It started with a small spot here and there; a little break out I assumed. I awoke the following morning with multiple spots and some swelling on my face; now I was both concerned and confused! Was I allergic to something I’d put on my skin? Had I eaten something that could have caused this reaction? I was feeling my anxiety rise; what is happening to my face?
After 3 days of managing this on my own I did the unthinkable! Yes! I looked up all the possibilities on the Internet! Believe me, the information that bombarded my brain caused me to become anxious and overwhelmed! I don’t recommend this route to anyone. Ended up going to my dermatologist and found out I have Rosacea (who knew) and this was a Rosacea breakout caused by something unknown. I got some medicine that caused it to begin to heal within hours!
Though this was a total nuisance; both irritating and frustrating, it did reveal something about me and gave me a chance to grow.
While my face was highly imperfect I didn’t go out of the house, not even to go get the mail a block away. I didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day at a Brunch with my sisters or attend church on Mother’s Day. I was not going to be seen out and about looking this way!
While home I had time to think about my situation and also the situations of others. Earlier this year I was involved in an amazing retreat where the majority of attenders were women involved in chemo treatments or Cancer survivors. These beautiful women had hair in various stages: short cut hair, thinning hair, and some with no hair at all due to the chemo treatments. These lovely women hadn’t let how they felt “looked” keep them from enjoying their life or an opportunity to connect with other courageous women.
I was challenged by the feeling I had inside that told me “if I didn’t look perfect then I’d better hide away at home!” Every time I looked in the mirror I was convinced that I looked horrible; this certainly took a hit on my self-esteem.
Isn’t it so much easier to put on our happy face when entering social settings when we feel we measure up? Isn’t it more freeing to connect with others when we are at the top of our game; at out best? Sure it is! I had a very evident rash on my face that anyone passing by would have easily seen and probably acknowledged with a “ohhh, what happened?” Ugh! I didn’t want anyone to know! Isn’t it true that, in reality, sometimes we’ve got a “rash” on our soul that effects us the same way? Maybe it’s a hurt, a habit, or an experience that has left us feeling “imperfect. Due to this “rash” we isolate ourselves saying that “when it goes away” I will re-engage with those I love.
After 6 days home alone (with the exception of my very kind and patient husband) it felt so right to exercise again, walk outside, visit with friends and family; my cup felt full again. Every person I shared my experience with said “I wouldn’t have cared about an old rash; I care about you!”
Got a “rash” holding you back?
Reach out, re-enter and re-engage; isolation doesn’t make it heal any faster!