It was one of those hot as hell Auckland days, and my Eczema was driving me nuts. I was desperate and I wanted a quick fix...fast!
I told my boyfriend that I was off to a Chinese Doctor. I'd found this person in the phone book and I was sure he could cure me!
This was the start of many such expeditions for a silver bullet. For a magic fix.
Fast forward 20 years and the journey of Eczema has taught me so much.
Here's my top 5 unexpected gifts of Eczema.
1) Patience - When they were handing out patience, I think I was too impatient to wait in line and missed out on that one! Eczema sure as eggs taught me to be patient. All I wanted was the 'quick fix', and yet eczema made me wait and wait and wait. It taught me to be patient. It taught me that sometimes the only way out is through.
2) Tenacious - Like a "dog with a bone" trying to find some relief for this 'itchy, scratchy, hell'. No stone was left unturned, and nothing wasn't tried. The words of Churchill were never more true "Never give up. Never give up. Never ever ever give up!" The things that I tried would make your head spin. Hypnotherapy, past life regression, herbs that were vile!, Allergy testing, Natural, Not natural, Alternative, Top dermatologists! Every. Thing. I. Could!
3) Compassion - Sometimes I wonder who I would have been without Eczema. It made me so much more compassionate and empathetic to the plight of others going through long term 'dis-ease'. It also made me a lot less judgemental as to how people looked. I remember a friend saying to me that I was the only person who had never asked her about a scar on her face. Honestly, it didn't even register.
4) Open minded-ness - When you have something that the medical profession has called 'incurable' you go on a journey. It takes you to some unexpected places. People who have always had great health won't understand this journey. It's a journey that humbles you. It brings you to your knees..again and again and again. It strips away your ego and breaks you open. It makes you open to new ways of thinking, new ways of doing things and new ways of being. I will always be so grateful to Eczema for the journey it set me on. Now I look back and I can see how much it shaped my life, influenced my career choice, and changed me as a person. I can tell you hand on heart, that if I hadn't experienced Eczema, I wouldn't have bothered.
5) Grace - Eczema taught me grace. At a certain point, I surrendered to it and thought...you know what...if this is my 'lot' then this is my lot, and I just have to accept it. This didn't come easily to me. In fact it was messy, ugly and completely 'grace-less'. I fought against it for years, not wanting to accept it. The amazing thing was that when I finally surrendered to it, that's when things came together for me.
To read more download the free e-book "My Eczema Journey" available on www.eczemabalm.com
I remember it well. I'd just finished a dance class and all I could think about was how itchy my arms were, and how I needed to get in a shower fast!