So...hey. I know it's been a while.
Like, a good, long while.
Too long, one might say.
But, as Mushu suggests, I do, in fact, live and feel guilty about my unintentional blog hiatus. Lots of things have happened (new job, moved from PA to NY, developed an unhealthy attachment to Captain America etc.) but only one of them feels like it deems a new blog post. And that's my skin.
My scaly, red, itchy disgusting skin.
Did you know that I've never had skin problems? Nope. Never not a once if you don't count some mild acne that lingered into adulthood which, considering the shit that I'm dealing with now, I most definitely do not. Never a single problem until last November, when out of the blue, I developed eczema.
I didn't know it was eczema at the time. I just knew it was big, red, scaly patches all over my formerly pristine skin and I figured I was probably turning into a lizard. After six months of that nonsense not clearing up on its own, I went to a dermatologist who gave me a steroid cream that worked for about a month and then the scales just started laughing at it and we were back to square one.
So I kind of just accepted my horribly disfiguring scales. I mean, I wasn't actually turning into a lizard, right? Plenty of people have eczema** and they carry on just fine. Whatever. I'll deal.
Well now, I've suddenly broken out in raised, itchy red bumps all over my hands and arms. My doctors (aka, med students niece and her boyfriend) both said it was an allergic reaction to something at work. Literally nothing else in my life has changed except that I've had more contact with the sanitizer and the soap in my restaurant. So now I'm that girl who has to bring her own soap to work and who can't pitch in and help clean tables anymore because of her scaly, disgusting, red bumpy hands and fingers. It's horrible.
It's horrible and I'm being a petulant child about it because I guess I never realized just how vain I really am. I mean, I thought I did. I've certainly taken enough selfies and stared at my own reflection enough to earn the Carly Simon badge of honor. But apparently I am just a vain princess who would be selling my first born if this guy showed up and offered to restore my skin to its former state.
And maybe it's not that big of a deal to some, but I literally, LITERALLY just made peace with my body. Wasn't I just going on and on about how I was going to love and accept myself exactly as I am, and now, quite suddenly, I need to reevaluate everything because the whole chicken-shit outfit is covered in itchy red bumps that make me look like I've got scabies.
(I don't, by the way. According to the doctor and the internet, it's definitely not scabies.)
I was thinking about this last night during my nightly soak in oatmeal (Yeah. Oatmeal baths. Because I'm like a six year-old with chicken pox again.) I was thinking how far is this self-love supposed to go? How much am I supposed to accept with love and kindness?
And then I thought...Oh, yeah. All of it.
That's how much I'm supposed to accept. Shouldn't all the love I've been preaching, all the acceptance and appreciation I've been aiming at myself be unconditional? For better or worse or scaly red bumps?
It should. It really should.
So...I guess I've got a lot farther to go than I thought.
And that realization? That one kind of sucks.
The Lizard Formerly Known As Emily
**I had a roommate in college who had eczema. It used to drive me crazy; I'd wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of her fingernails on her dry, sandpapery skin. Allow me to take a moment to publicly apologize to her for holding that against her when I'd make my laundry lists of reasons we didn't get along. I'm sorry, first college roommate. Your eczema didn't make you a shitty person (your total lack of regard for what was clearly mine in the fridge is a different story). I didn't realize how much time and effort went into moisturizing and keeping this shit at bay. So. Yeah. Sorry.