This week I hit ONE WHOLE YEAR of TSW! I cannot believe it has been a whole year already. 365 days of looking like a crack whore and I’m still smiling! Well, smiling when my tight, dry skin lets me. For a year I have been like besties with hell. I’ve become a frequent visitor to that fiery furness!! If this was the 15/1600’s I’d have been burnt at the stake for being a witch months ago! Not that I am ACTUALLY a Witch of course, but this constant weepy, itchy, smelly skin would surely have been mistaken for the devil by some curious Tudor citizens! That aside… I’M STILL HERE! I MADE IT!
When I think back to DAY 1 I shiver. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but did I think it was going to be THIS hard? Absolutely not! Would I have still have gone ahead with it had I known? ABSOLUTELY!
Making the decision to stop steroids and go cold turkey was the BEST decision I have ever made however difficult the journey has been. No, I may not be healed but I’m on the bumpy road to getting my life back and that is an exciting thought! Even good ole’Dorothy following her yellow brick road to Oz had to face a few “Lions and Tigers and Bears” (OH MY) on the way. I’m telling you now Dorothy, you’re a lucky lady because I’d welcome Lion and Tigers and Bears with open arms. I’d invite them round for a cuppa any day instead of having to dine with Mr. ITCHY, Mrs. SCRATCHY and Ms. WEEPY that’s for sure!!!
I know Topical Steroid Withdrawal is pretty darn horrific but it has strangely had a huge positive effect on me. I have my moments, naturally, where I cry and scream and wish it would all just end but on a whole I stay as strong as a Ox (I think that’s how the saying goes?).
Since I started sharing my eczema journey with you all last year, my life has substantially changed. Friends have become strangers. Strangers have become friends. I couldn’t have got this far without my amazing support network so for all of you who have supported me and have joined me on this difficult road I thank you so so much. You have been incredible and I will be forever grateful.
I’ve grown so much as an individual. I used to always be a person who would constantly worry about what other people thought. I’d worry about not being ‘beautiful’ and I’d frequently get upset because I felt ugly. My insecurities completely controlled me but actually, for all those years I’ve just been blinded. Absolutely blinded by the barriers set by society about what is or isn’t, the ‘ideal image’. WHO CARES?
Ever since I’ve shown you all my photos of my swollen face, my weeping skin, my blotchy body and my thinning hair I’ve had nothing but positive comments. I have had more people call ME beautiful since I’ve been showing my imperfections than in my whole lifetime.
Beautiful… what is ‘beauty’? If there is one thing this last year has taught me it’s that beauty isn’t all about looking good in that swimming costume you saw your friend wear last week, it’s not about having the perfect pony tail and the best tanned legs in that expensive dress. Beauty is about confidence, it’s about not caring what people think, it’s about loving you for you and not wishing you were someone else. We can’t change what we have so we need to stop wishing we looked more like other people and rock the hell out of what we’ve got. It’s about loving the very skin you’re in. Your imperfections make you different. Embrace them. Be your own kind of beautiful. How does the saying go again? ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and this I cannot stress this to you enough. I am so grateful to TSW for opening up my eyes and making me realise that actually, my very existence doesn’t depend on how attractive people find me and neither does yours. Beauty comes from within and since realising this I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my very sore, eczema ridden shoulders.
I know that suffering from a skin condition may make you feel unattractive from time to time, but believe me when I tell you that each and every one of you are stunning individuals. To deal with all the issues that come with having a skin disorder and still keep smiling is an amazing quality to have. That love and strength that shines through inspires others to also keep smiling and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Smile and the world smiles with you.
Thanks again for all your support throughout this last year.
Peace out you beautiful, beautiful lot,