My name is Emmie (she/her) and I’m trying to make a difference by speaking up.
I’m a palliative care and intensive care hospital chaplain at a children’s hospital in New York; a candidate for ordination in the PC(USA); avid cook; traveler (on hiatus); friend and family member to many and partner to one; writer; and musician. I’m also someone who lives with many chronic illnesses and pains every day, as well as some difficulties with my mental health.
Before coming to terms with where I am in my journey, I didn’t realize the pain I was in wasn’t normal. I figured everyone experienced it in some way or other, so I decided to power through and do everything I thought I was supposed to do to be “successful” and please others. I was leading an unhealthily busy life. As you can imagine, this was a completely unsustainable path and I crashed and burned, hard. I realized I was exhausted, joyless, pained, sick, overworked, and in desperate need of a change. I needed to put my health first. This blog is part of my change: to focus on my healing as my first priority in life. I want to be more joyful, loving, passionate, well-rested, generous, and 100% wherever I am.
In my journey from health to illness to health(!) again, perfectionism to healthy striving for improvement, atheism to theism, disempowerment to empowerment, and emotional solitude to deep connection with others, I have learned that the best way for me to cope with my emotions is to speak and be heard. I’m also a natural teacher and leader, so one of my other ways of coping is to teach and reach out to others about issues that matter. My hope for you is that in reading my story, learning about chronic illness, and exploring my suggestions, you will begin to find your way just as I am beginning to find mine: openly, patiently, and lovingly toward myself and others who have earned the right to be part of this journey with me.
Please let me know what I can do for you to make your journey better! I’m more than happy to answer any of your questions, shower you with words of praise and affirmation, and connect you with any resources you need. We’re in this together, whether it’s you who has an illness or someone you love dearly.
I want to grow better, not bitter, from my experiences, and I hope that you will join me on my journey to do just that.