What Lies Behind the Filter

It started with an over-filtered photo on a social media tag.

I was tagged for #stopdropandselfie on Instagram. I saw the notification while I was sitting in the car line, bored to tears. I had my hair pulled back in a ponytail, accentuating my big forehead, but I had taken a shower that morning and did at least have some makeup on. I wasn’t scary so I figured…why not?

I don’t take a lot of selfies. If you check my Instagram feed you’ll certainly find a few but mostly you will find photos of my kids, my dog, books, and pints of Ben & Jerry’s. I took the photo, posted it and went about my day.  Later, when I put on my glasses and really looked at the photo I looked fuzzy. And plastic. I looked like me, but flawless me. So…not me.

I absolutely do not look like this…well, I do…but not really.

Later that evening I felt compelled to make this right. I took picture after picture and still couldn’t figure out how to edit out the editing. Then, I saw it. The little profile of a woman’s head at the top of the screen. I tapped it and slid my finger left, relinquishing perfection for honesty. I still look a little airbrushed but that’s due to the fact that I was apparently sitting next to a good lamp and still had makeup on. I have freckles that are covered by that makeup but this is me….dark circles, forehead wrinkles, lines around the eyes earned with each day of my 47 years.

No filter
That’s a little more like it.

Two photos. One overly airbrushed nonsense and one real with no smoke and mirrors, just a touch of Dermablend.

Pictures are wonderful snippets of a view into our lives, a highlight reel if you will, and can certainly tell a story. But is it the real story?

We spend time creating an idea that what we are doing, and more importantly how we are doing in the time it takes for the click of the camera and to add a few filters is so much better than it really is.

We mask internal pain by smiling brightly then removing the flaws, the parts that make us real, show us as we truly are. We add a filter, adjust the light, and perfect the contrast as if our measure of happiness lives and dies in that one moment.

On social media, we decide what we want others to see and what we don’t. Photos are filtered and words are edited because we want to look as if we’re living better on the outside in order to hide what is dying on the inside.

I will admit that my life looks better on social media than it does in the real world. I edit photos. I am more apt to share the happier moments. I leave out altogether the less than stellar moments that aren’t easy to make pretty.

I don’t do this because I’m vain. I do this because I was raised to believe you don’t ever show, much less spotlight, the bad side. You stuff your feelings and hide the truth. Always put your best face forward and if you can’t say something nice, say it behind closed doors.

That was much easier to do in the decades before social media. Today, we can get up to the minute status updates and photos with the push of a button and swipe of a finger. Or the push of a few buttons and a few swipes of the finger, a little editing and filtering….it has to look or sound just so.

Everyone has that one Facebook friend. The friend who is always happy. The friend whose kids are headed for epic greatness. The friend who travels the world, eating the best food and swimming in the bluest oceans. That friend whose husband never passes gas and sends flowers weekly. They never, ever have a bad day.

I scroll through Pinterest and see the amazing things people do to their homes, the meals both edible and beautiful, the fun DIY projects, endlessly perfect bodies, nails, hair, makeup….the list goes on….my eyes glaze over, my mouth waters a little, and I wish for a prettier everything.

Instagram is full of more spectacular edited and enhanced moments. I scroll through some days and feel less than…less exciting, less pretty, less happy. Worse, some days I feel envious which, in turn, makes me feel ashamed.

Being a writer, these social media outlets are necessary evil. When I am actually doing this thing I love, I use them every day. Those are the days I can scroll through and I am inspired and genuinely thrilled for the many successes of others.

Other days, I resent them. Like a semi-stalker, I will scroll through and feel the cracks in my self esteem widening. I forget my own accomplishments and the fact that somewhere, someone may feel the same way about my own feed from time to time.

Since I purged my social media of friends and family and use it only for my writing now, I feel a little less inhibited. I don’t have to fear the phone calls and feigned support which is usually just a dig for information. I find the network of people I write with to be more open and I am find it easier to write freely and the more I do, the easier it becomes to show my true self.

