Glennon Doyle Melton – renowned blogger behind Momastery and a best-selling author – sees life as a "brutiful" experience, meaning somewhere between brutal and beautiful. And Melton, a former alcoholic, bulimic and all-around self-loather, is willing to talk about all of it.
Melton’s stark, dark, honest stories from the past juxtapose with her current outlook as the hopeful, frustrated mother of three who is struggling to save her marriage both in real life and through the writing of her upcoming book, due out in 2016.
On Saturday, June 6, Melton will be at Wauwatosa East High School for a meet-and-greet event. All proceeds of ticket sales will be donated to Milwaukee’s Cribs For Kids. The venue sells out at half-capacity, but more tickets will be available the day of the event. Go here to stay informed about the event.
OnMilwaukee.com: Can you give us a timeline of your early life? I need a Glennon Wikipedia page.
Glennon Doyle Melton: I grew up in northern Virginia. I had a "happy" childhood, but when I was 8 I became bulimic and started to live two lives. This carried on for a long time. In high school, I was hospitalized in a mental institution and the next week was wearing a homecoming sash.
I went away to college, and then I came back to Virginia, where I met and married my husband. However, several years into my marriage, I got neurological Lyme Disease and had to find a place that was the right fit for my health – I have arthritic-like symptoms. We moved to Naples, Fla. about three years ago and it has helped me completely.
OMC: How old are your children?
GDM: They are 12, 9 and almost 7.
OMC: Is it true that you were an addict up until the moment you found out you were pregnant with your first child?
GDM: Yes, I found out I was pregnant with my son on Mother’s Day, almost 13 years ago. I had been dating Craig, who is now my husband, for nine months. I quit that day and have not gone back.
We were both big partiers, but there’s always that one person in the crowd who’s just a little bit different. That was me – my drinking was problematic, his was not. But he quit drinking with me because it’s just no fun to drink alone.
OMC: So many of your writings have gone viral. Is there a particular post that you are most proud of?
GDM: I’m really proud of my essays around my marriage, which fell apart two years ago. I thought it was over. It was awful and drastic and it led me to think about women and marriage and what we need to do to sacrifice the peace.
I’m a child of Disney. I thought marriage was the finish line and you just brushed your hair and were never lonely again. My experience has not been like this. It has been a struggle – it’s hard as hell. Marriage is just another starting line.
OMC: How does Christianity fit into your writing?
GDM: I understand my Christianity differently than a lot of people do. I am a very progressive Christian. I believe the more people are free, the better they become. I believe in equality for all people. My essays that step outside the usual towing-the-media-line Christians are always the scariest for me to post – and the ones that get me death threats. I usually cry after I write these but then feel the most proud of them.
Recently, in light of what happened in Indiana, a journalist asked me how I could feel so strongly in support of marriage equality as a Christian and I was completely baffled by this. I feel so passionately about marriage equality because I am a Christian.
Unfortunately, when you start talking about freedom and God people lose their damn minds.
OMC: Why is it so tough for women to speak honestly with each other?
GDM: Because we all just want to be loved. I think we have the wrong idea about why people love us. We think to be loved we have to be shiny and perfect. We might get some respect or admiration from being that way, but if we really want to be loved and feel connected we have to show our true selves. It is our messy, flawed, true selves who are the most lovable.
All of those times I was trying to be that shiny person, nobody knew the real me, so I couldn’t be loved. In the past, I hushed the voice in the back of my head and I now use that voice every day and it feels like the whole world is dying to go off script. We’re living in this "Truman Show" reality where we say things like "I like your scarf" and it is mind-numbingly boring.
In order to be loved, we have to be vulnerable.
OMC: What is your motivation to write?
GDM: I want to say something cooler, but I think it’s because I just want to be loved.
OMC: Do you write every day?
GDM: I do. I get up at 5:30 a.m. every morning and crawl into my "cloffice" – I don’t have an office so I write in my closet – and I have a couple hours before I have to get the kids ready for school. Those are my favorite hours.
OMC: When is your new book coming out and how’s it going?
GDM: It will be published in October of 2016. I thought I was a good writer until I started writing this book. I’m in hell. I’m sure it will be fine, but it is not fine yet.
OMC: What’s still on your bucket list?
GDM: This life that I'm living is so crazy and weird I feel like I’m living a bucket life. My family is messy and crazy and awesome and I get to go on the road of life and meet so many incredible people. I never get bored. And the truth is, I am not very adventurous. If you told me I could go rock climbing or sky diving right now, I would rather just watch TV. I’m mostly just trying to survive this life.
OMC: You have shared so much about your life. Is there still a skeleton or two hiding in the corner of your closet?
GDM: There are things in my marriage I have never talked about before, and I am scared to do so. But that’s why I have to tell it. We tend not to share the real parts and that’s why everyone’s so lonely. But after I tell this sh-t, I’m ready to be done for awhile. I think.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.