Seeing myself in the mirror.


Nowhere to hide. Only ownership of what action and being is reflected.


Let me take care of my body…


No longer to keep up appearances or to attract certain things into my life, but for once, as a genuine thank-you for carrying me through everything we’ve gone through. You’ve been a blessing my whole life, and I’m ready to show you how much I appreciate you.

I must learn how to take my time for you, listen to you, and be gentle to you. I know you’re incredibly strong though. I would not have survived all the shit we’ve gone through without each other, so here’s my lifelong dedication to you now. I won’t waver on you anymore because you’ve always tried your best for me. It’s you and me, body. I’ll remember from now on that we’re on the same team.

Why I need to go back to spin.


I was my own rock, my own temple, my own renewable source of positive energy when my heart stretched its range with every beat and breath.

I remember blinking away the pouring sweat that washed away toxins, anxiety, and depression to see myself clearly—

A person who felt agency housed in her muscles, a person who believed in her will to manifest anything she put her mind to. That person stared her back in her reflection with equal parts self determination and appreciation.

My very bones ache to see her again. I never got sick, my mood was resilient, and practicing being that present facilitated series of confident decision-making and rich opportunities.

Here we go. Just gotta dive in again knowing it’ll be hard but worth it.

Life is not on pause.


If I keep thinking that I’m too sick to handle life, then that’s where I’ll stay. My life needs to continue. Topical steroid withdrawal is a terrible winding rollercoaster that I have no choice but to ride, but I want to keep my eyes open and feel the breeze instead of clenching up and wishing it were over.

I’m thankful I have this MealTrain. I’m thankful I have people who will be patient with me even when I’m not patient with myself. I’m thankful I have trained myself to handle flare ups better. I’m thankful that some of my girls are taking me out tonight… and I don’t care. Moisturizer withdrawal ashy face and all– I’ll wear my dry flakes proudly because I’m more than this, haha.

No need to mute my energy when I have it. There are definitely days when adrenal fatigue and dissociation after panic attacks take over hours of my life, but when I’m OK, I need to let myself shine so I don’t forget who I am.

I’m not “sick.” This drug withdrawal is just me learning how to listen to my body.

I’m learning how to ask.


I write this from a luxurious fleece cocoon on my friend’s couch after being fed a home cooked meal, and it feels like Christmas.  The heat, dryness, and dim lighting of my apartment was not serving my skin or my mood, so I took up my friend’s offer to consider her place as a refuge. I usually offer my place as one to whomever I can help. It’s definitely a learning experience to be on the receiving end for once.

I expected the physical effects of this topical steroid withdrawal, but the mental health aspect has taken me by surprise. My body is re-learning how to regulate cortisol, so I need to evaluate whether certain thoughts, situations, and sensations are real threats or just perceived ones before I let my amygdala fire the “fight/flight/freeze” response. If I am not present, fears and insecurities get blown up unnecessarily…  and I forget who I am. I forget my power. I just turn into a ball of anxiety. That’s not who I am.

I am thankful for being loved even when I’m difficult and impatient. Thank you for remembering that I’m more than my reactions during this withdrawal. There’s no way for me to be who I was prior to this, but the re-organization of cells known as current- and post-TSW Melorie will remember your investment in her during the messy recovery.

Asking my loved ones for things during real times of need doesn’t feed my ego. It merely gives them feedback on how they can love me even more specifically, just as I’d want to know for them. My ego DOES get fed if I play a victim for attention or stop believing in my ability to make decisions for myself and force others to do the heavy-lifting of being conscious for me. Asking for help is a decision. One training me in a type of courage and humility that I’m new at, and happy to be, practicing.

Here’s a list of things to help me stay present. I’m self-identifying them for accountability and inviting you to help program them into my life:

  • Morning walks
  • Nature – I am building up my strength again, so I’m thinking short bursts like a scenic drive to a lookout point or to a grove of trees or by the water works better than planning a huge hike
  • SUN. 30 mins at once at most, lots of water
  • Animals!
  • Fresh air in a tidy apartment – the clutter in my physical space weighs down as internal clutter
  • Meditating
  • Tea
  • Listening to live music
  • Writing
  • Spin… I’m ready for my skin to sweat out toxins and sting my skin back to life, but I’ll have to take breaks
  • Yoga, but specifically weight-bearing balancing and/or getting into lifting again– grounding to me
  • Cooking… I need to put my skills to use again. I have enough mobility now. This was my favorite form of self-love, and then I stopped. No way. Time to bring it back.

So much more. But need sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.

Evolution only happens in the medium of practice.


I will get back to a life where I’m functioning at optimal capacity only if I commit to improving at all times.

This means understanding that the road to healing may take months or years, but I cannot let that stop me from living my life. I just need to recalibrate, not give up.

Talking about self-care isn’t enough. I have to honestly ask myself whether I respect myself enough to actively engage in it. The stakes are too high now… I mean, they always were, but like every skill, self-respect is governed by the same rule– you use it or you lose it. I’m sorry, self, for getting so far away from you. I’m here now. I got your back… and your legs, and your chest, neck, face, inside and out.

This means I have to continue teaching. I’m not only going back for the rent money, no. I can’t leave this year showing my kids that pausing life is acceptable when challenges arise. No way. That’s life. Only way is through it.

But still with compassion. No one needs to rush me through my experience. Breaks are allowed. Planning ahead is mandatory. Responding to my body in the present moment and prioritizing that– no excuses.

This next week, my circumstances allow me to get sunshine (vitamin D and sweating/exercise is healing to my skin and mood), to reclaim my sanctuary from the mess it’s become, to eat well, to rest, and to occupy my time with positive thoughts.

The support organized by you, my tribe, has blown my mind. You’re trying your best to take care of me, and the deepest act of gratitude I can show you is to do everything I can to get better.

Then starting May 9th, I need to respect my morning and bedtime routines that will support me in staying present at school. I need to allot ample time to travel, prepare ice packs and pain relievers, figure out which school-appropriate clothes won’t damage my skin, lesson plan really well, communicate clearly to my kids what we need to do to level up, meditate a lot during the day, make sure there’s good food to eat at home, exercise and sweat. Remember to sweat! It will sting the skin so much at first, especially now that I’m not using moisturizers, but I need to do it.

When I’m not working, I need to make sure that I am finding my flow. I need to dedicate time to an art, activity, something, that’ll get me directly connected to life source. All business and no play dried me out like this in the first place.

I need to stay present enough to read my body at all times, and having fun is the way I want to stay present. And if I need help from anyone, I need to actually ask. 🙂

Every day is a new day. Regardless of what my energy levels or skin condition is tomorrow, I’ve already committed today that I’m going to evolve and not stay stuck. Slow and steady will win the race in this case.