Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Inside World

Following is the piece I wrote for the LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER and The Partnership at live-streaming event of personal stories to #EndMedicineAbuse.

The Inside World

You’re only seven now Bob, but when you’re older, a little older than now, we will have a talk. We will sit down and I will assure you that you’re not in trouble but that we need to talk about something. You might roll your eyes. You will tell me that you know everything already but I know that you don’t. 

You don’t know that your brain, your vast and magical one-of-a-kind brain, will be developing until you’re twenty-five. You do know that you’ve been wearing a helmet when you ride your bike for as long as you can remember to protect your brain from the dangers of the outside world. You don’t know about all of the dangers of the inside world. I want to have a talk about that inside world.

There will be friends that offer you things. They may not know better but they will ask if you want to try something. These little somethings look like vitamins, or sports drinks or maybe cough syrup. They will say, “It’s okay, I got it from my house,” or “It’s my dad’s or it’s my grandma’s or it belongs to my mom.” “It’s fun,” they’ll say. Or they’ll tell you, “It’s okay, she got it from her doctor.” Our talk right now is about me telling you it’s not okay. These things will hurt your brain. They are seductive. Don’t fall into the arms of these things. 

I will tell you that we’re going to talk about me for a minute. You may let out a heavy sigh, sure you’ve heard this story before, but you haven’t. You know a little about when I was younger. I altered my inside world, with chemicals in an irreversible way. I was lured by those pills and drinks with the promises of fun and escape and I had fun until my fun turned to horror. Then I kept chasing it into the fire, willing the fun to come back. The fun didn’t come back. 

I have altered my brain and it has altered my life. Getting well from that is hard. Most people can’t. It requires constant vigilance and upkeep.  It also requires a team of like-minded people that I can talk to in order to stay safe today. I have been doing it everyday for a long time now. I am grateful for this recovery but it is a tough piece of road to travel. I hope this thing will pass you over.  

I will tell you that I want so much for you. I want you to be happy and kind, smart, loyal, and brave. I want you to know your inside world and explore all that your pristine brain has to delight you. 

We are going to have this talk. I will kiss your forehead. Then, maybe we’ll hug or eat ice cream. I will tell you that we will be having this talk again and often. We will have this talk until you know it by heart.

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Follow these links to read powerful stories from the women I was honored to read with:


  1. Thank you for your story, Lisa. These are stories not easy to tell, and I can feel your strong commitment to help, make a difference, by making your story, heard. Thank you. (bob's a pretty lucky guy)

  2. I'm sure those words will be powerful to him when it is time.

  3. We are having similar conversations in our house. Over and over again.

  4. It is hard.
    The more like-minded people to whom you can talk, the better.

  5. I loved this. So honest and full of love. Will now watch the video (which I missed seeing live when my computer froze). xoxo

  6. Wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  7. What a fabulous, powerful piece. I am always blown away by your calm, intense honesty, Lisa. I learn so much from you.