Self Confidence and Self Consciousness
On top of all of the normal, everyday worries of hair, nails, what to wear, what to eat, being too thin, being too thick, etc. Those of us with atopic dermatitis also have to worry about things like what if this makeup causes my skin to flare? How am I going to afford this new ointment when I just paid for the last one that didn't work? Not to mention all of the "joys" of season changes. SIKE! With atopic dermatitis (and all of our struggles and concerns involved), it can be hard to remain confident. How can you be confident in yourself when you can't even have confidence in your skin? On any day, at any time, there's a possibility of a flare.
Questioning my self-confidence
Sure, you can stay moisturized, stay hydrated. Do what you can. - But ultimately there's still those random flares that happen for no reason at all! #TheWorst. The unpredictability of atopic dermatitis is enough to drive anyone crazy. I recently shared a story about when my boyfriend saw my arms and worried that something bad had happened to me. I know he meant well. - He was genuinely concerned and worried about my wellbeing. I can appreciate that. - But I can't say it didn't hurt my feelings, and confidence a bit.
Seeing how he reacted to my skin definitely gave me a reality check and a huge reminder that I need to put in more effort when it comes to my skin. I'm grateful to have someone who cares so much about my wellbeing. - But when a person so close to you is that concerned just by looking at your skin, it makes you wonder exactly what the world thinks when they see you. It was a good lesson for me because going forward I went back to my normal skin regimen and my flare cleared within a matter of a few weeks. - But until it did I was pretty withdrawn.
I'm more than my atopic dermatitis
I was self-conscious and reverted back to my old ways of hiding my arms with long sleeve shirts (even though it was pretty warm outside). I didn't want to do anything that would draw extra attention to myself or my limbs. I wore jeans to cover my legs and even at more formal functions I wore nice pants instead of dresses. I know I shouldn't be ashamed of who I am. I also know that atopic dermatitis is not all I am.
Truth is everyone has their faults. Everyone has something about them that they don't like. Everyone has things about themselves they wish they could change. - Some do. With time I've become more accepting of mine. When I get to these low moments in life when I just want to run away and hide, I try to remind myself of reasons why I am beautiful. Yes, I am different, but that's nothing to be ashamed of. Differences are what makes the world beautiful. No one has the right to judge me or treat me differently because of my condition, but if they do it's their loss, not mine.
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