So, you may be wondering what's gotten me so hot and bothered about writing, lately. I mean sure, in the past I've written sporadically and given you a glimpse at what's inside me but for the past few days, it's like I have this ferocious passion to strip away my defenses and share what makes me who I am. There is a very specific reason for this, a clearly definable catalyst and that is the brilliant book GUTS - The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster and its remarkable author, Kristen Johnston.
First off, GUTS is one of the most powerful pieces of writing I have ever encountered. It resonates with me on SO many levels and, in many ways, it captures the essence of who I was, who I am and who I wish to become. I don't want to reveal too much about the book because, truly, I believe you should read it and discover its raw beauty for yourself but trust me, you will laugh, you will cry and, quite possibly, you will come away a changed person, as I have.
In short, GUTS captures one woman's journey of self-discovery, addiction, near-death and recovery but it is OH so much more than that. Having never suffered from an addiction to drugs or alcohol (but having a family member who does), it was not that aspect that I could identify with though, as Kristen says, "Everyone is addicted to something." It was not just her depression that I could relate to though, as I've said many times before, it is a battle I have fought my entire life. It is not our shared love of lip balm, true crime, profanity and biting wit that enraptured me, though all of these things certainly helped. No, what I think effected me most is Kristen's brutal honesty and fearlessness. This is a woman who did not have to tell her story, she wanted to, not with any agenda in mind beyond sharing her truth and maybe, just maybe, inspiring others along the way. She has done that and so much more. I feel like, for the first time in my life, I can come out from behind the curtain of shame that has kept me hidden for so long. I can know, deep in my heart, that sharing MY story can only do me good and if, in the process, I can touch someone else's life, all the better. It is my sincere wish that everyone will read this book and take away from it all that I have.
It is my great honor to have this book, and Kristen, in my life. The lessons I have learned, and am still learning, are ones I cherish. I feel like, for the first time in my life, just who I am is good enough. Sure, I want to continue to grow and evolve. My work is only just beginning. But having this book as a tool and this remarkable friend in my life, wow. It's one hell of a start.