Happy late Thanksgiving!! Though I thought about doing a post earlier in the day, I preferred to spend the time loafing around with some of my loved ones, so instead you’ll have to contend with me rambling on about what I’m thankful for during these last few minutes of the day.
First off, what I am most thankful for is my family and friends (who are essentially non-blood family). I love their colorful personalities and wouldn’t turn back the clock and try to change any moment in my life if it was at the risk of not having all my people here in my life. Now with that clarified, it’s onto explaining the title of the post.
Though it is currently driving me to take a daily bleach baths and use antihistamines, in some ways I do find myself thankful for having had to experience eczema. That statement alone may seem crazy given how much my skin drives me nuts, but not as mich when I de-focus my minute experiences and look deeper as to where my eczema journey as a whole is leading me.
Because in actuality what it has led to is me here in this moment thinking long-term about:
- what plan of action to take next with my skin (when I’m done breastfeeding Fi)
- if Jake and I will want another biological baby one day (a thought we ponder given that many newer treatments that target genes and whatnot have not been tested for long term effects), and
- on all manner of futuristic positivity (like “this flare will pass”, “I can use this time to really focus on writing and on building up my women’s health knowledge for future career directions”).
I continue to find myself thirsty for knowledge, and subsequently scouring the world for new research studies done, as well as comparing and contrasting the results to better inform myself about options available, which I then use to create a skin plan (post on that coming soon).
But what in particular am I thankful for that eczema has “given” me? Primarily four things:
- Perspective. I have not only learned to be more aware when all systems are go and my skin is more functional, but also that I can understand the limits of various aspects of medicine, understand the desire of people to offer their suggestions for alleviation, and understand that I may never know my specific causes or triggers but I have to learn to deal regardless.
- Resilience. This has developed from having to fight for new normalcy without seeing the finish line of my efforts, as well as from having to learn to deal with visibly not looking normal but not always being able to hide away until I feel better.
- Flexibility (of mind). I have been forced to change my approaches and my attitude around living with a disease that is still being researched and has no known cause, and
- Bravery. I’ve been provoked to be seek out ways to help spread my experience and open up about my life via a medium I always wanted to pursue but was too afraid to previously.
This has been a challenging and weird journey, and continues to be so, but I am getting through as best as I can and finding new side quests along the way that almost make it feel worth it. Speaking of side quests, that reminds me of this meme:
What about eczema or your own battles are you thankful for today (or any day)?