Still, the simple truth is that on social media, life is often filtered. We share the pretty parts and sometimes the ugly. Hell, sometimes even the ugly may not be the whole truth, only a concocted fiction, either in whole or in part. People love a good story and morbid curiosity will always be a draw.

Do I believe that everyone that writes a blissful status update or posts smiling photos on social media are wearing masks? Of course not. I read statuses every day that express unhappiness, anger, frustration, and guilt. I’ve even seen these negative emotions in photos, albeit rarely.

The truth is we never really know.

I recently read an article about a young girl whose Instagram and Facebook feeds were filled with candid shots of her seemingly happy life. She was a college freshman at an Ivy League school and the real truth was that she was extremely depressed and having a very difficult time. Her family and friends knew things were different, off somehow,  but she looked so happy in her Instagram photos. She took, and filtered, a beautiful photo of holiday lights in the trees at Rittenhouse Square in Philly an hour before she jumped from a nine story parking garage and ended her life. This young woman filtered out the demon of depression which, as many of us know, hides so very well.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to totally rid myself of some type of filter. I have years of practice hiding my true feelings, putting my best face forward, and burying truths. Just today I shared some personal news with some friends online that I trust wholeheartedly. I typed the status six times – six! – backspaced it out, typed it again and hit enter, deleted it, and then finally typed it, hit enter, and left it.

I felt sick.

I was worried I would look weak, desperate. Ironically, it was in a moment of weakness and despair.

So, the truth is…

I have moments where I fall to pieces. I cry, I rant, I throw things, and I look like shit because I haven’t showered in four days.

Things in my life go wrong and don’t make sense.

My kids aren’t perfect. They are real jerks sometimes.

I get jealous of my peers when they are writing brilliance and I can’t put three words together.

And, the truth is….

I am a strong woman but I am human. I get depressed and angry and tired and fed up and scared, but you will likely never see it.

My kids are brilliant, I love them fiercely, and I am proud of them every day, jerks or not. That you will likely see a lot.

I am proud of my friends for their accomplishments. Writing is a bitch of a thing whether you do it as a hobby, a passion, or to make a living. Getting it noticed is monumental. I applaud you. I will try to let you know that more often.

I made a conscious decision when I started this blog to be honest and to write free. Sharing these words on social media takes that one step further and, aside from the unfortunate Barbie-like selfie, I think I have held true to that promise. I do it in hopes of trying to form real connections, something that isn’t very easy for me.

But I keep trying.

So use your filters wisely. Make your pictures prettier, hide a few superficial flaws. There is nothing wrong with it.  Show the world your best but don’t hide your worst. You don’t have to show it to the world. But show it to someone.

In times of despair, or just the need for human connection, relinquish perfection for honesty.

I will leave you with this short video from my beautiful friend, Hasty. She sums it up so eloquently in just 15 seconds:

The Good Enough Mom

I question my ability to mother every single day. Some days I get it right. Other days I get it very, very wrong.

It’s easy to announce all the wondrous things I do as a mom but the truth is, in my mind, there are very few things to shout across the universe about.

I get up at the ass crack of dawn not because I want a jump on motherhood but because I want an hour of peace and quiet with my coffee and computer before the wild rumpus of life begins since I do actually live where the wild things are.

The boys…oh, the boys!…they will fight in that way that boys do. One has no filter or boundaries while the other is going through some big changes that make his temper volatile. I don’t stand between them like the zebra-striped referee anymore because it makes me tired. I shrug and walk away. Let them work it out. If someone hits the floor, well…they hit the floor.

I no longer make up fun and age appropriate words when I need to release my inner bitch, especially in the car. Alternatives such as ‘fudge’, ‘cheese and rice’, ‘shitake mushrooms’, and ‘son of a biscuit’ -why are they all food-y?? –  just don’t have the same soothing affect on my damaged psyche as the more lively words. I don’t incorporate them into every sentence but they do make it in from time to time and, yes, my kids are around.

