I went shopping for clothes today! (+ tips for shopping with TSW)

You would ask what’s the big deal?

The big deal, as those who live with me know, is that I LOVE clothes. But during the worst of Topical Steroid Withdrawal, I lived in a sack.

No. seriously. I lived in a sack. It was depressing. and ugly. For the sake of my poor newlywed husband, I wish I was kidding, but I donned the ever so fashionable sack, with no undies. Because my skin down there liked breeze. (TMI? sorry not sorry?) I was in too much pain to care about what I looked like, and even if I did care, the clothes that I could wear was really limited. Too tight, was bad. Too short was bad. Too much fabric was bad. Light colors were out. Thick fabrics, also out. etc etc so I lived in a sack.

I would post actual picture of me in my sacks (I have acquired about 5) but ain’t nobody who needs to relieve that.

But today, I went shopping! I’ve been needing some basics (I lost I a lot of weight) and Nordstrom Rack has additional 25% off clearance items so off I went! I would say this is a huge mile stone for those battling through Topical Steroid Withdrawal. The reason is two fold: 1. You have the energy to go out and stand amongst strangers for hours and hours (yes I like shopping that much) 2. You want to and get to wear lots of different, pretty clothes again! And you can try on clothes without worrying about getting blood and ooze everywhere!


outfit 1!


outfit 2!

I think healing from TSW is two fold – physically and consequently mentally/emotionally. Going through TSW does a number on your mental and emotional well being. Hard to feel good about yourself and care about other people when the only thing you can think about is how much pain you are in RIGHT. THIS. MOMENT. I feel that being able to go shopping and feel pretty and happy about how you look is a HUGE step towards complete healing from TSW.

That said, if you need to go to shopping in the midst of Topical Steroid Withdrawal, here are some tips.

  1. Don’t go unless you feel up to it/ you absolutely have to because shopping is hard work when you are sick.
  2. Shop online! This way you get to try on the clothes in the comforts of your home, which will get rid of your social anxiety that accompanies TSW. Amazon Prime (free trial available!) and Nordstrom is the best – Free shipping and return!
  3. If you have to make the trip out/are willing to make the trip out cover your skin. Wear something cotton and thin – like a tank top or a low cut long sleeve shirt – so you don’t have come in direct contact with the new clothes. Wear something thin and tight on the bottom as well.
  4. Narrow down as much as possible before trying clothes out. You want to minimize try-ons, if you are in the middle of a flare. More movement = More pain
  5. After purchase, WASH the clothes before you wear it out! This should prevent lots of irritation from excess dyes, etc.

I hope the tips help! Happy healing and as always, let me know if you got any questions!




Surprise Wedding with Topical Steroid Withdrawal



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.