High on mountain life.

Recently I went on an eight day road trip to Santa Fe, NM and Pagosa Springs, CO. We had a couple stops on the way there and the way back. It was so marvelous to be out on the open road with no real schedule or obligations. No obligations. No responsibility. That was something I really have been indulging on lately not knowing the consequence. 
If you're reading this because you googled topical steroid addiction or withdrawal, just know that too much of ANYTHING is bad. And that moderation isn't a skill we are born with either, it's a practice we must engage in daily. 

After my skin reached a level of healthiness that allowed me to go out in public and not shrivel in pain or embarrassment of a flare; I haven't stopped attaining new goals. I have had new jobs, been attending massage school, finishing up my basics at the local community college and teaching yoga at my favorite studio in Austin. But all that, all the time, every day is a lot. I wasn't giving myself enough time to totally decompress and fill back up.

I was experiencing burn out.
Common condition in our culture that is usually treated with more caffeine, pharmaceutical drugs or quitting/blaming. Lucky for me, I have about two and a half years experience of NOT checking out or quitting and healing the ultimate burn out. 

During the learning process of TSW, I learned how to care for myself. I learned the importance of relaxation for our bodies and minds. I knew it had gotten bad recently when my neck started to flare three days before the trip and I was developing a sore throat with blisters. I was finishing up a research paper for my online history class, organizing my career project for massage school, working extra shifts for money and teaching classes literally the day before I left. In a frenzy packing for the trip, I packed my planner, binder and some textbooks because I was so stuck in the pattern. Work, work, work. Accomplish, accomplish, accomplish. Succeed, succeed, succeed. 
FUCK THAT. Ugh. It took me about two days on the road to truly decompress. It was hard to remember how to calm down on a deep level. But that's what got me through TSW and it's what is going to continue to get me through life. 
We have to let go every now and then. We have to remember how to have fun and be in awe of life and be grateful. I had to stop "looking" around for something fun or relaxing on the trip and just be in wonder by all the beautiful nature and new scenery. When we can respond to life from a state of peacefulness, we realize nothing is as bad as we make it out to be. Our minds create most of our problems and they also even exacerbate our mental or physical problems. We can even begin to realize all the beauty that goes unnoticed when we fall into that pattern of busy-ness.
So driving on the road being on the go ironically reminded me to stop and slow down. 

I needed that vacation of driving far far away from home so I could come home to my body/mind/soul. 

Since my return, I have been reminded daily to >

1. NEVER stop my daily meditation practice.

2. Trust the universe. (this one is hard)

3. Have fun in life. Or perish. 

4. I still want to move to Colorado one day. As of now. 

Until next time warriors :)

 

The flare subsiding on day three in Santa Fe. 

The flare subsiding on day three in Santa Fe. 

Hardest hike of my life to Ice Lakes outside of Silverton, CO.

Hardest hike of my life to Ice Lakes outside of Silverton, CO.

Boyfriend. Me. Cousin/Best Friend. Her Fiancé. <3

Boyfriend. Me. Cousin/Best Friend. Her Fiancé. <3

Relatively easy hike to Treasure Falls outside Pagosa Springs. 

Relatively easy hike to Treasure Falls outside Pagosa Springs. 

We don't require any fixing.

This journey is especially hard when we feel stuck and hopeless. All the creams, diets, and supplements don't do what we want. They don't "fix" it.
But what if what we needed wasn't fixing? What if all we had to do was just sit with ourselves, take good care of ourselves and love ourselves exactly where we are right now? It sounds easier than it is, sure. 

But I remember getting lost in each flare up and what caused this one and what new trick was going to hurry up and get rid of it. All the while life was still passing me by, hard as shit sometimes and I was fighting this skin disease. No, it had me in a choke hold actually and I wouldn't tap. 
You are fine just the way you are right now. The universe led you down this dark, bumpy path to show you something indestructible within. 

