Two doors close, Another opens – By @laurenbodiam
Two doors close, Another opens
I write this as I have a (nearly) full physical recovery
Last august I got ill. Seriously ill
I did not know it back then but I would spend 10 months of my year in recovery
I have missed out on job opportunities, celebrations, and independence
I lost personal and professional relationships because of it
I missed out on it all to a illness that is entirely preventable
While some acclaim my illness to stress. It’s a lot more than that. Sure the 4am nights did not help my eczema. But it was the overuse of steroid creams that really did the damage. For the past 10 months my skin cells, immune system, adrenal glands have been repairing
My skin cells were so damaged that my skin couldn’t hold fluids inside my body. Protein would leak out of my skin, water would irritate my skin, My skin stopped moisturising. There were days I ate soup because I simply couldn’t open my mouth because my skin was so dry and tight.
My immune system got so weak that I became allergic to the underground, my boyfriend’s bedroom and any enjoyable food.
My adrenal glands failed. I could not regulate my temperature. It caused insomnia, burning skin and a struggle to pick out clothes in the morning. I could feel freezing cold but create steam from the temperature of my skin. It could be a comfortable temperature, and experience extreme sweating. There were many times I would have to strip in the toilets at work just to try and regulate my body temperature.
Nothing has really ‘healed’ me or ‘fixed me.’ I have seen skin specialists, doctors, nurses, down alternative treatment, changed my diet, tried holistic medicine and tried and tested every recommendation. I truly believe that time has gone on and that my body needed time to recover.
I learnt a lot through recovery, trust, determination and inner strength. I conquered a lot of fears and realised I had more resilience than I thought was possible. Despite what was happening, I had a lot to be grateful for. I spent days painting thanks to my surprise gift from HUSH and SCA. I had their words of encouragement on my worst days. I had Dean who sacrificed his work to comfort me.
I spent 10 months dreaming about my life after recovery. It isn’t what I expected. I thought being physically better would get rid of the depression and PTSD. It hasn’t. gratitude, meditation and breathing exercises have been more important to maintain daily. I thought I would be holidaying, going out and visiting friends I haven’t seen. Thanks to Covid I have been showing off my fresh new skin on zoom. I thought I would be coming out to a placement with Lucy, creating a new work for our book that I was excited about. I’m now single, back at school, trying to find a copywriter. That’s all okay, I have come out of it a different person.
I have had some people that see me as a victim of this illness. I struggle with it as I see myself with great strength. I have gone through something not many will go through and I have come out on the other–side more empowered and ready to start a new chapter.