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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • ..."we are as sick as our secrets." : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
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..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:18 pm
by nhope
From "Travelling Mercies", Anne Lamott, p 181.

Well, I put down my wine glass after I read that sentence, or maybe it was the wine that made me read it three times.

What would be considered a secret, something you know about yourself that you've never revealed or something that you've told a trusted few?

Would something you consider a 'secret' be one to me? Is a secret the worst thing you've done in your whole life or could it be a nasty thought you had two days ago?

Do you trust yourself to be honest about yourself?

Re: ..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:58 pm
by DrG2
(without knowing the context) I think she's suggesting that things we keep hidden are what make us sick - - that if we are honest about them, we will be unburdened.

Re: ..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:16 am
by Terry T.A. Rodgers
Secrets can only make you sick if you let them. :twisted:

Re: ..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:25 pm
by James A. Ritchie
The is not an original line, it's an old saying, and a staple in psychiatry. It's also true. I suspect we all have our "sick" secrets. I certainly do.

Re: ..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:30 pm
by James A. Ritchie

Re: ..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:08 pm
by nhope
Other than your thoughts, do you think we really have secrets? Someone has to know something about the one thing we think is a secret. And if it happened so long ago, we may not even remember whether or not there was a person there, or who that was, and if they remember as well.

Secrets probably sicken you if you keep them in the forefront of your memory. If you push them to the back - or have come to terms with them - maybe their grasp isn't so threatening.

Re: ..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:24 pm
by LilliesCarol
Are we really? It certainly would depend on the secret. At age 83 I most certainly have had many secrets. Some of which I came to terms with so that they would not hinder me. Some of which I got rid of by writing about them in the guise of a character. Then there are some secrets which will be taken to the grave with me. It all really comes down to how important you regard the secret,to keep it secret, doesn't it?

Re: ..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:05 pm
by updog
It makes sense to me. If the only thing you're hiding is that you sometimes sneak into the bathroom to eat a candy bar without the children knowing you've got one, you're probably not that sick. But if you have your children in the freezer, well...

Re: ..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:28 am
by onceuponwednesday
There's a whole bunch of secrets we keep from ourselves. Ones that don't come out until some kind of conflict or tension. We'd all like to think of ourselves as courageous, unbiased and unselfish, but until we hit that crux of a decision, it's a secret, and one that can haunt us afterwards, because maybe we aren't who we wished we were.

I guess that's why it's important to show how our characters react to conflict, so we can show who they really are.

Re: ..."we are as sick as our secrets."

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:57 pm
by Terry T.A. Rodgers