Saturday, May 16, 2009

MENTAL ILLNESS OR WELLNESS?

Ever since I heard an interview on NPR with author Ayelet Waldman, (in)famous for writing the words, "I love my husband more than my children," I've been thinking about something else she said. She herself is bi-polar, and she says you can always tell who else is bi-polar because they're either the ones at the party over-sharing, or they're memoir writers.

I'm sure she was partly being funny.

I'm sure she was partly serious.

I'm sure I'm partly concerned I might be bi-polar.

But I don't think I am, and I don't agree that all memoirists are by definition.

Still, she's definitely right about one thing - memoirists are in a class of their own - they're willing to let you in, REALLY in to their lives, their problems, their joys, their struggles, and maybe most intimately, their thoughts.

Was in a discussion about this very thing last night and one woman said about another memoirist, "She just writes what I'm thinking."

Exactly.

And to me, that's the point.

We are one.

What affects one, affects the whole.

We are more alike than we are different, and if we don't have brave souls out there willing to stick their necks out to show us that to be true, than we remain isolated.

So maybe we do it because we're bi-polar, or didn't get enough attention as a child, or are exhibitionists, or extroverts. Or maybe we just do it because we believe that's the only way we, and the collective, will ever heal.

So we can move on.




* Photo from www.beaconlearningcenter.com

11 comments:

She said...

Amen.

I don't think it means we're bipolar. I think it means we believe in the healing power of story-telling!

That's my take on it. ;-)

Wanda said...

Are you serious about the bipolar thing? Let's talk.

I love your writing and story telling. Write on.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Sweeping generalizations.

Bi-polar or not.

Quotes perhaps taken out of context.

No one knows.

Whatever.

Keep writing.

deb said...

I think people feel better when they tell their story. You're right we don't feel so isolated when we share.

Lola said...

Needed that! How did you KNOW to write THAT today!
Gosh!
:)Thank you
love

Lola said...

p.s.
What I have learned as a 'memorist' (whoa, I have a hard time writing that) it that we do let people in and we do share a lot and what I have learned is that many can't handle it. Like Jack Nicholson said in 'A Few Good Men,' "YOU can't handle the truth." This is how I often feel-many can't handle it and some don't want to hear it and still others are shocked at the way I just matter of factly share something that they find shocking or sad etc. It's my story. It's my truth. I welcome you along for the ride and at the same time understand if you can't 'handle' it. Choices are available. Just don't judge me for wanting to tell or share my story.

Deb Shucka said...

I vote for the last one. I'm pretty sure it was you who said, "the more personal, the more universal."

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Love this post. "We are more alike than we are different" - what a great thought to have in my mind before the start of a new week. What a great thought to have in my mind always. Yes.

kario said...

Or maybe you do it just because you can't not do it.

In any case, thank God you do it.

I'm not alone in that thought...

Amber said...

Thank God for people who tell their stories, so we know we are normal, and not alone.

Write on.

:)

jesswilson said...

whatever the reasons, so many of us are incredibly grateful that you do.