How talking about eczema could be your secret saviour...14 August 2018
Talking about eczema has been a big part of my healing. And it’s got me thinking. Social media’s great. It lets us share our pictures and stories, and stay in touch with friends wherever we all are in the world. I love it. But while we’re happy to share all our lovely stuff, why is it that we don’t like to talk about the less lovely parts of our life?
Talking about eczema, taking back control
So here’s something I’d like to share with you now... talking openly about my eczema has been one of the most therapeutic and helpful ways of me taking control of my life.
But why would you want to talk about something that’s negatively impacting your life? In fact, I’d describe my own experience as soul destroying, it was that bad. I always tried to hide the fact I had eczema, taking days off school, controlling my foods and going to bed ridiculously early to avoid flare-ups. I also wanted to avoid having to discuss it with my friends. I thought they could never understand, and the boys would think I was undesirable. So I hid away.
Eczema was my own version of a bully. It told me what to do and when to do it, it dictated my every decision. It decided who I could hang around with, what activities I could do, which career I could pursue. It was ruining my life... in secret.
Then five years ago, I hit rock bottom. I was hospitalised with my eczema and only three people knew my sister who I lived with, my Mum and my then boyfriend, basically the people I couldn’t escape from. I pushed all my friends away. Even my Dad didn’t know how bad it had become, as every time he called I’d say “I’m fantastic, life is amazing”, then cry as I hung up. I knew he was working hard and I didn’t want to be a liability to anyone.
It was a constant struggle. But then I started to open up. First, to a neuro linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner a stranger, which was somehow easier. Then I began to let my friends in.
It was such a relief. They were totally devastated that I hadn’t shared my suffering with them and all they wanted to do was help as much as they could, even if it was just a kind listening ear down the phone.
I had faced up to the bully and won I no longer had this little demon of a secret ruling my life. My friends knew, and they still loved me. Now they understood why I was picky with my foods or why I chased the sunshine so much, despite living such a privileged life in England, now they ‘got me’.
Eczema flare ups are much rarer these days, but if they do happen my friends, family and boyfriend stop me from over thinking and distract me from focusing on my skin. They take me on walks, to a healthy café or perhaps to watch a funny movie, anything to stop me dwelling.
Now, instead of being a burden, my eczema is actually a signpost. It tells me when I need to slow down and spend time with friends, it gives me permission to stop, think and move forward in the most positive way possible.
If you’re suffering in silence, I hope this has given you some encouragement to talk to someone a friend or family member, or like me, an NLP practitioner. Once you’ve taken the first step, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to open up. Nobody deserves to feel as miserable as I did, and I promise you’ll feel so much better.
Sharing’s great. And sharing the difficult side of life, as well as the good, can make all the difference in the world.
I’d love you to join my tribe. If you’re ready to start living a life beyond eczema, start your free membership today. You’ll get loads of tips and advice to help keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Lots of love and positive vibes, Camille xx