Fuck, shit, and son of a bitch release an amount of tension even Xanax can’t touch.

You can quote me.

I don’t always feel like making lunches so my kids are forced to eat the shitty school lunch. They live to tell about it, and tell about it they do, to which I respond heartily and without so much as a grin that it didn’t kill them.

Dinner is pretty much the same. I hate to cook but I wake with the best of intentions every day…going to the grocery story, buying all the organic and good-for-them things but more often than is probably “motherhood correct” they get chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese….the processed Velveeta kind.

Oh! And let me not leave out Hamburger Helper.

Long ago, I quit trying to be the mom who gives the greatest and most creative gifts for teacher appreciation week. I do manage to bake Pillsbury pull apart cookies and put them in a pretty recycled Birchbox and my go-to gift is a Starbucks gift card. Not creative but it gets the job done.

I’m not above telling them that I’m going to sit down and write or catch up on reading or nap and that unless they are bleeding, and pretty badly, they should think twice before stepping into my personal space.

I tell my homeschooled daughter to skip the schedule some days and take her shopping. I’m a shitty learning coach on the days my Kohls cash is going to expire.

When I am in the throes of anxiety and can’t catch my breath I go to my twelve year old daughter and hold her hand. Some say that’s a lot of pressure to put on a twelve year old. I say you don’t know her.

I yell, I slam doors, I threaten to throw their crap in the yard or run it over with my car if they don’t pick it up. If they don’t bother to tell me they don’t have clean socks or underwear for school, I tell them to take it out of the hamper and turn it inside out. That’s their bad.


my kids know I love them. I tell them every single day, more than once. More than twice.

I show up. To all the things. Always. I am now and will always be their biggest (and loudest) fan.

They know without a doubt I would turn the world upside down for them and then lay down my own life if it came down to it.

They know me well enough and, better yet, respect me enough to give me the time I need to deal with being human. Most of the time anyway.

My daughter sees me in all my imperfect, insane glory and sometimes she comes to me, just to hold my hand for five minutes because she knows, even when I try to hide it, that my mind is spinning and my heart is pounding; she knows just from the look on my face or the tone of my voice. She realizes I am not a super-human. Just a regular one dealing with life and some of the less pretty stuff that comes with it.

They eat just as much healthy food as they do garbage and are all growing and glowing to show for it. The proof is in the penciled marks on their bedroom door frames. Did I mention they love Hamburger Helper?

The boys haven’t killed each other yet and I’ve only seen a couple of marks. I grew up in the days of far less paranoia and fist fought my brother until he outgrew me by a foot and I knew I could no longer win. I’m still here and I’m fairly sure they will be too.

My daughter is finishing her honors courses with all A’s and a B this school year. Retail therapy is obviously a fantastic tool.

The teachers may not say, but sometimes do, that the cookies and Starbucks cards? They are the best gifts ever.

As for the words. They are just words, expressive and colorful. If they are going to say them one day it will  be with or without my help. Mostly, they just ignore me.

I’m not a perfect mom. I don’t need to be.

My kids love me just the way I am…flaws, bad cooking, anxiety, curse words and all….I am their rose with many thorns.

I am a good enough mom.

They wouldn’t trade me for all the chicken nuggets and mac-and- cheese in the world.





Photo credit: Pixabay












That Was Then, This Is Now

I am an alcoholic and an addict. I have made so many mistakes in this lifetime, some of which I can never make right. I have caused emotional and spiritual damage to myself and others that cannot be undone. I worshipped a devil and in the process a part of me is forever lost.

For years I walked a path of self-destruction and could never quite succeed in dying, the only thing I thought could bring me peace.

I was wrong.

This is part of a letter I wrote to myself as a part of my recovery from alcoholism and addiction. The full letter, the first part of which I wrote in 1997, is on The Sisterwives today.

I added to it just this week, almost 18 years later.

