I am a Chronic Illness Advocate who empowers others on their healing journeys. But my life used to look very different. Before becoming a spoonie, I was a band and choir teacher.

I was living “the dream.” I absolutely loved my career and had recently received a prestigious award for my significant contributions to the well-being of my school. I had just spent the summer traveling the world with my new husband and we were in the middle of building our dream home. In my “spare time,” I was a director of a non-profit arts organization, pursuing a master’s in educational research, and performing oboe in local symphonies.


When I got rear-ended in October of 2018, it was the most devastating experience of my entire life. I was in constant pain. The fatigue was so severe that I couldn’t walk more than five minutes without someone to hold onto. Turning over in bed made the room spin and my eyes felt like they were on fire. I wanted to crawl out of my skin because of the piercing headaches and intense neck pain. I was so sensitive to noise that I couldn’t even take a bubble bath because the popping bubbles were like being at a heavy metal concert. I had zero ability to regulate my emotions and was having frequent panic attacks.
In the blink of an eye, my world had turned upside down. But the worst part wasn’t the symptoms. It was the fact that I was bed bound and unable to return to work. I had nothing to be passionate about. I became severely depressed and felt like I had no purpose or reason to live. I missed my students so much, and felt like my family, friends, and colleagues were moving on without me. Nobody understood the invisible battle I was facing. I got diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and became a full-time patient. My life consisted of going from appointment to appointment, trying dozens of treatments and prescriptions to ease my suffering.


Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom in order for things to truly change. I wish I could say that my road to recovery was easy, but it wasn’t. It was full of ups and downs. It took me a long time to overcome my pattern of being busy and productive in order to prove my worth. I had to embrace the art of slowing down in order to truly heal. I needed to finally put myself first. Several months into my injury, I created an instagram account to reflect on my experience, connect with others, and share resources. Exposing myself to an uplifting community on social media really helped me adopt a growth mindset. I started learning how to set boundaries, how to advocate for myself, and how to clearly communicate my needs with loved ones. I learned how to tune into my intuition in order to find the right health practitioners.


For so long, I grieved the “old me.” Over four years, I had multiple failed attempts to return to work and my graduate studies. I also got diagnosed with a hypermobility disorder. In order to cope, I had to stop fixating on my physical and energetic limitations. Instead, I had to focus on creating a new path forward. This meant truly listening to my mind, body, and spirit with compassion. During the pandemic, I realized that every time I was able to work from home and control my own environment, I thrived. I also knew that I needed to change my lifestyle in order to prepare for the implications of the polycystic kidney disease I had been diagnosed with as a teenager. Even though it terrified me, I decided to take a leap of faith and start my own business at the beginning of 2022.
Becoming an entrepreneur has been life changing. Being able to create my own schedule and rest as needed has helped me reclaim my health and well-being. Through my online programs, I find it deeply fulfilling to teach fellow spoonies the evidence-based strategies that have helped thrive. It might sound strange, but I am truly grateful for the adversity I experienced. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.


Having a chronic health condition can be so isolating. No matter what stage you are in, I want you to know that you are not alone. I hope that you continue to awaken your innate resilience.

Trust that healing isn’t linear. Trust that things can and WILL get better. I'm rooting for you, ❤️ Emily

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Land Acknowledgement

Reconnecting with the land and nature has been an important part of my healing journey. I am grateful to live, work, and play on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina, and the Iyarhe Nakoda. The City of Calgary is also home to the Métis Nation.
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