a taste of ‘This is Me, Being Brave’

from This is Me, Being Brave  by  Len Kuntz

to be published October 2021

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Scroll below for snippets of This is Me, Being Brave

There are things about my childhood that I’ve never told anyone. Not even a therapist. from This is Me, Being Brave

It’s tricky when you can’t trust your mother, and even trickier when you’re a child. It’s a bit like not knowing if the air you’re breathing is clean or toxic, if your food might be contaminated. from The Thing About (My) Parents

Sometimes it seems like alcohol has always been a part of my life, though really, I didn’t have my first drink until age nine. from The Thing About (My) Drinking

A friend once told me I have trust issues. They had no idea how right they were. from The Thing About Trust

A few weeks ago, my daughter and I sobbed watching a documentary about child abuse, and now I appreciate the notion that we could do that, cry unabashedly over something we’ve both been through. from The Thing About Appreciation and the Times We’re Living In

When I was in fourth grade, a bully at school used to taunt me. Being gangly, shy and basically friendless, I was easy prey. from The Thing About (My) Depression

Here’s a fact—it’s actually pretty easy to say you love someone. People do it all the time. But proving you love someone is a lot more difficult. from The Thing About Being Present

I haven’t necessarily been counting, yet I know it’s been sixteen hours and thirteen minutes since I last cried. from The Thing About Crying

Death does that to people it hasn’t yet taken. It leaves them rattled, confused and ineffective. It steals their sense of clarity, their hope, and it’s not their fault. from The Thing About Death

Loneliness is a trick your mind plays on you. It’s crafty and insidious, and it doesn’t like to lose. from The Thing About Loneliness

The thing about wonder, or rather our sense of wonder, is we usually start to lose it right around the time we’re shedding the last of our baby teeth. from The Thing About Wonder

The strongest relationships I have are with people who make me feel safe. Who take me as I am—broken, flawed, and all. from The Thing About Trust

I was lucky. I discovered books at a young age. In some respects, they saved my life. from The Thing About Books

I wish I could be a lot of things I’m not. One of those is a person who doesn’t envy. from The Thing About Envy

I have also been spurned by someone I loved, or thought I loved (I was seventeen). It made me feel ugly and pointless. from The Thing About Rejection

What I’ve found is that everyone is starving for affection. Everyone wants to be affirmed, to know that they matter, that what they do is special, and that someone actually notices. from The Thing About Gratitude

The stark truth is, love’s a choice, not an emotion. from The Thing About Love

I still have a gaggle of writers I’ve chosen as mentors. I don’t just read their work, I study it, tear it apart, question it, compare and contrast it with things I’ve tried in my own writing. I’m always learning, and they’re always teaching me, unbeknownst to them. from The Thing About Mentors

And the thing is, when Depression hits, I know what to do. Call someone. Get out of the chair. Move. Turn on the lights. (For God’s sake, turn on the lights.) Yet I don’t do any of those things. from The Thing About (My) Depression

When you miss someone, your heart turns into something like a sunflower, bending toward the light it cannot directly reach. It’s a futile yearning. You wonder if the other person is feeling similar to yourself. You wonder when you’ll see them again. You wonder if they’re sleeping well. If they’re healthy. If they’ve laughed today or seen a butterfly. from The Thing About Missing

A crushed heart or bruised ego is almost due to a rebuff of some sort. from The Thing About Envy

The truth is, love can be a little ugly. Suddenly there’s morning breath, flatulence you never noticed. There are mood swings. Selfish tendencies elbow their way in. Insecurities fray and unravel. It’s the same person you fell in love with, but now you’re seeing them un-Photoshopped. from The Thing About Love

People without pets often think those of us with them are nutty, starved for affection, likely barren, or socially inept. They may be partially correct on all accounts. from The Thing About Pets

In those moments of togetherness, we are no longer awkward aliens. We sit across from each other, anxious to hear what the other thinks, and they readily tell us, and it feels like authentic kinship. from The Thing About Writers

The thing about forgiveness is, without it, we’d all be screwed. from The Thing About Forgiveness

It’s easy to hurt people. Even when you don’t mean to. Especially when you don’t mean to. from The Thing About Hurting People

Without a sense of purpose and a spark of hope, all of us are wandering this earth aimlessly. from The Thing About Hope

The worst thing that can happen to a parent is watching their child suffer. The only thing more horrible than that is not being able to do anything about it. from The Thing About Grief

For some people, regardless of what the scale says when they’re on it, there’s the shame of weight, but there’s also the weight of shame. from The Thing About Weight

Sometimes, in the shower, or on the couch dealing with a bout of insomnia, I’ll think of all the people I’ve hurt in my lifetime and it will make me feel despicable, like I’m a terrible person. A real piece of shit. Or worse. from The Thing About Hurting People

The truth is, we live in a time of envy, and it’s not all our fault. from The Thing About Envy