I want to apologize to anyone that has sent me emails in the past 6-7 months. It was being sent to an email I no longer check but I recently changed it so my blog sends the emails to my current address. I still want to connect with people and answer any questions and soothe any anxieties the best I can. I still go through mini flares on my arms and neck and low and behold, the rituals I count on clearing it up is cleaning up my diet and DECREASING MY STRESS. Epsom baths, meditating, quality time with loved ones, colorful food and lots of water. We are not on this path alone. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. 

I will post pictures soon. I cut all my hair off so it can grow back healthy so the next set of pictures will debut my pixie cut :) 

After I began to prostrate.

Day 60-something of Kirtan Kriya and a week into a new meditation with my cousin. Here I sit in a coffee shop in a TANK top with no sweater and no pain. My skin isn't perfect but it's pain free and gaining softness again. The angry swollen red phase has passed for now.

Praying became essential. 
I had exhausted all avenues. I amped up the healthy food and juices, stocked up again in the good vitamins, made time to take savasana naps in the middle of my day, drank LOTS of water and then I finally fell to my knees and just prayed to God. I prayed to grant me the serenity of the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I could and the wisdom to know the difference. I cried and prayed every morning and every night. I sang chants in the car and sang chants while making breakfast. I prayed during yoga, during epsom baths, when I taught yoga, after studying, anytime I had a second I prayed. It began to feel good. I began to feel good, better. 

Just like last time I experienced healing, it happens so quickly I don't even notice at first. I become to busy taking care of my self that all of a sudden I have more time to take better care of myself because I don't spend all of it curled up in pain and fear. 

Two kinds of prostration, I have practiced both. Both have made me stronger and more resilient. 

I promise to continue to pray for myself and all beings. Especially all you warriors out there reading this. 
You are so strong for going through this, I bow to each and every one of you <3

Prostrate- 

 

verb

  1. 1.

    lay oneself flat on the ground face downward, especially in reverence or submission.

    "she prostrated herself on the bare floor of the church"

    synonyms:throw oneself flat/down, lie down, stretch oneself out; 
    throw oneself (at someone's feet)
    "he prostrated himself on the altar mat"
  2. 2.
    (of distress, exhaustion, or illness) reduce (someone) to extreme physical weakness.
    "she was prostrated by a migraine that she could scarcely get up the stairs"

I will post more soon, I need to study! 

Yin/ Yang

I have been off balanced lately. I haven't introduced enough Sukha into my life lately. Sweetness. 

Only effort and pushing myself. Going going going, FLARE. I have done almost everything in my power to heal except rest. Taken all right herbs and vitamins, drinking enough water, not drinking anymore alcohol, all of it. Except just chillin'. Shit. 

I deemed today my official day off in over a month and it feels super good. Slept most of my day so far and I will be honest and say I TRIED to go study somewhere and then attend teacher training but the skin persisted I stay. My cheeks and neck are tight and dry and swollen. My arms are tender and raw thanks to my insomnia other half who tears away at any healing my body achieves. My mind and spirit are exhausted but grateful for the rest. I need more of this. 

Monday at work I had an anxiety attack that really scared me. It also scared the pride right out of me. Like an untamed parakeet desperately trying to get out while hitting all the windows and finally finding that exit. Who am I trying to impress now? Pride will NOT help me in this journey. The ego has a time and a place and I'm not ready for it yet. Right now I need my soul to heal so my skin follow. 

I scheduled my first appointment for therapy next week. Reaching out for help has already made me feel stronger. 

lazy dayzz

lazy dayzz

My wooby

I realized the past two years, my "wooby" or safety blanket is shutting down and hiding out. I am sick of facing people when I look so insane. I fear that people are disgusted, that they think this is something I have had my whole life and will continue to have, or that maybe they even think it's contagious. Writing that out I realized that I obviously care too much what people think anyways. Another reason I hide out is because when I am around my friends, I don't want people to feel super sorry for me because I will just cry and act like a baby. I would love to just get hugs and be told everything is going to be alright; but some part of me won't let that open up. Like I wont be strong if I do that. 

