Too often, I’ve allowed my mind to bully my body, using my mirror as a tool to zone in on the smallest imperfection. The mirror has always been a place I go to look for problems it seems.
Why is that?
It’s safe to say Eczema has always been a massive anxiety trigger for me.
It can bring you to the lowest of lows, making you feel like you’ll never get better or only be able to focus on the negative what-ifs. I know this because I spent years perfecting how to hide my skin instead of learning how to love and care for it — editing, and covering, and doing anything to make it go away.
Sadly, sometimes the hardest thing to wear is our own skin.
Over the years, I’ve realized that beauty starts in your head, not in the mirror.
This mindset shift and self-acceptance started with small positive self-talk phrases. Reframing your thinking to look for even the slightest silver linings will eventually grow into a bigger mindset shift with time, and honestly help you when those flares catch you off-guard.
I went from hiding and overthinking about people seeing my skin to reclaiming my power by controlling my narrative and hopefully helping to change the general narrative about skin conditions little by little.
We can’t always control our skin condition, but we can control how we react to it.
That is our power.
With time, you’ll be able to talk about your biggest insecurity without your voice breaking, you’ll openly share, educate others, and have this moment of release instead of dread when people ask you how you feeling.
Living with chronic Eczema is like one reoccurring déjà vu, It doesn’t have to take your skin healing for you to change your mindset. Sadly, flares are going to come and go but I promise each one gets a little easier to deal with. Yes, sometimes, it can feel the exact same as before and trigger those negative spiraling thoughts. But our reactions can change and slowly we can learn to react rather than impact ourselves more negatively.
Déjà vu can help guide your decisions and perhaps choose a different path than last time.
Little by little and with time you’ll one day be at peace with your flared skin and focus more on healing than hating it and one day you’ll feel confident enough to go outside without tugging your sleeves down. You’ll simply walk out the door and smile back at a stare rather than internalizing it as a hating glare. You’ll learn that your flared skin gives you the power to help others feel more comfortable in their skin, simply by showing it.
I’ll never forget the day I saw a girl rocking her full flare and felt instantly inspired to do the same. I thought if she can do it, so can I. Seeing her taught me, if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.
Simply put, one of the best ways to care for your eczema isn’t your physical skincare routine. It’s your mental health care.
It’s about knowing and seeing you’re not alone.
Be the reason someone feels comfortable enough to show their real skin.