So I’ve been blogging about my sebborheic dermatitis recently. Firstly to gather my thoughts around it really. It’s helpful to get things down, to lay out the processes, ups and downs of what you already know and do so that when you are evidently bombarded with information about skin health, it’s a little easier to pick out what specifically affects you.
A few weeks ago I read a friend’s article on selfies and skin conditions which discusses how selfies can be a massive confidence boost as well as constructive way of dealing with skin problems. I was inspired then to look at how I handle having facial and scalp dermatitis and came up with 5 ways to give sufferers a way to feel good. One thing I didn’t mention in that blog, is that how writing about it has empowered me to take control of the situation. So many times I’ve been given the advice to ‘eat a raw diet’ to ‘relax’ and ‘take it easy’. I don’t know if you’ve ever met me, but ‘Relax’ is a song by Frankie Goes To Hollywood and the only time to ‘take it easy’ is after a long night of hard drinking in my book.
I moved to Bristol almost two years ago and haven’t really stopped since then. Bristol’s the kind of place that you can easily drown in if you don’t learn how to get out there and swim. So I swam, a lot. Into different rivers and streams, became a bigger fish and ultimately became the most stressed fish ever. It wasn’t until I stopped swimming and ‘relaxed’ that I realised that my brain was panting, like ‘slow the fuck down! I can only think about so much!’. At school and university I always stressed easily and was prone to the odd panic attack. It’s happened a few times in the last year, but I had two very recently, completely out of the blue and I think it’s because I stopped swimming and my body caught up.
Last week I said goodbye to two of my major commitments – working part time at The Chelsea and volunteering/eventing at Hydra Bookshop. I wanted some time to reflect on that but don’t want to divert too much so I’ll just say that it was quite sad, I love the people in both places but maybe now I might have more time to socialise with them, instead of pouring them pints. The Anarchist Bookfair also happened, and LaDIYfest ran the after party, and it was great. We got through it and everyone had a good time, and I’ve only got another gig to put on in June. I think I’ll be taking a break from promoting until the end of the year.
Even within the space of a few days my skin has MASSIVELY improved.
I actually feel a lot lighter and not like a computer attempting to come up with million solutions to problems that might not ever arise. Self care is really important, the decision to take a break from activism, promoting and three jobs is doing me a world of good. And I can actually GO and BE at events, instead of running them. My diet is healthier, lots of fruit and veg (AND APPLES, ALL OF THE APPLES) and I’m showering more, which probably helps? Probably.
I don’t believe that my SD will ever really go away, I’ve had skin problems in one manifestation or another my whole life, but it’s nice to have some control over it at last. So yes, ‘relaxing’ really does work. But I’m still going to go for long nights of hard drinking. Some times are too good to give up.