What if you woke up one day and realized that you couldn’t do anything to conform to what society accepts as beautiful?
We always say that it’s inner beauty that counts, but without knowing it we try to conform to what the media dictates to as beautiful. We diet, frequent the parlor, splurge on clothes, and buy more skincare and makeup products than we need.
One day, I woke up with an itch in my skin, an extreme itch that spread through my body. An itch which bled, thickened, and secreted fluid. I went to my dermatologist and was told that I developed adult eczema, an auto-immune disease whose cause was unknown. The next thing I new, I was was always treating my patches (parts with eczema) or visiting the derm clinic.
Suddenly, whenever I put on makeup, my skin would get irritated so I couldn’t anymore. I had a hard time dressing up because some fabrics would make my skin itch and react. I couldn’t wear clothes that would expose the infected areas so it was good-bye sleeveless and shorts. I also couldn’t do anything with my hair because my scalp would react, so I was good-bye hair treatments.
Aside from that I could only eat bland food which made it really difficult to go out and eat. Smoking also irritated my skin so, I had to tell my friends who smoked to not smoke around me. I couldn’t dance or workout because I couldn’t take the itch. I also couldn’t swim because I couldn’t wear a bathing suit.
My life as I new it, basically ended.
I felt so frustrated, sad, and helpless. Is this how my life was going to be from now on? I feel like no one, apart from my family, could understand what I was feeling. I felt like a loser, like the ugliest one in the room. While everyone else was glammed up in a party, I feel like I didn’t belong.
I come from a family of good looking people. Most of my cousins are heartthrobs and I’ve always felt like I didn’t measure up. What more now???
For months, I didn’t know what to do. How was I going to cover fashion events looking the way I did? Like a freak?
How was any guy going to love, let alone be attracted, to someone like me?
I tried every soap and lotion that promised it would improve my condition. I cried and prayed to God to make it go away.
It was just there like a leach I wanted out of my body….until I realized that I wasn’t going to let how I looked dictate how to live my life. I was still very much alive. I still had my set of skills. I still could write! I still could do good in the world.
Looking back, I guess it was really my faith that saved me during that really challenging time in my life. I realized that there was more to life than feeling that I conformed with what society dictated was beautiful. I had so much more to offer the world. Underneath my flaky, read skin, I was still the same person. People just had to accept me for who I was now.
Eventually, I was able to adjust to my new life. My friends (or the ones that stayed) turned out to be true friends who were willing to adjust to what I could or couldn’t do. I didn’t judge me if I didn’t drink or willingly went out of the room when they had to smoke. They also made sure that I was able to eat something whenever we would go out to eat.
I am better now, but the things I’ve learned are still very much with me.
- I learned that beyond the commercial things that is advertised to us everyday of our lives, there is so much more to life. Even without them, life is still definitely a kick ass adventure is worth experiencing.
- I learned that true friends will be by your side no matter what.
- When everybody else is gone, God will still be there.
- I now understand what it’s like to have a health handicap, and I don’t take my health lightly anymore.
- I learned what products help in curing or relieving eczema, so I gladly share it with people who are suffering from the same condition. At the top of list is this soap from G-Stuff.
I hope that reading this has somehow taught some things about life. I shared this experience of mine, because it was a hard one. I hope that it will inspire you or give you strength if you are suffering from eczema, self-esteem issues, or any other health or personal problems.
I couldn’t find any pictures showing my rashes because I was always covered up. But I did see something that very slightly showed what I went through.
When I was in my 20’s I thought I knew it all…
…until I didn’t.
Here are some of the myths that were shattered when I faced the real world.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PASSION
To a certain extent, it’s true. I certainly believe that passion matters, but it’s also about being practical. Money does matter because your bills aren’t going to pay themselves. I believe that there’s a perfect compromise between passion and financial stability. Find it and live your dream!
HARD WORK EQUALS GOOD RESULTS—ALWAYS!
Fresh from college I had the notion that everything that I worked hard for was going to garner good results. In school, when I studied hard, I got high grades, which is how I thought it would pan out when started by career. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
I realized that no matter how passionate I am about my career, it will not be perfect. There will still be stress and there will still be times when my best is not what my boss wants. Life is not all rainbows and butterflies. As a professional, I developed thicker skin, humility, and I learned not to take things personally.
I WOULD MARRY A BACKSTREET BOY
of course, even then, I wasn’t that delusional. [lol!] But I did hope that I would be with someone similar to the guys I read in romance movies and novels. Now, I still have standards, but I don’t exist in dreamland anymore. Overall, I want to be with someone who genuinely loves me. Realistically, this someone must have a stable job, a great personality, and must not be hard to look at. [What? I said I grew up. That doesn’t meant I can’t hope anymore. Hahaha!]
IT’S ALL ABOUT INNER BEAUTY
You don’t have to be shallow and make your life revolve on how you look, but you should also invest the time to take care of how you look. People will always tend to judge what they see first. I’m not saying that it’s all that matters, but it ALSO matters.
BE A GOOD PERSON AND PEOPLE WILL BE GOOD TO YOU
Being a good person doesn’t mean you have to be naïve too. You also have to protect yourself from people who don’t have you best interest at heart. Don’t be a jaded skeptic, but also don’t be a victim.
Yes, growing up was a tough eye-opener, but it certainly made me stronger. I won’t ever lose the dreamer in me, but at least now, I’ve developed the realist in me as well.