Sep 242010
 


For Aprile, who has suffered enough. I love you, girl. Hang on.


Well, it’s Friday. We made it. It’s been a good week.

Next week won’t be, likely, because I was checking Craig’s Blackberry yesterday and saw that his only calendar update for Monday says: “EXPECT THE WRATH.” Confused, I said, “What’s the wrath?” Craig said, “The wrath is you. I schedule your PMS.”

Kay.

Anyway, since we kicked Meltoncholy’s little bottom this week, I thought we’d celebrate today.

As many of you know, last November I came down with Lyme Disease. It was a bummer. I was sick, sick, sick for a long while. We ended up moving far away to focus on my recovery.

I’ve been feeling really healthy lately. For the past few months I haven’t had a single Lymie symptom, except for when there are a lot of dishes to do or it’s bath time or there are little fingernails to cut. Then I often relapse on the couch.

I went to see my Lymie doctor recently and told her how good I’d been feeling and I asked for another Lyme test. She said she’d do it, but not to get my hopes up because since the Lyme test detects Lyme antibodies, once a patient tests positive, she often tests positive forever. Okay, I said. Let’s just do it anyway.

Three days later, my doctor called and said:

“G, I’m surprised and excited to tell you that I’m standing here holding your negative Lyme test. You don’t have a drop of Lyme left in you. You’re done, G. You did it. You’re all better.”

Since I was silent, she went on to say:

“It must’ve been that last blast of antibiotics.”

And I finally said, “Maybe. Maybe. I don’t think so, though. I actually think it was the Bay. And my family. And all the praying Monkees.”

And then it was my doctor’s turn to be silent until she said, “Yeah. Hm. Welllllll. I guess praying monkeys would be pretty powerful. Umm…are you okay?”


Yes. Yes. Yes! I’m okay!

I’m OKAY!

Thank you Monkees, for Loving Me Through Lyme. I believe, with every bit of my grateful little heart, that we beat this thing together. A million thank yous.


Soak up the Little Beautiful Things this weekend. And then put them to bed early and hit the couch. Heaven, isn’t it? Post-bedtime-couchy-time?


Love, G



Apr 202010
 


For M, Who is Starting Down a New Road…



As you know, I had a rough go at life for a while. I spent a couple of decades lying and cheating and fighting and scowling and hiding and chugging and eating unbelievably huge amounts of food and then throwing it up.

These things might be hard for you to read, but they’re not hard for me to write. I think that’s because while I’m a different girl these days, I don’t judge the girl I used to be. I don’t think it makes much sense to judge other people or my past self with the ideas I have about life today.

Addiction is a funny thing. You seem to find yourself living one big lie, and nobody can, or should, trust a word you say. But that’s not how it starts. There’s something about addiction’s beginning that’s about truth telling. When my bulimia, which eventually morphed into alcoholism began, I sometimes had this feeling that there was something very wrong with the world, and that wrong thing was hurting my feelings and scaring me and making me feel like crawling out of my own skin forever. I had to tell the truth about how I felt somehow, so the truth came out like puke and booze. I may have been acting out, but at least when I was binging or purging or drinking, I wasn’t acting. I was sayingsomething’s wrong.

I know that addiction always ends badly, with lots of innocent and semi-involved bystanders getting hurt. That’s how mine ended. But that’s not how it started. It didn’t start with the intention to hurt anyone else. It started with a little girl who hadn’t found her words yet. A girl who didn’t yet have the courage to say, or write out loud, “Something’s wrong with me. Or maybe with everybody, actually.” So she just said those things by herself, secretly. But at least she said it. A girl has to tell the truth somewhere, if she’s going to keep a tender soul. If she’s going to be able to keep thinking and feeling and trying to understand things.

Now that I’ve found my words, things are better. When I feel like crumbling, or numbing myself because the world is so mean, I come here and use my words. Not to write about how mean the world is, but to write about how beautiful it is too, because that’s also true. Now when I feel like crawling out of my skin in the world I’m in, I come and create my own world in my writing, where things are better and more beautiful and often make sense. And it’s still an escape, but it’s a less lonely and scary escape than all those bathrooms and bottles of wine. Still, here in this world, I’m sure I’ll accidentally hurt people, too. Telling the truth seems to do that occasionally. But it’s healthy for me. And that’s what’s most important to me these days.

I understand what the girl I used to be did and why she did it. I love her . . . I’m proud of her, even. And the woman I am today is grateful to her. Because she walked that lonely road, I learned to forgive myself and be forgiven. And to be gentle, always, because everyone is just as fragile as those little hand- blown glass swans. Actually people are more fragile than those.

Most importantly, she taught me that a girl can be an ugly, scary mess, and still be doing her best, and still be capable of and worthy of saving. She taught me that nobody is so far gone into the darkness that love can’t sneak in and shed a little light.

So really, I think that little girl taught me everything I need to know, ever. I think she was sort of brilliant, to tell you the God’s honest truth. If I could take her for a walk I would tell her, Hang in there, little one. You will find your words.



Mar 232010
 



“G, I told Adrianne that I think you’re a rock star. You’re just singing quietly right now.”- Our Terri

Well, Terri, now that you mention it….here’s the thing:


Terri, that’s me.

In Mexico last summer, at my love Joey’s wedding.

“Performing” for a crowd of 150, most of whom I hadn’t seen since my bad good old days.

Sober.

With a singing voice that my 2 year old son once described as “sounds like hurt.”

And although I’m sure it’s obvious by the intensity in my face, I was singing the Growing Pains theme song.
You know….Show me that smile again….

So, Terri….am I a rock star?

Naaaah, Terri. You know I don’t like to toot my own horn.

toot, toot.