Stories Are Medicine
When you tell your story, you heal yourself and others
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Do you dream of telling tell your story?
If you’ve been through hell, one of the most healing things you can do is tell your story.
Storytelling—whether in verbal or written form, brings healing.
Storytelling helps you feel less alone.
Storytelling helps you connect with others.
Storytelling brings your wounds into the light.
Storytelling takes away the power of your abuser.
Storytelling brings closure to your past.
Storytelling can help you heal yourself and help others.
An unmade bed has no negative measurable impact in eternity. An unfinished book probably does.
But what if you're afraid to tell your story?
Barriers to telling your story might include:
Fear of what others might think
Fear of an abuser
Questions about how to put the events of your life together into a cohesive story
Wondering if people will read your story
These are just a few of the issues I struggled with when I wrote my memoir, Chasing Eden.
My family gave me no encouragement. We’d been shoveling dirt over the skeletons in our past for decades and the thought of me unearthing them freaked everyone out.
One relative called me a monster and a liar, posting on their social media wall that my book was 95% lies and 5% truth. I laughed because this person never read my memoir—I hadn’t even finished writing the book at the time.
Narcissistic threats and flying monkeys tried to scare me, but I feared something worse. I ached to tell my story because I wanted to be authentic.
When it comes to shame, we have two options: we either walk into the stories of our lives and we own them, or we stand outside our stories and we hustle for our worthiness. Because what happens is, our worthiness lives inside of our story.
My inspiration to write a memoir came when I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. When she held a Facebook live and answered questions, I wrote in asking her where to start. She gave me her mother’s advice—“Just tell the truth.”
Those words were the opposite of what my mother taught me. Throughout the process, whenever I heard my mother’s voice of doubt creeping in, I clung to the voice of Rosemary Walls and the beauty of Jeannette’s amazing story and this freed me to tell the truth.
After that, I clung to the phrase—
Write the truth, even when your hands shake.
This became my mantra.
As soon as I published, I knew I’d done the right thing. People wrote to me from all over the world telling me of similar things they have gone through. Others told me how my book had changed the way they parent their children.
And still, others want to write their own memoir. And why not? Every one of us has a unique story.
I’m still getting letters from people who want to write their stories, so I’ve decided to do this publicly rather than answer them one by one.
Writing a memoir can be a daunting task—especially if you’ve never written a book before. I’m choosing to help you because others have helped me.
If you’ve ever wanted to write your story, don’t be quiet.
We each have a memoir inside us. Your story is the one thing that makes you unique in all the world.
Your book might not make it to the New York Times bestseller list, but if you craft it in such a way that others can enjoy reading it, you’ll heal your wounds and change the lives of others.
Stories are medicine. -Clarissa Pinkola Estes
So go ahead, grab your pen. Write your memoir. You’ll be sharing your heart, but you don’t have to do this alone. I’ll be sending you weekly encouragement.
Cherilyn’s FREE Writer Edition
This will land in your inbox each week. I’ll be sharing tips about the emotional and practical aspects of writing a memoir. I want to help you write a successful memoir that will resonate with readers.
I’m not charging for Little Red’s Writer Edition—it’s my way of paying it forward.
(Just make sure you add this email address to your "trusted" list—otherwise, this email might end up in your spam folder.)
Cherilyn’s Reader Edition
As an author, I am always working on a book, but I’m not ready to share it with just anyone. I’m working on my second memoir which I hope to publish next year.
I’m currently taking some time off from writing about my own life to focus on a historical fiction novel based on a true-life love story about some Oregon pioneers.
I’m excited about this story and I think you’ll find it interesting.
As a subscriber to Little Red’s Reader Edition, you’ll enjoy:
Weekly chapters from my current WIP
Access to ask me questions about my books
Join in discussions with my beta readers
Receive an autographed copy of my book when it’s published
This paid subscription is $40.00 a year or $5 a month.
The book giveaway is only available to yearly subscriptions due to the cost of printing and mailing an autographed copy (U. S. addresses only).
Please feel free to share this post with any writing nerds or kindred spirits you know.
I hope you enjoy the read!
About the Author
My name is Cherilyn Christen Clough. I grew up isolated, on the move, and without any friends or high school education, because my parents thought the world would end before I grew up. As a survivor of narcissistic and religious abuse, I wholeheartedly believe no matter what has happened to us in the past, we can find our healing through telling our messy stories.
If you’d like to read the story of my childhood, you can find my book here.