Now that I’m relatively fine, I thought about what was the worst issue/issue/problem of my TSW experience.
Was it the pain? Pain was a big factor that was omnipresent during every waking moment of TSW, but it was not the worse because somehow, it can be managed physically and psychologically. The body naturally avoids pain, and the mind is somewhat able to numb down pain to the point that I actually embrace them.
Was it the confidence issues that came from my bad skin? Decreased self-esteem and reduced public confidence is part and parcel of everyone’s TSW journey. What I do know is that confidence comes and goes easily. I knew it was a temporary problem because I know the person I was pre-TSW was different from the person I am during TSW.
Was it the debilitation? The inability to do stuff and move about, together with not wanting to do stuff and move about was definitely a significant problem. Yet, this was less of a physical issue but more of a mental issue. You can always choose to do things and move about, at the expense of some pain and discomfort. So its a matter of choice, and through my TSW, I had chose and tried to do things instead of just being debilitated.
So what was the worse problem?
Personally, it was the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. It was the idea that says “This is it for you, Leslie, you are going to have such terrible skin for life”. You will get such thoughts when you go through days and weeks and months without any progress on your skin, enduring constant pain in the process, and not knowing what to do or what to expect. Everything you tried did not produce any positive results. It was the thought that you will be so debilitated and useless for the rest of your life, and hence your life-experiences will be “capped”, your potential limited.
I could deal with the pain, the reduced self-confidence, and the debilitation. I could not deal seeing myself as a finished article.
Things changed only when I knew I was on a right path by stopping topical steroids, when I have seen people recovering while sharing the same symptoms as mine. That alone shifted my perspective – from hopelessness to hopeful. And such a mindset snowballed into me taking actionable steps to recover and got me thinking critically on topical steroid addiction.
To current TSW sufferers who feel the same way as I did, don’t give up. Stay positive.
Don’t be a passive TSW sufferer. Take actions, be active, and hopefully the good things that happened to me will happen to you as well.