birthday man

Today is a special day because my favorite human ages one more year!

When my “eczema” was getting worse and worse and I was lost and overwhelmed by my rapidly deteriorating health, my husband was the first one who supported me. Despite the fact we’ve only been dating for a few months, he was there 100% and supported my decision to start the withdrawal process which will put me (and us) in a world of struggle.

It was the beginning of a relationship- we were supposed to be in hormone filled euphoria. But due to TSW, there were some really hard times. I was chronically ill, and as a result, chronically sad. My self esteem plummeted, along with my desire and energy to do things in life. I used all the energy I had to attempt to seem happier to everybody else, and as a result, Rhys bore the brunt of my depression.

Despite all the hard times, our time together went by incredibly fast. I can’t believe it’s already the second birthday we are celebrating together. So many things have happened in the past year. In the beginning of TSW, I would often tell him that I wished I was put in a coma to sleep through all the pain and discomfort. 16 months in, I am so grateful I lived through every day of the past 16 months because for every low points, there were highest of highs I have had the honor to experience. We have traveled to new places, tried new food, learned so much about each other, and fell deeper in love. From surprise weddings to starting school again, my husband has blessed me with his kindness and silliness.

So, happy birthday to my best friend and the love of my life! You have brought so much joy and light into my darkest times. You are my rock that grounds me and I am beyond thankful to have you by my side. I love you )( much! (/mush)

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Surprise Wedding with Topical Steroid Withdrawal

Surprise!!

Surprise!!

I finally got around to writing about my wedding! You can see it on A Practical Wedding. Everybody has been overwhelmingly positive and my husband deserves all the love! I’m so glad I had the chance to share the surprise wedding as well as let people know about Topical Steroid Withdrawal. I hope it makes your day a little brighter. :) 

deserving of love?

Disclaimer – mainly for the sake of the boy that I know reads this blog: the following sentiments ebbs and flows and I am coming to terms with it more. I thought it was important enough to document and explore this idea- hence the blog post, as it is a big part of TSW. That said I spend most days without wallowing in self pity.

I am in a relationship with an awesome human. I can’t say enough good things about him.
I have been spending my days with my kindle fire. The glassy black surface of the tablet functions like a mirror.

These two things are related because everytime I catch glimpses of my face on its black reflective surface, I cringe. I cringe and feel really unworthy of love. I feel bad for him and wonder what he could possibly be getting out being in a relationship with an ugly, sick girl.

There, I said it. Ugly. I am actually having a visceral reaction typing that word. Ugly. Yikes. What a loaded word. My parents always joke I was an ugly baby, and I had my fair share of awkward teen years, but ugly isn’t a word I use to describe myself, ever. I’ve been pretty confident of how I look for quite some time now- even objectively, I know I’m at least average looking, and I relish in the knowledge that I am not ugly. I’m actually vain about it sometimes- when I know I look good, I will take all the selfies and check myself out on all the reflective surfaces. Lately, however, I’ve been avoiding all reflective surfaces because my face looks really, really bad. My skin is either red or flaky, or both. My face is so swollen that my eyes look like two slits. It’s either oozing in places or crusted over. I look like hell.

It surprises me, how seeing my transformed face sends me reeling in hopelessness and depression. I always asserted that my confidence was rooted in knowledge of whose I am, not who I am. I really thought that was the root of it all. Well, apparently I was lying. I’m having difficulty teasing out feeling confident in who I am- which I guess ties into sense of worth… Or something I haven’t entirely figured it out yet- and feeling beautiful. For me, confidence and feeling pretty is so intricately linked that while I know I can- and should- I don’t know how to separate them. Furthermore, feeling beautiful then directly affects whether I feel I am deserving of love.

I know that I am more than how I look. I know I am funny, opinionated, empathetic, weird, spontaneous, loving, compassionate, etc, etc that makes me fun to be around and great to have as a friend. And I think I can be ugly and still be loved by my friends. Relationships, however, apparently is a whole another beast. I say apparently because I had no idea this is how I felt about myself.

Perhaps I should preface by saying I 100% believe that ugly people can meet someone and be super happy together. Hell, I don’t even know what I consider to be ugly because I very very rarely, if ever, look at someone and go, “wow that random human is ugly!” Nor do I think that “ugly” people are undeserving of love, because what kind of horrible person would you have to be to think that?!

So why is it that when it comes to me, I am that horrible person, thinking, “because you are currently ugly, you are undeserving of romantic love.” Why is it that I feel, maybe if he wasn’t so good to me, then I would feel more deserving of the relationship? Why is it that with everybody else, being a good human is the only prerequisite for me to wishing them a happy, fulfilling love life, but for me I have to be hot as well?

Why is being ugly take precedence over all the other awesome attributes about myself?

Intelligence, curiosity, empathy, drive, ambition, work ethic, generosity – why is the combination of these traits not enough to overcome the one fault of being ugly? I’m not saying that I am perfect- I am so far from that- but I am a decent human- at least I try really hard to be. The fundamentals of my core belief state that Creator of the universe deems me worthy of life of His Son. But yet, looking less than average means a boy can’t possibly find something else about me that is worthy of love.

Wtf Esther.

Ultimately, I am astonished at myself. Astonished that I, who call herself a feminist, who can teach a class on negative effects of media, who frequent self love blogs, and most importantly who claimed that my self worth came from God, would let changes of my face to define my worth and deny myself of love.