“Abracadabra eczema!” No matter how many times you envisioned yourself as Harry Houdini planning your latest escape act, your eczema is still there. This is what I like to call “Grade E eczema.” E stands for embarrassing, of course. That’s not to say you should feel embarrassed by your eczema, but let's be real, it happens. So let's address this.
If someone is embarrassed it’s usually accompanied by other emotions such as shame, guilt, or even pride. In addition, being embarrassed is connected with being self-conscious. Now factor in the issue of the largest organ of our bodies (our skin) not functioning properly and we’ve got ourselves a situation!
So how exactly do we deal with being embarrassed? By adopting coping mechanisms. Here are five of them.
1. Repeat: “Perfection Is an Illusion”
One recurring theme you’ll hear throughout life is that nothing is perfect. As cliché as it sounds, it’s the truth. You have to understand that life is not perfect regardless of what Photoshop, Facetune, or your social media channels might have you think. Everyone deals with certain obstacles. Ours is eczema. One way to help improve your self-esteem and feel less embarrassed is by understanding that perfection is an illusion based on fear.
2. Stop Apologizing
“I’m so sorry you have to look at my disgusting eczema.” “Please excuse my awful skin. Unfortunately, I have eczema, and it’s flaring up.” “I’m so embarrassed, but I won’t be able to make it to [said event] because my skin is completely inflamed.” Have you ever said one or all of these? As someone with eczema, I’m always apologizing for my skin, and I'm sure you are too. It’s time to stop apologizing and beating ourselves up! Eczema causes sleep deprivation, itchiness, irritability, and so much more. However, that’s not a good excuse to apologize for a condition that’s out of our control. It’s time we stop being embarrassed and start normalizing our inflamed eczema.
3. Keep Your Perception in Check
Remember, your perception can turn into your reality. What you project in the world is very important. If you’re in a constant state of embarrassment, shame, and angst, you mind will have a hard time getting rid of these emotions. Recognize that negative voice that’s holding you back and pitting you against the world. Start to shift it by focusing on your strengths and adopting a positive mindset.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself
Easier said than done, but comparison is a rabbit hole you don’t want to go down. Once you’ve entered, it's hard to climb your way back out. You are worthy! You are enough! And you are so much more than your rough, patchy, bumpy skin.
5. Remember YOLO - You Only Live Once!
It’s time to change the narrative on eczema. The last thing you want is to live a life full of regrets. Everyone has moments of embarrassment. It's how you deal with the aftermath that puts things into perspective and will keep you thriving if you so choose to!