I try to keep this space lighthearted most of the time – a haven of irony and silliness from a life that is often bitter – but sometimes that is difficult. When your writing comes from your soul, it is bound to reflect the entire spectrum of human experience, from passion to humor to rage to anguish. I come from a place where hiding all that is ugly and painful was the rule, and reflected an incomplete (and therefore false) perception of myself to everyone. This was unfair to the world, to my family, to my friends. Not that I fooled anyone with my “I’m okay”s, but I did not let them into whatever reality I was experiencing, particularly as my drinking days wound to a close. During those dark days I especially hid the truth from myself.
By this concealment, I hurt everyone I knew and loved.
What I didn’t realize for all those years was that I was cheating everyone out of the ability to connect on a truly human level. To say to someone “I am hurting” brings a closeness and a rounding out of shared humanity. My chiefest desire has always been to spare others from my pain, but along with that I robbed them of the ability to in turn be vulnerable to me, to release their own burdens and together be raw and real.
So as part of my healing, I have pledged to be real, however wart-faced and bleeding it may appear.
The truth is, I am grieving. I am grieving for our nation, who chooses to ignore the hurting and the mentally ill as if they were only so many political problems. I am grieving for the mothers and fathers who lost their babies and the greater part of their hearts forever. I am grieving with the siblings who will always have a hole in their lives from this day forward. I am grieving for those who saw terrors which will undoubtedly haunt their dreams for the rest of their days. I grieve for the brave who acted valiantly to save lives without a thought to their own sacrifices. I grieve for those who may have discovered a cowardice they never knew they had, and now must face grisly truths. I grieve for those around the globe who suffer horror as part of their everyday lives and know no respite from affliction.
I hurt with you, for you.
This is real.
Thanks for being real with me.