I’m lucky to say I’ve “outgrown” eczema on most of my body. The back of my knees and inside of my elbows are laden with skin tones lighter than my skin pigment now. It’s no longer on my face, neck and ears. Where it was once on my back, there are now only scars. The eczema that was once on my belly and ankles now leave no trace of ever existing.
Though eczema can leave the body, insecurity rarely does. I had a bad flareup four days ago and was talking to my boyfriend about it. As I was speaking, I covered my eyes and then…
I burst into tears.
Putting aside my fear that someone will look at me and feel disgusted or scared, I was actually most concerned about how much my hands hurt. The slightest movement of the tip of my fingers caused a stinging pain. And if I even dare bend my finger enough to reach for something and grab it, well I was certain the skin would break and my eczema would begin to bleed. Even wiping tears away from my face stung when the salt of the water came into contact with a wound. I couldn’t hold it in anymore.
I could see the strength in my boyfriend’s face, the composure he knows he needs to have to keep me from breaking. I could see the hurt he feels for me knowing there’s nothing he can do to help, but he asks anyway. There’s a calming affect of having someone be there to support you and to not judge you. There’s a calming affect of being able to cry without shame and show someone how much this you really hurt. And in the moment I could calm down, I felt better for just talking about it.
Bottom line is insecurity can fade, but it will never completely go away – just like eczema. Talk about your eczema, talk about how it makes you feel. It took me 26 years to feel OK with talking about it. And even now I can admit I’m still not 100% comfortable with discussing it openly. Yes, this blog is ironic.
It’s normal to have moments of insecurity, normal to feel moments of shame. But hold your head up high. You can push through this.