What I think about this whole ordeal is that it's absolutely the hardest thing I have ever been through and sometimes I want to give up. I am in pain most of my day and completing tasks and working and trying to enjoy life only induce more pain. How am I not depressed yet or addicted to painkillers? I dont even like taking ibuprofen in fear of adding another chemical to my body. I feel like I am going crazy but my body and mind have just adjusted to this sickness. Waking up flaky and tight every day, talking to people when I feel a pulsing throbbing in my face and neck, wearing long sleeves in a Texas summer. This is my life right now and there is nothing I can do to change the situation that I am in except my perspective. 

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Looks better than it feels.

The past recent flares have been absolutely utterly excruciating. Of course they have been happening during extremely busy times of my life; road trip with boyfriend, busy work day at the cafe, yoga class to teach; it never fails. 

I was thinking that this HAS to make us stronger to continually endure pain so often and so intensely. Showers make me grimace and cry, turning my head causes a sharp needle like nerve reaction down my neck and back, stretching my arm out tears the skin so I shrug my shoulders all day to compensate. Taking big bites of food hurts and the skin is so tight it pulls down on my eyelids when I yawn. 

Yet with all that pain, it doesn't look as bad as it used to. But feels the fucking same. 

red spot on cheek that flakes and scabs continuously over and over again. 

red spot on cheek that flakes and scabs continuously over and over again. 

PS> I cut all my hair off due to the large amounts I was losing...

PS> I cut all my hair off due to the large amounts I was losing...

flare during roadtrip

flare during roadtrip

The second flare on my road trip was probably one of the top three most painful experiences in my life. I questioned everything, if this was really TSW or I had some terrible disease, if it was because I had enjoyed recreational marijuana in Colorado and I need to change my life around, and then I finally wondered if for some reason I deserved this misery. Shit got real that night in the bathtub for me. My mind was spinning out of control and my face, neck and arms had a throbbing pulse to them that shot painful needles  to the area and surrounding area every time I moved or took a deep breath.  

The second flare was this morning before working at the cafe on Labor Day. I wanted nothing more but to crawl back in bed and sleep it off until the afternoon where I would then sink into a bath. But instead I worked one of the busiest days I've worked there and consequently the longest.

I am about 26 months in; a little over two years. SO much has changed yet I also feel like nothing has since the first flare. 

Dear Universe, 

   I have genuinely had enough, I want my normal life back where showers didn't feel like battery acid. 

Sincerely, 

Little Red Sol SIster 

Flake city.

Right now I can barely keep my hands off my skin to write this blog entry. My face feels swollen and tight and  am trapped inside this flakey body. 
My arms are horrible and despite the 104 degree weather outside, I walk out of my house everyday with a long sleeve shirt on. 
To look up cracks my skin open. To take a big bite, to smile, to turn around, all of it feels uncomfortable. 

I have been trying to make plans to make it to more yoga classes, but I just cant. Everything is so fucking hard and this flare is draining me. I feel wiped out in my body and the more stuff I try to fill my plate with; yoga classes, running, cleaning the house even doing my laundry is a task that I want to ask help with. 

It's spread to my nipples, my underarms, my scalp, and even a spot on my fucking hands. 

I am finding it very hard right now to be angry and frustrated. For about a decade, I was using steroids, getting shots and not one doctor told me the risks. 

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There are flakes everywhere, I want to clean all the time but instead I just end up resting in my bed. I want to go outside and tan and run and take yoga classes any chance I get, but again I just usually end up resting in my bed. 
I am tired. I am losing hope after two years when I think about how much longer I have to possibly endure this? I also am sorry if anyone following my blog who was looking for hope and inspiration didn't find it today. I am overwhelmed with my responsibilities currently and I want help or a break.  

Meditation and being uncomfortable

I started meditating again.  (Seriously, I don't know why the heck I ever stop...) 
But this time, just 10 minutes of silence and stillness once a day., no chanting yet. Thoughts come and go and the itch comes and sometimes goes, but I stay on the pillow and with my breath the whole time. It's annoying and hard and to be honest I am not doing it to become a better "meditator" but I am doing it to be better at life. 

