I read a lot of memoirs, and I have read some really beautiful ones in the past year (I’ve posted about many of them here under the book recommendation category). The one I just finished, The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger is without question one of the most exquisite memoirs I have ever encountered.
The friend who recommended this book warned me that it is not light reading. At the time, I shrugged, saying “I’m willing to read about heavy topics.” Until the experience of reading this book coincided with my own experience of post-traumatic stress. And I completely lost any tenuous grip on emotional control.
This book is so powerful because it’s a very honest, often raw, account of the author’s life experiences. It is explicit in detail and messy as hell. And yet, that’s part of what I loved about it so much.
Her early experiences include the Holocaust. Her later experiences find her navigating relationship challenges and beginning a career in psychology. So many of us who are drawn to psychology and psychotherapy are motivated by an intense awareness of our own wounds; and an equally intense desire to heal.
This book moved me in ways I did not anticipate, but am so grateful to have experienced. Certainly, it added to my recent moments of crying and feeling my own grief; and I’m good with that. I have cried more in the past two weeks than in the past year. Which was not anticipated…but arrived anyway.
Our stories are so powerful, and it is very healing to share and have them witnessed. This book absolutely made me cry and it broke my heart; it also brought a message of hope and resilience.
This is a beautiful memoir of an extraordinary life that has so much wisdom and insight many of us can relate to; that is the power of choosing to share our stories. There is healing, not just for ourselves but for others as well, in choosing to shed light on the truth of what we have experienced.
Everyone has a story. I am witness to so many people’s stories, and at the same time, I allow others to witness mine as well. Grief and trauma are real and so is the healing power of sharing our stories. Post-traumatic stress looks different for each of us, and we all navigate it in our own ways; it’s not linear, nor is it easy.
I cannot recommend this beautiful book enough. It is not always easy to read, but it is full of hope, resilience, and is more than anything a story of healing. Dr. Eger is right, we cannot choose what we experience, but we always have a choice as to how we respond. That awareness alone is powerful beyond measure.
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