• There I Am

  • The Journey from Hopelessness to Healing - A Memoir
  • By: Ruthie Lindsey
  • Narrated by: Ruthie Lindsey
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (385 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brain on Fire meets Carry On, Warrior, in this inspirational memoir and “testament to the things that break us, heal us, and make us who we are” (Glennon Doyle, number one New York Times best-selling author) that explores one woman’s journey from chronic pain and hopelessness to finding joy, redemption, and healing.

At 17 years old, Ruthie Lindsey is hit by an ambulance near her home in rural Louisiana. She's given a five percent chance of survival and one percent chance of walking again. One month later after a spinal fusion surgery, Ruthie defies the odds, leaving the hospital on her own two feet.

Just a few years later, newly married and living in Nashville, Ruthie begins to experience debilitating pain. Her case confounds doctors, and after numerous rounds of testing, imaging, and treatment, they prescribe narcotic painkillers - lots of them. Ruthie has become bedridden, dependent on painkillers, and hopeless, when an X-ray reveals that the wire used to fuse her spine is piercing her brain stem. Without another staggeringly expensive experimental surgery, she could well become paralyzed, but in many ways, she already is.

Ruthie goes into the hospital in chronic pain, dependent on prescription painkillers, and leaves the same way. She can still walk but has no idea where she's going. As her life unravels, Ruthie returns home to Louisiana and sets out on a journey to learn joy again. She trades fentanyl for sunsets and morphine for wildflowers, weaning herself off of the drugs and beginning the process of healing - of coming home to her body.

Raw and redemptive, There I Am is not just about the magic of optimism, but the work of it. Ruthie's extraordinary memoir is “like going on a walk with a best friend and listening to a life-changing speech at the same time: it’s equal parts familiar and profound, warm and insightful, comforting and challenging, relatable and unlike anything you’ve read before” (Mari Andrew, New York Times best-selling author). 

©2020 Ruthie Lindsey (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about There I Am

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ruthie, wow. Thank you.

I’ve listened to over 200 book. My favorites are ones read by the author. You, my friend, are ranked in a level just above number 1. Truly, a great book.

This book.
Your performance.
This family.
Wow.

I’m from St. Francisville, graduated the same year as Tim from WFHS, and only knew hints of your story. What an incredible life you’ve had. A lot of sadness and a lot of joy. I’m very proud of you and hope to see you soon around town.

Kurt

6 people found this helpful

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There I Am Review.

So many emotions were felt as I walked my way through this book. I was so happy for Ruthie I could cry and then I almost didn’t want to hear another word as the pain was too bearable to be a part of. Having Ruthie read me HER story was necessary. It wouldn’t have worked for anyone else to tell it. Excellent! I have learned through listening to Ruthie and through living my own life a truth ... pain, joy, grief, beauty can all exist together. It just depends on the minute or the day which speaks the loudest and which we give the most attention to. Thank you, Ruthie for allowing us into your story.

3 people found this helpful

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Inspirational and moving

Ruthie is such a gifted story teller. Her story is so moving and inspirational! She has a way of making you feel as though your own personal journey relates to her harrowing unbelievable one. This book is so beautiful.

2 people found this helpful

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Ruthie Lindsey story is heartbreakingly hopeful.

Ruthie is genuine and transparent in telling her life's story in effort to reveal hard earned truths to the reader about overcoming seriously pain and trama to find inner peace and self love.

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Such a heart opening story.

It was beautiful. Sometimes a little too heard to bear all the sadness and pain. I had to take breaks from time to time. So worth it, though, to find the healing and joy in the story too. Thank you for sharing your journey Ruthie!

1 person found this helpful

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crying on the highway

I didn't ask to be sobbing all kinds of tears while flying down 77, but it happened anyway. The pain is hard to listen to by a certain point, though I think that may be the idea. There's certainly something to resonate with for everyone, and the lessons on incorporating pain, on unearthing trauma, and on the power of community were quite needed and moving.

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Beautiful

Wow. What a wonderful example of a heartfelt journey of finding yourself. Or. As she said. You are already there. There I am.

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  • 11-13-20

Will remain in my mind

Beautiful. Listen to it when you are in need of some love in your life.

1 person found this helpful

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LIFE CHANGER

Ruthie’s Memoir is a gift to anyone who reads it. I loved listening to her tell her own story and was completely moved by her “sushi grade” honesty. We all live with some form of pain, but very few are willing to set it out on the table ... let alone invite others to gather around to see it.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

What an agonizing story

The performance by the author was excellent, it's not likely anyone else could have read this deeply personal story well. i appreciate Ruthie's honesty and thought the writing and imagery was well placed and beautiful.

1 person found this helpful