You can find it here.



Photo source: Wikipedia.org

How I Built My Summer Kitchen

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten  ~  Natasha Bedingfield

If I stop and look back at the past few months I find that I have been in a very bad mood.

I try very hard to be an optimist but I have to admit that lately I find myself standing with my toes on the edge of that fine line that crosses into the land of pessimism. It has become harder..near to impossible…to keep the mask of optimism in place.

Perhaps it’s the never ending angst and calamity in the world. In the interest of time I won’t list all of the hate by category, i.e. race, gender, sexual orientation….. so let’s just call it what it is:

People against people.

These stories seep into my brain to the point I want to scream out loud and I have to turn away in despair and utter exhaustion.

I know there are still many, many good people in the world. They want to make things better, make things right. What I am finding the more I look around is that this is becoming an uphill fight. Up a hill the size of Everest.

In addition to any outside influences, my inner turmoil is affecting my already finite patience. It is at this point little more than a distant memory. I have none. My desire to be nice seems to have packed a small bag and joined the exodus. I feel like an emotional volcano, waiting to erupt at any moment without warning spewing crazy, burning rain down on the world. Anybody and everybody in it. I have been taking ‘fake it ’til you make it’ to a whole new level.

I have just felt like checking out, moving out and moving on, disappearing into the proverbial woodwork.

My life is run like a machine. Constant movement. Continuous motion. No time for anything but what the job entails and yes, I have days when I think of raising my children and running my household as a job. One with lousy pay and meager benefits at best. On the rare occasion I find my self alone in my car, on yet another tedious errand for toilet paper or some other trivial shit, I turn up the music and consider never coming back.

My sanity returns just long enough to scream, “Stop!”

Yes, it is mentally draining to hear about the indifference or disdain people have for one another but why am I letting the pessimism and anger of the world affect me so drastically?

When will I wrap my head around and learn to accept the fact that with age comes change and not all of it good?

Why would I even consider for a millisecond leaving a home full of the people I love the most, who love me back and consider me their most important person?

Because sometimes it’s hard? Because I’m tired?

Fuck that.

Yes, life can have periods of time when it feels like a load of bricks with one, two, or three more being piled on daily. It can be painful and the struggle to carry it can seem impossible.

If I lift my head for one moment….raise my eyes to life level and see what is in front of me, have the good sense to shrug off the weight of martyrdom and self pity for just a moment, I will see many in front of me. Folks with wheelbarrows and work gloves paired with strong shoulders and willing hearts to help me unload that burden.

If I shrug off a brick at a time, two if I’m able, I can focus on what’s important in each minuscule and very fleeting moment in time.

I know if I just allow it more of those bricks will fall away or be lifted away by others I didn’t expect.

I imagine one of the most interesting thing I will find is that of the people standing in front of me there is a mix of not just family and friends. There are strangers, too.

I am making the effort to bring back kindness to my life.  I realize that this is the only way the bricks will fall. My life is not a job. It is a gift. Every day I wake up warm and healthy and each night I will go to sleep clean and well fed, surrounded by people who love me even if these days they are simply tolerating me, and I get to do things so many others wish they could.

I get to hold these precious people, my family, for every single second that they allow me and thankfully that is still quite often.

Most importantly, I simply get to live. Where is my gratitude for that simple grace?

So today, I will work on dropping the bricks. I will bring the kindness back.

I will be generous with compliments.

I will hold open a door.

I will smile at strangers.

I will pay something forward.

I will make time for silly.

I will love and be loved.

With each act of kindness another brick will drop.

And I will use them to build myself an amazing summer kitchen.


In my recent mindset I have had a terrific case of writer’s block. This post was quite literally written in my head while my husband and I were laying bricks for a summer kitchen on my back deck…proof positive that a writer’s inspiration can be found just about anywhere. 




Interview With an Introvert

I recently offered to open my little introvert head and heart and answer some questions from my readers and any other random strangers who happened to stumble across my little corner of the internet.

