Eczema Camaraderie - Connecting With Your Eczema Tribe
Deciding to start my Eczema Phoenix YouTube channel and connect with the eczema community online has been one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. At the time, I had perfectly clear skin and actually had no need for support or so I thought. Even if you are someone with eczema who has a handle on your skin, it can still be super beneficial and enriching to be connected to a community that’s going through what you've been through for a while. And just because your skin is doing well now doesn't mean it may necessarily be that way forever or that you'll never experience another episode ever again in your life. Last year, I thought I was done dealing with eczema flare-ups and now that I'm traveling and going through way more stress than usual, I am flaring-up again and find comfort and camaraderie with the online social media communities that I am a part of.
Learning new things from others
One of the most interesting and beneficial things about connecting with online eczema communities and people on social media is that you never stop learning. I used to think that I had a pretty strong handle on what eczema is and what helped it and what didn't. But even after living with it for almost 30 years, I am continuing to learn new things about eczema from different people who are living with it and seeing that things that have really helped me aren't necessarily helpful for everyone.
What works for some, doesn't work for everyone
For example, I recently learned that there are people who are not able to digest the fiber from fruits and vegetables in their diet. If they consume it, it creates really painful indigestion for them. So, the only way for them to get certain vitamins and trace minerals is to eat meat. Now, I have been happily vegan for the past year and it has done wonders for my skin and rashes. But, even a vegan like myself has to see that for some people veganism is not an option. And when it comes to health, health comes first. If that means eating meat to survive and get the nutrients that you need to live, then I support that although I am vegan.
A community who really understands you!
Another thing about being connected to an eczema community is having people who can totally and genuinely relate to what you are saying and going through. Regardless of what stage you're in, you will either be an inspiration for someone or you'll be inspired by someone else. We are all going through different phases of healing eczema, but we are all healing. There will be those of us who are still in a very confused and angry stage and have questions about everything. And there will be those of us who have some experience and will be able to answer some of those questions confidently or at least be able to share their story of healing, proving that this is not a life or death sentence and that there is hope at the end of the tunnel with consistent healthy habits and persistence.
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?