Showing Ourselves Some TLC
I am not a medical professional, but according to the name tag and lanyard I received at the More Than Skin Deep Initiative with the FDA in 2019, I am an Expert of Eczema. As an Expert, I am telling you that you need more TLC than most other people. And by most other people, I mean those able-bodied people with “normal” health. For those of us dealing with skin conditions (or any other condition for that matter), we need to figure out how we’re going to still be able to function and contribute in a society that seems to only value those in perfect health.
The "value" of being busy
I am preaching this to you after a lifetime of denying this simple truth. I am preaching this to you so that you will listen to this advice on your good days. Because I know that on your “good skin” days, you’re going to push yourself more, and for some time you’re going to feel invincible. And you’re going to keep doing so until a flare-up stops you because this is what society has ingrained into our minds. That the busier we are, the more valuable we are. That the busier we are, the higher status we hold. That the busier we are, the better people we are. These statements are all false. These statements come from an ableist society. We need to reframe our way of thinking. We need to realize that our inability to live and function in a constant state of busyness doesn’t make us less than. We must embrace what we need to function and go from there.
Taking care of ourselves
So what must we do? We just need some tender loving care in here! Our bodies are screaming for it, and we need to listen. In order to sustain ourselves, we need to recognize that our conditions demand more-than-average care, and we need to accept this at a very basic and instinctual level, rather than seeing TLC as “extra” or as a “bother.”
So what does this mean? This means embracing that popular buzzword of “self-care.” This means embracing the quiet and not always being busy. This means boundaries. This means creating and enforcing said boundaries. This means saying no to a good friend even when your empathetic heart is nudging you towards a yes. This means putting in that extra effort to buy that fresh produce and then making time to cook those healthier meals. This means waking up early enough to fit in that daily workout, and skipping that night out to relax in with a book. This means going to settings on your phone and putting time constraints on your social media apps. This means cutting out all toxic people. This means knowing that the word “No” is not a bad word.
A healthier you
A unique combination of these will lead to a healthier you. Know that we require more TLC than the average person and that doesn’t make us less-than in any way. Make sure to ingrain that truth in your mind, and love yourself more today than you did yesterday! What will you do (or not do) today to show yourself some much-needed love?
Have you shared your eczema story with us?