Since very few random strangers tripped through the door I have an eclectic list of questions from people I know and respect as fellow writers and some I am proud to call friends, distance and lack of face-to-face interaction be damned.

So as promised, better late than never, the interview with an introvert.

Michelle aka Mama Mick

Paper or plastic?  (JK – I’m snarky this morning)

Ah, but since you asked, my gorgeous snarky one…plastic.

What was your first job?

In my summer between junior and senior year of high school I was a runner for a construction company. I got to drive the boss’s Audi around all over town dropping off and picking up blueprints/plans/documents. I ask you, would you let a 16 year old stranger drive your Audi? Brave (stupid) man. Obviously I made a few side trips to impress my friends. I made minimum wage which I believe was $3.85 per hour. 

If you could do anything you want, what would that be?

I would travel anywhere and everywhere with a laptop and a camera.

What is the happiest or proudest moment you remember?

Well, there have been many so let me just grab the first one that popped up. I would have to say the day my daughter and son, at 10 and 9 respectively, achieved their first degree black belts. 

Christina, Plagued Parent

Pancakes or waffles?

Pancakes. Definitely pancakes.

Helena aka Ken aka Jessica, Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat

What was the first album you bought with your own money (and was it LP, cassette or CD?)

Oh, you want to know about the day my mother called me a satan worshipper? It was AC/DC, Back in Black, LP…because unless you were in your car there really was no better way to listen to music. I have it on CD today. My kids love it.

What book have you read more times than any other?

That would have to be Twilight. Or Fifty Shades of Grey. Hmmm…..just kidding. (Breathe, my friend.) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Secret Life of Bees are all pretty evenly matched in the ‘read and read again’ category. 

Oh…and Wally Lamb’s The Hour I First Believed.

What book/movie do you wish you’d written and why?

I’m going to pick a movie for this one. As soon as I read the question Legends of the Fall sprang to mind. I love the story and never get tired of seeing the movie. The moral I get from the story is that blood is thicker than water which I believe to a point. I love the setting, the time period, the story lines…all of it. I never tire of watching it. I know there is also a book, which is probably better because they usually are, but I’ve not read it. I should put that on my list.

Do you have an item of clothing that you never wear but keep anyway? Why?

God, yes. I have this gorgeous snake print dress that I actually planned to get married in, under a gorgeous oak at our property in South Carolina, but too much meddling spoiled the idea and I went another route and wore a different dress. It’s sleek and sexy and a size 4 (which I’m not likely to see again but with a really good pair of Spanx….who knows?). I just can’t get rid of it. If I could get it on I’d post a pic.

Beth, newly published author of Order of Seven

*you’ve been granted 3 teleportation wishes by a hot genie that looks remarkably like Charlie Hunnam. One of your wishes can not be “I want hot sex with the genie”. You can wish to go any geographical location, any time period, and be yourself or someone else.
Where would you go? When? Who would you be?

What a great question and thank you for leaving me a loophole. I don’t want hot sex with the genie that looks like Charlie Hunnam, just Charlie Hunnam. But back to your question.

Honestly, I don’t think I would be anyone but myself, right here and right now. My life may not be perfect but it’s a very good life and I fought hard for it. There are people I admire or am curious about but I don’t think I would want to live their life. We always look at others’ lives from the outside and think they must be perfect when the truth is, there is no such thing. We’ve learned from people like Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman that what you see is not always reality and it doesn’t matter what you have, who you’re with, or where you are.  I believe the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

That Shameless Hussy, truly one of the funniest (and fabulous) people ever

What would you choose for your last meal?

Crab legs, a filet mignon cooked medium rare and a steamed artichoke with hot butter and creme’ brulee for dessert. And a glass of good wine. I’m going to die, right? So why not?

Is there a book or author that changed your perspective on life forever?

