As I sat in front of the mirror this morning, trying to dry my hair, a tear fell from my eyes. I had been nominated for a #nomakeupselfie!
A slightly melodramatic reaction to the recent social media cancer awareness trend you might say, but let me explain….
I have eczema.
I have had all over eczema for as long as I can remember (and then some!) and have gone through varying degrees of severity. I have learned to live with it on the whole but the one thing that is guaranteed to get me down is a flare up on my face. So imagine my joy when recently my eczema decided to take up a permanent residency on my face! Every morning for the last few months I have woken up with a dry, blotchy and sometimes even swollen face. Not the best start to your morning – especially when you are not a morning person, and I am NOT a morning person! I then spend the next hour trying to make the best of a bad situation, but sadly all I can do though is wash my face and then cake it in moisturiser – make up every day would make it ten times worse! So I just pull my fringe forward, get out my big geeky glasses and put on a brave face.
But inside I’m dying.
Inside I want to curl up and hide away.
Inside my eczema disgusts me.
There is nothing worse (in my eyes) than the sight of dry flaky, red blotchy, sore skin. So if I can’t stand the sight of it, why on earth would I make other people have to look at it?!
I may go to work every day without any make up but there is no way I will go out in the evenings or at weekends without covering it up. And you will never catch me being photographed without make-up on. NEVER.
So you can imagine how I felt when my facebook nomination appeared on my phone! I was mortified. Why on earth would a friend, knowing how much I stress about my skin, ask me to do this? I wanted to scream. But that was not fair on my friend, she hadn’t nominated me to upset me she just wanted the support of her best friends and I should be feeling honoured that she included me in that group.
As I sat on my bed devastated at the sight of my skin, wishing the ground would just swallow me up I realised things had gone too far. No longer is my eczema just causing me pain, it is now consuming me. There have been too many nights out missed because I was worried about what other people would think of my red face. (Only the other night I hid in the bedroom while our best friends came over to sign house documents! I should’ve been down in the lounge celebrating with them, toasting their fabulous news, they are our best friends, but instead I hid away in the dark). Too many Skype conversations to my mum with me hiding behind a scarf. Too often is my amazing hubby having to listen to me scream and shout because nothing I do will cover up my ghastly eczema.
But not anymore.
From now on I am going to try my hardest to stop being so self conscious. To start listening to the hubby when he tells me I’m pretty, instead of brushing his compliments aside. To enjoy time with friends no matter what my skin is looking like. It’s not going to be easy, and I know there will be plenty of hiccups along the way, but I need to overcome this not just for me but for my future children. How do I expect to raise happy and confident children if I don’t practice what I preach!
So, for all those of you who have endured this post, here is my #nomakeupselfie
But this selfie is not just for Cancer awareness this is for all those out there who are dreading that nomination. Those of you with a skin condition that makes you want to hide away. There are so many people out there with skin like mine, and a lot of people with skin much, much worse. This is for you.
Please know that this is the hardest picture I have ever had to share. That as I write this I am shaking, terrified of pressing that Publish button. I am not looking for pity or sympathy, just support.
Here’s to overcoming my insecurity demons……
If you want to find out more about eczema visit here