By: Jana Greene
Hello, Dear Reader, and welcome.
So what you should you know about me?
My husband is my best friend, and we have been together for 15 years. No one is more suprised than me to have a happy marriage. “Through the mill,” is how I might describe what life has doled out – from blending the family to my disability. But (cliche notwithstanding) it has all made us stronger than ever.
Our blended family includes three now-grown daughters – who are my favorite people – one granddaughter, and three very spoiled kitty cats.
In 2001, I came to the end of myself and all of my delusions of put-together-ness, which is to say – I got sober from alcohol. If you know me even casually, you know I am an alcoholic.
I haven’t had a drink in 20 years, but I am still – forever – in recovery, something that keeps me humble and coming back for more of what got me clean in the first place.
Every single day.
I keep my recovery “out there” because there is somebody, somewhere who is hiding bottles and drinking that “two” beers just to stop the shaking and who is so, so, ashamed. I know shame.
Or maybe he/she is addicted to drugs, or porn, or the approval of others – it’s all the same to your soul – or cannot seem to find a reason to wake up in the morning.
I can’t tell you how to fix it, but I can tell you what (or who) got me through. I can tell you that I 100% expected to die during that hard time, and sometimes would have considered it a relief.
Had I drunken myself to death, I would never KNOW things, though. I would have missed out on this (as my favorite author Anne Lamott says) this big, juicy creative life. But now I KNOW it’s possible! Faith and humor are key. Oh, and boundaries, on occasion.
I have a genetic constellation of diseases that are part of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – a connective tissue disorder. I have chronic pain, severe fatigue, and frequent injuries. In short, your body is held together with Gorilla Glue; mine is held together with bubble gum.
Every cell in the human body is made up of collagen. My body makes mutated, ineffective collagen. I am in my 50’s and need a can roughly 50% of the time, depending on my pain level.
Due to comorbidities, I also have POTs – orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. My body does not effectively regulate things that come automatically – like blood pressure and temperature regulation. This creates a whole other level of issues.
I have had Ehlers Danlos all my life but wasn’t properly diagnosed until I was 40 – 12 years ago. I sometimes write in how being chronically ill effects me, and my relationships. It can be raw, y’all.
Work history? I’ve worked at insurance and real estate agencies, mortgage companies, law offices, and as a day-care teacher. As a single mother I worked several at a time – including a hardware store paint-slinger and as a part-time hotel maid. All were character building. But I’ve been a writer – legit or not – since I could hold a crayon.
I am imperfect all the way. I cuss a little, too.
As a writer, I use the forbidden “three dots”… too often and cannot bear to part with the text-forbidden smiley faces 🙂 and sometimes use run-on sentences because I think they convey stream-of-consciousness better and yes, I know all of these are against the Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” guidelines. I have written for one small newspaper and one large-ish one, and have had several articles published in “In Recovery Magazine.” Of all the things I’ve done, writing is my love.
I write for the selfish reason that it helps me productively process the pain and pleasure in life when I pour words onto a page.
And for the selfless reason in a hurting world, we all need one another.
Maybe you can relate to something I’m going through. Maybe you’ve gotten through something that I’m struggling with. I’m a big believer in One Love.
I’m also what you call one of those “deconstructed” Christians – but GOOD NEWS! I came out the other side with a love for Jesus like I’ve never had, left a whole lot of dogma by the wayside, and my fundamentalist roots in the dust.
I just love Jesus and believe his love is inclusive. All means all. Nobody gets left out. Nobody gets left behind.
In my earlier writings, you may get smacked in the face with some evangelical-speak, but that’s just where I was then, and this is where I am today.
Because, all of these things I tell you about me, are true, but none define me. I am a Christ follower, but not an Evangelical. I preach the Gospel of inclusion and acceptance, but most of all heavy-handed grace.
Because that’s what has been given me.
I’ll show you where I found sustenance. No pushiness. Just love.
The blog is named for a quote from D.L. Niles: “Christianity is one beggar telling another where to find bread.”
When I couldn’t love myself enough to lift myself up, I crawled back to Jesus, and He said “You look hungry… come to the table!” God is my sustenance.
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