Pain has taught me a lot about who I am. My contemplative practice has been an important part of my journey into knowing myself.
The shape and size of my body affect my healthcare.
Years into my chronic illness journey, through much trial and error, I have finally found a reading rhythm that works for me. It isn’t a perfect system, and I still feel sad seeing the books that go unread on my shelves. But overall, my reading life has actually been enriched in many ways.
I may never experience the typical trappings of adulthood due to my chronic illness, but I won’t be ashamed about it, writes Stephanie Harper
In a perfect world, I would practice my writing all day, every day, churning out work at a rate of prolificacy that would make the Stephen Kings or Joyce Carol Oates of the world blush. But this is not a perfect world and I am far from a perfect writer. This is real life.
’ve been told I share too much online. I probably do. Since I woke up with a headache on October 28th, 2013 that’s never gone away, I’ve posted many of the details of my ongoing journey with chronic pain, diagnosis, and treatment. My symptoms have increased to affect my whole body and I have become systemically ill, so I’ve continued to share the ups and downs of my situation, as well as some of the wisdom I’ve gleaned along the way.
As a poet, I often root my verse in the natural world. Every poem in my debut collection, Sermon Series, engages with creation in some way. During the two years I spent writing it, I wrestled with both my sense of vocation and a debilitating chronic illness. Through poetry, I could step outside of my struggles and better understand my place in God’s earth. Poetry taught me to engage my work and life through an ecocentric lens.