Six Common Misconceptions about the Chronically Ill

My hope is that it won’t be long until these common misconceptions become uncommon ones as people become educated about what life is like for those who suffer from chronic illness.

Autumn's Fullness and Beauty: Quotations and Photographs

Autumn is the season of contradictions. It’s often associated with the melancholiness of endings; yet it’s the season of harvest and thanksgiving.

4 Things I Won't Forget Should I Regain My Health

I’ve been chronically ill since I contracted a viral infection in 2001. Were I to recover, I’d take these four hard-earned lessons with me into the land of the healthy.

Halloween Riddles and Ridiculous-Looking Pumpkins!

Q. What did the skeleton say to the bartender? A. I'll have two beers and a mop.

The Better Way to Face Setbacks and Sorrows

When Rosanne Cash's musical career was put on hold due brain surgery, she was asked if she thought, “Why me?” She replied “No,” that she found herself saying instead, “Why NOT me?”
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You Don’t Have to Believe Your Thoughts

I was an expert at making myself miserable by taking a neutral thought, turning it into a stressful one, and then spinning that stressful thought into an even more stressful story.
James McNeill Whistler/Public Domain

A “Before” and “After” Snapshot of Chronic Pain and Illness

Here is a "before" and "after" snapshot of life with chronic pain and illness, some of it lighthearted, some of it not.

The Forgotten Victims of September 11, 2001

On this anniversary of that horrific Tuesday in September, I’ve been reflecting on the bride and groom’s experience...

About My New Book "How to Wake Up"

I don’t see “awakening” as a one-time deal. I understand it to be a potential that arises over and over, every moment that we’re willing to engage our life as it is.

Romanticizing the Past Makes Us Feel Bad about the Present

When I find myself putting "old" life on a pedestal, I realize this is a distorted view of the past that serves only to make me feel bad about the present.

As Summer Simmers, Refresh Yourself With These Reflections

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken." —James Dent
Public Domain

A Not-To-Do List for the Chronically Ill

I recently I realized I could benefit from a not-to-do list that would remind me of limitations I often ignore either because I’m in denial or because I want to please others.

Chronic Resilience: An Interview with Danea Horn

People need concrete tools for learning how to live with grace and purpose despite their health challenges. Danea Horn's book, "Chronic Resilience" offers those tools.

Who Didn’t Say That? Ten Surprising Misattributed Quotations

“Quotation: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.” —Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Don’t Be Intimidated in the Doctor’s Office: Six Strategies

Here are six strategies to help ensure you make the most of your time with the doctor.
Public Domain

Four Common Misconceptions About the Bill of Rights

People often complain that the Fourth Amendment serves only to help criminals. But this is incorrect.

In the Kingdom of the Sick: An Interview With Laurie Edwards

Laurie has written a social history of chronic illness in America, titled In the Kingdom of the Sick. This was a major undertaking and Laurie has succeeded most admirably. In a starred review, Booklist calls it, “an indispensable book for anyone with or concerned about chronic disease, and everyone interested in the health professions.”

Is Free Will an Illusion? A Guest Post by Joan Tollifson

This is a guest post by Joan Tollifson. See my introductory paragraph to learn who Joan is and why I asked her if I could share this piece.

Reflections on “How to Be Sick”

I’ve opened "How to Be Sick" many times since it was published in 2010, but I’d never read it cover-to-cover. It was an intense experience, not without tears.

Impatient? Why and How to Practice Patience

Being patient gave rise to a feeling of equanimity—a calmness of mind that makes it easier to ride life’s ups and downs without getting angry and upset.
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12 Tips from 12 Years Sick

It's time for “12 Tips from 12 Years Sick.” A few of them have made an appearance in different form in earlier pieces, but that’s because some tips have a very long shelf life…

Use “Paintracking” to Help Manage Chronic Pain

“Living with chronic pain can feel like you are a raggedy doll, tossed about by conditions beyond your control.” So writes Deborah Barrett.
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Tapping into Self-Compassion to Help Ease Everyday Suffering

We can learn to treat ourselves with the same compassion that we'd treat a loved one in need.

8 Things I Miss Most as a Result of Chronic Pain and Illness

It's good to remember that there’s a tendency to rewrite our past and put it on a pedestal: “Those were the good old days.”

Two Years Out: The Top 15 “Turning Straw Into Gold” Pieces

This is an anniversary of sorts for me. I’ve been writing for Psychology Today for two years now and am approaching having posted 100 pieces.

Spring Unfolds in Quotations, Reflections, and Photographs

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” —the wonderful Robin Williams

More: Tough Choices You Face When Chronically Ill or in Pain

I recently posted “5 Tough Choices You Face When Chronically Ill or in Pain.” I was amazed to discover how many of you said it applied to you too.

What Type of Thinker Are You?

“Convergent” and “divergent” thinking represent two different ways of looking at the world.

When You're Down and Out: How to Get Through the Bad Days

“Think positively and everything will be okay” seems to be one of the mantras of the 21st Century. But to be honest, I don’t always feel positive.

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