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Loreal Palmer’s memoir ‘Keep Living’ offers a raw and intimate look at the challenges she faced throughout her life, from feeling overshadowed in her role as a support figure to dealing with significant personal trauma . The 35-year-old author, known for being reserved and shy, opens up about her mental health struggles, her messy divorce and the pain of three miscarriages. Her book not only recounts her struggles, but also testifies to her resilience and determination to define her life on her own terms.

Recover identity and agency

Palmer’s journey to self-discovery began to take a transformative turn in 2022 when she joined the inaugural season of ABC’s reality TV show “Claim to Fame.” The show’s unique premise, where contestants linked to famous people must hide their identities while trying to uncover others, provided Palmer with a platform to step out of the shadows. Winning the competition was a pivotal moment for her, reigniting her sense of agency and illustrating that victory, and by extension, control of her life, was not only possible but inevitable.

In his memoir, Palmer reflected on this experience, saying: “Once I started to see myself winning, I started to see myself doing a lot of things. I will define myself for the first time in my life at 35 years old. And sometimes the definition changes. But here we are. I have this power. I have the power to change this definition as many times as I want.

Addressing Personal and Mental Health Challenges

Palmer’s path to reclaiming his identity was fraught with significant personal challenges. She speaks candidly about her battle with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and crippling panic attacks. These mental health issues were compounded by her experiences with miscarriage and the complexities of her marriage to Frank Wimberly III, who came out as gay during their union.

The mother of three details the emotional turmoil and isolation she felt, particularly after her ex-husband came out. Despite these immense challenges, Palmer sought treatment and addressed her mental health issues head on, demonstrating remarkable resilience.

Her miscarriage experiences are particularly heartbreaking. Palmer reveals that just before her third miscarriage, she felt something was wrong with her body. Despite his intuition, medical professionals dismissed his concerns. Tragically, by the time they heeded her warnings, it was too late and she lost her pregnancy to an incompetent cervix.

“Experiencing this and remembering it – I’m not going to lie – it definitely brought up some anger,” Palmer writes. “I tried very hard to convince anyone to believe me, and by the time they reluctantly did, it was too late to do anything.” Writing about these experiences served as a cathartic process for Palmer, allowing him to confront and process long-repressed grief.

Accept vulnerability to empower others

Despite her natural penchant for privacy, Palmer felt compelled to share her story publicly. She explains that her decision to write her memoir stemmed from a deep need to find acceptance and understanding. Remembering the isolation and loneliness she experienced after her divorce, Palmer emphasizes the importance of letting others know they are not alone in their struggles.

Through the support of her mother, Sharon Palmer, and a meaningful conversation with another writer, Palmer realized her story could provide comfort and strength to others facing similar challenges. She acknowledges that past fears of judgment and misunderstanding had held her back, but embracing her truth and sharing it in her memoir has been liberating.

“It feels so good to say, ‘You know what? This is me,'” she told Refinery29. The process of writing “Keep Living” not only allowed her to process her own experiences, but also to reach out to others, offering them validation and empathy she once yearned for.

A new chapter of empowerment

Loreal Palmer’s “Keep Living” is more than just a memoir; it is a statement of empowerment and resilience. By detailing his struggles and triumphs, Palmer offers a glimmer of hope to all who face similar adversities. Her story reminds us that, despite the challenges life may throw at us, we have the power to define our own narratives and find strength within ourselves.

As Palmer continues her journey, she does so with a renewed sense of action and determination, ready to embrace whatever changes may come and redefine herself as many times as necessary. Her memoir serves as a powerful testament to the human spirit’s capacity for growth and transformation, encouraging readers to keep living and find their own path to empowerment.

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