Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.

-William Blake

A friend of mine, a great many years ago, once told me, “Jesus Fuck, Becks, can you ever catch a break?”

I don’t believe he was being malicious – it was more a statement of fact than anything else – so I’m certain I simply nodded and smiled, made an off-color joke to distract us both from what would have been a decidedly awkward conversation. There’s very few places one can take a conversation like that without bursting into tears.

I’ve had others echo the same sentiments through the years (and I have met others like me, which makes me believe that I am, at the very least, not alone. If I have done anything good in my life, it is to have created a space with that simple pretext: we are none of us alone; we are all of us connected); my mother, at one point, said, “you can never learn anything the easy way – I feel for you.”

I’ve been so accustomed to these storms, that, most of the time, I can barely enjoy a moment’s peace without waiting for another to touch down, leaving me breathless and shaking, wondering what I’d done in a past life to deserve this. Because come, they always do. Most are (apologies to Douglas Adams) simply a series of unfortunate events strung together in time:

I couldn’t have a single miscarriage; no. I had to have two, back-to-back. When I finally got pregnant again, I immediately fell down the stairs and broke some of the small bones in my feet, which meant that not only could I only wave a bottle of Tylenol near my foot for pain, I then began bleeding, my progesterone levels dangerously low, which meant activity restrictions and the fear that this would be a third consecutive miscarriage. I spent the rest of my pregnancy in Das Boot, chasing after a toddler and house-breaking a puppy who liked to eat poo and then barf it up on the carpet, praying for the safe arrival of my daughter to be safe. She was born with a previously undiagnosed neural tube defect, an encephalocele, and had to go in for neurosurgery at the might age of three weeks. I developed PTSD after experiencing a nervous breakdown, and lost my (at the time) best friend in the world.

Rinse-lather-repeat.

In the face of life, being, as my father always told me as I raged against this or that as a small child, unfair, I’ve learned to carry on, hold my breath and brace myself for the next storm, only occasionally finding the moment’s peace that allows me connection to the rest of the world. They’ll hit me, I know, these storms, knock me off my feet, leave me breathless, send me overboard; the desperation to find something – anything – in the murky chaos of the unknown, to hold tightly onto, until, once again, I can be reeled in, once again looking for my peace.

Life, I’ve begun to understand only recently, is much more about the storms than the peace they attempt to overwhelm.

These storms will always lurk down dark corners, or in the middle of a sunshine-filled day – the type of day that like nothing, ever, could go wrong – always present, always lurking, always ready to, once again, send me flying overboard, once again, looking for any way to get back on deck.

Only this time, I’m done with the notion of clinging for dear life to anything; anyone. Not out of bitterness; no. This time, there will be no one to save me; I’m not – never have been – “little girl lost,” and I don’t need a white knight swooping in to make me whole, to save my life.

It’s time to live life on my terms for the first time. Ever.

The storms won’t cease, and maybe that’s okay; maybe this is simply my lot in life, and instead of fearing these ever-lurking storms, I’m going to embrace them, just as I’ll embrace the few moments of peace and clarity I may have. The cracks, after all, are how the light gets in.

In the past week, I’ve been knocked out, knocked down, faced with one of the biggest storms I’ve (thus far) known, and you know what? My eyes may be blacked and blue, my heart shattered and healing, and yet, in spite of it all, still I remain standing.

It’s what I do.

It’s what I will always do.

And rather than rage at the things that are unfair, the breaks I haven’t caught, the things that will no longer be, I will, instead, embrace these cracks. For it is through these cracks, that even in the darkest of the nights, when my soul feels empty and hollow, that the light – my light – gets in.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

44 Responses to How The Light Gets In

  • Maria says:

    Becky, for this, I love you. Look at the light.

  • Your first line, Becky. My buddy said literally that same thing to me last week.

    These storms that you’ve had, and continue to have (and me as well), are constant, it seems. Just a continual long line of them. I sat down the other day and tried to think about the last time I was truly happy, and I had to use my feet to count the years.

    I’m just like you right now – wondering if this isn’t just a series of unfortunate coincidences, or if maybe this is just my life, and how it’s going to be. I’m not sure, I’m really not. Every time I think something is close to working out, it comes crashing down around me, even harder than I could’ve imagined. I don’t know if I’m naive in thinking things should be okay, or just unlucky.

    But I do know this – I’m going to start taking care of myself better, and watching out for myself a bit more. Not losing all vulnerability, because I believe that being vulnerable gives you the capacity for greater love, but at least now putting myself out there like a pinata to get knocked around.

    You’ve built something amazing with the pain, and so have I. We’ve used the ugly materials in front of us, and created something beautiful. Those things will save some people, as well they should, but they’re not enough to save us. We have to find a way to get there on our own (or with any higher power we may believe in).

    So yeah, let’s start embracing the cracks, take what we can get, and enjoy what we can . . . we’ll work on widening them as we go.

    Much love.

