Life Without Eczema: Good or Bad?
Life without eczema...
As much gratitude that I have for my eczema lessons and the person it pushed me to be, I still envision my life without eczema as my best self. As much as I fully believe in loving ourselves no matter if our skin is flaring or causing us not to look what we consider our personal best, I still am a human being who desires carefree living.
Is having carefree skin possible?
Carefree living sounds like a fairytale but stay with me for a minute. No matter how you spin it, eczema is still a burden. We want relief, and we work hard to find that relief with this possible fantasy of carefree skin. Before I go on, I know that there is no such thing as carefree skin, or anything for that matter, in this life that we live. With that said, I did an exercise that came to mind that required my imagination. During this workshop, led by fellow eczema warrior and AtopicDermatitis.net writer Ashley Ann Lora, we were encouraged to envision our future selves living the best lives that we could imagine.
Imagining my best life
My mind went to an outdoor picnic on the grass with a man I loved and possibly some children running around somewhere. You know the simple things before the realities of life have you thinking of the world's stressors. Surprisingly, or maybe expectantly, eczema was nowhere in that picture. When it came to me living my most serene life, eczema was nowhere to be found. I had clear skin. Does this make sense for me to imagine my world without eczema? Of course, it does. Did I feel slightly disloyal to the very thing that I feel has impacted my life and mindset in so many ways due to having a skin disease? Yes.
I wanted an eczema free life
As much as eczema impacted my life, even for the better at times and how much I love this community, I saw my best life as eczema-free, not even thinking about eczema. It left me in an enlightened yet awkward situation. It was the first time I even dared to imagine that possibility since going through TSW and having eczema on and off my entire life. As much as I accepted my life for all that it was, I still subconsciously wanted the life I was on the trajectory of creating when I was dependent on steroid creams and could move. However, I wanted to live a life that didn't surround my physical ailments.
I don't have the answer
So is life without eczema a good or a bad thing to have? Currently, I do not know the answer to that. It is true that I want to live "carefree" and not have to worry about any skin reactions from products, what I eat, or even stress. Thankfully after many years and going through topical steroid withdrawal, I've reached the point that my skin is very clear from flares, and I don't experience itching unless I use a product that I'm allergic to. With that said, maybe this carefree life I envisioned was even more heavily on the idea of the mental strain lifted to exist without worrying about my health. Not wanting eczema anymore is not a negative tale of hatred only; it is simply a state of being human and having a desire not to suffer. If you are still in a state of suffering, it is important to adopt positive thoughts and understanding to gain control of your condition, but it is also just as acceptable to wish to have never been sick.
How does your mental health relate to your physical health?