Bio and Bylines

A graduate of Sonoma State University, Jamison is a former bodybuilder and fitness instructor. He also worked as a Christmas tree salesman and manager of a children’s clothing store before devoting himself to writing. He has written for, among others, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Men’s Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Vox, and VICE.

Jamison has appeared in Forgotten Plague, a documentary about ME/CFS, and a seven-episode Netflix original series released in 2018. He was also featured on WBUR’s Modern Love podcast and Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, as well as in articles published by Pacific Standard and HuffPost.

In addition, Jamison has written for:

-“Love Means Never Having to say … Anything,The New York Times, May, 2018.

“Owning a Car Shouldn’t Strip me of the Food Stamps I Need to Survive,” The Washington Post, December, 2019.

-“I’m not ‘addicted’ to my smartphone. I depend on it to survive,” The Los Angeles Times, April, 2017.

-“Writing for Myself,” Writer’s Digest, May, 2018.

-“I didn’t want a child until I got a chronic illness. Now I might never be able to have one,” The Washington Post, July, 2017

-“Dear anti-Trump protesters,” Vox, February, 2017.

– “Life Without Sex,” Men’s Journal, November, 2016.

– “I was a Weight Lifter, and Then I got Mono,” Tonic by VICE, May, 2017.

– “I’m a disabled person, and Siri changed my life. Then I lost the ability to speak,” Mic, June, 2017.

– “The Day I Killed Someone,” The Bold Italic, April, 2017.

– “Meeting my Mugger,” The Bold Italic, July, 2017.

– “My Chronic Illness Will Bankrupt Me If Obamacare is Repealed,” Bustle, February, 2017.

– “Research on chronic illness good for patients and the environment,” The Oregonian, December, 2016.

– “A psychosomatic diagnosis is a doctor’s way of saying, ‘I don’t have a clue,'” Quartz, January, 2017.

Bustle, April, 2017.

TalkPoverty, March, 2017.

The Good Men Project, March, 2017.

The Motley Fool, November, 2013.

Elite Daily, January, 2014.

Jamison’s Story

On November 28th, 2010, during a three-hour workout, I got sick. Up to that point, I had been spending more than five-hours working out each day doing squats, curls, presses, and every other type of exercise. By age 22, I had spent more than 12,000 hours in the gym. And I loved every minute of it.

My obsession with exercise was about much more than a narcissistic quest to look good and compete as a bodybuilder. I became certified as a personal trainer and started working out with clients and teaching group fitness classes. As much as I enjoyed the rush of deadlifting 400-pounds, or bench pressing twice my body weight, I got equal enjoyment from crawling through the fitness trenches with my clients. By the time that fateful day in November of 2010 rolled around, I had a burgeoning career and a life I loved.

Then I got sick.

At the pinnacle of my life as a personal trainer, bodybuilder, and college student, my life was upended by a mysterious illness. Eventually I was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) and Lyme disease. By age 28, I was bedridden and couldn’t even lift a fork. For months I teetered on the brink of death, unable to speak, eat solid food, or elevate my body.

After being given anti-virals, and other treatments, I slowly started to regain my health. While I haven’t had a full recovery, I have improved enough to tell my story through my blog and other writings, which can be found on this site.

45 thoughts on “Bio and Bylines

  1. Jamison. Let me into your ‘community’ of the chronically ill. My illness is LIFE. At 94 my eye sight is failing, my attention span is shot, if I sit too long I almost fall when arising, and I have little energy. The French existentialist writer, Camu, said in his novel , Caligula, ” Man dies and is unhappy”. One cannot be happy all the time. Albert Camu was very right about that.
    I see many similarities between how you and others in the chronically ill community suffer and those in the military with PTSD suffer. Based on this I have recommended to a young relative of mine who is a therapist with the VA treating PTSD veterans of our eternal wars to familiarize herself with your work on this blog and others in order to bring more perspective to veterans with PTSD. The chronically ill community show an amazing soir de vivre (sp?) under an enormous burden of pain. PTSD is mild in comparison but just as deadly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of my sisters in the disability advocacy struggle recommended your (Jamison’s) work. So interested to follow your perspective as a man in the world of chronic illness/ME, especially in regards to having children—that particular essay resonated with me because I often ask myself whether I might have wanted kids if I hadn’t gotten sick. I don’t want them now and I never particularly wanted them – but maybe my opinion would’ve been different if I’ve been healthy during my childbearing years. Keep writing!


