Every Weapon in My Arsenal
A few weeks ago I met an old friend for coffee. "It looks like things in your life are going really well," she said. "I'm so sorry to hear it. That must be really hard for you."
I thanked her. "It is," I said. Especially when the whole world is falling apart. Especially when people are dying and suffering and fighting for their dignity, their rights and their lives. My friend and I are both addicts in recovery from everything and feelings are hard. All of them. Even the good ones. Especially the good ones. Addicts love self-destruction. Addicts love self-sabotage. Allowing things to be good, cultivating and grooming and gardening things that are good goes against our primal instincts. This friend and I used to call each other to commiserate every time we wrote a story or got an interview or published an essay. The shame. The guilt. The feeling of being a such a fraud, of getting found out. At least in the short run falling down is easier than climbing up.
And this week in my personal life, in my writing life, in my mom life, in my wife life, in my outer and inner life, things are GOOD. All around me incredible people are doing incredible things. Life in 10 Minutes has started a podcast. I don't even listen to podcasts and I LOVE this podcast. Life in 10 Minutes is starting a press. Publishing books? By people with insane and incredible stories? It's this girl-who-wanted-to-grow-to-be-a-famous-reader's dream come true. Next month I'm releasing a book of my own, a hybrid writing guide/memoir. I have no idea if it's good or bad but I do know it contains my blood, my heart, my sweat, and my soul. And in a really good and bad way, that feels good.
Feeling good is not for the faint of heart. I have to use every tool in my toolbox, every weapon in my arsenal, every recovery/therapy/meditation/medication/exercise/writing resource I know to keep it up. Some days it takes more strength than I have. Some days feeling outraged, exhausted, overwhelmed and full of grief and sorrow is the truest gift I can give. But succumbing to despair and hopelessness is not a path I can afford to tread. In order to do anything that will help anyone else- writing to heal, fighting in the resistance- I have to do everything I can to help myself. And as hard as that can be, it feels good.