Essays

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

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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.
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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.
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My Threesome With An Eating Disorder

Dating is hard. Dating while trying to keep your anorexia in check is even harder.
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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.
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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.
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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 beautiful woman in a red dress covers the eyes of a bus driver.
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In Defense Of Oversharing

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