Squat and Poop: The Art of Adaptation

CN: bathroom talk The story of how the piece you’re about to read came into my inbox is one of the more serendipitous moments that I’ve experienced. I was listening to Mugabi’s episode of the podcast No End In Sight, a podcast about chronic illness, and I was struck by how unique and compelling his story was. When I learned that he was a writer, I knew I needed to contact him and ask if …Read More

How Mast Cell Activation Disorder Changed My Life

CN: extensive and detailed discussion of chronic illness symptoms such as nausea, brain fog, and difficulty eating; discussion of weight loss   One day, after taking a short walk, I had a strange health episode. I was incredibly exhausted, totally disproportionate to the amount of walking I had done. I sat down in the chair in the kitchen as soon as I got in, too tired to go all the way to my bedroom, and then …Read More

Why I Stopped Taking Gabapentin

I am updating and republishing some of my early articles from this blog. Please enjoy this article, originally published under the title “Color” in March of 2017, about the early days of my chronic pain journey.  CN: extensive discussion of the experience of anxiety, chronic pain, medication side effects, and medical neglect. Duloxetine was the first pain medication my doctor ever prescribed me, an anti-depressant that can sometimes help with pain.  A year after I …Read More

Stonewalled: That Time I Fought the Law and the Law Lost

One of our favorite re-occurring guest-writers, Denny Upkins, is back with this amusing and empowering tale to remind everyone fighting the impacts of marginalization to share and celebrate our wins.  CN: general discussion of dynamics between police and black and LGBT civilians; general discussion of racism; account of police questioning (no violence). A bard by the name of Alan Moore once stated magic is art, and that art, be it music, sculpture or any other …Read More

9 Things That Blocked My Access to Medical Treatment

CN: detailed discussion of chronic pain, PTSD, doctor neglect, and ableism; mention of emesis. I am updating and republishing some of my early articles from this blog. Please enjoy this article that was originally published as “26” in March, 2017, and has been cross-posted on medium, about the early attempts to diagnose the cause of my chronic pain and other symptoms.  When you meet a new doctor, you’re allowed just a few sentences to communicate everything about …Read More

What Does Dissociation Feel Like?

CN: extensive and detailed descriptions of what disordered dissociation can feel like; extensive discussion of Dissociative Identity Disorder, amnesia, and mental health management in general; specific examples of abuse; general discussion of trauma and chronic pain.  Added note of caution: Some people who struggle with dissociation find that reading detailed descriptions of dissociation can bring on those symptoms for them. Read at your own pace and take care of yourself.  For as long as I …Read More

Wait, Your Body Doesn’t Do This, Too?

I am updating and republishing some of my early articles from this blog. Please enjoy this article that was originally published as “The Blue Book” in May 2017 and was cross-published on the Medium publication No End In Sight in November of 2019, about the early stages of my experience with chronic illness and chronic pain.  CN: chronic pain, ableism, images of mild body contortions I sat down at the bus stop. There were still a …Read More

Early Signs That I Had Dissociative Identity Disorder

CN: extensive discussion of the symptoms and experince of dissociative identity disorder, such as dissociation, trauma flash backs, amnesia, anxiety, and extreme emotional fluctuations.  Dissociative Identity Disorder is a really unique and amazing mental illness, or as we like to call it, a survival mechanism. In most of the media portrayals of DID, the separate identities are dramatically and obviously different, switches are highly visible, and the host is constantly disoriented by their blackouts and …Read More

Who Am I Today? How My DID System and I Figure Out Who Is Fronting

CN: Extensive discussion of plurality, dissociative disorders, and identity disruption, brief discussion of some of the distressing symptoms of dissociative disorders Most mornings, my boyfriend will greet me with a hug and say, “Who are you today?” This is a more complicated question for me than it is for most people.  I was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder in August of 2020, a mental health condition that means my identity is split up into a …Read More

What Is Plurality/Multiplicity?

CN: extensive discussion of plurality, dissociative disorders, mental health, and the impact of trauma, ableism; brief discussion of amnesia. For every type of marginalization you encounter, there will be an invisible barrier to understanding the humanity of those who face structural disenfranchisement that you do not. Even beyond gaining the knowledge that these structural inequities exist and have been forced upon an innocent group of people, we still carry with us a tendency to view …Read More