  • Teala says:

    Beautifully written. Enjoy the light whenever you find it. <3

  • Caro says:

    Back in college a friend started calling me Snicket, as in Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events. Like you my life has been a series of storms. I’ve learned to embrace and ride out these storms like a motherfucking hero.,
    and in my stormy journeys, finding The Band was a safe harbor for me to take shelter in. I can’t thank you enough for creating a safe place for me and thousands of others to find rest and comfort.

    You are quite simply put, my hero. If you need a crewmate for the next leg of your journey, you only have to ask. Me and The Band have your back.

  • samantha says:

    Please do yourself a favor and watch Maria Bamford’s youtube video “Don’t be afraid of the dark.” It made me feel less alone. And also less afraid of the dark.

  • Melissa says:

    I’m so impressed with how you are adapting and sharing this time in your life. You are a true inspiration to keep fighting the good fight. I believe in you!

  • No Good says:

    You’re so cool! I can’t explain how happy these posts make me, because *youre* in them. And you were missing for a while. So, so cool.

  • gorillabuns says:

    no platitudes but love and vodka.

  • JodieGirl says:

    Hi Becks,
    I’m so glad to see your post today! I was laying in bed last night (in California!) worrying about you, (it’s what I do) You are finding yourself, you are standing up again. I couldn’t be happier. You are such an insparation to me and I’m sure, many,many others. Anyway, I’m always going to cheer you on and have your back. Your voice is getting stronger….
    <3

    JodieGirl

  • Grace says:

    You are awesome! I’m so glad you’re finding your light and finding the determination to (FINALLY) live life YOUR way!

    Those of us who deal with the unending stream of storms to knock us backwards have GOT TO find some great reward in the end for it – whether in this life or the next. That’s my light. That’s what keeps me going when life keeps knocking me backwards.

  • Jennie says:

    You are a rock star- pure and simple. Rock on sister!

  • Rain storms bring rainbows and rainbows bring unicorns and gay pride parades so bring on the rain baby.

  • Triplezmom
    Twitter: triplezmom
    says:

    First, I’m in awe of your strength. Second, I’m in awe of your writing. Seriously woman, you are amazing. You got this.

  • Dana says:

    I don’t need a white knight swooping in to make me whole, to save my life.

    As it should be!

    Now take that Leonard Cohen song off repeat

  • Alex says:

    You inspire me.

  • Sunday says:

    Yes, You are the light in the storm!

  • Stacy says:

    My daughter lives with the storms, auto-immune disease, depression, one thing after another. There is no respite for any of us. But you give us hope. And not many people understand what it’s like to take the smallest gift of light and know that it’s the very best thing you will have for a long, long time. Always go to the light.

  • Kay says:

    Aunt Becky – I’ve been a long time reader although I seldom comment. I noticed the difference in your posts when you lost your words and I am so, so thankful you have them back. This beautiful writing is why I read your blog. It is why I’m pulling for even though you’re a stranger to me and I to you. I think the world of you. This will be hard (of course) but you have my support, my thoughts and my prayers.

  • Sherry says:

    You…are a fucking rock star. Shine on Aunt Becky.

  • Aunt Becky, your courage to share your story, your storms, your feelings, to share it all, is inspiring. I’m sorry the storms continue to hit and hope that someday you have more peace than storms. Much love and vodka.

  • habanerogal says:

    You are a force Becky a motherfucking force owning it is key ! Much love and towels for after the storms.

  • blu_canary says:

    Wordless at the moment. (Or nearly so.)

    I’ve been gone for a couple of weeks and just sat down to catch up. I had wondered after your post in September if something was up, but hoping since nothing more was said about it, perhaps some things had been mended. I’m sad to see they have not.

    I wish you many hugs and understand better than I wish I did. I have no words that will make everything better, but I’m more than happy to let you share my umbrella in any storm.

  • Pete In Az says:

    YYAAaaaaaa…
    …..doing his Kermit the Frog flailing arms impression…..

  • Kate says:

    In my head I’m squeezing your hand really tightly and saying, “Fuck. Yes.”

    Fuck yes. You’re going to be happy. You’re going to be fucking fabulous at the end of this bumpy road.

  • melanie says:

    when it rains.. it storms.. and its fun to dance in rain storms :) .. so your light getting through the cracks can bounce off of the rain drops like GLITTER… and then you will be a “Light in the dark, dancing in the rain, while you glitter! “…. just sayin.

  • anne says:

    You go girl!

  • Alexandra says:

    The word here scream resiliency.

    Coming back.

    Getting back up.

    NEVER staying down.

    I love you.

    xo

  • “The storms won’t cease, and maybe that’s okay; maybe this is simply my lot in life,”

    Nah Becky, it’s not you, it’s just Life. Life is like that. A series of unfortunate events punctuated by a series of fortunate ones, and mostly just a regular routine in between.

    It’s great that you are feeling good today and all, but don’t feel like you have to put on a happy face just cause you’re a blogger. But if you are feeling good about stuff, that’s probably a good thing too. You mentioned in your last post that you know you should be working on you rather than getting divorced in the middle of a recovery from a nervous breakdown. Well, maybe getting a divorce and moving out IS working on you- I can’t imagine living with someone while also being separated is great for ye ‘old mental health. Sometimes it takes a breakdown to break the inertia of doing the wrong thing that we’ve been stuck doing for a long time.

