T is for Transition
Brain matter and other fun facts

Behind the picket fence: My Messy Beautiful

So I came out in my blog this week as a 12-stepper*, which is something I’ve been wanting to share with you for a long time now.

I was waiting to get “all better” before I mentioned the thing that was helping me so much in my journey to “better.”

And then I had this little trip back down the rabbit hole recently and realized “better” isn’t a place I’m going as much as it is a way of being.

When I started my conscious recovery, something I’d been seeking in multiple ways over decades, I initially felt very, very sorry for myself that I “had to go to these meetings.”

But then after about six weeks, I started to feel sorry for everyone else who doesn’t get to go to them.  That’s about when I wanted to start sharing all the awesomeness with you guys but it was all still kind of raw and I wasn’t ready.

I’m still a little like “whaaat am I doing” but if I can spare one person the angst anguish hell of my darkness by shining a little light on it, perfect.

I’ve been praying a lot about what I’m meant to do next with my work and I know this kind of stuff is what I’m supposed to be writing about even though it feels all vulnerable and awkward and like I’m totally unqualified to be talking about stuff like God since I also still say things like “shit” and “damn.” A lot.

So this happened:

me + a book + kids playing happily in the pool = bliss for like 20 entire, uninterrupted minutes.

Twenty of them.

You guys?




I have dreamed of this day. In fact, “reading poolside” is a joke I have with a few girlfriends, sort of our version eating bonbons, which isn’t even a thing by the way. You know that right? Bonbons are a joke, so is reading poolside for mothers with young children.

Except for these twenty minutes. Those were no joke. Those were the kind of minutes I will remember for eternity. Just like I remember this one nap I had in the summer of 2011 when Matt had Sam and I snuggled with Baby Jake for a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep.

And I savor these blissful moments as reminders to enjoy them when I get them and to trust that more will come.

But then, you know, this happened too:

party pooper

After the bliss, the poo … or something like that.

All I could think as we were evacuated was thank God it wasn’t my kid. Anyway, the moral is: Every party has a pooper.

Pure bliss punctuated by poo in the pool … isn’t that perfect you guys? I mean, really. That’s the deal right there.

And it’s such a perfect introduction to what happened next. So you might have noticed the book I was blissing out on was “Carry on, Warrior. Thoughts on Life Unarmed.”

The author, Glennon Melton Doyle is the founder of the awesomeness that is Momastary for Truth Tellers and Hope Spreaders.

Glennon is in what my friend and writer coach Christina Katz refers to as my “tribe.”

Glennon is “my people.” I’ve never met her, but I know we belong to each other, and she knows it too. All of us belong to each other. In fact she’s made it her mission to connect like-hearted spirits and this Messy Beautiful blog post project is an example of how she connects people in genuine, inspired ways.

Shortly after the poo-in-the-pool sitch we got back to my parents’ house and I had an email from Glennon inviting me to participate as one of the Messy Beautiful writers. I responded to the initial call awhile back and didn’t expect to get picked so it was pretty cool to get that “Yes.”

Especially because it was bigger than her yes. I had just that morning asked God for some specific direction about my writing to make sure the vision coming up in my head and heart was really a good idea because it kind of freaks me out.

I’ve always been about honesty here and I’ve struggled with that because like I said the other day, our stories are interwoven and while my stories belong to me, they are tangled with the threads of others and I want to be respectful of that while honoring what I came here to do which I think is to be one of the truth tellers. To live out loud, on paper … to be vulnerable in a way that encourages others to be their most authentic, favorite selves … is there anything else worth being?

So, with my heart’s calling and with the invitation to participate in this project – I am leaving the gate propped open, it’s broken in real life actually, to share more from behind my white picket fence.

All is not as it appears, and some days that’s a really, really good thing. Others, not so much. Either way, it’s my messy, beautiful life – welcome.



This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

*I know the specifics are important to some of you, and we can talk about that if you ask but really, it doesn’t actually matter. It's an al-anon program to work through old, messy stuff ... I’m working on it and growing into the best and healthiest version of myself as I do.

To like me, I mean really like me - like, on Facebook, click here.

By the way, when readers subscribe to my blog it’s like getting a high five in my inbox. Of course when they unsubscribe I get all self-conscious. Thanks for signing up to get these free updates from Nathalie’s Notes.



Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner