Every Day is a Battle
Constant pain, itching, bleeding, lack of sleep. Dead skin in your nails and always feeling dirty. You want to forget it exists but every time you look in the mirror, you're reminded. Every time you move your limbs, you're reminded. Every second of the day, you're reminded. Why? Because the pain is something that almost never disappears. When you move, sit, stand, lie down. The pain is always there. You're in a constant battle with yourself. You're trapped in a vicious cycle and you know you'll never be free. It's hard. No one really understands. To them, eczema's just an itch. Learn to stop itching they say. If only it was that easy...
Tossing and turning and itching all night
People usually look forward to getting into bed after a long tiring day but it's something I dread every night. No matter how tired I am, I struggle to sleep. I find myself tossing and turning throughout the night, itching away at my skin. It almost feels as though I'm lying in a bed of nettles or someone's put itching powder all over my clothes. I have to get out of bed a few times to reapply medicine so I can bear the pain in the morning. Even then, I wake up with a stiff body and struggle to get up. Sometimes it can take me at least an hour to physically and mentally get myself out of bed, leaving behind a bedsheet filled with dead skin and flakes.
Poor quality of life
I even find it extremely difficult to shower. I have to mentally prepare myself for the pain. It's constant anxiety; is it going to sting this time? Will I be able to cope when the water touches my skin? Put it this way, imagine your body is filled with open wounds and cuts and you're bringing it into contact with water? Ouch? Indeed.
Sleeping and showering is only 2 of many daily activities I struggle with. Even socialising becomes extremely difficult. Whilst I'm engaging in conversation, all I can think about is how much pain I'm in and my mind loses focus and I have no idea what is being said to me.
Eczema relief is only temporary
It's extremely difficult to stay positive, especially when you don't know how long it's going to last. And when you slowly start to see progress, it's not long before it flares up again.
I've tried so many different types of medications but I've found they only works on a temporary basis. As time passes, my body either becomes immune to them or they just no longer do the job.
Suffering makes us stronger
For anyone suffering with atopic dermatitis, you're not alone. I always thought I was. I never saw anyone around me suffering the way I am. I felt like no one could understand me. I always felt alone. But we are not alone. It's difficult. Extremely difficult. But everyday's a battle and we're strong. Stronger than we think. How else have we managed to cope with it for so long?
Strength doesn't come from lifting weights. Strength comes from lifting yourself up when you're being knocked down.
What is your personal battle with eczema?
How does your mental health relate to your physical health?