When Growth Punches You In The Gut
I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting these past few months while standing as still in the present moment as possible. Last week, I was sucker punched right in the gut by some growth and want to share a bit about it with you all.
Now, I wanna start by saying that I’ve been trained how to not have “fan girl” reactions even if I may be flipping out on the inside about meeting someone. During my years of working as a nanny for high profile families, I met people like Oprah, Jane Goodall, President Obama and countless of famous athletes who I grew up watching. I had to train myself in how to show little to no excitement when meeting exciting people and so when I catch myself naturally “fan girling” over someone, it’s serious business.
And shit got serious this week, let me tell you.
It all started with a simple post celebrating my sobriety with a cake and it ended with a more clear ability to see just how far I have come. For those of you who might be new around here and don’t know yet, I’m two years sober from a crystal meth (and other stuff) addiction. To be honest, it’s the thing that I’m most proud of in my like, even more so then Wilder. If you’re an addict or alcoholic yourself, then you’ll probably understand. And if you’re not, then I hope you never do.
A few days after posting, a comment caught my eye. ODAT. One Day At A Time. It wasn’t as much what it said, as much as who said it. Melissa Ferrick. A name that I hadn’t thought of for years, but was one that gotten me through so many of my younger days. And in that moment, I felt starstruck that the cool ass Queer musician that I listened to with my Queer ass friends in high school, knew who I was and took the time out of their day to connect in this simple way.
And then it hit me.
Melissa Ferrick wasn’t the first or only one of my favorite Queer “celebrities” who I’ve recently crossed paths with either in person or on social media. There was also Chris Prueka, and Mary Lambert, and Andrea Gibson, and Ani. These people who I spent my youth looking up to, a youth that was full of bullying and lacked in person Queer role models. Ten years ago none of these people knew who I was or how much their words impacted me and my ability to keep going as a queer teen.
But it’s not about who know’s or follows me. It’s about how far I’ve come and where I am today.
You see, I remember sitting in my car after breaking up with the only long term partner I’ve ever had, sobbing while listening to Chris Purkea, wondering how I’d ever get through the heart ache. I remember dreaming of walking down the wedding isle to Mary Lambert and how Ani was a form of currency among us baby Queers. I remember taking my anger out on bullies though belting Ani and I remember that it was Andrea Gibson who sewed threads of hope though those moments I had too little to keep going.
I remember how I would turn to them and their words during my heart breaks, during the moments filled with the most fear and also hope, and joy. They’ve walked the darkness with me since before my transition and before I even graduated high school or knew who I was.
And now they are encouraging me and my recovery.
This is why community is so so soooo important. It keeps us going when we don’t think we can.
Today I woke up grateful that instead of being high, I get to be someone else’s role model and the papa I’ve always dreamed of being.
And I feel a little less alone knowing that I have the support of my role models and you all alike.
Danny (& Wilder)