*Update: Thanks for everyone’s kind words! I wasn’t able to share this at the time – but the main reason I was on several detoxes (that I mentioned below) is because we were planning to grow our family & I was planning to get pregnant. I ended up getting pregnant right away, after I ended the detoxes (which was perfect timing) and I’m thankful for that. Thank you for all your support!
Hi all, I know that I rarely write personal life updates, but I thought it was time to post one (rather than writing my once-a-year-life-updates).
Maybe you’ve been following me for some time now, and you’ll know that I usually share advice, natural eczema remedies, or something in general to encourage you (because, believe me, it brings me joy to even encourage just one person here).
Sometimes I feel like I receive so many emails and messages from all of you asking for help, that I need to give an “illusion” that I’m doing well, too. But, my life is not always so perfect.
In fact, the last few months have been tough. Really, really tough.
Last year, I decided to try some cleanses to detox the junk that I put into my body (especially with all the meds, steroids, and junk that I used to ingest).
A “cleanse” basically helps your body rid itself of toxins – especially since we’re exposed to harmful substances all the time (i.e. through food, products we use, our environment, etc).
My body, unfortunately, does not react well to cleanses.
You may have heard me say this before, but your body will express itself in the biggest areas of genetic weakness in your body. For me, that’s been eczema and has always been. Not everyone will react during a cleanse, but if your body can’t get rid of the toxins fast enough, it may express itself through your skin and show up as eczema).
I did 2 cleanses last year, and both times they turned out so bad (not hoping to scare you, of course!).
While I was at the end of my cleanse back in November/December, my skin started reacting like crazy. I would scratch the wounds on my skin at night without knowing it. My body was soooo dry all over. I’d wake up every morning in pain.
It was so painful to move throughout the day. Even getting ready was a big challenge for me.
It felt much easier not to be alive (than to be alive), if you know what I mean.
But, waking up and getting ready was already the biggest challenge from the moment I woke up. Not only did it take me a really long time….but I was already so defeated before I even left my house.
Partly because I was in pain…
It was so painful to bend my knees, move my arms, or other parts of my body wherever there were wounds and rashes.
….and on top of it all, the extreme dryness was just torturing me.
I’d sit in my car and feel so depressed because of all that I went through that morning. I remember trying my best trying to fight off the negativity.
It takes no emotional effort for most people to get ready, but for me, it took me all the emotional effort I could muster just to do simple tasks that most people take for granted.
I think the part that made it harder was that it brought back so many memories of what I’ve been through…and the trauma of the memories really affected me as well.
On top of that, some days I’d get to work and just hit a slump. I’d hit a slump because of how hard things were; I’d try so hard to focus and do my work, but I’d just sit there and sulk in the pain and discomfort that I was feeling – even the discomfort of just moving or putting my arms on my keyboard.
I know, it’s only eczema, right? It shouldn’t be that painful.
But the worst part was that my face would get so dry throughout the day and it would feel frozen. Like…so tight and frozen, that I couldn’t move it properly.
The hardest part was going to work pretending that everything was alright, when it wasn’t anywhere near that.
In fact, the hardest part was talking to people at work, acting like things were normal, when it was so painful to move or even do small things. It made me realize that we take for granted being able to move properly or walk across the street without having to think about how our body carries us.
I truthfully even considered taking disability leave because I was in so much pain. But I wanted to see myself heal without having to do it (kind of silly, I know).
I remember trying to keep it together for the whole day, and when I finally got home, I’d melt into a ball and just crumble from having to keep it together at work for so long. This went on for what felt like eternity.
If you’re anything like me….maybe you’ve been through this so many times that you just don’t want to burden people with what you’re going through. Or, maybe you don’t want to draw attention to your situation, or you feel that most people around you won’t understand what you’re going through.
There were times I’d come home and just melt into my husband’s arms and just let it all out.
To make a long story short, it’s been a long, tiring, and difficult few months.
It’s been traumatizing, too.
Even as I write this post, it hasn’t been an easy day for me.
