Here is a precious letter from a reader I’ve been hanging on to for a bit, holding it close and letting it fester. It says so many things that I secretly think in my dark hours that it’s almost like this person just reached inside my deepest fears and pulled it out. I’m usually so disciplined about ignoring meanies (especially while United States of Tara airs. Man, my tribe of the Mentally Ill folks can be cruel.) but when my confidence is low, it’s hard to just move through it.
“you know no one reads your blog anymore, right? god your writing is all over the place. You used to be someone that people cared about and now I’m sorry to say it but you are rally just pathetic. I guess if you go back to the oh my god I’m going to kill myself well too often, no one wants to hear it anymore. do you get it! I’m just telling you what everyone is thinking. I’m trying to help you. And what is whith all this crap you are trying to sell? It’s ugly and everyone has bills these days so why do you think someone would want to buy the crap you are trying to make us buy! I don’t come here to buy some stupid fugly crap you made! Your art is ugly!! Stop trying to make money of me. and I’m sure people have told you this before but god you are fat and you should probably wire your jawshut or something because it’s looks really bad. I’m just trying to help you and someone should tell you.”
First of all, thank you for considering me your god, but I must happily decline the position. Secondly, I read this incredible post from Gluten-free Girl this morning. I say incredible because I started bawling and by the time I was done reading, I was reminded why I do this, this writing online thing. Because it makes me feel good.
This website is 9 years old in a few weeks, friends. I’m a grandma around these parts. And at times I have no idea why I keep writing. And months go by when I don’t because I don’t want to be open to the haters for awhile. And then I feel stifled and stabby and low and SAD because this is MY space, my online home. If I’m feeling low, I write about it. If I’m feeling positive, I write about it. If I’m in the mental hospital or thinking about my career as a meth addict, I write about it. And if I painted something and need to pay the electric bill, I’m going to try and sell it because I’m more comfortable with that than a Donate button on my website. I can’t work a full-time out-of-the-house job. I’m getting comfortable with the limitations of having Lupus and creating things at home makes me feel good.
I’ve struggled with my body and its size and my mind and its weaknesses for so many years and it took me until turning 39 that I finally got it. I could finally, FINALLY, turn to my daughter and tell her, and MEAN it, “I’m so happy to be myself! Like, right now! Just like I am!” I won’t spend any more time wishing I could have done that years ago for her sake. I’m just so happy I can do it now for both our sakes. Like Shauna said, “For the first time in my life, at 45, I am relaxed into my body. What am I going to do, spend until I’m 75 wishing someone I was someone a little bit different, a little less, a little more conforming? Hell no.”
I told my husband last year that I didn’t want to spend one more second of my time with anyone who didn’t love me for exactly who I was. No more time spent with people who are “trying to help me” by changing who I am because I’m not good enough. Well, horseshit. I AM good enough. Better than good enough.
I am enough, full stop.