Tag: chronic illness

Surviving shame: Learning to forgive yourself

Surviving shame: Learning to forgive yourself How do you survive shame? Forgive yourself. To gather research for my book I’ve been interviewing young men and asking, “Do you practice self-forgiveness?” After 62 interviews, 59 men interview said, “No.” When I asked why not, the most common two answers were: they were ashamed to they had […]

It’s the response that matters

It’s the response thatĀ matters It was a tradition of sorts. In the initial months following my diagnosis, after each doctor’s appointment, I would go to the bar Given my deteriorating health, a few pints, and a plate of fried pickles was not the most constructive response, but sometimes nothing soothes a fractured soul like the […]

What we value = the conflicts we endure

What we value = the conflicts we endure I want to share with you something I recently taught my writing students this week. All conflict, whether personal or societal, is simply a conflict of values. Take me, and most adults for that matter, we value hygiene. We value soap and toothpaste. My 9 year son […]


Notes-to-self Sometimes we can find ourselves floundering to start or complete a project or maybe we’re avoiding having a difficult conversation or maybe we’re simply unsatisfied, and long to be happy again. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. Since I started writing my book, there have been daily bouts of self-doubt. Moments where I think […]

How would you spend the last day of your life?

How would you spend the last day of your life?   Day 12 of the 21 Day Freedom Challenge required me to plan the last day of my life. This was the hardest challenge to date. It forced me to really think about how I would construct and spend the last day of my life. […]

The 100% Lie

The 100% Lie Perhaps the greatest lie of the 21st century is: If you just drink this drink, take this pill, buy this car then you will feel great. Ingest this, buy that and all your aches, pains, sufferings as well as– your failures, regrets, worries, and burdens will magically melt away and you will […]

Making progress (from pole to pole)

Making progress (from pole to pole) Last summer, when I was training for a 5k, to keep myself focused and motivated I often jogged from light pole to light pole. Visual markers were instrumental for my progress. I had to see the finish line. Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, explains that people do not accomplish their […]

A book update, a health update… and apparently I'm looking good these days

A book update, a health update…and apparently I’m looking good these days I’m extremely lucky to have an amazing network of people who are supporting my book effort. Since Monday I’ve received emails and messages of support. People have gifted me books, suggested books, recommended people to interview, and someone even offered to edit my […]

The scary step forward

The scary step forward This is for F. Lately I’ve been really interested in American Westward expansion of the mid-19th century. Partly because I just watched The Revenant again and partly because I just finished reading a fantastic novel, The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown, which chronicles the harrowing western journey of several […]

The Backwards Brain Bicycle

The other day my friend Pete shared with me the video, The Backwards Brain Bicycle. I watched it, at times stunned, saying to myself, “Yes! This is how my brain works.” The video shows what happens when an experienced bicycle rider tries to ride a backwards bicycle. Meaning, when you turn the handle bar to […]