It is easy when you write a blog about something to accidentally give the perspective that this is all your life. This is fair enough, it is all you have shared.
I felt it was important to share that eczema is a significant part of my life and has had a hand in shaping me into the person I am today, physically, mentally and emotionally. I am both more resilient and more fragile because of my experiences with eczema. I believe my empathy is higher and my appreciation for some of the smaller things is also higher. When I am in the middle of a flare-up meltdown, eczema is my whole world and it sucks. Even though it may not always seem like it at the time, a flare-up is only temporary, and deep down I know that.
Far surpassing this I have a wonderful life outside of eczema and scratching. I have so many great things and people around me. More than I am able to catch up with as often as I would like. More things to do than I have time for but I love my life and eczema is only a slice. Granted a slice that changes in prominence from time to time, but it subsides (sometimes for long periods) and I get on with my awesome life.
I believe my experience is not that dissimilar from anyone else suffering from a condition that impacts their health and quality of life. I know people with depression, arthritis, Crohn's disease, cancer, psoriasis and the list goes on. Mine is on the outside and that carries its own weight. But at least people can see when I am suffering. I am not sure which is worse. Yes, it has an impact. Yes, we need to be mindful and sensitive to ourselves during times it impacts us. But don't underestimate the mental game. Life exists beyond the condition. I am not eczema, I am a person who experiences the frustrations of eczema from time to time and the rest is just being mindful and working to keep it at bay.
I am also the person who has a truly amazing and loving wife, a very supportive extended family and friends, who loves to draw and paint, to be physical, play sport, beat up my nephews and nieces, to wander art galleries, to travel, to watch movies, to cuddle on the couch, to build the business, have dinner with friends, to play computer games, to climb mountains and paddle rivers, to walk on the beach with Ailbe (my dog), to coach sport, to design and create, to have a quiet beer and enjoy walks in the forest.
I tell you that I am no more eczema than I am any of those things above. It just happens to be a part of me. A visible, frustrating, demoralising, unpredictable part of me. But just a part. Sometimes you need to get out of your own head and remind yourself of the other sides. I am more than eczema.
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