Over the last few weeks, my skin has slowly been healing up nicely again.
In fact, it’s healed a lot compared to what it was when it was at it’s worse (and trust me, a great practitioner makes all the difference!).
There are certainly up and down days (although I wish everyday was sunny with clear skies), but I’m very grateful that my body is slowly restoring back to normal.
I wish the healing could happen quicker though.
But if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this:
I really believe that pain can teach us something…if we learn to listen to it.
And as painful as a situation can be, it can also get our attention or give us a wake up call.
Pain can also help us grow our “emotional fitness” level, which is an incredibly important trait to have during hard times.
Another person can be going through the exact same situation as you, but they can be feeling a lot worse off than you if you don’t train your mind to be “emotionally fit.”
The more you train your mind to stay strong, and the more you feed it with encouraging things, the stronger you will be through this (and, trust me, it will help a lot – which is why I wrote my new eBook on The Power of Thoughts).
Emotional fitness is just like physical fitness – except it’s a muscle that can help you bounce back quicker in hard times when you practice it.
Plus, it can help you control your reactions during flare ups, rather than letting the flare ups control your emotions.
And, although eczema is largely physical – it’s such an emotional battle as well.
During the hardest times of my flare up, I was frustrated that I didn’t have the luxury to go through my day without having to work at being positive. If I didn’t work harder than everyone else at being “positive”, I knew I’d hit a slump and fall into depression. Literally.
It felt really unfair.
But maybe, sometimes, your biggest set back is a chance for your greatest come back.
Sometimes it’s the way we bounce back from a situation that makes us stronger. Sometimes the more difficult the situation, the stronger you become.
The size of your struggle can often reveal the size of your character.
There is no “test” without a “testimony.”
And, you can’t be a fighter without fighting a good fight.
And maybe, just maybe..
The glory isn’t in how hard we fall, but the glory lies in how much we rise back up after the fall.
There were times that I literally felt like this “struggle” took everything away from me.
They say that if you don’t have your health, you have nothing. And that’s what it really felt like to me.
I felt like I had nothing and I wasn’t able to do proper things that people usually enjoy.
When I was 15, I always wanted to dance and it was my dream to do so. But I wasn’t able to, because the flare up’s and the pain were just so excessive (way more excessive than they were this time), that I wasn’t able to pursue it.
I always felt like it was an opportunity that was “robbed” from me.
But I just want to encourage you that there is a timing for everything.
Trust the process of life. Trust God (if that’s who you believe in).
There is a time when you can redeem everything back.
I lost my ability to dance when I was younger, but I’ve picked it back up again and going hardcore at it now (woot woot!). I’m dancing at least 1-2 times a week to make up for all the lost time.
Eczema is such a tough battle – so remember to do something where you can show yourself self-love and self-care everyday.
Do what you love, with whatever strength you can. Even if it’s just dancing around your room for a few minutes or watching a silly movie you love.
Life is short.
Make sure to also find a support group.
I’m going to be honest, I don’t have many people in my life that can relate to what I’m going through.
I have less than a handful of people and I feel so guilty burdening them each time. Find people that you can trust and confide in (hey Jen, you’re one of them, if you’re reading this!). 🙂
Be thankful. Everyday.
Gratitude changes your attitude.
You can become wealthy when you’re grateful and you see the abundance in your life, even when it may seem like you have nothing.
Be easy on yourself, and know that you’re doing the best with what you can.
And one last thing – be proud of how far you’ve come, because no one else was able to bring you so far except you 🙂
Give yourself more credit than you deserve, and write down the good things you like about yourself. It’ll keep you in check for the moments when things get tough.
And lastly, thanks for letting me open up and share something I normally wouldn’t share about myself. Thanks for letting me take down the “illusion” that everything always goes well in my life. I feel much better after being able to open up and write this post. 🙂
Now, your turn – how is your skin doing lately and how do you cope with your eczema? Comment below.
P.S. I have a few projects coming up that will hopefully help more people that visit this site and also give them a place of support.
Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, orYouTube for more updates!