Nancy Mairs’s 1996 essay collection has a clear, singular, and unfortunately still radical intention: to demonstrate to “readers . . . who need, for a tangle of reasons, to be told that a life commonly held to be insufferable can be full and funny.”
It is clear that there is benefit in creating multiple selves in order to process trauma, distance oneself from illness, and imagine an alternative reality as a means of coping. There is also power in naming oneself, especially after illness or injury.