I am so frustrated. I hate my skin and it makes me hate myself and this makes me hate myself and my skin even more.
For about 2 weeks my skin has slowly been in decline. It has been 2 years of fighting myself, questioning everything and struggles. When I am in a flare up like this there is nothing else. I want to curl up in bed and make the world go away. I want to lie in a warm bath and drift away. It is my moment of reprieve. A time when everything silences and calms. When I enter the water I feel the sting. I feel every little raw spot. Once the sting goes I melt away. I don’t let anybody part touch another as this breaks the illusion that everything is ok. Then I run my hands over my forehead I feel the sting again. When I run my fingers over my chest and shoulders I feel all the bumps. My skin feels like I imagine a crocodile’s would. It is no longer my skin, it is a torture device. I am in a prison. I search for a key, I follow the rules and still more of this and worse.
I am tired, I am cold, I am angry and I am deflated. I do not want to see anyone. I am ashamed of how I look and feel. It is only superficial but it steals my soul.
For a couple of weeks now I have been doing light treatment sessions. I showed the dermatologist my rash before this session and he calmly stated it looks like eczema. This is not my normal eczema though. I recognise my normal eczema. I complete my light therapy session and collect my script on the way out the door. More steroids. Prednisone course this time.
I come home, have breakfast while watching videos of the Las Vegas massacre. It makes me sick how greed and politics can run over common sense. America is so screwed up how big corporations and organisations such as the NRA can control the agenda so heavily. I am equally appalled at the sorry state of the American health system for the same reasons. And this is my mood. Issues, problems, anger, hatred all boiling away. I believe I am normally a positive person. I despise how my skin robs me of this. I normally have energy and enthusiasm. I only feel like curling up into a ball and feeling sorry for myself.
The massacre. Nobody at that event was ready to die. My wife is courageously battling terminal cancer yet still I fall into my black hole and feel sorry for myself. This is not right, this is not me. I am privileged to live in this country, to be loved, to have a purpose, to have friends and family. Right now all I feel is itch, dryness, frustration, pain, anger and despair.
I took our dog Ailbe to the vets for a check-up as he was a little unwell yesterday and shaking this morning. He was fine and had his shots etc. During this trip, I must have got his saliva on me when scratching subconsciously or something. On the drive home I was gradually spiralling into an itchy mess. I am so sensitive right now that now things are affecting me when they don't normally. My neck was red and swollen. It snowballed so fast. I was a blur of hands as I scratched and rubbed. both trying to scratch and not at the same time. My inner monologue started quietly saying stop, don’t, and soon was yelling stop scratching, you are stronger than this, you are only making it worse, you are damaging yourself, all while I continued to scratch and weep. I want to scratch my skin from my body but at the same time know the pain, frustration and further healing this would require. God, it would feel so good and so right in this moment.
In a fit of frustration and sanity, I break out and whipped on the taps, dash downstairs and grab a new bottle of Pinetarsol. A bright green bath additive to help calm red and inflamed skin. There was a protective cap under the lid I roughly stabbed with the handle of a toothbrush and poured it in. I splashed the Kermit green water on my face from the running bath and felt that familiar sting of skin damage. White remnants of moisturiser coat my wet hands. As soon as possible I sank into the bath. Under from head to toe in my own private tiny quiet world. Eventually, only my lips break the surface to allow me to continue to live in my wee world away from my body.
Getting out is something I have to psych up for. The towel hurts, the resulting drying hurts my sensitive, broken skin. I dry only my hair and smear my self in greasy steroid creams. Like an addict getting a taste or the forbidden elixir, I soak it up. Relaxing into the ointment pushing back the guilt. Remembering the feeling of artificial healing and relief. I coat myself and the world has calmed a little. Like the eye of a hurricane I know it is only temporary but I will take it.
I sit here in my boxers as I am too greasy to put on clothes. I am also scared any clothes may irritate my heightened skin or soak away my relief. I apologise if this makes little sense, I have literally just dumped my frustrations out onto this page. It will come right. I know this, but constant repair and steroids is not a viable long-term strategy. I have made an appointment with a touchy-feely place tomorrow on the recommendation of my dad. I have been down this road before. We shall see.
To get a head start when we release and some handy information, please pop in your details in below