“Carry On, Warrior” – Season 2, Episode 2. Released on January 20, 2015
Today on “Waking Up In America” I’m talking to Glennon Doyle Melton the author of New York Times bestselling memoir “Carry On, Warrior” and founder of Momastery.com, blog and online community that connects hundreds of thousandsof followers.
Glennon is a powerful truth-teller and hope-spreader, who writes and speaks about marriage,
motherhood, faith, addiction, recovery and connection.
I am Tajci.
At 19 I was a superstar and I was lost inside. I left it all behind, switched continents and started all over. Years later I found myself lost again. This time in the American dream.
This is a story about awakening. About living the life you were created for. About going inward and discovering the joyous and purposeful person you and I are both meant to be.
This is “Waking Up In America.”
TAJCI (at home):
What wakes you up? What makes you feel awakened? Excited to be, to show up to live who you are. For me, books are one big inspiration tool that wakes me up even, not just from emotional numbness or from a routine, but also from, you know, from physical sleep.
Often, I would fall asleep with reading a really interesting book and the first thing, when I open my eyes, I reach for the book and I continue reading.
One of those books I woke up with this morning is “Carry On, Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine, Ken Fried from Naples, Florida, who is a health and wellness coach was giving Free Hugs at the local market and ran into Glennon and immediately Ken sent me her links up her website Momastery.com
I read everything on the website and watched every video.
I love TEDx Talks and Glennon did an amazing TEDx talk in which she talks about lessons she learned from the mental hospital. Glennon is an amazingly open and vulnerable and disarming force – beautiful force in our world who quotes Brene Brown in that TEDx talk when she says “Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” I just love that.
And then as I watched the TEDx talk she said something that I said in one of these episodes and I had my own experience of it coming from a different country.
She says that we are, as children taught that the only appropriate answer to question “How are you?” is: “I’m fine”. But I learned that as an adult when I came to America and I wrote a song about it.
So a few days later when I went to meet Glennon at her sold-out event here in Nashville, I was so excited to share with her my song:
I saw you at the art show
you looked and smiled at me
you asked how I was doing
but you didn’t really want to hear what I had to say
cause I’m not gonna lie
I’m not gonna smile and say
(on set): “I’m fine.”
Well, isn’t it true?
So true… “I’m not gonna say I’m fine.” Oh, love it!
So, this show “Waking Up In America” is really saying look people, let’s not be in that numb
state, like half-asleep, You lived quite a chunk of your life under a ‘cape’
Numb! Yea. So, I became bulimic when I was 8 years old – just super early. My daughter is eight now I look at her I think, how? How? But just as addictions do when they’re not healed they just morphed into other things, so I became an alcoholic when I hit college, and then that changed into drugs and on and on but I think what you said is right. I think that I’ve just always been a very sensitive human being – which is a beautiful, beautiful thing but didn’t know it was a beautiful, beautiful thing. I didn’t think it was okay to not be fine, right?
So when I was eight and not fine I thought there was something wrong with me and that’s why I went to hide in addiction. Cause I really think addiction’s just a hiding place – hide from the world.
So yeah, when I look at my life I think, I’m still exactly that same eight year old sensitive girl I finally said you know what? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a feeling, hurting, crying, afraid, doubting human being.
Isn’t it so sad how our culture makes us think that that’s okay to be this perfect all the time? I had my hiding place – it was music. On the outside I’m sure everybody thought that you were okay.
Oh yeah! I was totally ‘fine’
I was hospitalized my senior year in high school. Back then they didn’t have eating disorder clinic, so I went to a mental hospital. And I got out of the mental hospital and the next day I was in a car in a homecoming parade in Homecoming Court. I had just been voted “leading leader” of my senior class. And I was like: “I just got out of the mental hospital” like, the two lives were so incredibly opposite, you know. I was so different on the outside than I was on the inside.
Yes, I totally relate because here I was in my teen years a superstar you know on the outside like this girl that has everything, and inside I was dying.
So okay, what was the moment? How did you feel when you broke?
Well, you know what, the moment that I quit, that I got sober, was a Mother’s Day twelve years ago I found out that I was pregnant with my son and, you know I’m always careful to mention that it wasn’t the first time that I’d been pregnant cause I don’t want there to be any judgment around making different decisions around that.
But for some reason that moment just felt like it really felt to me like an invitation like the pregnancy test – just to come back to life. And so I don’t know, I just got off the bathroom floor, I went to my first meeting and I just promised myself that I was going to try.
Like, I was just gonna try to live and so I just promised myself that was gonna do the next right thing. I couldn’t even do one day at a time. because I was so lost back then. So it was just the next right thing.
And when you say ‘the next right thing’, what’s right and what’s wrong at that point? I was so
So, at that point, I was so confused about how to live a sober life, that next right thing might be I’m gonna get dressed. Like I’m serious, it was that like, I’m gonna get out of bed and I’m gonna get dressed and then what is the next right thing? I don’t know, step outside. Take a walk and then the little next right things…
What happens is the amazing thing that I found: is if you just keep doing the next right thing one thing at a time, it adds up to this beautiful life!
Although you were dressing up before that moment and doing all the little things. It sounds like to me now you’re aware of doing them, you got out of that numb state.
