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."
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