The Reality of Chronic Illness | Paperback

Rated 4.90 out of 5 based on 10 customer ratings
(10 customer reviews)


A pairing of self portraits and written reflections to capture daily life with chronic illness.

58 in stock (can be backordered)


Begun as a series of posts on social media, this project pairs self portraits and written reflections for the purpose of capturing daily life with chronic illness. In thirty-five intimate entries, author Rachel Allison reveals her personal struggles with Adrenal Fatigue (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and Dysautonomia, and reflects on how they impact her everyday life as a young adult. Ultimately, Allison’s project attempts to promote communication about chronic illness. Her work will give readers understanding and insight on how to better care for loved ones who are impacted by it. Read more about the book here.

Author Bio Photo_cropRachel Allison is a writer and photographer, living with Adrenal Fatigue (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and Dysautonomia since November 2010. She’s a lover of details, creativity, truth, understated elegance, words, and cheesy humor. She lives life with a passion for learning and a deep need for the God who created and cares for her. She blogs about life, faith, and photography at


The Reality of Chronic Illness
Preface | Page 5
Chronic Illness Doesn’t Sleep | Page 30
Crash Times | Page 53
Treatment | Page 61
Emotions Count | Page 64
Holidays | Page 77

Additional information


8'' x 8''




80 lb. white paper stock


Black & White




Amanda Bourne


Justin Hoffman

Printed By

HF Group Book Partners

10 reviews for The Reality of Chronic Illness | Paperback

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Libby H

    I absolutely loved this book. There were so many parts that I found relatable as someone else who struggles with chronic illness on a daily basis. The pictures were beautifully done and the fact that they were done in black and white made it even more perfect. They captured raw emotion that I know I’ve experienced many times before. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone struggling with any type of chronic illness but especially to the family members and loved ones of those struggling. It’s important for those around us to know what’s going on and how we’re dealing with things. We may not all react exactly as Rachel does, but this book can give us a voice that we may not have had before.

  2. Rated 4 out of 5


    This book was very thought-provoking. The photos very well represented different aspects of life with chronic illness. Reading a book from another young woman dealing with dysautonomia made me feel less alone in my battle.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5


    I truly LOVED this book!! I will be recommending it to all of my fellow chronic illness friends!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Cassia Dee

    I recommend this book to EVERYONE:

    -If you are someone who suffers with chronic illness, this book will feel like talking with a dear friend. Rachel writes the words that those who suffer with chronic illness wish they could clearly articulate with others, and you will probably cry because maybe for the first time in your life you will really feel like you’re not alone! You’ll feel totally understood in the lonely and misunderstood battle that you’re in, you’ll be encouraged, and you’ll probably also be able to more clearly articulate to others the reality of your specific illness after reading how clearly, simply, and honestly Rachel explains and breaks things down.

    -If you do not suffer with chronic illness but know somebody who does, then you will find this book to be a valuable tool in helping you to get an honest and deeper look into the daily life of that person. It’s engaging, easy to read, and will help you understand chronically ill people better. It also will give you practical advice and encouragement on how you might more effectively communicate your love and support to those who must fight this long and hard battle.

    -And if chronic illness has not touched your life or the lives of anyone you know, this book is still for you! It will raise awareness and answer questions about such an important and often overlooked and misunderstood group of people, and you in turn can spread awareness to others and help make the world a kinder, more understanding place 🙂

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Monica Kaye Snyder

    I seriously want to buy a copy for every warrior I know. It is one of the most achingly beautiful accounts of what it’s like to live in these broken bodies I have ever read. It’s like a gospel tract I want to hand to every well person who doesn’t understand. Thank you, Rachel, for this gift to our community.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5


    The Reality of Chronic Illness, A Photo Documentary, by Rachel Allison Hoffman is outstanding! Well-written, beautifully illustrated, poignant, and important. If you know someone living with chronic illness, this is a must read.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tony Re

    Absolutely loved your book Rachel! Your journey parallels someone close to me and was both insightful and encouraging. It would be a great read, both educationally and a help, for anyone who has a desire to better understand the challenges for someone living with chronic pain. It is so well written and I’m glad you added the photos. This gave more life and reality to your words. Thank you for writing this!

  8. Rated 5 out of 5


    What a GIFT this book is to the world and everyone who reads it! Rachel Allison writes with a compassion and sensitivity that touches and opens your heart. I highly encourage anyone, whether impacted by chronic illness or not, to read it! It will help you relate to others and care for them as Jesus calls us to.

  9. Rated 5 out of 5


    This is one of the most profound analogies I have ever read of life lived with chronic illness. Nineteen year old Rachel Allison, who lives with Adrenal Fatigue (CFS) and Dysautonomia, accomplishes an exemplary endeavor of documenting and photographing the reality of the way, in which, these conditions impact one’s life and the lives of their loved ones. The maturity of her faith is so inspiring as she bravely shares her journey and I strongly believe that if you or one of your family members or close friends live with chronic illness you will be greatly blessed by her newly published book!

  10. Rated 5 out of 5


    This is the best book I’ve ever read on chronic illness! Rachel’s photographs are beautiful, and she is such a talented writer. As someone who also has chronic illness, this book has been so helpful for me and my family! You should buy it…Like right now. 😉

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