When I went running earlier and the skin started to burn and itch, I was able to witness it first before my instinct immediately forced me to scratch. Instead I started a cooling breath work and began to walk until the sensation subsided. Which it did :)

I know the idea of sitting still in meditation sounds like torture to anyone going through this but what else are you going to do with your time? Sad to say but I know most of you (just like I was) are probably sitting at home hibernating away from the world and binging on Netflix and TSW blogs. Give yourself 10 minutes of working on yourself; you won't regret it. 

Aside from that I have noticed improvements again once I started taking more probiotics and water. Which I know I have said numerous times in my blog! I also wrap my arms with stretchy cotton ace bandages right when I get home and it prevents a lot of swelling and itching. 

I wish you the best warriors and I will post pictures soon; no significant improvement just yet that's worth posting.  

-sol sister 

universe pulls the rug once again

"There is something tender and throbbing about groundlessness. It's a kind of testing, the kind of testing that spiritual warriors need in order to awaken their hearts." -Pema Chodron

I am learning to stay with the shakiness, the trembling pain in the shower, the itchy skin in yoga class, the feeling of hopelessness and wanting revenge on all doctors. To me, staying with those moments has become a path of awakening. The path of the warrior is hard, it's not supposed to be easy. Ever. Even when this completely heals, life won't all of a sudden be easy. I will still come across feelings like disappointment, fear, irritation, embarrassment and those feelings and moments will show me where I am holding back. These moments are our greatest teachers.

On a similar note; I have started a new job recently and am encountering tons of people daily. Not necessarily ideal for my situation, but at this point it's good to do things that scare me. I'm still Lisa and people can choose to see that or TSW. My co-workers for the most part are awesome and inspiring and I enjoy working with them. When someone can sit with me and not try to change me or fix me but instead just accept the situation like I am trying to do every painful moment of my day then it makes it easier for me to stay open hearted. Lately I have noticed how much I want to close up or snap back at people who offer their "help" of what I should do for my skin or how their cousin uses this coffee scrub and it's helped a lot of people with eczema and yaddah yaddah yaddah. It think my skin bothers those people, it's uncomfortable for them to just carry on a conversation that doesn't involve my skin or how they could help. It's uncomfortable to not look at it and feel bad.
    I don't want anyone to fix me; not even a doctor. I want loving supportive people in my life who are able to hold space for me to experience this for what it is. Hugs, silence, jokes, back rubs, acceptance, surprise smoothies; things like that are what heals me. Love heals.

Loving myself too. I forget about that the busier I fill my schedule. Baths are a self compassion act for me to be able to sit for 40 minutes repeating loving affirmations and listening to relaxing music; to take time for myself is meaningful and healing.  

 

 

 

notorious snowing....

notorious snowing....

after bath

after bath

It's what is on the inside that matters

I have been blessed with someone in my life recently that's truly motivated me in a healthy way to let my skin be. Let it heal and stop hurting myself out of frustration or disappointment that it isn't healing as fast as it can be.

I have realized it's a touch of OCD when I feel my neck and feel the roughness, I would rather touch raw oozy smoothness than the rough uneven scab. My eyes have been red and puffy lately as well along with dryness and redness on my cheek. I can feel it in my eyes when I blink or look up, it's uncomfortable to be seen again. It's not really surprising how crazy you begin to feel going through this, especially twice now. So many little things about it bother you and on hard days, it really weighs you down. Makes you feel heavy and alone in your experience because no one around you truly understands how it feels to go through this and you get tired of complaining and I know that for me I get tired of looking so weak.

You know what would be awesome? If I held a yin yoga retreat designed for people with TSW. It would include vegan food, awesome juices every day, relaxing yin yoga and then just venting time for all of us to bitch, cry and laugh together. Comment below if you like that idea :)

I start a new job tomorrow and have a yoga class audition. Never in my life would I have thought I would be going through with it while I look red and puffy. But I know I am going to be great at my new job and rock the audition so once my boyfriend reminded me that it's what is on the inside that matters I have taken that and ran with it for my busy week ahead of me.

It's what is on the inside that matters.

So love yourself, tell yourself sweet things, eat healthy nutritious food, drink lots of water and take deep cleansing breaths as often as you can.

Much love and light!

-sol sister

I am patient.