    1. Hi Christina! Thanks for reading my work and relating to it. The want to have a child is still with me. Sometimes it feels really strong but there’s nothing I can do about it. Thanks again for reading and to your sister for connecting us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Found your blog through the nyt link. Your observations are so on point. There are people out there who are not sick but who believe you. Your compassion for those who don’t seem to get it is remarkable and admirable. Wishing you and your partner the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it’s hard to have compassion for people who don’t get it. Especially hard to have compassion for people who don’t try to get it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. And there’s me complaining about about mild tiredness, weight loss, and silent reflux. Well, I think reading this post and a few others of yours, you have put things in perspective. You have been “really” ill. I think I’ll stop complaining about my comparitively mild aches and pains D:

    Thanks for following my blog. I’ll now return the compliment by following yours, as you write extremely well and your content is mega-interesting. Please excuse me if I do the occasional disappearing act from Blogland, as I sometimes take writing sabbaticals or just feel a need to retreat into recluse-mode.


  5. As an aging but fairly healthy individual, I can’t begin to imagine the traumas of your daily life.
    Thank you for visiting Sound Bite Fiction.
    Good luck and best wishes


  6. Hey man, I’m really enjoying your blog posts! I’m a 23 year old male and have been sick for about 7 years now. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you are doing.

    Have you been tested for lyme? I just saw an LLMD to get an igenex test done. Also, how are you doing as of right now?


  7. RE: “need my smartphone to survive” – I would go insane(r) without the ability to communicate with other chronic illness patients (as all my IRL friends have disappeared); for distraction: to find funny memes and animal videos, to watch netflix; for learning more about my illnesses; for being able to advocate and share information and promote others. It’s my lifeline.

    And I imagine some day I will need it to communicate as you do for daily needs.


  8. Jamison,

    I have a question: Do you know why you became addicted to exercise? If it’s more than you can answer in a reply, perhaps it might be worth writing an article about…


    1. That’s a good idea. I’d have to think about it. It’s hard to answer, like asking an alcoholic why he/she drinks. But I think I could come up with some guesses. Thanks for the prompt!


  9. I can’t say that I know everything you’re going through but I can relate to it on some level. I’ve never had a “normal” life. Grew up in a hospital due to MD. And now I have that and MS. It doesn’t get easier but you take it in strides. Chin up. What helps me is the constant reminder that even though my health is on the frits, there are people that aren’t as lucky as me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When that doesn’t help, some ice cream and a comedy works too. Sometimes a pity party is necessary. Just don’t let the party take over you. Nothing good happens when you party too much. No matter what type of party it is.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for your articulate and thought provoking post. I have ME too and am also a psychotherapist. I find any emotional stress exhausting and have found this difficult to unspderstand as I think I process my emotions healthily but my body was trying to tell me otherwise. Your theory makes perfect sense of this, it’s not my failure at dealing with ‘stuff’, it’s my body’s inability to cope with the chemical changes that come about as a result of things like stress

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Of course, no worries! Remember that you are a light that contributes to the collective in a massive way. Please know that there are those of us that really see that, and appreciate the awareness you provide. It’s in great need!

    Much luv brother,


  12. Hey Jamison!
    Really appreciate your story and thanks for sharing it with us!! I wanted to send some things off your wishlist–but it’s no updated to have it shipped to an addy of your choosing!. You have to link a shipping address with it. Please let me know how you want to proceed. Much joy!
    Ps…I came across your page from giving tuesday from your writing friend 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jesse. Thanks so much for caring and for thinking of me! I forgot to link my address but it should be good to go now. I appreciate your generosity and for finding me through the maze of websites.


  13. Purely by chance I came across an article about the Gulf War Syndrome and was shocked to see that the symptoms of ME/CFS are virtually the same. I also read that this has not been overlooked. Maybe there is a link.


  14. Greeting fellow ME/CFS sufferer. Happy we found each other. Although our paths have been very different, it seems we’ve ended up in the same place. Writing has been my lifeline – looks like the same is true for you. Will be following.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I said “wow” aloud at the end of your story, it’s pretty incredible. I’m happy you’ve found my blog because now I have found yours. I look forward to reading your posts, you truly have an interesting adventure to write about!

    Liked by 1 person

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