Senator Lynn Ruane has overcome drug abuse, sexual assault, and losing her daughter's father to addiction, all before she was 30. Here, she tells Sophie White that putting her thoughts to paper has helped her see past the trauma.
Lynn Ruane sits down with author Sophie White for the InstaStory Club with An Post, sponsor of the Irish Book Awards. Lynn is currently a senator in the Seanad, and released her first book, People Like Me, last year. Her book is a memoir of growing up in Tallaght in west Dublin, overcoming addiction, loss, and falling pregnant in her teens.
Lynn is the fourth author to take part in this eight-week series, which can be found across IMAGE social channels by following the #ReadersWanted. We want you, the reader, to get involved by submitting your burning questions to our eight leading authors. See you on Instagram @image.ie!
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You asked, and we listened. Here are some of the burning questions, you, the reader, asked Lynn Ruane as part of the An Post InstaStories Club.
When you were writing People Like Me, was it hard to describe so many difficult details from your private life?
It was scary, but it was quite easy because I've been in therapy since I was very young, so learning to talk openly has been something that has stayed with me through my teens and throughout the most difficult times. When you let secrets out, that's when you can look at them and begin to heal.
If you were to give your past self one piece of advice, what would it be?
To love myself a little bit more. I didn't place much value on myself, my body, or my existence and that led to some crazy decisions.
Do you worry about your younger daughter reading People Like Me?
No. I'm an open book, and I'm an over-sharer, and that doesn't extend to just the public world! I'm very open within my household and I hope that my daughter can see that if I can accept myself and the things that I've done, that she can accept herself too. And she can look at my book and my story as a way of accepting, even when we're at our darkest selves.
Do you think there will be more 'People Like You' represented in the Seanad and the Dail in the near future?
I think there are people like me everywhere. Intersectionality is being held up as a standard that we need to meet – not only within politics, but within every sphere of life. As long as we keep demanding that, whether it be within social movements, the private sector, or public life, we can get there, and we will.
Follow the InstaStory Club with An Post, sponsor of the Irish Book Awards, over on @image.ie every week to hear what Ireland's leading authors have to say and see them answer your burning questions. Follow along with #ReadersWanted.