It’s a Brutiful Life

Momastery blogger Glennon Doyle Melton applies her distinctive honesty to her new book, 
Carry on Warrior. She talks to 
The Fix about alcoholism, motherhood, bulimia and critics.

Blogger Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery calls life brutiful—a mashup of brutal and beautiful. The word is a perfect descriptor of her memoir 
Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed, (published this week by Scribner). The book tells her story of being a recovering alcoholic, addict and bulimic
in a collection of confessional essays that lay bare the dark secrets of her past while maintaining a welcoming, inclusive and hopeful tone about her current life as a mother of three.
“Carry(ing) on,” adapted from a popular blog post, for Melton, isn’t about complacency,
but confronting the daily struggles of life through rigorous and often humorous honesty—whether she’s talking about cocaine, abortion, toddler tantrums, adoption, God or party planning.

You got sober when you found out you were pregnant at age 26. How did you deal with withdrawal, physically and emotionally?

In the book I wrote that my sobriety was more of a weary surrender than a bold march into battle. When I found out I was pregnant, I hadn’t spent a single night sober during the previous eight years.
But I’d had an abortion a few months prior and I didn’t want to go through that again. I was running low on friends, family, health, sanity and other ideas. I got sober because I couldn’t think of anything else to try.
I wouldn’t have given up drinking under any other circumstances. I guess I ran out of creativity, thank God. My withdrawal was awful. I remember sitting on a friend’s bed just willing my hands and legs to stop shaking so hard.
I lived on sugar for months. I ate a bag of chocolate chip cookies every single night. Whatever it takes, right? I gained 55 pounds, which is a big deal for a 5′ 2” lady. But I was sober, so I considered myself heroic and
insanely motherly.

You mention in the book that while you haven’t had a drink or drug since you quit, bulimia is still occasionally something that crops up in your life. How does your food addiction play out differently
than your addictions to drugs or alcohol?

Staying away from drugs and alcohol is pretty easy for me. I live a pretty public life—being a mother makes one public property—so a slip back to booze would be painfully obvious and devastating to the people I love,
including myself. I miss alcohol, but in the same way that an abused spouse misses her abuser. It was a comfort to me, but I know it never really loved me. It often left me for dead. Food is different. It’s so confusing,
how I have to eat it to survive but not eat too much of it in order to survive. Moderation is tough for me. So every several months or so I overeat and I just get that old overly full feeling. I hear that wretched voice
that insists that if I allow myself to stay in this full moment until it passes, I’ll die; so I throw up. Every time I do, I feel like such an asshole. But honestly, I feel better than I did before I threw up. And yes,
I do see this is a problem.Article Link “the fix”…

Rachel Kramer Bussel has edited over 40 anthologies, including
Women in Lust, Obsessed, Fast Girls, The Mile High Club, Gotta Have It and Best Sex Writing 2012.
She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture, and blogs at
Lusty Lady and
Cupcakes Take the Cake. She’s also written for The Fix about how she envies alcoholics.

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