This Is Us

To Renew Your Friendships, Be Radically Transparent

When I revealed deeply personal details of my life in my memoir, my friendships changed in ways I never expected

Nina Renata Aron
Human Parts
Published in
4 min readMar 11, 2021

--

Closeup of a woman’s face with a pensive expression.
Photo: Shane Gorski via Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

I was already a bit of a mess a year ago, just as the world changed forever. I bit my nails, pulled out strands of hair. I stared at the ceiling some nights, convinced I could hear a faint, constant ringing. “Aren’t you nervous for your book to come out?!” people asked. “Not really,” I answered. I don’t know why it felt right to lie. Not right — essential, as though only by performing cool-girl calm could I show my panic who was boss, shove it back into its hole.

I have struggled with anxiety throughout my life, but this wasn’t the generalized hovering kind I was used to. A specific worry dominated my waking life: that when my memoir was published, people would hate me. I took that worry and divided it into dozens of worries, like a baker shaping individual balls from one big mass of dough. I thought about who exactly was going to hate me and how. I imagined what they were going to think, what they would say about me, and it was like pressing “play” on a lifetime of insecurities. All my fears, all the things I hated about myself. It was a long song.

--

--

Nina Renata Aron
Human Parts

Author of Good Morning, Destroyer of Men’s Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love. Work in NYT, New Republic, the Guardian, Jezebel, and more.