To those who were thrown into this crazy world we call eczema:
Life with the disease can seem daunting not knowing how tomorrow will treat you. As any sickness goes, it usually doesn’t treat you well. It leaves much to be desired, much to be wished for.
It’s okay to feel this way. How can you not think of greener pastures? The hurt can feel endless, and a happier tomorrow sometimes seems so out of reach.
Having said that, remember one thing. Not only is a better tomorrow in reach, but it’s coming. Nothing lasts forever, and that includes your pain. There will come a day where things turn around, where light at the end of the tunnel will be visible.
Once you see that light, run towards it. Run towards it with full force. It will only come as fast as you run. I don’t mean run in the literal sense of course, but “run” by the way you live your life with eczema.
Run with the strength to push through the pain. Run with the courage to never stop running. If the light at the end of the tunnel fades, don’t worry. Most of the time it will take more than a couple of tries. But never, ever stop running.
To those friends of people with eczema:
Run alongside them. Nothing feels better than knowing you have allies in that dark tunnel. Try to see the light at the end of the tunnel with them. Run as much as you can.
You don’t have to be the crutch but try to be the best support you can be. If they trip and fall, don’t hesitate to pick them up and dust them off. It’s a lonely feeling, having something that nobody can understand the true extent of. Let them know that the sprint isn’t over, and that you’ll be right there with them.
To those family members of people with eczema:
Continue being the gust of wind behind them. It’s hard to fight the harsh reality that is eczema. You can either be the wind that pushes them to victory or the wind that makes it impossible to run against.
Try to understand the reality of their circumstances given that it’s hard even for them to understand what’s happening. This disease is rough, but you can help smooth the edges.
To those parents and guardians of people with eczema:
Thank you. You are the beacon of hope, holding that tunnel door open. You don’t get enough credit. Sometimes you suffer just as much as the person you care for. Your efforts may not always be fully appreciated until the light at the end of the tunnel has come.
No matter what, keep holding that door open. Everyone may look to you for answers – answers that you are unfairly burdened with trying to answer. Just as your loved one was thrown into this life, so were you.
Not much can prepare you for the worry, disappointment and frustration that eczema gives. All you can do is give even more than the disease throws your way. The tunnel door may sometimes feel unbearable, but always keep it open. You are the reason the light is even visible, and you cannot be thanked enough.
What is this light I speak of? That’s up to you. If you’re someone with eczema, create this light. It won’t just appear out of nowhere. You have to believe that it’s out there.
I know that the tunnel makes even the brightest things seem dark. Gold doesn’t shine in complete darkness. Treat your life like gold. Conjure the brightest light you can ever imagine. The more light, the more the gold will shine. You will soon realize that the gold had the ability to shine all this time. Your life has the ability to shine even with eczema. Life is not eczema, and nor should it ever be.
Thank you to everyone, especially my parents, who have helped me run towards the light at the end of my tunnel. My gold has finally started to shine.
Bailey Losa is a 20-year-old eczema warrior living in Miami, Florida, who has been dealing with eczema “practically my entire life.”
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