Allowing ourselves to recover, the body to heal itself, takes time and work. Sometimes we long for an instant cure, instant pain relief. But the pain is still there after the potion wears off.
If we don’t deal with our emotional suffering, it will work our way into our muscles, tendons, bones and cripple us.
Nothing worth having comes easy. And that includes healing.
In grief, we are told that talking about the person we lost helps with our healing. In abuse, we are also told voicing our experiences helps.
In short, Memoirs are healing.
Airing our difficulties, putting our secrets out there for the world to see may seem daunting.
Reading about challenges others have faced helps us – and writing back to the book, to the experience, to the author, in a private journal never to be seen by anyone but us – can still help us heal.
Your experience may help another; therefore, if you decide to publish it, it does not need to carry your name.
I met a published author who was writing a book about her son’s addiction, how it took years of her life as well as his life. She used a pseudonym for a few reasons. She wanted to protect her son’s identity. As well, her usual genre was not memoir. To publish a series of let’s say detective fiction, and then to publish memoir might confuse or dismay her readers. (Publishers rarely like genre switching anyway).
She felt, rightly so, that many people could identify with and be helped by her personal challenges. She found herself at book signings and conferences with reader after reader coming up to her thanking her for the book. They’d felt completely alone until they read her book, finally understanding others had similar experiences.
Memoir – airing out the demons – helps.
Read. Write. Heal.