Not one…many. Every time I read a book I think something stays with me, even if it’s the kind of person I do NOT want to be. I think I would list Jodi Picoult as an author that changed my perspective on writing. I’m a fan of a story that is raw and brings forth intense human emotion and every time I’ve read a book of hers, that is exactly what happens. That is the kind of writer I aspire to be.

What, in your opinion, are your best and worst qualities?

My best quality is probably loyalty. My worst would be my quick temper. Sometimes the the two can clash as in ‘fuck with the people I love and you will feel my wrath’. That kind of thing.

Jana, Stop Me If I Told You This

If you were stranded on a desert island and you could have ONE food to eat for the years until you were rescued — what would it be?

Oh, not fair. I love food. How can I possible pick ONE? I want to pick crab legs or artichokes because they are my two favorite foods on the planet, but I eat both with butter. Will there be butter? I suppose not.


What one decision did you make in your life that you would change if you could (if any) and why?

This question. Let me see if I can explain this. I often think of events that have happened in my life that I would change. Then I realize that each of those set me on the path to where I am now, which is a pretty good place most days. If I knew I would end up here eventually anyway, I would never have tried that cocaine that my best friend bought me for my 16th birthday. I’m serious. It was the 80s. They sold that shit in the hall in high school.

Lizzi, my beloved EG and our own Considerer

What animal would you be for a day, and why?

A horse. To run with incredible power, strength, and speed and to do it with intense beauty and grace. That would be spectacular.

What thing didn’t you do that you wish you had done?

Written a book. Traveled to Italy. And Greece. Learned to play the piano and guitar. 

That’s the short list.

When was a time you remember feeling a sense of overwhelming wonder as a child?

I don’t. Honestly, I remember very little of my childhood, which is both sad and scary. I’m sure there were moments but I’ve had more of a sense of wonder as an adult, and through my own children, so I don’t feel cheated.

What was your last kairos moment?

Actually, I had one vivid moment a couple of weeks ago and it was standing in a parking lot. It was late afternoon, moving into evening, and I was out with my daughter. We were walking to the car and as I walked up to it and started to climb in, suddenly the sun was so very warm on my face and the light was just bright. I saw my reflection in the car window and my eyes seemed to be a different color, my skin brighter and the stress I had been feeling was just, in that moment, non-existent.  I had the thought that this was my life, my moment to make whatever I wished it to be and that it would change everything that happened going forward. I felt so strong and capable. I’ve tried to hold onto that feeling in my every day life and while I’m not always successful, that moment in the sunshine shifted my perspective just enough.

Mandi, wonderful writer and all around beautiful human

What did your last text message say? Don’t even try to pretend you aren’t sexting that sexy husband right now.

Nope and he’s not liable to be getting any sexts any time soon if he doesn’t keep a better eye on my children…

Last text received

Ironically, five seconds after I took a screen shot of this texst he sent me a text that cannot be shared. NSFW…or anywhere else. Sorry.

Dani, Blooming Spiders

I’d love to know which quality you wish you had and which you wish you didn’t.

I am impatient and quick tempered. I am a control freak of the highest order and at times I manage to be a little more laid back but it’s an outside thing. On the inside, I scream. I wish I had more patience and could either sprout a longer fuse (or a filter, if nothing else), and I would love to be one of those people who could just let things go. In some areas it might be an asset but while navigating every day life it can be detrimental.

That was more than one but I found it hard to choose just one. 

And one more: what do you think of in those quiet moments just before sleep finds you?

What are quiet moments before sleep finds you? Kidding aside, I usually try to clear my mind of all the things I feel I did wrong that day and make a silent promise to do better the next.

Dani Heart, A Heart on the Matter

If you could have an intimate dinner party with 5 people living or dead… who would they be and why?

This one is hard! Let me see….

Anne Boleyn, I am obsessed with Tudor history and I find her to be one of the most interesting women in history. I would want to ask her many, many questions.

Marilyn Monroe, because I like to think there was much more to her than anyone knew and I would love to know more about the person behind the persona.

