Though recounting my challenging eczema experiences isn’t my favourite topic, I find value in reflecting upon them, especially as they often coincide with stressful chapters in my life. While I once shared these episodes across multiple blogs, my aim is now to offer a comprehensive summary of my three major flare-ups.
After completing college in 2005, I started full-time work as a data entry clerk, deferring my university acceptance. Regretfully, I gave up my place at university when I realized the importance of financial stability. However, life took an unexpected turn when redundancy struck in October 2006. This first taste of full-time employment left me reeling at just 19 years old. Within weeks, I landed a temporary role, yet the environment was far from supportive. This rollercoaster of employment led to self-doubt, and stress fused with the holiday season, triggering a severe eczema outbreak. Antibiotics became my companion, but a cycle of flare-ups ensued until UVB phototherapy and a fresh job marked my path to relief.
During my final university semester, juggling part-time work and demanding coursework was a challenge. With only two days of university attendance each week, I was involved in group projects and a dissertation. My eczema flared up and its severity was exacerbated by stress and infection. As I navigated discomfort and pain, I also wrestled with the loss of a family member and interpersonal conflicts. Despite these challenges, I persevered, pushing myself to excel academically. The combination of stress extended my eczema flare-up, but ultimately, determination and strategic management allowed me to graduate and regain control over my skin.
In 2015, life appeared promising as I embraced a new living arrangement and a rewarding job within close proximity. Yet, unforeseen circumstances led to issues and personal disputes that forced me to seek alternative accommodation. With eczema resurfacing and hair loss becoming another unwelcome companion, my resilience was really put to the test. A series of unfortunate events, combined with the discomfort of my living situation, led me to temporarily live with my mother. This transition, while providing relief, introduced long commutes to work and feelings of isolation. My journey to find a permanent home was marked by challenges, but I persisted.
Reflecting on these flare-ups, I recognize a recurring pattern: they predominantly emerged during the winter months, often during times of heightened stress. In the summer of 2013, despite facing career disappointments, I managed to avoid severe flare-ups. Similarly, 2017 brought a minor eczema resurgence driven by workplace conditions. Once I started working at a different location I noticed a dramatic change in my skin. My response to each flare-up varied, reflecting my evolving coping mechanisms.
Presenting these stories in chronological order, I’ve highlighted three pivotal life stages: 19, 24, and 28. While age and maturity played a role in my ability to cope, my faith was a significant factor. Becoming a Christian in 2012 fortified my resilience, as did the unwavering support of loved ones.
Throughout my eczema journey, my faith has been a guiding light. I draw inspiration from scripture, especially passages reminding us that challenges can lead to growth and that perseverance yields eventual goodness. Today, as I face occasional moments of discouragement, I press on, confident that my journey can inspire those enduring their own eczema battles.
If you prefer to listen rather than read, please visit my YouTube video where I talk about this topic: