Let Them In
When it comes to our love lives, eczema can weigh a heavy toll on our decisions and opportunities. From dating apps to getting a number, the anxiety can be too much when we sit and dwell on our cracked skin. It flares whenever it feels the need to rear its head and doesn't care about whatever important dating plans you make. But, should eczema be the determining factor of why someone should or shouldn't be with us? Absolutely not.
We are more than our skin
We are human beings - all flawed in one way or another. What we go through in our daily struggles because of eczema has actually turned us into more compassionate and loving people. And even though our skin is our largest organ, it does not define us. When we connect with people, it is on a much deeper level than our flesh. We can offer joy in someone's life. We can offer laughter, wisdom, kindness, strength, and the list goes on. What we bring to the table is our ability to be human. I am well aware that I may never be the most beautiful girl in a room, but what I do know is that I strive to be the one most worth knowing. Because it comes down to our spirit, never our skin. Our spirit speaks louder than any superficial part of us can.
Who am I through my date's eyes?
I recently took a large leap of faith in someone. We went on our first date, my skin cooperating, and we hit it off really well. Within just a few days, I not only began to flare on my face, neck, and arms but discovered I had an eczema herpeticum infection. It was beyond devastating and humiliating in my eyes. But, to him, he brushed it off in two ways. One, I was way too hard on myself, and two, he was more concerned with my health than my appearance. He genuinely enjoyed my company no matter what I was going through. It threw me for a massive loop, myself feeling morbidly grotesque. Yet, he just wanted me to feel better. There is something deeply comforting when someone else reminds you that you are more than just your skin. It is a notion we must intrinsically value even when we are single.
Love is always a risk
Even though it feels scary to let someone in regarding our skin, love is always a risk. Even without a skin condition, being in a relationship involves trust and communication. Anything can stir a relationship to an end. So, if we are afraid of letting people in because of our skin and nothing else, we sell ourselves short. We deserve love just as much as anyone else, and the action of loving someone is a beautiful thing. A happy ending is never guaranteed for anyone, so we might as well dive in. Love is worth it.
We should be vulnerable
I know I find this difficult, especially romantically, but sharing who you are is a necessary part of life. Our hard days, our weepy skin, and our anxieties will not be held against us by the ones who truly see us. And there are people who will see us. Let them. Give people a chance to know how amazing you are. Affection and connection can be a major help in balancing our emotions. It's important to be happy alone, but having someone there, as well, is beneficial for our well-being.
You are worthy.
It's Eczema Awareness Month! Have you shared your eczema story on AtopicDermatitis.net?