Darah and I are online buddies, and I know her as smart and funny. If you don’t believe me, read “Top 10 Embarrassing Things My Kids Have Said & Top 11 I’d Like To Say.”
I knew Darah was writing a memoir, but I had no idea it’s about the harrowing events she’s overcome, until I heard this powerful interview with Dana Hilmer on LifestyleMom Radio Cafe.
Darah’s post follows.
How and Why I Write About My Painful Past
When people ask why I willingly recall and write about the tragedies that have occurred in my life, my answer is easy, though straightforward.
“Memoir writing is cheaper than therapy,” I say.
Joking aside, besides the cathartic quality of memoir writing, it’s kinder than burdening friends and family members with long-winded renditions of yet another sad family incident.
Revisiting my past has helped me come to grips with the agonizing events that consumed five intense years of my adult life. At the time they were happening, my focus was on keeping my head above water for my husband and kids, nothing more. My own particular survival technique was to forge a breach between my heart and my brain; I transformed myself into a robot, a machine: stoic and detached, marching straight through one catastrophe after another.
Time has elapsed since these terrible events and while writing my story, and I am beginning to define feelings I never recognized I had. I am closing the heart-mind gap. Writing has helped me come to terms—in an emotionally-healthy way—with the miracles masked by the traumatic events: the blessing of my second son’s birth, the miracle of my sleeping children (safe during an armed home invasion), and the new opportunities that emerged after my husband and I faced financial ruin—not of our own making.
Digging into my psyche to connect to my repressed feelings has certainly been trying. Yet, I am inspired by the example and testimony I am leaving my family.
And, as a result of this profound internal exploration, I’ve come up with a mind set and process that others can apply in times of personal challenge (“Seven Universal Pearls of Wisdom“). These concepts are not novel discoveries, yet their grouping and nomenclature are uniquely my own. This “thriving in crisis,” action-focused philosophy explains how I got through the toughest of times.
In the end, it is not only the events themselves that are of primary interest to my memoir’s readers, but the life lessons that can be extracted and harnessed by others who are suffering hardships. Knowing my ability to triumph can embolden others to press on in the shadow of uncertainty keeps me motivated to relive painful memories and document them all.
I aspire to be remembered not for my personal tales of woe, but for what I ultimately was able to contribute to the psychological well-being of my family and all humanity.
Darah Zeledon, The Warrior Mom, is a wife, mother, freelance writer, memoirist, small business owner, and fitness enthusiast. Depending on her personality on any given day, her writings run the gamut from philosophical and reflective to sentimental and inspiring—although her favorites are the humorous anecdotes about the constant chaos of mothering 5 “relentlessly inquisitive” kids. She’s currently writing her tragic, yet inspiring, story in her as-yet-unpublished memoir, A Lucky Girl. (Read the Prologue.)
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