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Susan Milstrey Wells

Everyone Has a Story to Tell. Let Me Help You Tell Yours.
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Sticks and Stones

Using Language to Heal, Not Hurt You remember the old playground taunt: sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Until they do. When Harold A. Maio was released from a psychiatric hospital in the late 1970s, he hid for several years, feeling ashamed of who he was. He internalized […]

To Tell or Not to Tell?

Disclosing Health Problems at Work I have an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome, more common but less well-known than its kissing cousin, lupus.  Now, please permit me to saw off the limb I’ve just climbed out on. That’s how it often feels when disclosing chronic illness. You worry that people will find you lacking. You […]

You’ve Got This!

How to Put Fear of Failure in Its Place I recently accepted a new work assignment and there I was having a junior prom moment. Let me explain. I attended my high school junior prom with a nice young man who lived down the street. I could see his house from my parents’ upstairs bedroom […]

The (Grammar) Times They Are A-Changin’

Rules were meant to be broken, said no sixth grade English teacher ever. Yet sometimes quietly and without fanfare—and other times accompanied by teeth gnashing among those of us own a sign that says “I am silently correcting your grammar” (true story)—many of the rules we learned in school have fallen by the wayside. In […]

No, I Can’t Walk Your Dog

How to Overcome the Challenges of Working from Home If I had a nickel for every time someone assumed that because I work from home I don’t have a “real” job, I could retire. Family and friends call and are surprised that I can’t drop everything and chat. Perhaps neighbors want you to walk their […]

What’s in a Name?

Wizzy what? Wisey who? “You couldn’t have chosen Acme Publishing as your business name?” my IT consultant asked plaintively, as he repeatedly tried typing WYSIWYG Publishing while setting up my email accounts. Truth be told, I often have to look carefully at the name when I type it myself. The only way I’m certain to get it right […]

The Zen of Camping

How does a person who prefers 5-star hotels learn to love camping? Now there’s a story! In a nutshell, here’s how it happened. A dear friend bought a boat and docked it at a campground on a beautiful lake in the Adirondacks. She didn’t want to have to go home at the end of a […]

Water, Water Everywhere

I’m the type of person who finds stories everywhere, and today’s story is about water. I didn’t intend to write about water. I rarely even think about it. Well, that’s not entirely true. With an autoimmune disease that causes dry mouth, I’m never without water nearby. But I just go to the store and buy […]