Robin Williams, because he was and will always be one of the funniest people to have ever graced this planet. I love to laugh until it hurts and there is no doubt he would be the one to do it.

Stephen King, because I would just love to meet the man with the limitless imagination behind some of the best horror I have ever read.

And finally, Charlie Hunnam, a choice for which I have no good reason.

If you went on Survivor and won the million dollars..what would you do with it? Would you ever go on Survivor?

Well, first…no. I would never go on Survivor. Those people look hungry and I don’t like to be hungry. Then there’s bugs and snakes and dirt. Nope. BUT! If I did and won the million, I would pay off my parent’s debt and then my own just to make life a little easier. With that done I could free up time and money for writing, the sorely neglected Nixheart, and traveling with my daughter who at twelve is already itching to see more of the world.

If you could rid the world of one thing… what would it be?


If you could bestow one gift on all of humanity what would it be?

I would make it so no one ever had to sleep anywhere but their very own bed and never, ever would another person be hungry.

Sonya, my fellow introvert behind Single Strides

What advice would you give to yourself that you wish you’d follow?

Whatever it is you wish you could do, just do it. You may not succeed, but you have to try.

Kristi, the wonder behind Finding Ninee

When did you get sober?

October 28, 1997

What was the “last straw” to get you there?

No family, no friends, no nothing. I had lost everyone and everything. No one wanted to be around me. I didn’t want to be around me. If I could have found a way to crawl out of my own skin, I would have.  I felt empty inside and in a moment of clarity I knew if I were to ever take another drink, I would be dead soon after, one way or another. And I just wasn’t ready to die.

How did you do it?

I had gone through rehab but relapsed a few months later. Instead of committing suicide, which had been my drunken plan, I called a friend who ran a halfway house and begged for help. That’s what you do when you’re in that tiny space between life and death. You beg. I was in horrible pain for a few days-physical, emotional, mental- and then I said, “Enough.” And I did what I had to do each and every day to make sure I never went to that place again.

Was your family supportive?

Yes and no. They were cautious. I put them through a lot, especially in the final couple of years of my drinking. They had had enough and I think a part of them had given up. It took a long time to earn their trust and have them feel I was going to stay sober.

Briton, Punk Rock Papa and Original Bunker Punk

You’ve got the afternoon to yourself. No kids or responsibility, just you and yourself- what are you doing?

Reading, writing, sleeping. And eating. There must be eating.

Liv, Live By Surprise

What is the one thing about you that you’ve never told another soul?

Ummmm…..I don’t think there is anything. At least not that I’ve never told another soul. I’ve bared my soul both here and at The Sisterwives so I’m pretty much an open book. I will say that my internet peeps probably know more about me than my own family, especially now! I don’t know if that counts, but it’s all I’ve got.

Jen, Driftwood Gardens

I want to know something about your upbringing – what were your parents like?

I remember them being very social and fun when I was young but as I got older, they became a little more rigid. We were very normal from the outside looking in but there were a lot of issues. I was a great kid and in my early teens- straight A gifted student, cheerleader, dance team, softball, volleyball. Somewhere around 15, I became an asshole, having been lucky enough to inherit the alcoholism gene I decided to start early and I partied pretty hard. There were quite a few very difficult years in our family and the relationship was up and down even after I got sober. For a time, things were very good and then came the time I didn’t have a relationship with them at all. A misunderstanding on the day my son was born ended with me not speaking to my parents for nine years.

I’m happy to say that today my parents and I are very close.

I do have a brother, he is two and a half years younger than me. I also have two half sisters that I have met once, also younger.

Michelle, who keeps me laughing at Rubber Shoes In Hell

What is your favorite smell?

My children’s hair, clean or dirty….but preferably clean. And sandalwood.

So there you have it. The naked truth. I hope you learned a little something and aren’t terribly disappointed at how boring I actually am.

And actually, it wasn’t so bad.





Photo credit: Morguefile/quicksandala