The Survival Months

In September, my body begins to slow down. Autumn seasonal allergies keep me tossing and turning at night, turning my brain foggy with exhaustion and headaches, and irritating my skin, eyes, throat and nose. In October, viruses start to circulate through my friends and family, almost every single one making a home in my body … Continue reading The Survival Months

Acceptance (Part 2)

In part one of this series, I concluded by inviting readers to sit with this question: Why is the impetus for acceptance so often placed entirely on the shoulders of those experiencing physical limitations, mental impairments, and chronic pain, instead of on the people around us whose genuine acceptance and understanding has the potential to … Continue reading Acceptance (Part 2)

What Chronic Illness has Taught Me About Showing Up

(Some Thoughts on Supporting Loved Ones Through Hard Things) When I was diagnosed with chronic illness at 22, I soon realized that most people had no idea what to do with the fact that I was sick. People wanted to help, people wanted to show up for me, people cared, but most of them didn’t … Continue reading What Chronic Illness has Taught Me About Showing Up

Social Media, Chronic Illness, and Isolation

A few months ago I decided to delete Facebook off of my phone. In the days leading up to this decision, both my then-therapist and one of my parents had asked about the frequency of my social media usage and its effect on my emotions and mental energy. I have also been aware for a … Continue reading Social Media, Chronic Illness, and Isolation

Treatment Burnout

“A couple years ago I was diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses, so, for now, trying different treatments is kind of my full-time job.” This has been my standard answer to the inevitable get-to-know-you “what do you do?” question at social gatherings since I graduated university. I’ve recently amended it to try to avoid deeply personal … Continue reading Treatment Burnout

How to Support Your Sick and Disabled Friends Beyond Prayers for Healing: An Open Letter to My Christian Friends.

 I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue for almost a year and a half. I deal with widespread chronic pain, perpetual exhaustion, executive dysfunction, and a handful of other delightful symptoms. I have good days where I can function reasonably well and present as able-bodied and healthy, and I have bad days where I … Continue reading How to Support Your Sick and Disabled Friends Beyond Prayers for Healing: An Open Letter to My Christian Friends.