The water fast was a bust. I love food and wasn't ready to embark on that scarce journey. It needs to be planned better and possibly not during a time where I am super busy.

Regardless, not eating for about 18 hours and drinking a lot of water did clear up some of my skin.

I can now smile without pain or tearing of the skin on my cheeks. The area on my neck is still sensitive but it's not growing in size anymore which is a huge relief. I think I am going to try to plan for a monthly water fast every full moon. I will prepare by beginning and ending with a liquid fast before and after; juices, soups, broths and smoothies. It gives your digestive system a nice break and restarts the body. Or at least that's how I felt.

New affirmation of the moment. "I am patient." Life is about this journey right? We aren't trying to hurry up and die right away. So if this is our journey (tsw) then let's take what we can from it. Let's experience every bit of it, don't check out. Don't medicate to numb out completely. Hardships make us stronger and I thought I beat this once and came out lighter and brighter but apparently the universe had bigger plans. Now I am single and busy creating my career and community and I can not check out. It's harder this time, I'm in it for the long haul and everyone sees me this time. I refuse to hide out and fog my head to forget about how much it sucks. It does suck and it's painful and embarrassing and annoying to constantly explain over and over again. But I am growing modest about external attributes about myself and even others and I am spreading the word of the dangers of steroids. Let's not continue to suppress the issue like the doctors have done for years to us, let's feel it to heal it.

All at once

"Just don't stress out." says my Mom. Deep breath in Lisa, deep breath out. Sarcasm is a go to for those responses, I just can't help it. Some people get truly offended by my sarcasm, this one guy thought I was too passive aggressive. Get over yourself. I'm not a mean person, my sense of humor just rings in with the truth and the truth hurts.

Anyways, this flare is putting a HUGE damper on life currently. It's one thing to go through this one time but it's an entire different monster to heal and get a taste of life again just to have it return with a vengeance. I have two jobs and I am unsure about what to do when my lease is up two months. All of that becomes ten times more stressful when your skin looks like a burn victim.

So what insightful lesson do I have to insert now?

I don't. I'm all out of wisdom today. I feel exhausted, drained and like I need to refocus. Just want to spend an entire day alone in silence meditating, sleeping, journaling. No one is going to help me get out of this hole but myself. I am in charge of my feelings and my health. I finished all my paperwork here at the office and I am going to go home until I teach tonight at 6:30 and just REST.

I have decided to fast for 24 hours. I had a pear and some pumpkin seeds for breakfast this morning and I am not going to eat anything until tomorrow morning. I have read that doing fasts significantly helps with your skin and overall health.  Going to be drinking a ton of water and peppermint tea.

I'll be back tomorrow afternoon with more pictures and an update. And maybe some food for thought too ;)

-sol sister

 

 

"A watched pot never boils"

Checking your skin in the mirror every second doesn't help it heal faster. It just reminds your mind how crazy your skin still looks. Which then in turn probably stresses you out a little bit, consequently making it ...itch maybe?

Drop the mirror, stop getting up to go look at it. It's still there. I'm sorry it's still there. It was gone for almost 10 months with me and it came back. It still looks the same on my neck, has the same patterns throughout the day and low and behold when I look at it in the mirror I am much more likely to scratch it to pieces sooner.  

I started an Ayurvedic cleanse; taking the herb mixture Triphala two times a day for 30 days. I know cleanses can exacerbate rashes or make sick like symptoms worsen so I figured now is it a great time to start.

Triphala protects the body organs such as the eyes, heart, and the skin. It is well-known for cleansing the body so that the energy present is channeled to all the organs. It helps the absorption of nutrients, it's packed with anti-oxidants, it cleanses and supports all three doshas. (Ayurvedic body types)

I am on day three and will keep you updated if any drastic change happens. Otherwise until then I am trying to read more, blog and journal more often, write yoga sequences, hula hoop, learning to play the banjo ukulele, basically anything to keep my little fingers busy and not scratching my skin. Plus lately I am on this creative kick, trying to hone in to my creativity.

Affirmations for the day;

I AM RESILIENT. I AM HEALTHY. I AM VIBRANT. I AM BEAUTIFUL.

