What Eczema Has Taught Me About Happiness
Eczema has taught me so much about happiness. About what it truly means to experience unconditional love and joy for life. To be grateful for my life despite all the pain I’ve lived through so far.
Questioning my life with eczema
In the early years of my life, I had many moments where I wondered if it was even worth it to continue living if living involved dealing with all of this pain. There were moments where I questioned my own self-worth: Was I someone who even deserved to live if my body was so sensitive and seemingly dysfunctional that I could barely get out of bed most days. What could I even really contribute to society? What value could I really provide for my community and future generations if I barely felt able to take care of myself? Could I ever be a productive member of society?
Anxious and depressed with eczema
These questions haunted my thoughts daily for the first two and a half decades of my life and looking back I realized that I was living with a lot of anxiety and depression. Though luckily at the time I was dealing with these issues, it was not yet fashionable or common to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs for every little imbalance or emotion felt in life, so I was able to avoid going down a potential downward spiral in terms of clinical psychiatry.
What it means to live with eczema
It would take about 25 years of living with eczema before I really started to redefine what it meant to me to live with it. And also how much I was allowing it to get in the way of me experiencing happiness. As I started to experiment with ancient “alternative” therapies and see patterns to my triggers and recovery, I started to clean up my diet and switch to more positive thinking and changing the way I saw my existence.
Not letting eczema define me
I realized that this one thing no matter how big it seems never really had the power to take away my happiness. Reframing my experience of all this pain into life lessons about becoming more healthy helped me let go of things that were toxic in my life whether it was processed food, outdated friendships, and old belief patterns about my perceived limitations. I started to feel lighter and lighter until I realized I was feeling happy - on a daily basis!
Perfectly imperfect skin
It was amazing to feel happy to be me in my skin despite its imperfections and that this translated to me being able to build stronger healthier friendships and be someone who other people wanted to date romantically despite my warnings to them about my skin.Choosing happinessThe old saying that happiness is a choice is really true. And that we are only limited by our own perceived beliefs. Happiness does not require perfection to be experienced. And this is something that I often tried to share with other people in the eczema community. Because putting off happiness and waiting until we are what we consider “perfect” and “ready for it” only prolongs our opportunity to get there. You are worthy...nowWe could get there now if we wanted. We just have to lower all of the unnecessary requirements and pressure that we put on ourselves to feel it. So I'm sharing this article and story with you I hope that you will choose to access happiness now. Stop waiting to feel fulfilled when you can feel it now. You are worth having it now. You are already ready to receive it now.
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?