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How living with a chronic illness prepared me for writing a novel

“Do you know how you’ll feel tomorrow?” my therapist asked. “No,” I said. Living with chronic fatigue syndrome was unpredictable. Sometimes I could stay up all night partying with my friends. Other days I could barely get out of bed to take a shower.  I was thirteen when I was diagnosed and spent my high…
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The Gut, Stress, and Chronic Pain

We’ve all had butterflies or knots in our stomachs before an exam or a public speaking engagement. In both instances, stress or anxiety is causing that sensation in the stomach. Since chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are linked to stress, it’s no wonder people living with those conditions have a high likelihood of…
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Paddling my own canoe (literally!)

At the end of August, I went on my first solo canoe trip. I used to love going on trips as a kid. Sailing through the backcountry always felt like a grand adventure. But, having been living abroad and travelling for the last eight years, my canoe trip experiences as an adult have been few…
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Why I’m Leaving Social Media

Why I’m deleting (almost) all of my social media accounts: Because I want to create media I love like books, podcasts, scripts, essays, stories, etc. I want to have more time for deep work. I don’t want to document every moment of my life, to pause and lose my presence to take a photo for…
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A Small Good Thing – Reflections on Lockdown

I hope I’ll look back on this time and remember the silence. Headphones over my ears listening to Yoko Ono’s screams broken by the drip drip drip of fresh coffee. I pour a cup, fluffy robe around me, soft slippers padding back to the couch. Headphones off. Silence is back. I smell the coffee before…
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The Chronically Ill’s Prayer for a Job

Based on 'A Mothers Prayer for Her Daughter' by Tina Fey.  First Lord; nothing too stressful, may neither the words fast-paced nor competitive environment grace the sentences of the job description. May I be respected, but not admired, for it is the admiration that brings the extra hours on Friday evening when a coworker needs…
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Radical Empathy

Over the last month, I've participated and listened in on a number of conversations around racism, discrimination, and empathy in our communities at home and around the world. Many people with chronic illnesses are highly sensitive people, and I know for me it was hard to read the news some days, and hard to have…
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The best foods to eat before and after yoga class

What should you eat before yoga and after yoga class?  When you're going to be moving your body in new ways, it's important to eat in a way that won't make you feel sick during class and will help you recover after. Yoga and food – things to Remember Food can take around 3 hours…
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Emotional trauma and chronic pain

This is a personal opinion essay about emotional abuse and chronic pain. The writer of this piece is not a mental health professional, nor are the editors of this blog. If you think you have been emotionally abused, please reach out to a mental health professional in your area, or seek out an online counselling…
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Not another silly pandemic meditation

It's the sequel you never asked for... A silly pandemic meditation – Part 2:  If you missed my first funny pandemic meditation, you can watch it here. I hope these videos give you a much needed chuckle! Here is the video transcript: Start today by allowing yourself to tune into your thoughts. That's all…
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