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You do not have to be good

(12/08/19 5:00am)

Though the weather is chilling and the leaves are falling, my mind has been traveling back to a different change in the seasons. Spring of this year brought with it two moments that would change my life, though I didn’t know yet that they would. My doctor told me that pain would be a part of my life for as long as I live, and I applied for an internship at the Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South.

A chronic pain playlist

(11/25/19 5:00am)

I talk about my feelings a lot. I think it’s because one of the things I do best is talk to other people about their feelings. I’m a two on the enneagram, an INFJ or ENFJ (depending on the day), and a Pisces, all of which is nonsense. The point is this: if you’re having a bad day, I’m a good person to talk to. And if I’m having a bad day, I’m usually pretty willing to unpack it with you.

What to say (and not to say) to people with chronic pain

(11/11/19 5:00am)

In Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved, historian and Duke Divinity professor Kate Bowler describes what it was like to be diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at the age of 35. She writes clearly and honestly about living in the liminal space between wellness and illness, love and suffering, life and death. Her whole book is excellent, but as a fervent member of the Kate Bowler fan club, I can name off the top of my head the part of her book that resonated with me most: right at the end, when she gives a list of things to say (and things not to say) to people who are suffering. 

What living with less pain could look like

(10/14/19 4:00am)

When I found myself hastily preparing for a last-minute trip to see my grandmother earlier this semester—a trip that would involve mostly sitting with my family and navigating grief—I packed the softest and most comfortable things I own: my Duke English major shirt, my favorite cotton pants and the least sexy underwear of all time. My brain had unconsciously decided to prioritize physical comfort in anticipation of an exceedingly uncomfortable few days.