My Body, My Decision
As someone living with a chronic illness, I am constantly getting unwarranted advice. People are always suggesting a medication, a diet, a cream or an ointment I should try. I don't know why every time someone finds out about the condition I live with, they feel compelled to discuss my options with me.
Let me live
I know people are trying to be nice. I realize most people just want to help and genuinely care about my wellbeing, but that's just it, it's mine. As a child, you're forced to follow your parents' rules. Whatever treatment option my family chose for me was the one I went for.
I know they truly cared about me and wanted to do what was right, but I hated it. I hated that I had no say in things. I hated feeling like my opinion didn't matter and I certainly hated it when I had to start the new treatment that I never wanted in the first place.
I'm sure I'm not alone. I imagine there are a lot of kids who went through, or are currently going through, what I experienced as a child growing up with chronic condition(s). I feel for them. While I had to accept it for the first eighteen years of my life, after that I refused. I decided I was no longer doing things I didn't want to do.
It's about making decisions for yourself
Could that have cost me? Possibly. Could my skin be in better condition right now? That's very possible too - but it's not about that. It's about my happiness. It's about doing what I want to do and living life in the way I want to live. Your body is your decision, or at least once you're over the age of eighteen.
Don't allow friends, family, society, to dictate what you do with your life and/or your body. Don't get me wrong. You can still consider advice or suggestions if it's actually something you'd like to try, but don't just go along with anything because someone says to.
A shift in autonomy
For a long time, I was very passive about this issue. When people gave me advice, I would just listen. If they asked me a question about it I would tell them "I'll look into that", or consider it for myself. Would I? Usually not. Most times it was scientifically proven to show the benefits anyway. Just another online hype. Did I tell them that? No.
Now, I speak my mind. How is anyone to know otherwise? If it is a good idea, I will let the person know. If it truly is something that could benefit my life, I will admit it and maybe even consider it.
If it's what you don't want to hear
But if it's something I don't want to talk about, something I'm uncomfortable with, something I want no part of, or even if I just want to listen to my doctor's orders and trust his years of experience and expertise over the word of a random stranger's...I'll let it be known. You don't have to be rude, but you also don't have to be afraid to let someone know when they're outside of their expertise.
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?