I have had eczema since I was born. It has always bothered me, especially when I was little, but it has always been such a big part of my life that I’m just used to it now. It has never really stopped me from doing anything and I have always seemed to have coped and got on with it but the end of last year was different. It really started to have a huge effect on me mentally.
I’ve always been really open about having a skin condition, at the end of the day sometimes you just can’t hide it. I will openly talk to my friends and family about how my skin is and any updates from my dermatologist but talking about how it feels inside is really tough.
When the eczema consumed my whole body and it even hurt to wear underwear was when I was at my lowest. As I have said in a previous post I couldn’t even shower, I was red raw, my skin was burning, sweaty, cold, itchy, weepy, flaky, it was hell. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, not that I have enemies but you know what I mean. I felt like a monster. How could my boyfriend sleep next to me?! I was gross! I was in the bath for up to 2 hours at a time, I was obsessed with my appearance, every morning I would wake up and the first thing I did was look in the mirror…any improvements?! No. When anyone asked me how I was feeling I would just reply with “Yeah, good thanks” I wasn’t good, I was on the verge of tears every second of the day. Tears stung my sore skin. Everything stung my skin. I was angry, down and worked up all day, every day. I hated myself. How did I get like this?
Obviously, looking back now I wasn’t helping myself. Getting stressed out is the worst thing I could have done. Why didn’t I just go to the doctors sooner? I though I could heal myself. I thought the doctors would force strong steroid creams and pills on me that would just make me worse. I thought they wouldn’t listen to me. I was losing trust in people that could help me. Also at one point I didn’t think I was poorly enough, how wrong was I. When I did eventually get so ill I had to go to the emergency out of hours doctor. I couldn’t even drive myself there I was so sore. The doctor took one look at me, held my hand and asked me why I had not been to my GP. When I explained it was because I didn’t think I was ill enough, he told me that people go to see their doctor for a 5p sized patch of dry skin on their arm then it really hit home. Why had I been thinking so little of myself for so long? Why was I thinking I didn’t deserve to be looked at? Why did I think I was a monster? I wasn’t a monster, appearance doesn’t make you a monster and eczema doesn’t make you a monster. Do not be scared to ask for help. If something doesn’t feel right, if something doesn’t look right, if you are in pain then go and see your doctor.
I felt like I was so hard on myself for so long that one day I just thought, you know what I just don’t give a fuck anymore. If people stare at me because I have red patches on my face and neck then let that’s their problem, not mine. My boyfriend, family and friends all love me no matter what so why do I care so much? Why do I let it eat away at me?
When I started to accept who I was and feel a bit better about myself, I started reading a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight. This book is amazing and unbelievably true. Why do we give a fuck about so much stuff that doesn’t matter? Why do we give a fuck about people who don’t give a fuck about us? Why do we waste so much time giving a fuck when we could be doing something else that could benefit our lives so much more?!! It is a very well written, hilarious book and I would defiantly recommend it to anyone who needs to lose a few fucks and to have a good laugh!
My skin and my mind are not 100% where I want them to be but I am working on it. Last week I thought my skin was getting bad again. I had a few red spots on my tummy that I had been staring at in the mirror, I ran to my boyfriend to show him and he told me to relax, its nothing, its barley even visible. I relaxed and thought yeah if it does get worse I will treat it and look after myself. It went away after a couple of days. Its small things like going back to basics that are really helping me move forward. Relax. Take it one step at a time. Chill the fuck out.