And we talk about the reality of life with chronic illness, and that’s so different for everybody. The stories all have different tones and different focuses which is what I think makes [the book] so easily applicable to such a wide audience because there isn’t just one chronic illness experience.

Today’s episode brings back one of my all-time favorite people – Julie Morgenlender from episode 2 of The Notable Woman Podcast. In that episode, we talked about living with a chronic illness, and now it’s fitting that we talk about Julie’s new book, The Things We Don’t Say: An Anthology of Chronic Illness Truths.

About Julie

Julie Morgenlender is a friend, daughter, aunt, crocheter (very very good I might add – note from Cristin), reader, creator of this anthology, and so much more despite being unable to work full time. She enjoys walking in the sunshine, petting dogs, and spending time with awesome people. She volunteers for her chronic pain support group and is on the board of directors of the Bisexual Resource Center.

About the book

Spanning different ages, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and diagnoses, forty-two authors from around the world open up in fifty true stories about their chronic illnesses and their search for answers, poor treatment by doctors, strained relationships with loved ones, self-doubt, and more. They share the warmth of support from family and friends, the triumph of learning coping mechanisms, and finding ways to live their dreams. These stories are honest, raw, and real, and if you have chronic illness, you will find comfort and companionship in these pages. For everyone else, if you have ever wanted to know more about your loved one’s experience with chronic illness but didn’t want to ask the wrong questions, this book will have some answers and lead you to a new-found understanding.


In this episode, we talk about:

  • when Julie first had the idea for the anthology,
  • how she selected the writers,
  • what the process of creating the book was like,
  • how it was different due to Julie and her authors’ chronic illnesses, and
  • how COVID-19 is shining a light on issues that people with chronic illness and disability have been dealing with for decades

Ways to connect with the anthology and Julie include:

The book’s website
The book on Amazon
The book on Bookshop
The book on Goodreads

I think this episode is particularly inspiring if you have an idea that you’ve been trying to get into the world. Julie’s been working on this anthology for as long as I’ve known her, and now it’s here!

Click here to listen on a dozen different platforms!

Rate, Review, & Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

I was a fan before I was a guest. Now I’ve been a guest and I’m an even greater fan! Cristin Downs is an amazing interviewer and host. She is insightful, professional and just a pleasure to work with. What comes across in the stories is as much a product of Cristin’s fierce talent in conceptualizing the episodes and finding the stories as it is the a reflection of her interesting and engaging subjects. Fantastic, Notable Women. Listen and enjoy!

If you love the show, please consider rating and reviewing the podcast! This helps more people find the show and listen to these amazing conversations. Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate (with five stars, I hope!), and select “Write a Review.” I’d love to hear what you enjoyed about the episode.

Subscribing to the show keeps you up to date when I release a new episode. Or click here to get an email. Whatever works best for you.

Important links from the episode and from The Notable Woman:

Other ways to enjoy this podcast or rock out with me:
Download on iTunes | Listen on Overcast | Join The Society of Notable Women Online Community