A woman breaks free from a tangle of thorns with a cloud's silver lining behind her. Adult female, perseverance, strength

The Silver Linings of Eczema and TSW

Eczema has affected my life in more ways than I can even outline in one article. In addition, going through TSW (topical steroid withdrawal) and being bedridden for over 6 years impacted me greatly and added another layer to the issue, so to speak.

However, despite how much of a daily battle this still is, there have been so many positives as well.

What has eczema taught me?

One thing eczema has taught me - and continues to, is the depth of my strength and being, and the vast, mysterious universe around us. I have learned so many things about myself, my eczema, and even the world around me.

Before I started TSW, I was completely lost and acted out on my childhood traumas. I never got to establish a solid sense of self, as the trauma started so early. So, in turn, I never got to know my true self. The self that was hiding underneath all the masks, the self that I never knew was there. Until eczema, and especially topical steroid withdrawal, happened to (I prefer FOR) me.

Where am I now?

After 30 years, I finally feel like I’m getting to know my true self, one day at a time. I’m reintegrating parts of myself I never knew existed. Parts I disowned, parts that weren’t typical to society as a whole. As a kid, I locked my true self up and may as well have thrown away the key. But all things once suppressed must come out eventually - and this was the case for me. My eczema and topical steroid withdrawal, in this case, was the key. It’s shown me what I needed to work on and heal within and has completely transformed me as a person. And as I continue to heal and do the inner work, I only have more gratitude for this experience.

What have I done to heal internally?

I've used various different methods throughout the inner healing journey. I’ve learned many different coping mechanisms that extend to other areas of my life. Some of these include meditation, hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis, time in nature, journaling, diet, supplements, etc.

What else has eczema given me?

Another incredible thing eczema and topical steroid withdrawal have given me is connection and community. My whole life, I’ve always felt like an outcast. The only kid in school with eczema rashes on my face, arms, and legs. This affected me throughout my entire life and to be honest, still continues to. Working on my self-esteem and practicing self-compassion and love has been an ongoing journey. Painful, irritating, itchy, isolating, and depressing are just some words I’d use to describe the “darker” parts of eczema. Thankfully, communities like this one have helped me feel like I belong somewhere. I feel understood and seen for who I truly am at my core, not a collection of someone’s judgments based on my skin.

Is there always balance?

We live in a universe in which balance is constantly being restored – our bodies included. Human beings aren’t just living IN nature or on this planet – we ARE nature. We are an intrinsic part of it. Even though it may not seem like it, our bodies are always working for us, not against us.

I’ve experienced a lot of suffering from trauma, eczema, and TSW, among other things. But that suffering cracked me open (quite literally!) It allowed me to expand my consciousness, learn who I am, and, most of all – accept and love myself and my skin – with or without eczema.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AtopicDermatitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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