Let the Guilt Wash Away
When first diagnosed with topical steroid withdrawal, if that even happens by a doctor, there always seems to be this black cloud looming over you. Even though you never knew this could happen to a person by using topical steroids, you feel this guilt - you did this to yourself. You are the reason for your suffering. But, is that true?
Of course not.
TSW isn't taken seriously
This condition, usually connected with eczema beforehand, is still widely unknown and highly persecuted in a doctor's office. The people who are prescribing these drugs have been known to be the least helpful when diagnosing, or even recognizing, this painful and real condition. They will say things that make you question your every action. They may even make you feel like what you are doing is downright wrong.
Why do we feel guilty?
Well, guilt comes from something you know you did to someone or to yourself. But, you were never complicit in your suffering. You were doing everything you could to feel well and be well. There was never a time when you were given clarity on what may happen to you.
However, even with all this information, the guilt still stands. It seeps into your thoughts, drowning out the truth. You feel this intense suffering and all you can think is, "it's all my fault."
What can you do?
It's unfair. There is no way around that. But, you are not alone in feeling this weight. And if you're feeling this now, this anger at yourself, here are three things that may help.
Let that pain out. Scribble it all down. It can be anything that is on your mind or heart. Keeping it inside can let it fester. We start to take it out on loved ones, not even realizing how much it can also affect them (which, in turn, creates more guilt). By writing it out, we are able to better see our thoughts clearly. I highly recommend picking up a pen or pencil and just releasing your fears, worries, and strains onto a piece of paper.
Find a purpose
Finding happiness on this painful journey is paramount. If you are on a destructive cycle or loop, like Groundhog Day, then pinpoint the things that matter to you. It can be a person, a job, or even a hobby - but find it. If you don't have a reason to get out of bed in the morning during this time, you are going to beat yourself up. You will ultimately feel stuck in your circumstance. This is not where you want to be or deserve to be.
Once you find that purpose, you'll start to feel better about yourself. Reason = Relief.
Be conscious of where you are now
Again, if we dwell in our mess, we won't thrive.
The past is the past. It won't change. You used the topical steroids, you got sick. No amount of beating yourself up will help you get better. Let it go.
Your future is the only thing that matters. You have the ability to choose growth. If you remain conscious of where you place your energy and thoughts (on the past = negative, on making the future better = positive), you will see healing, be it physically or emotionally. Making that effort each day to be more aware of your thoughts and actions will be a world of difference in your mood and spirit.
Choose to see the silver lining. Choose to see where your best self dwells in all of this fray.
What are some other ways to help cope during this time?
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?