When your life stories are written to illustrate the human experience and the difficulties in overcoming tremendous challenges there comes of point where you must explain why you are recording all this for prosperity.
Does the next generation need to understand how these challenges influenced the rest of your life? Put yourself in the readers’ place. Too much crazy will make them nuts.
I’ve been writing a memoir for a storyteller about addiction and recovery. The stories of bad behavior, poor judgement and abuse are endless, those she can remember, of course. Many are hard to hear. My client was years into her recovery and proudly living a nice, quiet life, when she suffered an accident through no fault of her own that eventually caused her to have a stroke. In a coma for several months, she was not expected to live. Everyone underestimated her internal strength. She clung to the skills and lessons learned in recovery to slowly rebuild her life. It’s an amazing story of resilience.
Still, it feels like she stood outside in the middle of a horrific hurricane for twenty years. Fragile. Broken. Unable to blossom. Until she did.
This is what she often tells others in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings:
I want people to understand just how hard this period was for me.
There may be others who feel, as I did, they are locked into a situation that they have to live with no matter how brutal or tragic it is.
You must know you can do this too. If you are locked in you can stop it.
I did not nor could not stand up for myself at the age of 18, but I damn well did for my children. Our lives would be much different today if I learned to stand up for myself, to protect myself at an earlier age. I’m just so thankful that eventually I did.
A nice quiet sober life is a life well lived.