about me. Always has been. Who knew?
And that nakedness, brokenness, and sensitivity I was born with? They’ve turned out to be my greatest gifts. My nakedness allows me to tell the truth without shame or fear and my brokenness is what allows others to trust and love me. My sensitivity is what drives me to feel the pain of others and love them so fiercely. The parts of me that made the first half of my life so exceptionally hard are the exact same parts making the second half exceptional.
Life’s about how you use what you got, I think.
I was right when I was little. Life is brutal. But it’s also beautiful. Brutiful, I call it. Life’s brutal and beautiful are woven together so tightly that they can’t be separated. Reject the brutal, reject the beauty. So now I embrace both, and I live well and hard and real.
I write this blog because it’s part of my healing process. Healing starts fresh each morning. I pour myself out and drink you all in. Because sharing life’s brutiful is what connects us and makes us less afraid. Life can’t be stuffed down with food or booze or exercise or work or cutting or shopping for long. Hiding from life causes its own unique pain, and it’s lonely pain. We have to Live – we have to show up for ourselves and each other – even when it hurts. It’s the only way through.
Showing up at Momastery heals me- as do fresh air, deep breaths, yoga, the sun, church, friend time, water in any form, messages from you, feeding myself well, my Sister, snuggling my dog, and reading anything written honestly.
Shopping does not help me heal, but I will die trying to disprove that.
I love Jesus, gay people, adoption, and rearranging furniture. In the interest of combining all my loves, I have asked Jesus to help me adopt Nate Berkus.
When it comes to God and faith and religion, I have some hunches…but I only know two things to be true-
1. I am God’s beloved child.
2. So is everyone else.