Are You Embarrassed?

The major reason that some of us are embarrassment-prone is that we’ve been conditioned to set unrealistically high expectations for ourselves.

5 Tough Choices You Face When Chronically Ill or in Pain

Here's 5 tough choices continually faced by those who suffer from chronic pain and/or illness. There aren't easy answers to the issues they raise: that’s why they’re tough choices.

Your Physical Illness May Now Be Labeled a Mental Disorder

The American Psychiatric Association has included Somatic Symptom Disorder in its fifth edition—DSM-5

Winter Lovers, Humbuggers, and Poets: 21 Quotes on Winter

Here are twenty-one quotations about winter with paintings by Andrew Wyeth.

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions that Nobody Will Keep

Every year I torture myself by making New Year’s Resolutions that I don’t keep. Now I offer the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions that Nobody Will Keep...

Physical Illnesses May Soon Be Labeled “Mental Disorders”

You can help prevent the creation of Somatic Symptom Disorder. After reading this piece, click on the link to Dr. Frances’ article, Mislabeling Medical Illness as Mental Disorder.

A Bit of Holiday Humor to Brighten Your Day

The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other. —Johnny Carson

Educating Loved Ones about Your Health During the Holidays

When the holidays arrive, we find ourselves expected to participate in a range of activities.

Coolest Kid on the Block—Christmas Tree AND Hanukkah Bush!

Some of our relatives disapproved of my parents’ holiday traditions and refused to come to our house in December. But my friends thought I was the coolest kid.

Is Your Caregiver Self-Absorbed and Manipulative?

Does this sound familiar? At first your caregiver seems truly devoted to giving you the best care possible, but then begins to criticize you and find fault with everything you do.

When Poor Health and the Holidays Collide

It's a “happy/sad” time of year for many of us (to use an expression coined by Jack Kornfield).

What I'm REALLY Grateful for this Thanksgiving Season

I’m grateful that I live in a family that values re-gifting...

Another Blow to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Sufferers

So many people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome suffer needlessly because of the woefully misleading label that’s been given to this debilitating illness.

Boo! Halloween Humor to Tickle Your Funny Bone

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

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Getting a Cold

Now that I’m chronically ill, a cold is a big event in my life. In "How to Be Sick," I call it “sick upon sick.” Here I share the good, the bad, and the ugly of getting a cold...

Euripides to Goldie Hawn: 30 Quotes on Mindfulness

For 2,500 years, philosophers, writers, humorists, scientists, and people of wisdom have been writing about mindfulness—just not using the word.

Confessions of a Sick Person

I worry that I’m no longer competent out in the world.
Public Domain

Savoring Life in Autumn: Quotations to Inspire You

Autumn can feel like a season of contradictions. Sometimes it’s associated with melancholy and sorrow, but at the same time, it’s the season of harvest and thanksgiving.

Adoption Diary Part 2: A New Life and Clues to a Former One

From the very start, Mara was happy during the day. But for several months after we brought her home, she was up multiple times during the night, always sobbing.
Korean Social Welfare Agency

Adoption Diary, Part I: Giving Birth in an Airport

We turned and there was a petite little girl, in a white lacey party dress and bright red shoes.

“Make Good Medicine From the Suffering of Illness”

It was discouraging to read all the quotations telling us that if we had our good health, we’d have everything.

7 Life Lessons from the Olympics

I began my Olympic viewing with strong preferences about who should win. But there’s stress in that wanting.

Part 2: What the Chronically Ill DON’T Want to Hear

Here is a small sampling of the feedback I got from readers, telling me what's been said to them.
Kari Peterson, used with permission

Transforming Envy into Joy

My desire to go to Hawaii was so strong that I linked going there to my very ability to be happy again.

If You Remembered Every Single Day of Your Life—in Detail

On "60 Minutes," I met six people who have Superior Autobiographical Memory. They have the rare ability to vividly remember every detail of their lives since they were children.

What Those With Chronic Pain or Illness DO Want to Hear

As a follow-up to last week’s piece, I thought it might be helpful to let others know what we wish they would say to us...

What Those with Chronic Pain or Illness DON’T Want to Hear

I’ve written this piece so those of us with health difficulties will feel less alone and because I hope it will help others understand how to communicate with us better.
Public Domain

Sizzling Summer: Quotations, Reflections, and Paintings

"In summer, the song sings itself." —William Carlos Williams

Constant Complaining: Does It Serve Us Well?

I thought it would be interesting to see just how much control we really have over our circumstances.

11 Tips From 11 Years Sick

A year ago, I posted a piece titled, “10 Tips from 10 Years Sick.” Well, I’m still sick. So, I’ve re-visited that post, changing some of the tips and adding to others.