Essays

First-person narratives about what it’s like living with illness, from people who know.

How Chronic Illness Helped Me Perfect My Craft

By writing poetry about the migraines that have afflicted me since my twenties, I gained a mastery over my craft I might otherwise never have found.

How I Diagnosed Myself Reading 'Alice In Wonderland'

After years of being ignored by doctors, reading Lewis Carroll led to me finally putting a name to what was 'wrong' with me.

My Threesome With An Eating Disorder

Dating is hard. Dating while trying to keep your anorexia in check is even harder.

To Tattoo Or Not Tattoo? After Breast Cancer, That's The Question

After a mastectomy, I felt mangled and ashamed by what I had lost. For me, micropigmentation was the answer.
A blind woman with occult macular generation standing before Denali.

Regaining Sight Of Her Happiness After Blindness

Losing her vision from occult macular degeneration could easily have placed Ashley J. Smith in a downward spiral. Instead, she chose joy.
A blonde woman with short hair having tea in an all-pink room.
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How I Became A Pink Person

I never really liked the color pink. But then I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and pink became the color that connected me to fellow survivors.

Breast Cancer and the Mom-God Fantasy

When I elected to have my breasts removed because of the BRCA I mutation, my twin daughters had to suddenly come to terms with my mortality.
A yellow sign reading 20MPH on a clear sunny day.

How Chronic Illness Slowed Me Down For The Better

Maybe being happy is more important than how productive you are.
A beautiful woman in a red dress covers the eyes of a bus driver.

In Defense Of Oversharing

When you live with a chronic condition, getting comfortable with vulnerability may be your greatest strength.