Ellen Stoehr Design
freelance creative director \\ designer


Thoughts become things


This is an opinion blog

about typography, design, and the challenges or innovations across different projects as entrepreneur but it also hosts personal challenges, wins and opinions.

May you learn from my findings and lessons. Proceed with caution.


I miss old Ellen

Sunday, February 10th at 6:43pm.
I had Gavin take this photo of me so that I could look at it as ‘future Ellen’ and make sense of what I was feeling.

To give you some context, in this picture, I…

  • Just turned 31.

  • Just learned I had “smoldering Type 1 diabetes” (which means I don’t need insulin now, but might need it in 10 years if/when I develop I full-on Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (#LADA)... It’s really complicated and filled with uncertainty).

  • I had been eating a lot of home-made #paleo friendly baked goods (which means nondairy and alternative flours like almond and coconut, and stevia) and watching a LOT of British Baking Show, and my consumption was getting out of hand.

  • I was developing a bad cold.

  • There was tons of freezing temperatures, snow, and more on the way.

  • I was considering the Whole30 diet to try to rid my sugar cravings and impulses (with a “for real this time” attitude) and to see what impact eating Whole30 would have on my blood glucose.

Ellen Stoehr I miss old Ellen.JPG

Now, I do not take baths. I might take 2 a year. In this moment, I was in a very low place and trying to calm myself down. My anxiety was through the roof. I was in a place of worry and uncertainty, concerned I was going to develop Type 1 Diabetes, concerned with being insulin-dependent, and concerned about health insurance coverage.

I was also thinking about how negative I’ve been towards my body in my 31 years. Thoughts like: “I hate my cellulite, I hate my acne scars, I hate that I pull out my hair and bite my cuticles.”

I thought about what powerful negative impact those internal dialogues have on a person.

I thought about the internal damage I’d done over the years and the negativity I’ve suppressed.

In this very emotional moment in the bathtub, I began asking my body for forgiveness and vowed to stop those noisy negative internal loops.

In the picture, I was learning acceptance for the hundredth, maybe the thousandth time, with many more to come.

In this picture, I was practicing gratitude.

In this picture I was growing.

I experienced anxiety really bad again last week, related to blood sugar inconsistencies. Sleepless nights, noisy mind, no energy, constant state of worry. I decided to take a break from the Free Style Libre (the thing I stick to my arm that measures my blood sugar) and the finger pricking, just to try and establish some calm normalcy. I’m missing normalcy. I’m missing old Ellen, the one who wasn’t consumed by this new “developing” disease. I’m learning acceptance...yet again.

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