Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Self-Esteem Battle

*Sigh* Many of you know that due to my depression and eating disorder and chronic illnesses, I have terrible self esteem. And it's starting to rear it's ugly head again and I'm not sure what to do about it. Being mostly homebound during the day, it makes it hard. I feel useless because I'm not able to work. I don't feel of worth, even though I'm working very hard to be a good wife. I just feel like it's not enough. It's never enough.

I have a love/very strong hate relationship with my body. On one hand, I love it because I'm able to walk,and  talk, and see, hear, taste, touch, smell the world around me. I love that my arms can hold and comfort a child. That I can make good food with my hands, with my mind. I love that my body has given me the ability to sing and make myself and those around me feel well and feel blessed. BUT on the other hand, I hate that walking and talking, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, EVERYTHING, makes me tired. My whole body aches after holding a child and my arms feel like they're about to fall off. I hate that if I cook too much for a long period of time, it will send me head first down the rabbit hole of chronic illnesses and I won't be able to get out of bed for days. My body is hyper sensitive and everything sets me off. I hate that I have to be so careful. And I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I just want to feel useful again. I hate that my body doesn't work the way it's supposed to. I hate that it just does what it wants and I'm being dragged along to the horse races, with no say in the matter.

I'm so sorry about the negativity in this post, but it's truly how I feel. And don't even get me started on the appearance of my body. I've recently become obsessed with how much I weigh, carefully watching the numbers as they go up and down. I don't see the beautiful potential my body could be, could have; I see what I don't have. I don't fit into a certain size of jeans. I am more round than I am straight. I feel as though I'm getting bigger and bigger and not able to stop. I feel as though nothing looks good on me anymore. Instead of wearing the fitted, form hugging shirts and vintage outfits I love so much, I'm opting for sweaters and baggy cardigans so I don't have to look at myself. I'm so hard on my body and I just push and push, trying to make it better, when in fact because of my illnesses, I usually make it worse. Though there is no way that I can become obese because of the strict diet I'm on, I still have that awful fear. That that's what I'm slowly becoming. I don't know how to get out of this rut and it terrifies me. It's starting to affect so much more than I want it to.

HELP.  What do you guys do when you're in a rut like this? How do you get out of it? How do you make yourself feel better? How do you make yourself like your body? How is it that you are not so hard on it? What do you DO?

"Cursed", A Book Excerpt

Hey, ya'll. This is from a book that I'm writing, it's just the prologue to kind of explain everything. It's rough, so be gentle in your judgements. Writing has proven to be an effective outlet for my creative energy, so here it is. (It's a Sleeping Beauty story, by the way.)

The Prophecy
            The Darkness will fall thick upon the land of Abrielle as it once did in the days of Rapunzel. And the terror and destruction will be great. But in the tenth year of the reign of the Handsome and Beautiful Graces will arise a second child, a daughter. The Conqueror. The Divine Gift who in her twenty-first year will at last be able to permanently bring down the Sorceress Morissa and bring peace to Abrielle. And with triumphant aplomb the Princess will return the light to the kingdom and free the people from destruction forevermore.

The Curse
            Princess Theodora Caroline Rose Grace, you will grow in the gifts that have been bestowed upon you, but when you reach your twenty-first year you will prick your finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a dark abyss from which you will never recover. But if fate is kind, there is a way to counter the curse. A love. A true love’s kiss will recover you from your deep sleep, but if this does not occur by midnight on your twenty-first birthday, then you will be lost forever and Abrielle will fall into despair for time and all eternity.

