A little less serious
Name: Rochelle Mace
Where are you right now- tell us what you can see?
I’m sitting on the couch next to my best friend. She’s on her laptop too. And not that you asked, but I am feeling so content in this moment right now.
What did you have for breakfast?
Scrambled tumeric eggs on a bed of baby spinach with roasted pumpkin. Jessica Sepel is inspiring so many of my meals of late.
What are you usually doing at 11pm?
Sometimes, and more often these days, I’m practicing meditation or listening to a self soothing app to help me get to sleep. I’ve been struggling to fall asleep within an hour of my head hitting the pillow. So right now, I’m trying to adapt a new routine to help me wind down and get a good night sleep.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
A few people but not everyone would know that I went to Pony Club when I was younger, I still have all my ribbons, I was that girl who wrote in her diary ‘I really want a Pony but mum won’t let me’ and my first email address was firstname.lastname@example.org
A little more serious
Tell us a bit about your story? What defines you?
There was a time when I struggled to answer that question myself and it was only until I begun to understand what doesn’t define me, I could revive the beautiful parts that do. ‘My mental health is not who I am, it’s only a part of me’. Growing up in primary school and high school I fled from group to group, never feeling a sense of belonging. I felt that my strong emotions set me aside from everyone else. I felt very misunderstood. It wasn’t until I was fifteen, lying in a hospital bed, that I began to comprehend just how strong my emotions were. Returning to school after that was unbearable. Kids don’t understand the effects of mental health but I guess you can’t blame them when they’re not taught in school though, right?! And I sure as sh*t didn’t understand what was happening to me either. I wore the shame and fear for the next few years of my life and ‘dealt’ with it in forms of self-destruction. Self-destruction was in effect, my attempt to control my circumstances because I didn’t have the skills to cope with my anxiety, depression or eating disorder. I was medicated several times. Everything was a Band-Aid fix. The neglect of my body caught up with my head and I had another breakdown. I asked for help… I cried for it. I saw lots of different people until I found what worked for me. And I have an amazing support network and patient family. When I finally found the strength to filter out toxic friendships, I started healing myself and unlocked my passion, my blog/Instagram @myhealthyobsession (yes, the name is ironic!) The shame and guilt left when I realised I was no different from anyone else. And It is those feelings associated with mental health that create the stigma. I finally broke free of those chains. I talk with someone about my struggles regularly and I have my close friends I share them with. So this is what defines me – I’m an advocate of mental health. I believe that healing our mind starts within the gut and I want to support young women and men to understand this connection and how they can help themselves too. And without my struggles, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your life?
Walking away from things that don’t serve me. This has come in many forms over many years. Because I never had a great sense of self, I became very vulnerable to my circumstances.
How did you overcome that challenge?
I’m still overcoming it. My biggest catalyst for change came from realising how certain toxic factors were affecting my health and my head. I made my health the uttermost importance in my life. Physically and mentally. This whole self-love thing isn’t something you wake up one day and decide to do. It’s an ongoing process and practice. And as I nourish myself, I am learning to love myself.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt?
Sometimes the only thing in life that needs to change is your perception.
What would you tell your 15year old self?
A few things. Firstly, you don’t have to fit in or have have lots of friends in school. One day you’ll leave and realise you only saw these people 5 days a week because you had to. Secondly, it’s okay feel things so strongly but let’s learn to manage it better. It will be a life-long skill. And lastly and more importantly, don’t let a dumb boy ruin your whole life.
What is your biggest life tip?
This is a compilation of notes from an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. Choose LOVE over FEAR everyday. Fear only ever tells you one thing: STOP. Stop = NOTHING. And nothing is always more boring then something. So…. go do it!
What do you think is the biggest issue facing women today?
I think one of the biggest issues women may be facing today are negative emotions associated with social media. Social media will only show us an edited version of what people WANT us to see. I think this is also part of a bigger issue of why women are in competition with one another, instead of empowering each other. There is so much to learn about yourself through envy of another. If we were able to recognise someone else’s beauty or success without scrutinising our own, we could be supportive of each other, divine in our own individuality.
What do you think is the biggest opportunity for women today?
#GIRLBOSS! Female entrepreneurs are rapidly growing. Women are powerful and influential creators. And as cliche as this may sound, our biggest opportunity to be the best version of our self starts at our biggest struggle or downfall in our lives. That breakup, end of career etc. There is not one successful women I’ve read about or met that wasn’t at the lowest point of their life before their success flourished.
Finish the sentence This Is me …unapologetically, on my good days and my bad days… and i’m okay with that.