The importance of your own personal eczema support group30 January 2019
Friends are brilliant aren’t they? And the best friends are there for the fun times and there for the times when you need a listening ear. Part of my HOPES principles is S for Stress management and Support, so today I want to focus on support. I’ve already touched on how to support someone with eczema, now I want to talk about my own personal eczema support group.
My life has never stood still. In my book The Beauty of Eczema, I explain how I’ve moved around all over the place, gone to different schools, colleges and universities. This was hard sometimes, but it also means that I’ve now got friends from all corners of the globe. I have besties in Canada, California and all over Europe. Thanks to Skype and WhatsApp it’s pretty easy to stay in touch and I’ve never found distance has got in the way of my friendships. I mean come on, it’s so easy to keep in contact with people these days it’s as easy Skyping someone in Canada as Cambridge!
I love my friends so much. They have honestly been there for me through thick and thin as I was growing up and suffering badly from eczema. They know me inside out and when we do catch up, once a year or so, nothing has changed and I’m so grateful for that.
But what I do miss is being able to have a quick morning coffee with them, wandering round the shops together at the weekend and just messing about and having fun. And if times are tough, I miss physically being able to run to a friend for hugs. At the times I need some support, crying down the phone does make the distance seem further and I get lonely sometimes. Do you ever feel like that? And feeling lonely is horrible.
My eczema support group right here in Palma
I’ve always said I don’t want to settle for a 9-5 job with just an occasional holiday. I’m fascinated by other cultures, learning about the different ways of lives people have across the globe. So made it my mission to become a digital nomad, picking and choosing which country I work from. And the added bonus of this is it means I get to see my friends in person! Whooppee!
Okay, realistically it’s not always as straightforward as that. Many of my work commitments are tied into the UK so I can’t literally just travel from place to place, laptop in hand. Maybe one day I’ll have that ultimate flexibility hey?!
Anyway, last September I decided to act on my HOPE principles, creating a home for myself in a place I wanted to be, and being somewhere I had friends and a support network. So right after my book launch I found somewhere I could hang out with my soul sisters in between work. Which is why I’m writing this from Palma!
Why Palma? Well, it’s close enough to the UK that if I need to get back for work it’s pretty quick. But the main reason or two reasons was that my two best friends from boarding school, Chloe and Sarah, live here. They’re northern English girls but they’re now living the Spanish island life. And I could see all their beautiful pictures on my Instagram feed and had a lightbulb moment. Hang on, if they could do it, so could I! Why not join them, if not forever then at least for a couple of months?
So that’s what I did, without really giving it another thought, it just automatically seemed the right thing to do. I packed my bags and booked a one-way ticket (yes I was that sure!) and also found an apartment for three months. If you’re thinking that sounds expensive I’ll let you into a secret, it costs about the same as two weeks in an Airbnb out here! Even more of a no brainer hey?!
S stands for support and stress management, but I’m also getting sun, sea, sand and salt out here! It is so wonderful to be here near my close friends and know we can just meet for a drink or a walk, or just bump into each other out and about. I think it really saved me on my run up to Christmas.
Who’s in your support network? Let me know on Instagram @camilleknowles
Lots of love, Camille xx