            Sunday ran. She ran as fast as she could for as long as she could, trying not to jostle the bundle in her arms. She could feel her blood pounding in her ears, her bare feet slapping against the cobblestone streets as the distance between her and the castle grew farther and farther. It started to rain and Sunday’s curly red hair hung limply in her face. The rain started to pour even harder and Sunday stopped suddenly in her tracks as she heard explosions in the distance, looking around frantically. And there it was. Sunday hurried over to the wall that ran around the Royal City of Abrielle, took out her wand and tapped the wall three times, drawing a circle. A bright blue light washed over Sunday from the circle and she stepped into it, disappearing completely.
            Sunday reappeared in a dark alleyway, the stink of rot and urine reaching her nostrils. Cockroaches and other vermin scurried away from the blue light as Sunday tapped the wall behind her three times again, the light disappearing. The ground crunched beneath her as she walked to the mouth of the alley, turning left. Sunday walked for four blocks and then turned right, crossing the street and walking up the fire escape of a shoebox sized apartment. Holding the bundle with her left hand and searching with her right, Sunday pulled out a set of keys and unlocked the door, stepping inside. One of Sunday’s hands reached for a light pull and tugged it. Harsh yellow light flooded the room, revealing peeling paint, frayed, dirty carpet, and water stains on the ceiling. Sunday sighed and slid to the floor with her back up against the wall, her skirts and apron askew. Finally, she laid the bundle on her lap and peeled back the layers to reveal a pink, sleeping, newborn baby girl.
            A princess. THE princess. The most important princess to grace the realms since the Great Rapunzel a thousand years ago. Princess Theodora Caroline Rose Grace. The Conqueror. The Divine Gift. The person who would finally bring down the evil sorceress Morissa and bring peace to the realms that hadn’t been seen in hundreds of years. And here she was. On Sunday’s lap. In a dirty apartment. In Brooklyn, New York. Realms away from Abrielle, her significance and importance slowly dwindling into nonexistence as the setting sank in.

            “Well, Theodora, this is it. For the next twenty-one years, this is home.” And Sunday knew with piercing clarity that she would do whatever it took to protect Theodora from The Curse. She knew without a doubt that if The Prophecy was not allowed to be fulfilled, then the kingdom of Abrielle as she knew it, would be lost. 

Admittedly, The Curse needs some desperate work, so any suggestions on how to tweak it would be welcome. It just doesn't sound right to me yet! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Dude...I'm married. Can you believe it?! After all the crazy crap I've been through, I finally have someone to be my partner, to be my equal; someone to help me through life's ups and downs. It's a bit of a strange feeling. I kinda actually feel like a grown up now.

Being a housewife for the past (almost) five weeks has caused me to have a lot of different thoughts on how to best spend my time and how to manage my illnesses at the same time. There's a delicate balance between being active and over-doing it. As a 26 year old married woman with a bachelor's degree, I have not yet mastered the art of that balance. Seems funny, right?

This is what I have discovered so far. Naps. Naps are my friend. When I'm really feeling my anxiety/depression or a migraine hits me like a pile of bricks, a nap is just the thing to help me manage. It helps me to cope and usually, helps me to kick whatever I'm struggling with in the keister.

Notebooks, cookbooks, and daily planners have been an absolute life saver. Not only do these things occupy me and help me to find ways to be frugal and save money for my new, little family, but they help me to feel useful which is something people with chronic illnesses struggle with on a daily basis. Being unable to work is one of the biggest struggles I've had to deal with. Parts of my self-worth link directly to being able to contribute to society and being able to use what I've studied and worked so hard for; being able to use my creativity and passions to better the space around me. SO,in short, meal planning and writing have helped me to be able to tap into that powerhouse of knowledge that exists within me. It feels amazing to be able to use it for something. It's not just existing within me anymore. It's living. 

Number three. Harry Potter. Yes, yes, I know this sounds a little bit silly and cliche, but it is totally and absolutely true. Re-reading the Harry Potter Series has helped me to have hope. It has helped me to remember that even in the darkest of times, when it seems that all hope is lost, all one has to do is turn on the light. It has helped me to treasure my friendships and relationships even more so than usual and has helped me to realize that if I need help, all I need to do is ask. Reading the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has helped me to see the beauty and strength and hope even in the ugliest of situations. It has helped me tap into that truest part of me.

If you're having a hard time and things seem to be crashing down around your ears, I'm so sorry. I wish that there was something I could do to help you. I can only hope that what I've written here will give you the strength you need to keep on going today; to put one foot in front of the other.

Fear not, for God is with you in every step of your journey.

Much love and support,

Stephanie Ann Rochette