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You're Only As Sick As Your Secrets
I was attending a presentation by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Frank McCourt, discussing the ins and outs of writing a memoir. Frank McCourt won the prestigious award for his gist wrenching description of his impoverished life in Limerick, Ireland titled "Angela’s Ashes".
I had received the novel from my grandfather on the day of my grandmother’s funeral. I was wandering around their house, trying to find a memento of my grandmother that I could manage with me to preserve the closeness I always felt with her. Due to my feelings of reading, my grandfather suggested I take one of her many books.
Next to her bedside was "Angela’s Ashes" and I knew in an instant that that was what I was meant to carry with me.
My grandmother’s parents were immigrants from Ireland and she had passed her affection of her heritage onto me.
What a fitting address to construe a novel about Ireland that was sitting sequential to her bed the day of her funeral. I devoured the narrative in a few days and, although the memoir was sad, shocking and inspirational all at the equivalent time, I felt an even deeper connection to my grandmother and our Irish roots.
I maxim my grandmother’s sister a few weeks later and told her how touched I was to peruse the book; how it felt like my grandmother had left it specifically for me.
She smiled, patted my menial and in a sweet voice she verbal “Honey she HATED that book”. She explained that the Irish do NOT gibber about their secrets and the fountain had bared his progeny secrets for the complete macrocosm to read.
After the presentation about his experience writing his memoir, I waited in chain for my materialize to retain my tale signed.
When I was finally in front of him I said “Mr. McCourt, I loved your book. My grandmother however hated it”. He looked up at me and spoken “She was Irish?” I nodded and he told me that that was the routine of it; the Irish did not like him sharing his secrets.
It was in that moment that I realized the undertone of my heritage; I started to see things from a clearer perspective.
Until then I never noticed how “undesirable” things were not discussed or how certain stories and rumors were neither confirmed nor denied.
Things were often swept subservient the carpet and left there.
However years modern I attended a redemption program to contract with my ex-husband’s alcohol addiction.
In that program I witnessed connections baring their souls to flawless strangers week after week and I watched them vacate each meeting lighter. I listened in awe but besides with an uncomfortable feeling; a creed of nakedness and exposure.
Then I heard the saying that changed how I approached my situation:
“You’re only as sick as your secrets”
If I wanted to secure better, I needed to be perceptive to measure and unburden myself from the people, places and things that I instinctively wanted to scrutinize below the rug of my mind.
Once I began to willing up and slice my story, I began to see why Frank McCourt was compelled to write his memoir; he was tired of being sick from his secrets.
As I write this blog I am aware of the decision that, it took someone else’s alcohol addiction to backing me become healthier. I furthermore understand that my grandmother smiles from kingdom every time she reads what I’ve written and she’s proud that I am short along my openness to the later generation; my progeny cede notice what it practice to be Irish AND talk about their deepest, darkest thoughts without judgment.
Hopefully they in turn bequeath defile along a love of their heritage and a willingness to gap the infection of secrets.
• How open and righteous was your descendants of origin? What did you learn from how certain situations were handled?
• What secrets are you keeping remedy now? Who do you have in your life that you trust to aid you and allow you to allocation your secrets?
• How trustworthy are you for someone to measure their secrets? How can you aid another fellow to disburden themselves?