The Impact of Loved Ones' Support
Supporting eczema loved ones, especially adult eczema patients, is not talked about enough. Those who understand do so because they are close to you and are aware of how bad you suffered with your health since you were young. As you've aged, maybe your parents don't fully know how hard a problem such as eczema could be for you to continue living with, although you may appear mostly fine to the outer world.
Living with eczema can be isolating
Anyone who knows anything about health in general and chronic health knows that there are ups and downs. Because people you love may have gotten used to you giving your highlight reels of being positive in life, most of the time, they could overlook just how bad you could be suffering when nobody is watching. If I'm having a prolonged hard time, I simply will make up excuses of why I can't join the party or be around as often so that I don't have to keep explaining the same thing. It can be incredibly isolating, but there are some very simple things that I can share that my family members have done for me that continue to make me smile during my adult eczema journey.
My parents support
As many may know, eczema fully took over my life in 2018, and I began seeing it in a completely new perspective in order to, what felt like, save my life! The impact of my parents goes without saying to me because I have always been blessed to have very hands-on parents that helped me through anything. Allowing me to live with them and work less during my worst health problems was something that not everyone can say at 26 years old, which turned into an unexpected 3-year process. TSW was like my personal world-stopping infection that happened to me in 2018 instead of 2020, and my parents were open to taking me in when my body shut down.
My siblings support
My sister-in-law, who is sweet in her own way and supportive in general, was very responsive and intrigued by the many things that I would share in our family group text. Simply showing a level of understanding meant a lot, even though there was no way that anyone understood all that I was going through because it would often change daily. My older brother has always been there through my sickness since I was a child with severe asthma and visited me in the hospital, so those supportive things go without saying. As an adult, he was simply one of those family members in my life that had an understanding. During my worst times, he would even be motivated by my lifestyle changes and research or take on new vegan or plant-based diets or detoxes with me. I have such a great family that they all did this with me to the extent they could!
My friends and extended family support
True friends and extended family also deserve a highlight of their goodness. My closest friends fully supported me when I shaved my hair during my horrible flare of seborrheic dermatitis at the time. They even went to the most tasteless vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free restaurants I could find in order not to flare up. I was tinier than usual, lost tons of weight, and looked sick, but they understood that I was going through some unprecedented times and trusted the process just as much as I did.
A couple of my extended family members who have always known I had health problems have been supportive and positive in their conversations and even eager to talk about my eczema. I was shocked by this. They were some of the people who would openly tell me how bad their own eczema has been lately or of someone that they know who has it.
Acts of kindness
Whether any of these family members or friends knew how impactful their voices were in my life by doing the simplest things which contributed to making me feel normal or less of a burden is beyond my knowledge. Grand gestures are remembered and loved, but so are small ones. Sometimes they matter the most without people even knowing it. In our toughest times, we find out what people are made of.
If you don't have this support, then don't neglect this community.
If you want to learn how to be a positive light in an eczema sufferer's life, then making them feel human and talking about the obvious is a good place to start. Tell me in the comments how your supporters help you in ways that you may not have thought about before?
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