Confession time again….
One of the things I have always been self-conscious of is my skin. I have eczema and because of it my skin is sensitive to a lot of things, get extremely dry really easily, and scars. By definition eczema is:
a medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed, with blisters that cause itching and bleeding, sometimes resulting from a reaction to irritation (eczematous dermatitis) but more typically having no obvious external cause.
For me, I’m talking dark scars that take years to fade and rarely goes away (similar to the picture above). They are noticeable and makes it hard to wear certain outfits. If I show my legs you see the dark marks and if I show my arms you see the dark marks. Pair this with cellulite and stretch marks, well you’ve got yourself a winning combination. Who would want me? Who would like me? No one right? Wrong!
First and foremost I have learned to turn off the negative voices in my own head. The put downs and self-deprecating humor was not my thing and some of the things I said about myself were downright mean. Who was I trying to impress? This skin condition isn’t something I asked for. It’s not something I did to myself. It’s genetic and truthfully something I can’t change about myself.
To other people this might seem like such a trivial thing to self-conscious of. To me it was a source of grief. I remember wearing jeans and long-sleeved shirts in the summer time just to hide my skin. I didn’t want anyone seeing how my arms were scarred. I even wore long sleeved clothing to have water fights with my family. It’s 98 degrees outside and I was wearing a sweater. No matter how ridiculous my mom told me I looked I didn’t pay attention to it. Even if I overheated and passed out I was dedicated to not letting anyone see how ugly my was skin was.
(Me during the summer ⬇️ and yes this picture is old)
When I think about it, I realize just how much I was my own harshest critic. If someone asked me what happened to my skin I shrank back and immediately became withdrawn. I didn’t know how to answer. In my head I heard “what’s wrong with your skin”. I imagined people judging me so I tried to become invisible. You know that one person who smiles halfheartedly and only laughs at people’s jokes? That was me. I just wanted to be a fly on the wall but that’s not who I’m meant to be.
I’m not meant to run away from who I am. I wasn’t made to hide in a corner and seek other people’s approval. You can judge me but I refuse to let ANYONE sentence me to a life of unhappiness and self-loathing. No one has the power to make you feel anything you don’t want to feel. Take control of your confidence and self-esteem. Take back your happiness. No matter what anyone says, you are beautiful. I’ll say it thousands of times if the 5,234th time is how many times it takes for you to finally believe it and believe in yourself.
Let me know, what’s something you’re learning to love about yourself? Or have trouble embracing?