Being inside my own body was like being in prison. Yes, for 5 years I compared it to a prison. I have never been in prison however I just felt chained to the feelings of self hatred. A self inflicted hatred. I couldn’t scratch hard enough, long enough or deep enough and when I was done scratching very hard and my hands were red with blood and my finger nails dirty with skin then I would have feelings of great depression and sadness. I spoke badly to myself, I would say things like “you are weak” “I can’t stand you” “can’t you get ahold of yourself already?!” I saw several kinds of doctors, homeopathic, eastern, western, dermatologist, I tried acupuncture, I tried special diets, I did juice cleanses and maybe they would start to get better but it was always very short lived. And my last post I explain how I finally accepted the truth. I struggle with anxiety and OCD. Nearly every doctor I have seen in the past 5 years, including a psychologist said I had anxiety and OCD issues. I didn’t want to believe that for a second. I have a big powerful God and he’s got this. And I don’t need medication or psychotherapy. I just need to not eat so much sugar, lose some weight, maybe wash my clothes in detergent that is scent free. But to address my weakness. No.
When I saw the new dermatologist 7 days ago he said what everyone else says, “they say that’s eczema huh?” “well, I’m not completely convinced that’s eczema, you have something on your legs but I’m going to bet it’s not eczema” He asked a lot of questions and quite honestly I had to hold back tears, it was like at any moment I was about to erupt. He told me he believed I suffered from anxiety and OCD… hum, like I haven’t heard that before. He called my skin condition Lichen Simplex. (common in people with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder) it didn’t mean something wasn’t causing my legs to itch, but the way I attacked them so much and so aggressively, this was a different story.
I thought I had this. You know. I was balancing things okay. I still found happiness in my days, calling cards from God. I found the goodness in each day and focused on gratitude. But this was not enough. I prayed, I read His word, but I wasn’t willing to admit I had this weakness. I didn’t want to believe I was actually doing this to myself. That I could be responsible for such destruction and at the same time could be responsible for quitting this terrible addiction.
I’m a really easy going person. I’m a quiet person. I’m a pleaser. These things come with consequences. I hold my feelings deep inside. I don’t stand up for myself. I allow people to treat me a certain way. They know it and I let them get away with it. This is where I own up to how I’m responsible for my actions of allowing myself to be treated the way I’ve been treated in the past. Like a doormat. Like my feelings didn’t matter, that everyone else’s feelings were more important than mine, I never want to hurt feelings, I don’t want to upset people. I want everyone to like me. Guess what? Not everyone is going to like me. It’s just the way it is.
Everything happened at once sort of. I began to see a life coach, I thought I had a goal to work on a certain relationship that I have struggled with for many years. I made goals to make that relationship better. Then it took a hard turn. A bomb was dropped so to speak and then everything changed. The life coach would ask me hard direct questions. Like “How is Tracie going to show up for this? And "how is Tracie going to be able to be her authentic self and still show up for this?” So I made a hard decision and I stood up for what I believed to be right. For the first time in many, many years I stood up for myself and my family. And it felt right. It felt liberating. And sometimes standing up for yourself could mean you lose friends. But is that the kind of friend I wanted in the first place? It’s not been super easy but I feel like I finally stood up to the giant. And the giant didn’t like it one bit, the giant didn’t have control over me any longer so the giant decided to completely cut me out of it’s life.
And now 7 days in I have no more scabs. I don’t scratch when I drive my car, or sit at my desk or watch t.v. at night. I have not woke in the middle of the night to scratch and pick. I don’t scratch my legs to a bloody pulp before I take a shower. There is no more blood in my sheets, there is not more skin and scabs all over my floor boards of my car or under the desk that I sit. I know this sounds completely disgusting but this is my reality. My reality for the past 5 years. My prison.
I can’t wait to show you what my legs are like in a another 7 days. I can’t wait to wear a dress that hits my knees. Dr. Phil is so right. “you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge” I’m healing so very quickly too, it feels unreal but it also feels so freeing and I can take deep breathes and smile and be proud of myself. And I’m speaking much more kindly to myself these days.
There is always hope. Remember that. Because 5 years when we have a lifetime is just a tiny bump in the road. God is still faithful and God has always been there. I needed to take this journey. There was a reason. I'm stronger for it now. I believe this.
And you know what really really helps? Friends and family that are supportive. The ones who build me up and cheer me on. Not the ones to make me feel less than…or rather the ones I let make me feel less than.