This is going to be a different kind of post for me. I usually talk about fashion and interiors and throwing parties, but today I'm going to open up a little deeper. Here it goes:
One of my 2016 goals that I'm not doing so hot on is practicing joy. With a sweet toddler and a new house 2016 should be my best year yet, but it's not. Admittedly out of the gate this year, I didn't take time to be joyful. I rushed from one project to the next without taking the time to appreciate the accomplishment I had just finished. But that is the pattern I have set for my life and it has worked fine for the first 32 year. Plus I really really love a project, but as a new homeowner, the list is just so long, and the bank account is shallow. Then throw a 1 year old in the mix and I don't have time to do anything for myself or my husband and friends? what are those? The many many things that are sharing my attention have finally caught up with me.
These past several months I've have felt a little like I'm drowning in my own negative thoughts. This is not the entire cause, but it is part of the problem that has been amplifying many other little things, I suffer from psoriasis. I have for about 10 years. Normally it's controlled to a very manageable level. For the past 10 years it's shown up as an itchy scalp or a few spots on my back and chest. I've applied a prescription once a day and that's that. But, when I was away in Morocco I ran out of medicine and my back became covered in red blotches. Much much worse than it's ever been. I'm pretty sure had I not run out of medicine it would still have flared up.
These photos are don't illustrate the worst of it, but you can see how one would be self conscious in a swimsuit.
I know psoriasis is just a skin disease, it's not cancer, it's not something terminal or major, but it has still caused me a lot of suffering. For the past four months I have worked to get my skin back under control. I tried cutting dairy, grains, legumes and sugar out of my diet, to no positive results, only additional stress trying to figure out what to feed my family for meals. I've apply my prescription twice a day (fighting with the insurance and pharmacy to get more, more often), I've visited the dermatologist on several occasions, I've tried two different acupuncturists, and spent upwards of a thousand dollars on doctors, prescriptions and creams, all with no improvement. It is incredibly frustrating to be trying so hard and not be able to help yourself.
Not since my middle school days have I felt this low level of self confidence. It's summer, I've lost all my baby weight and then some and all I want to do is wear tanks and dresses that show some back, but I just don't feel good when I put them on. Thinking about my skin takes up more room in my brain than I would ever want it to. I am lucky my spots are mostly confined to parts of my body covered by clothes, because when it moves to my arms and hands, I can't help by fixate on it. The whole situation has become a thief of my joy. A joy that I already thought was lacking before this became a problem.
I am writing this post to hopefully connect with other women and people who are going through something similar. A few months back I listened to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts, The Lively Show, Jess interviewed Dana Schultz of the Minimalist Baker talking about a health issue that has lead to loss of about half her hair. I related so deeply and was grateful that Dana told her story. It let me know that there are others out there dealing with body issues that they can't control and that really can take a toll on your mental health.
I have convinced myself that much of my issue is stress related. In addition to my topical prescriptions, I have begun taking Ortezla, an oral medication, but I have also started self treating my stress. I began meditating and I am trying everyday to practice joy and make good on my 2016 goal after all. While my skin isn't yet clear, I feel like my self esteem is back on an upswing and I am happier and more positive. Lets hope I stay on course. Thank you for your support.