Your Eczema Is Not "Dramatic"
Dealing with atopic dermatitis can cause immense stress on any individual. From trying to control our environment to setting up clear restrictions and limitations on where we can go and wear to feeling like “if only I could live in a bubble!”
So when another individual or person doesn’t understand this "overly-restricted" world we live in, it can cause great discomfort and unnecessary stress.
“You’re being dramatic”
I recently got into a mini argument with someone who called my fish allergy "dramatic." My heart started racing out of my chest and I felt the words leaving out my mouth faster than I could think of them. “Me, being unable to breathe is NOT dramatic,” I responded in a stern and hurt-felt tone.
“How dare she say that?” I thought to myself. My throat swelled up and I walked away before I regretted another word.
Your health is worthy of respect
I’ve heard stories like this before from other eczema warriors. How their boss doesn’t take their perfume allergy seriously or how their mom still cooks the things they are allergic to or how their friends have called them dramatic too. In cases like these, there’s a clear disconnect and gap of communication having the other person truly understand what we go through and why we set up our lives a certain way.
Do you feel comfortable telling people about your allergies?
This is why I find it important and vital to our health to take a stand and speak up if you or anyone you know is in this situation. Note that our condition is not dramatic and is worthy of being respected, especially by those who we interact with on a daily to weekly basis. When you speak up for yourself, you speak up for this community. And what better way to live in a world where more people understand us?
Raising eczema awareness
You take a stand for our community when you affirm that:
- Your food allergies are not dramatic.
- Your perfume allergy is not dramatic.
- Your pet allergy is not dramatic.
- Your pain and discomfort with AD is not dramatic.
- Your reaction to when people call you “dramatic” is not dramatic.
You and I both, have every right to stand for our health and anything that appears to compromise this gets to be pointed out and discussed.
If you feel like someone does not or has not respected your boundaries to protect your health, here are a few steps you can take to support you:
Forgive them first
Before you set yourself to chat with anyone about how you feel, it’s always a good idea to forgive them first. This way, when you’re speaking to them, your intentions are pure and clear of any resentment or anger towards that individual.
Recently, when this person and I got into an argument, I immediately journaled how I felt. In that moment, I was able to forgive them for what they said, as well as forgive myself for how I had reacted. Forgiveness sets the way for understanding.
Set up time to speak one-on-one with that individual
This could be your boss, co-worker, friend, partner, family member, etc. Let them know you would like to set up a time to chat. Know that in this moment, you are beyond courageous and your mind and body will thank you for it in the long run.
Talking to anyone about how you feel takes great courage and vulnerability. It’s allowing yourself to be seen in a way that can bring great discomfort and unease. But I believe, it’s through vulnerability that we are able to connect with other human beings. When we show them that we’re not perfect, we can actually relate to their imperfections. Let them know how they’ve made you feel from a place of sincerity and love and let the conversation flow thereafter.
Forgive again if necessary
Sometimes, even if you do all the “right” things and your intentions are pure, people just won’t understand or respect you or your condition. Understand that this is not a reflection of you, but more so a reflection of them and what they have possibly gone through in the past. If this is the case, forgive them again for they don’t know any better and move forward with your head high. Change your routine and work around their ignorance.
QUESTION: Have you ever been called dramatic in regards to your AD?
Have you shared your eczema story with us?