I AM CREATIVE. I AM CALM.

Pay attention to habits.

The ooze is back with a vengeance. I can't remember what if anything specifically caused the ooze or if it was just another sign of deep detoxing.

It is starting to depress me again. I am paying attention to myself even more than last time and I catch myself wanting to dig a deep hole and hide out. But I can't this time, I'm not living with my boyfriend and just working at this office where no one sees me. I am teaching yoga at two places (in May) and making it an intention to create a tribe of friends that motivate, inspire and support me. I will not hide out. Perhaps the reason most people don't know about TSW is because you're so prone to hide out with this condition. Which is completely understandable, the hardest part when you get the weird stares is that no one knows what the hell it is. Furthermore, explaining it to people isn't any easier. They just want to fix the problem and tell you when their brother's roommates girlfriend did for her skin. NO ONE is the same. But I'll tell you what will still stay the same, my cessation of topical steroids. So I don't really care for anyone's advice. That's not rude to feel that way either, I've given myself permission to dismiss other's opinions about my skin journey. It gets to be too much to keep up with. 

My skin. My pain. My choice. My healing process. 
 

resilience

resilience-  1. the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens 2. the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress

I am resilient.

 

It will never cease to amaze me the resilience in human nature. We don't always recognize it in ourselves or each other but the potential is there. If you are currently going through TSW then please don't ever forget how strong you are. The fact you even made the choice to embark on this journey says so much about you.

 

 

 

It may not look like it on the outside yet, but I am familiar with this tedious process and I already feel the healing happening. The heat on the inside is gone and the itch has even subsided . It heals from the inside out, just like most healing processes. I will say though that I woke up around 3:50 last night itchy and irritated. On the Traditional Chinese Medicine clock for our organs 3-5AM is the time of the lungs which is closely correlated with skin. So this morning I did 5 minutes of sheetali breathing after my meditation. Sheetali breathing is a cooling pranayama where you roll your tongue and breath through your mouth slowly and exhale through your nose. Sheetali breathing cools the body, adds moisture to the system, and, in the practice of Ayurveda, soothes a pitta imbalance or excess heat in the body.

As for my diet, I am drinking two green juices a day, mostly soups and lots of cooked veggies and tons of herbal tea and water. I am giving my digestive system a break and allowing my body to focus on the inflammation and healing the scab on my neck.

I am still going to teach my yoga class tonight and I am going to teach on the resilience of human nature. At first, I thought "Man, I should probably wear my hear down to hide my skin... but what kind of example is that? I preach about staying vulnerable and authentic and that that's where the magic happens and then I'm planning to hide my fire I'm trying to put out? No. Tonight, I wear my hair like Rey off Star Wars."

Stay resilient skin warriors.

Six days before flare.

Six days before flare.

 

 

 

 

walk humbly

On Monday I decided to clean up my diet, practice even more yoga and start a healing meditation. Then what happens Saturday? Boom. A fuckin flare. An oozy, hurt to stretch your neck, embarrassing red splotchy flare on my neck and cheek. It's weird too because despite the fact I was following a clean diet all week there was something in my gut that felt off. I could feel it coming, something coming. There would be moments in my silent meditation where the breath would get stuck and then I was flooded with this portentous feeling of something to come that I couldn't put my finger on. I think that since I have cleaned up my lifestyle, my intuition has grown stronger but I forget and even become resistant to spending the time to check in. 

But, if you have gathered anything from this experience or maybe just my blog then understand this; topical steroid withdrawal has no rhyme or reason 99% of the time. You just have to get through it. In July will be two years since I started the cessation of all corticosteroids and while I can still say I am extremely grateful for how far I've come I will also say it never ceases to surprise me or humble me. 

Murphy's Law- my neck starts oozing at opportune time when I am on a date.

Murphy's Law- my neck starts oozing at opportune time when I am on a date.

At least I slept great and it's not killing me this very second. I look back at blogs I wrote and can remember certain sentences where I would take a break to scream, cry or scratch my skin till the itch went away (it never went away). 

So writing this blog entry while waiting on my friend to get here so can go out and get lunch is huge right? The only thing constant is change itself. 