  • Jolie says:

    So glad you found your words, sorry for the cost to get them. You are a phoenix and so beautiful. <3

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    First of all I love you and how amazingly courageous you are. Truly it’s inspiring how you can see the storm for the crack of light in the clouds. You are strong and beautiful and it’s unfair that you have to go through so much turmoil but you fight it bravely and I know you will continue to. So many hugs!

  • Becca says:

    You are the superhero of this story. You don’t need saving…you’ve got this. And when you don’t we’re right here…

    My favorite phrase in the whole wide world (I have it in my foyer on the wall) is this:
    “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass It s about learning to dance in the rain.”

  • Cindy says:

    Amen Sister! Let your light shine in. Life may shit all over you, but you do learn to weather the storms and you see that light shining in through the cracks. You’ve got us here, you’ve got The Band. You are not alone.

  • This is the first I’ve read of your blog and website. I’m a baby blogger . Thanks for the excellent notes on blogging. I’ll be sure to keep you close by.
    Well done and funny as shit.

  • Alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Best of luck. You continue to be the person I want to be when I grow up.

  • I asked my mom one day, when I was in my twenties, “Why do so many bad things keep happening to me?”

    She laughed and said, “This is life. This is being an adult. You get knocked down. You get up again. You learn to appreciate the boring times. This stuff doesn’t just happen to you. Everyone has problems, you just complain about them more loudly than other people.”

    Life has knocked me down multilpe times and when it rains it pours. Sometimes I just look around at all the nonsense and think, “Come on. This is getting ridiculous.” I get back up, dust myself up, and start all over again. Complaining about it loudly still helps and I still do it. At least I don’t feel so all alone that way. I hope you get some rainbows (and unicorns) and boring quiet times soon. Either way, your light will shine bright and you’ll come out stronger on the other side!

  • Alyssa says:

    I have many a friend who in jest; because if we don’t we cry, said to them “you can’t catch a fucking break” and there have been times where they’ve said it to me. In fact just last night said it to my best friend who, if there was a contest on who was worst at break catching.. well she would be neck and neck with you. Yet, both of you are riding the storm like sharks on waves (because sharks kick ass) and making it seem almost as if it’s easy. I know it’s not and I don’t have many words that can help make it so, but just know that as the saying goes “stars can not shine without darkness” you are soon going to be shinning so fucking bright that all of us pranksters are going to need shades.

  • chrisinphx says:

    Eye of the motherfucking tiger AB! TIme for you to kick life in the balls yo’

  • jeri says:

    Aunt Becky, you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s mostly crap, but those “moments” get you through. But chin up. I guess I’m about 20 years older than you, and while the crap continues to pile up, the older you get, the less it devastates you and the more it becomes “oh fuck you crap, go away.” It doesn’t make the crap actually go away, but it does make you feel better, especially if you scream it really loud. Just try not to do it in public cause that only creates more crap. But seriously. I sense a new attitude and all the best.

  • Amy says:

    True fucking that! There’s a reason this is happening on your (our) birthday Becky. This is your rebirth. And it will bring out the beauty that is uniquely & resplendently yours! Happy rebirth day Becky (I know it’s not till Sunday, whatever). You’re in my prayers but you don’t need it. You are now mother, daughter, and midwife (fuck the doctor). Give birth to yourself, from yourself, and feel a new love and self-support and joy at your existence as if you were your own and only child. You are magnificent. Let the light inside you shine. Let what is now merely rays through the cracks shine ever greater from within you, through you, to all the world around you. We will all be better for it. Shower yourself with love and watch what grows (you deserve it). I am cheering you on, and believe in you, always.

  • krlr says:

    Did you see the movie Sanctum? At the end the guy is underwater in a dark tunnel, no O2, and almost no light. He keeps going, sucking at the little pockets of air along the way because it’s that or give up and die. He keeps going. Here’s the thing – YOU ARE STILL STANDING. You have this space, BBT, half the internet &, most importantly, your kids. This is NOT one of those “be grateful for what you have” schticks, this is “suck at the little bits of air” in your world because you are fucking resilient and eventually there will be a day when you can take a deep breath. Then you will be telling this story to a friend, sitting across the table from you, and say that was a goddamn terrible time in my life, and would you like another cupcake? Hugs & cupcakes.

  • Caroline says:

    Keep on keepin’ on. We are proud of you!

  • Jen says:

    Dear Becky,

    I have been reading your blog for a year or two now and wish we could be friends for real. I have been thinking about you and worrying about you lately, and I wish you all the happiness and peace you can find in this world. Your honesty is heartbreaking and encouraging, and I think you are brave beyond measure. I feel so sad for you and what your going through now, but I believe in you and want you to know that I am rooting for you! PLEASE keeping plodding through the darkness until you find some help, and keep reaching out to all of your pranksters so we know you are okay! I know it probably doesn’t help much, now, but you ARE loved and you are important and I hope you find peace soon!!

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