Guts

On the heels of my last post, I’d like to come clean. I’m not what you’d call a, “well-read” gal. That isn’t to say, I don’t occasionally inhale words in the same fashion I would a hot fudge brownie every 28 days, but it takes more than the slight shift of hormonal imbalance to grab my literary interest.

I know, I know, who the hell am I – this quasi writer chick, who blogs about her journey of working on her memoir – having the audacity, to not read more, swallowing every creative morsel she can – while honing her craft? Like most things in my life, it’s a little absurd.

I could attempt to win your understanding and sympathy by sharing facts of my Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia (which is really just a fancy way of saying I’m a backwards pain in the ass), but I respect you too much. Sure, I may have to flip letters in my brain, and go back to re-read what my eyes just scanned because I somehow fell off the page and landed in my closet, wondering how much laundry I need to sort, but that’s normal when we read – right?

Truth is, when I do crack open a book, it always serves me well; my challenges of reading anything cover to cover are met with a sense of accomplishment, and an overwhelming drive to follow the dream of completing my own. Also, I have excellent taste, and not once have I been disappointed with my choice in authors. This has never been more evident than today, as I sit here quietly, marinating in awe, having just completed Kristen Johnston’s new memoir.

I started Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster three days ago, which, given what I’ve just shared about my mad reading skills, speaks volumes about this book.

As a former professional party girl in Waikiki, complete with stripper poles, countless drugs and hair bands, the stories I gravitate toward are raw, authentic, and always include tales of overcoming obstacles (addiction). If they’re served up on self-depreciating, familiar pu-pu platters of irreverence and humor – even better.

No one knows more about the tragedy and seriousness of addiction like the addicts themselves (even when we’re using, on some level, we’re aware). So, to allow the gift of laughter within the walls of heartache, is to give us permission to crack open a window, and let in some light, on an otherwise dim existence. It releases some of the air in our over-inflated emotional tires, which are usually spinning circles around our egos. Carrie Fisher explains it well: “If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”

Like Carrie’s enormously successful memoir Wishful Drinking, Kristen’s Guts gives us permission to laugh (and cry) right along with her, as she takes us through her harrowing tale of a near-death experience in London, brought on by her addiction – one she has since overcome (but don’t crown her Miss Sobriety – she’s just like you, trying her best to stay

Christine Macdonald