I'm back on "mend mode" and slept in today because sleep in when your body repairs itself the most, I took a 30 minute epsom soak followed by cool shower, I took cod liver oil, primrose oil, multi vitamin and probiotic with my smoothie. I am going to drink a lot of water today, definitely no alcohol and no sugar. I will follow up in a few days with an update on this random flare. 

Requested update.

I have received a few requests to do another update with my 95% healed skin. It was at just the right time too because I had recently started to flare up again due to eating habits and indulging in one too many libations. I am taking a three week break from alcohol (until Halloween, it's been a week thus far) and I have already noticed a difference in my mood, my bags under my eyes and the redness of my skin.
 

So the pictures above are before my 40 minute very warm (not hot) Dead Sea Salt bath. Since a lot of what's left is on my neck and face I lay down in the bath with my stomach down so I can keep my face and cheeks in the water. After any sea salt or Epsom salt bath, I always rinse off with cold water. I didn't used to do that until I noticed a difference that it would aggravate my skin to not rinse off, it made it itch more.

There isn't too much of a drastic difference but the itch has gone down and the flakiness and redness have gone down too. I'm also still taking 1500 mg of primrose oil daily along with a probiotic and turmeric. The primrose oil helps with inflammation, improves your skin and hair health overall. It can also help with PMS symptoms. I still take a turmeric supplement daily to help with the pain, the inflammation and my joints for my yoga practice. The probiotic is the one where I noticed the biggest difference in my overall health. I think I just have a very sensitive digestive system and gut and probiotics help balance that out which in turn helps my skin as well.

Also, I know I have said this before but sometimes I even need to be reminded of it....DRINK MORE WATER!!
My skin literally almost glows when I drink enough water (2 liters a day). I bought a Nalgene liter reusable water bottle and make sure I drink at least two a day and some type of herbal tea; green tea, peppermint (my favorite), sleepytime, chamomile, dandelion root or yogi tea. are all teas that never aggravated my skin while it was at it's worst.

I am excited for cold weather coming up because when my skin used to get really hot, I would take a bath and then go stand outside in the cold and it felt so so good on my skin. Interested to see if that is still the same now that I'm better. Regardless, it could possibly still help one of yall who get super hot or extra itchy after the bath. The cold weather helps calm it down.

So that's it for my update. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me. I am considering doing a vlog update one of these days but don't know how useful that would be to all ya'll considering my skin is basically healed. Let me know though if you're interested!

Happy healing :)

Flashbacks.

Occasionally I have these vivid almost painful flashbacks of my skin and the pain and restriction I once felt. It usually happens right when I wake up or when I am walking to the bathroom because I would always go look at how bad I just scratched or stretched it out.

BUT, it is short lived because once I do wake up and realize I'm not in pain or I look in the mirror and see my glowing skin (not being vain, but you have to understand) I am immediately grateful once again because I made it. I healed my skin without one doctor trip (not including acupuncture from my cousin).

I constantly said in my blog I would feel stronger and more confident and that is completely true. I feel as if I have blossomed. I feel prettier on the inside and out.

If you're going through TSW and you're currently hibernating in your house because you avoid public at all costs and your arms or neck is wrapped up or maybe you're about to take an Epsom salt bath, use this time wisely to fall in love with yourself. Flaws and all, or flakes and all :) Life moves so fast, I don't have much time for baths or facial steams anymore. I'm enrolled in an online six week business course, I constantly make plans with friends, I am addicted to working out and creating new yoga sequences, I spoil myself often with pedicures and manicures and I fall asleep early any chance I get. During my TSW journey, time slowed down. I was forced to endure every single feeling and thought. I was the most present I have ever been in my life, even if I tried not to be. You are constantly present in your body because it literally hurts the whole time. Try and learn something from this, anything. Try and fall in love with yourself. Try and be as healthy as you possibly can.

