When an invisible illness feels like a gross, sad secret
Dear Jordan, what an unbelievably powerful and vulnerable, brilliantly written and structured essay! I am going to sit with this one for a long time. So glad I came across Rachel and her note which said "When people ask what I’m looking for from Open Secrets essays, it’s definitely openings like this that feel urgent and make me want to keep reading" and offered your first lines. And your expert use of anaphora (I love how you interspersed those escalating asides as the piece progressed!) brings to mind an essay I wrote last year about PTSD and oncology follow-up appointments that I've been too shy to submit anywhere! Thank you for writing and sharing this. I've had and still live with my share of invisible and sometimes visible illnesses and chronic pain, so I felt this deeply. I hope healing, comfort, and relief find you.
Whoa, this brought me to tears. You explained the very special something that some of us experience and struggle to articulate about “unexplained” or “unknown” causes of health issues. And yet honored how resilient we are despite this (Dancing On My Own - this scene is so relatable, and so tender). Thank you for sharing your story.
I love the marking of time throughout this essay, and the way we are shown the increasing frustration through those time stamps.