Some of Us Just Fall: On Nature and Not Getting Better

Polly Atkin

“Raises the standard of nature writing. This is both radical manifesto and activism in book form.” –Sally Huband, author of Sea Bean

“If I could, I would live in water. To be a body in water, not a body on land. A body that can’t fall over.”

After years of unexplained health problems, Polly Atkin's perception of her body was rendered fluid and disjointed. When she was finally diagnosed with two chronic conditions in her thirties, she began to piece together what had been happening to her– all the misdiagnoses, the fractures, the dislocations, the bone-crushing exhaustion, and on top of it all, the not being believed by the very people who were meant to listen: friends, family, and medical professionals alike.

Some of Us Just Fall delves into shimmering waters to trace a journey through illness– a journey which led Polly Atkin to her cottage in England’s Lake District where every day she turns to the lakes and land that inspire poets old and new– from Dorothy and William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter to W.H. Auden– to help manage, and purportedly cure, her chronic illness. 

A beautiful meditation on the intersections of nature, poetry, and illness, Some of Us Just Fall is an intimate rendering of pain and expression of joy as much as it is essential reading on the cost of medical misogyny, the illusion of “the nature cure,” and the dangers of ableism both systematic and internalized.

This is not a book about getting better. This is a book about living better with illness.