Where have I been?!

So I just posted for the first time in awhile so I thought I would do a general update!

As many of you know, I’m currently training as a psychologist here in the UK. I’m about halfway through now. Its busy and there’s academic work to juggle with the clinical work but its generally manageable and I’m so happy to be on my way to qualifying. I’m also doing my research in visibly different skin conditions so can’t wait to share the findings with you guys! Having eczema has definitely mad me more passionate about working with visible differences and physical conditions because sometimes the emotional impact is so easily overlooked.

So the dip in my story is when my eczema began to flare out of the blue in December. As many of you know when you add eczema flares to the normal day to day stress it begins to throw life off track. The random flare was a shock to me because I’ve been mostly eczema clear since early 2014 (as you can see from the photos on my about page) and it had healed greatly. It was a shock to my system and it flooded me with all of the emotions I experienced when I first began to get eczema again in my teens, especially when I got to March 2017 and realised that it was just getting worse! My usual Vitamin d3, dead sea salts, salves just weren’t working and I think I was quite frantic about it getting worse.

 

If any of you have Instagram then add me to see my skin changes over time as I have posted on there throughout (@myeczematales).  I guess I had forgotten some of the difficulties because it has been nearly three years since my last unmanageable flare. Funny now to think that I was considering whether a more holistic blog rather than eczema would be better suited to me because my eczema was “gone”. I guess eczema was there to remind me its still a part of me! It made me realise my atopic eczema is a lifelong journey.

 

Since this, I think my mind has been in a sort of numbed chaos that probably only those with flaring conditions like eczema and psoriasis can understand. I was getting by with my day to day, but struggling to manage the itch, the sleepless nights, the fact my face was dry after 10 minutes of applying moisture, the tightness, the flakey skin I saw in the mirror at work and the fact that most people don’t get how exhausting flared skin is… I found myself losing concentration, feeling pretty bad emotionally and also not managing relationships so well. At times when eczema floods in, I think it can be hard to explain to people that it takes up energy to just carry on and I have found myself distancing myself from people who make me feel guilty about feeling bad at times or who add negativity to my life because we shouldn’t have to cope with more negativity on top of flares. I was also just generally dreading the eczema being back to how it was at its worse and those thoughts really aren’t great are they! My worst was not a great time for me, I was at university and would spend most of my day in bed dreading the shower and the mirror! My final exam period was horrific and to this day I don’t know how I managed to pass whilst my body was at its worst.

 

However, when I got out of mopey, feel sorry for myself phase but do nothing phase (it took awhile as I think I was hoping it would just go away!), I have begun to journey through my eczema struggles once more and one of the main things I noticed is I need a way to maintain my structure when eczema causes chaos. I don’t want to feel that eczema diverts me from my main life goals. Mentally we can either manage the eczema or allow it to take control. I started this blog when I had decided I would manage it and not allow it to control me so I am doing it once more. For me, that isn’t all about topical products but about what I can do to mentally just feel calmer and less stressed and to enjoy life more fully. I wondered how many of you take time out to de-stress and what you do? I wondered how you maintain that sense of peace and calm at the worst times? I would love to hear about your zen habits as its a path I feel myself going down more and more.

 

So what now? 

 

I have become more focused on shaping my life more positively recently and thought I could do a wellness series which will just focus on ways to live more positively even when eczema brings us down. I think the exhausting nature of eczema is what made me think about this because the way I notice myself feeling sometimes isn’t the greatest and I lose sight of what is really important! So I have begun by looking at planners which encourage that holistic approach to living to get me thinking about my life time goals and the broader picture, I have also purchased products to make that whipped body butter I have said I’ll do for years so I can get back to some DIY healing (and actually do it!) because one thing I notice is I put off things which I value when my skin is bad and I have began to go back to basics with my skin.

 

I have been absent but part of the reason I want to be finding structure again is also about more fully committing to those things which are important to me like blogging. I don’t know about you but I often get side tracked by things which aren’t as important to me when I’m stressed and my stress levels are at their peak. So some of my  future blogging may be more about how I am generally creating that calm and peace through doing thing I love and letting go of whats not helpful. Of course, I’m interested to see the impact on my skin but it would be great to hear your opinions on this as I was wondering whether you as my readers would like it or not so please share your honest thoughts below!

 

Hope I didn’t bore you with the details but thought some explanation for my absence was necessary!

Speak soon and hope the eczema is calm!

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