So this spring, after running blood work (everything normal) and going to an allergy clinic (I am not allergic to 60 things), I finally figured out that I have Rosacea. This is a skin condition that in my case causes redness on the cheeks and nose during a flare-up, which can be triggered by a variety of things.
Of course this happened right as the lockdown started, but I got a phone appointment with my doctor who confirmed my self-diagnosis and prescribed me a face gel. And that was that, and apart from the fact that I got really invested in hats and parasols to protect my skin from the sun, life didn't really change.
Then fall came, and I got more and more flare-ups. The cold was no longer my friend. My cheeks flamed red and my eyes got more and more dry in the afternoon, and eye-drops became a daily thing. Then at some point my eyes were dry and painful all the time, from the moment I woke up. Spending my workday looking at a bright white screen didn't help either (even with the night filter on).
At this point I realized that there is something called Ocular Rosacea, and I got prescribed a daily pill from a dermatologist to help with it. And helped it did! Within an hour my eyes felt better and, to quote myself, "lubricated as f*ck!"
Of course nothing is easy, and this medication is extremely particular with how it needs to be taken. I need to find the very fine line between taking it on an empty stomach and eating just enough fruit for me to not get woozy and nauseous. And I continued to have daily flare-ups of my skin, sometimes for hours.
This caused me to feel very hopeless. And angry.
Angry at the unfairness that I now have yet another lifelong illness.
Angry that fine, attack my skin, but now my EYES too?!?
Angry that I now have even more limitations to my life, like avoiding:
So yeah, I was really bummed. I scheduled a therapy appointment for the first time since August because I realized I needed to talk to someone about it, it wasn't healthy feeling this way. And after that session (and a crying meltdown the day before) I honestly felt so much better. I finally went from the anger/depression step and went straight into Solution Finding, which is where I thrive!
This is where I discover things like:
Even though it still sucks that this is happening to me -- it's not as bad as it felt a week ago. Sure, I have to work around certain things, but all in all it's not that bad. I have definitely dealt with worse.
If anything it will keep my skin young with all this care and avoidance of the sun, and for someone who's turning 30 in a few weeks that's nothing but good news! ;)
Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
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