Yeah. I mean because it didn’t matter before. I mean I was living I was certainly acting but I was also bingeing and purging six times a day and I mean, the difference is I was dealing with my feelings. I mean, everything in the world, I believe…
I have “Be still” tattooed on my wrist because I think that everything is dependent upon our ability to sit with discomfort.
And not numb it, and not rejected and not use it to hurt other people and not… but just sit with pain. Everything beautiful comes from there.
And so I guess that’s what I mean. I mean that I was able to function while not numbing out whatever feelings came.
Just numbing it out. I was the kind of person that hurt myself but I think a lot of the unkindness and the snarkiness, and all of that… people hurting each other also comes from the inability to be still with discomfort. I think that we feel something and we don’t wanna feel “less than” or shameful, so instead we put it on you, right?
Well yes, we blame. Also, numbing doesn’t have to be, you know – it could be your job, your success, your marriage, your “perfect marriage” on the outside
I mean I have girlfriend who will tell you that her numbing is shopping. Every time she starts to get itchy, or confused, or she swipes away with a credit card.
My therapist calls it an “easy button” – whatever you use as your ‘easy button’ to deal with uncomfortable feelings… and you know it’s your ‘easy button’ when it doesn’t help you in the long run.
It actually hurts your long run, but in the short-run it stops you from feeling. “Easy buttons.”
Mine was something dramatic, right? Mine was alcohol mine was booze and drugs and all of that. But yes, ‘easy buttons’ are often work and shopping, and I feel bad for those people because they don’t rock bottom.
The beauty for me is that my numbing things were so dramatic that I had to hit rock bottom.
Right, you had that shift that was caused.
I had no choice. But you could numb by shopping throughout your whole life, and never get to the place where you can be still.
Yes and I think we loose the sense, cause everybody around you supports that place that’s you are in.
Cause they don’t necessarily see it. It’s dangerous. But I think that anything that takes you out of discomfort is a problem.
I do it all the time reality TV for me, is my ‘easy button’. I’m like: “I’ve had it. I need some freaking Kardashians, all right? Life is too hard give me whatever. That’s my kinda numbing thing right now.
And I’ll take it. I think we all, I mean reality is too hard to deal with 24/7, right?
But I do think we have to keep it in check. And phones now! OMG, everybody uses their phone, Facebook as a numbing. I think the second we start to get uncomfortable or sad or lonely… right? (mimics ‘scrolling on the smartphone’)
Well, it’s a great place to go, yes. It’s ‘easy button’
But it’s a numbing.
Yea. I love how you found you know in your writing how just how strongly you really share this message of just be who you are, don’t, I think you have: don’t strive, don’t compete, don’t try to prove anything right? I just love that message. It’s so important to say whatever it is that you’re
You know, I’m from Croatia – I’m an immigrant. I love America. But I always wonder whose American Dream are your living? Your own or someone else’s – picture of the American Dream?
And you need to make sure that what you want, what your dream is, is internal and not from someone who is trying to sell you something.
Because I think we take on dreams from magazines we take on THE “American Dream” having a house.
Who created that? The mortgage companies. God didn’t say: “And thou shall have homes a thou shall be happy, it was someone selling us something, right?
Now women dream, the dream is look perfect well that’s because the, you know, plastic surgeons are selling us that. It really does take a little while to figure out is my dream coming from inside of me or am I just buying the dreams of people who are selling things to me.
Yes, so you’re encouraging people to be real, to be who they are, to admit you’re you know you’re a mess, because we all do live in this messy world like you said.
The book is “Carry On, Warrior” a number-one New York Time bestseller. I love it!
So, how did you feel that moment, when you know what you’ve been through you know what your life is like, you even say you’re both confident and humble… I love how you put it (in the book). How does it feel?
With the list thing? With the book doing well?
With success? Your message, your voice, you going out there and reaching obviously it’s successful because it hit that place that we responded.
I just feel it extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity to go out and connect with people and that somehow my story and voice are encouraging other people.
I feel grateful, and I feel humble about it and I feel scared and I feel excited and scared. – That’s beautiful!
Thank you so much. I am deeply grateful to you for all you work for being who you are
for being a beautiful soul. Thank you
Thank you. You too. Can I squeeze you?
TAJCI (at home)
That night as I experienced Glennon speak I I got into my car and I felt so good about myself – not because I did something great but because I felt encouraged to be okay with sitting with my own discomfort in my own mess.
Not having to apologize, but really be still and allowing myself to work through it at my own pace, without apologizing for who I am for who I believe God made me to be.
And as I was pulling out of the crowded parking lot… there must have been over 500 women there and few men, I thought how now, we all went home inspired to carry on with our beautiful messy lives.
What ripples were made that night!
My challenge for you this week: check out Momastery.com and read Glennon’s book.
That’s what I’m going to do. That and squeeze my kids and have a glass of wine with Matthew.
TAJCI (with family cooking and spending time together)
“I don’t want to fit in, this world that you live in
I just wanna be the way I am.
And I feel
I feel like a bird in the spring.
TAJCI (at home)
Until next time, thank you for watching!
I feel like a snow flake on Christmas Eve.
Created and Hosted by Tajci
Special Guest: Glennon Doyle Melton
DP: Logen Christopher
Edited by Logen Christopher
Executive Producer: Matthew Cameron
(c) 2015 Cameron Productions