I won't lie because it's blatantly obvious this wasn't easy, so yeah it was the hardest most painful thing I have ever been through and looking back at the pictures now it makes me cringe. It's starting to become just one big blur until I read past posts from my blog and remember that one day or that one flare. If you don't have a blog, I suggest you journal and get your thoughts out. Remember this time and grow from it. You get stronger every day even though it may not feel like it. You heal a little bit every day even though it probably doesn't look like it. It will be over. It will end. YOU WILL HEAL. Have faith and treat yourself good because you're all that you've got right now.

My friend Brennan and I at the Greenbelt in Austin. I was in the sun all day, applied sunscreen, drank some beer and swam in the fresh cold water!

My friend Brennan and I at the Greenbelt in Austin. I was in the sun all day, applied sunscreen, drank some beer and swam in the fresh cold water!

Then we proceeded to build rock towers.

Then we proceeded to build rock towers.

 

 

99% healed.

I remember thinking this day would never come. I remember being scared that this would last up to three or five years maybe or maybe I would have to cave and use steroids again.
EHHHHH. Wrong!
I'm healed bitches! I'm healed and it feels so fucking amazing.

Road trip to last weekend of training (May 8th) Two days from my 10 month anniversary

Road trip to last weekend of training (May 8th) Two days from my 10 month anniversary

Eeyore's Birthday Festival (April 21st)

Eeyore's Birthday Festival (April 21st)

As you can tell from my pictures, my skin is clear, producing oil and even glowing :)
The last part to heal is a very small spot on my forehead and the middle of my neck has a small spot too, they rarely itch and they get noticeably better every day.
It just all of a sudden healed so quickly, I didn't have time to even blog or think about it. I just immediately started living my life again. Seeing friends, working out, going to festivals, taking a huge road trip to Santa Fe and then Los Angeles. Basically making up for lost time.

I still take an Epsom salt bath once a week, I take a multi vitamin for women and a pro-biotic with almost every meal (I take a break from it on the weekends), I don't eat dairy and try to stay away from gluten as much as possible. (Sometimes I cheat) But my entire life is not revolved around my skin or the pain anymore.

I start school in the summer semester and I'm really excited to get the ball rolling for my future.

I will try to keep this blog updated as much as possible and if anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer them and help you out.

Stay strong & happy healing!
 

 

Things I underestimated.

So I would say I am 95% healed and I feel 100% better. I feel lighter, happier and BEAUTIFUL. I used to have confidence issues and be shy and think I wasn't that pretty. It was really annoying to feel that way too. But FUCK THAT now! I feel phenomenal. If I can get through that and complete a Kundalini Yoga Training then I can do anything I set my mind to.
But before I stray off topic, let me get back to the reason I decided to write this specific blog entry.

There were some things I definitely underestimated.

For example, sleeping naked. How liberating to just take a shower (which doesn't burn and sting and make my cry now) dry off, brush my teeth and then slip into bed and fall asleep quickly.

Secondly, I think star gazing in general is underrated. But now that my skin allows it, I love looking up at the stars at night. I have an app that you can discover what constellations you are looking at by pointing you camera at it. It's engrossing to spend my night outside staring at the stars and the moon.

Dancing. Sounds obvious but when's the last time you danced when you were going through TSW? It feels so good to just feel the rhythm and be present in your own body and NOT BE IN PAIN doing it. Being in public and dancing is even better too. And dancing with someone in public is about as good as it gets.

Which leads me to my last thing I have completely underestimated and almost even took for granted. Being in public and being around people and just hanging out with friends. We are social creatures and we thrive on interaction. Laughing with someone until your stomach hurts is absolutely priceless. Meeting new people is always an adventure. Even just running at Town Lake again with my dog and people watching is intoxicating to me. Being in the city I love again and being a part of it and feeling healthier every single day will never ever get old again.

I am so utterly happy right now it's almost stupid.

I promise that when things get better after your TSW journey, your life will be amazing. The grass looks greener, flowers look brighter, smiling feels better than it ever has and the possibilities of what you can do now seem endless.

There is no doubt in my mind that this was a blessing in disguise and it has taught me so much.
I want to be there for anyone else going through this, so if you have any questions comments or just want to chat, please feel free to comment below or email me :) ltirion@yahoo.com

I will post pictures this weekend!