How I Self-Sabotaged My Eczema Healing
Last updated: September 2023
One of the most challenging experiences I've had with eczema was not when I was at the worst of it, bleeding, scratching, and self-destructing, but actually when I was starting to make progress and heal my skin.
What has my experience with eczema been?
I have had severe eczema non-stop since about the age of 5 years old to about 20 years old. So, many of my formative years were filled with so much intense sensitive skin drama, pain, and suffering that those three qualities had become so integrated into my daily routine and how I thought of myself as a human being. Although I greatly desired healing and did not stop in my search and efforts to get clear skin, there was a part of me that had already been so anchored with the pillars of pain, rashes, and body dysmorphia that when I finally found my miracle worker through Traditional Chinese Medicine, the process of healing took me through an unexpected journey of re-identification from a victim of “mysterious” circumstances to a person who could actually function productively in the world, have a job, socialize, and have complete days pain-free and scratch-free.
How did Traditional Chinese Medicine help?
When I began my healing journey with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in 2010, I went in with no expectations but a heart full of hope that it would heal me. And it did! Over the course of 6 years, I found myself healing at a very accelerated rate. While it was the answer to my prayers and a relief, a part of me tied to my past had trouble letting go of the version of me that was that helpless victim before TCM. I found it difficult to fully heal without some resistance to this new life and new body that I was developing through cleansing my body from poor eating habits and steroid addiction. I felt like my success was too good to be true.
Why was it hard to believe that I could heal?
How could 75% of my rashes be healed after just one appointment? How, after over a decade of crying in my sleep in agony, was I able to sleep deeply and peacefully after only a few months of treatment with Chinese herbs? How, after years of short generic appointments with Western dermatologists who all prescribed steroids with no relief, was I able to find the perfect doctor who took a holistic approach, considered my feelings as a part of my symptoms and was able to consistently treat my skin and emotions so well? But all this pain and mistrust had become a habit for 15 years straight from childhood to young adulthood, so it was a daily mindset that I felt chained to despite seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
How did I self-sabotage my healing?
his resistance in my acceptance of my newfound success led to my self-sabotage: While feeling like the rug was going to be pulled from under me, I also had a simultaneous feeling of cockiness and pride at my fast healing rate. While I was clearing up my skin, I made the mistake of thinking that I could indulge in food and drink the same way people who do not have eczema do. But doing that created new rashes and wounds that I would then have to heal from again. And so, in reality, I pulled the rug from under myself and stalled my recovery by hesitating to commit fully to the program even though I drank the Chinese herbal formulas religiously.
How did my body react?
It wasn’t until the fifth year of my treatment with Chinese Medicine that I finally realized that not only was this treatment method effective and consistent for me, but that it was safe and that I could count on it. I fully committed to the program finally and got disciplined with my eating habits. Despite my previous setbacks, they still couldn’t outweigh the progress I made. I finally turned a corner in my healing journey: I had literally flipped the tables from eczema being hard to heal to it being hard not to. After one final year of treatment, I was so strong, energy so stable and skin clear that I stopped making appointments and have been primarily self-managing ever since. Occasionally, I have had some intense flare-ups due to various reasons and Chinese Medicine has always brought me back to life and to self-managing again. At the time of writing this blog, I am not seeing any doctors for my skin.
I believe that if I did not have any resistance to transforming my identity and my skin I could have healed in an even faster time frame — possibly in 3 years instead of 6 years. But sometimes old habits die hard. The important thing is to be open to trying new things and to trust the results that you get with your skin and your energy levels.
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