The last few minutes of my first Eczema Expo were spent at a workshop led by a panel of some strong, empowering women (@ashleyannlora, @eczemalove, @sharris31, and @torisoperphoto) who then led us in a seemingly simple exercise.
Writing a letter to and from eczema
Skinny notebooks and pens were passed around, and we were asked to write a letter to our eczema. Hmm. I can do this. I’m an ‘86 baby after all - I used to mail letters, actual letters with licked envelopes and stamps, and expect a response to them, also via snail mail! We were then asked to write a second letter to ourselves in the voice of our eczema in response to our initial letter.
A cathartic exercise
At first, this exercise seemed to be simple enough to execute, but then the memories with our skin started coming up and of course, they were plenty. And of course, each and every one of these memories was laced with emotions. Soon enough, as I found myself wiping away at fallen tears, I heard the sniffles spread throughout the room. Either the wind brought with it an excessive amount of pollen, or this simple exercise was proving to be cathartic to a room full of warriors.
A surprising theme
The exercise was taking hold of each warrior present, and lifetimes of trauma spilled onto notebook pages. Memories long buried, traumatizing moments repressed, years of being misjudged and misunderstood laid bare on the table. One story after another, we realized in between nods that we are true to our given names - warriors. We have been through hell and back. And through all of that? We still love. With each letter read, the resounding theme was: love. I find that so incredibly beautiful and hopeful. That even after a lifetime of pain and frustration, we still are sympathetic to our illness and give it the love and support it so desperately needs.
Healing from within
Healing your eczema truly does start from within, and I strongly believe that this simple exercise will help you begin to heal those invisible wounds. So after you get home after a long day and you find the time - pull out a few pieces of paper and a pen. Sit in a quiet place and think about what you want to say to your skin. Think about what you truly want to say - cuss if you have to! Do whatever you must to communicate your true feelings. Write. Write some more. Keep writing. Let it all out! And let those tears flow.
You are not alone
Oh yeah, I should have mentioned grabbing a box of kleenex along with those sheets of paper. Let me know below how you feel after you try this exercise. You can even share your letters here if you feel so inclined. No pressure. Just know that if you do feel like doing so, I am here to read and support you.
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