My Monster

For many years, I believed the lie that the only way of coping with the parasitic fears and deep pain in my life was to bring injury to my body. I still remember the young teenage girl standing in front of a dressing room mirror, fighting back tears and thinking this was her only option.…

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Unexpected

In the night, when I return to bed after a bathroom trip (thank you, menopause) my husband will often turn and touch my hair before we both go back to sleep. And if he returns from a trip, he adjusts my bed covers. I smile. There are two pieces of my life I usually don’t…

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Not What We’ve Done

We were sitting at a table along the wall in a crowded restaurant, menus in hand, diving right into the nitty gritty of our personal stories. I had known of this woman from church for a while but this was our first time getting together. The longer I sat with Kate, who is a handful…

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Home

A Voxer notification appeared from my friend Mike: Hi Rachel, I’ve been thinking about you and wondering what you would think of spending a half a day or a whole day on a silent retreat away from social media and family and friends. We would be happy to help with your kids to make this…

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Where I’m Supposed To Be

I am at an advantage. In general, those aren’t difficult words for me to process. I know that I’m advantaged in so many areas in my life. I have an incredible husband, supportive family, and sensational friends. I have a steady job that gives me opportunities to do things I love. I get to live…

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The Story Behind The Surface

I have a pharmacy on my nightstand. Every night, I pop a number of vitamins from four different containers. Water, vitamins, water, vitamins, water. Then there’s the orange pill bottle. It’s not a multivitamin and I can’t get it over the counter. Out of all the pills, this is the one I’ve taken the longest,…

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Hidden Truths

“So, what have you been up to lately?” she casually asked across the table strewn with half-drunk margaritas and now cold food. The dreaded question finally happened and an annoying ache clawed at my belly. Taking a deep breath, I came up with an answer that seemed appropriate to the evening and less shame-filled than…

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Coauthoring Meaning

The conversation that evening was sweet, as much a contributor to the celebration as the sumptuous meal and quiet candlelight at a favorite restaurant. My friend wanted to hear what had been significant for me in the year that was finishing and what I was looking forward to in the year ahead. As the evening…

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Love the Process

The process of grief is anything but linear.  What would be nice is a clear cut path with a beginning and end, but that’s not the way grief works.  It feels more like a tidal wave that comes out of the blue and knocks the wind out of you, or a dull aching pain that…

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Ten Minutes and A World Away

It’s an odd feeling, knowing that someone who lives ten minutes away from you has a life so different from yours. I began volunteering at a legal center on the west side of Chicago while I was studying to be a psychologist. I wanted to participate in the holistic work that this program was doing.…

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