A Little Lost in the Woods || Raw Session at Duluth Boudoir Photography

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What single word do you most identify with?

Over Coming …

She is gone, but she used to be mine

As most of you know, if not you can find out here, I suffer from Atopic Dermatitis, Sebbhoric Eczema, Dishydrotic Eczema, and Icthyosis. Because of these, autoimmunie diseases run rampant through my body (like so many….).

The only way to combat these have been with topical steroids. Topical, meaning applying directly onto the skin, not ingesting. I’ve been on these steroids since I was five. And trust me when I say I’ve seen the side effects.

The side effects I noticed early on were the discoloration of my hands and feet. Where my wrists and my ankles ended, I could see “freckles”. To be honest, I initially loved these. Who doesn’t love freckles?! I’ve never given them much thought though because quickly my attention turned to the stretch marks growing inside my thighs. And they kept growing and kept growing and they kept growing until they covered almost the entirety of the inside of my legs. They covered the tops of my thighs, my breasts, the inside of my elbows. Lately, covering the inside of my arms and the front of my stomach.

All of this has been mostly dealt with. The stretch marks on my tummy are new…. and I’m working on being ok with them. But today, upon getting out of my bleach bath (yes, bleach), I noticed… my feet.

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I have a complicated relationship with my feet. They are wrinkly, and scarred, and look like they belong to a 90 year old, and have open sores all. the. time. Truth be told, I have never been ok with them. They are the one part of my body I would hide forever if I could. I resent them. I hate them and this new development makes me hate them even more.

They are a completely different color from the rest of my body. They have lost almost all pigmentation. This is called chemical induced vitiligo, a result from my 25 years of topical steroid use. Realistically (to me) this is not huge news. It’s just another way in which my body doesn’t match what we are force fed through standard media.

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It doesn’t hurt me. It doesn’t affect my well being, I mean it kind of does? But not like you would think.

I am in a constant state of flux with my body. From nuetrality to full on positivity! But lately… holy hell am I stuck in the negative. And it’s starting effect more of me than just what I see when I look in the mirror. My anger is manifesting. It is taking hold anywhere it can

I’m so easily nettled, damn near anything sets me off. I’m mad in the car, I’m mad at work, I’m mad when I’m alone, I’m mad when I’m with people. I’m just ANGRY. And I’m not someone who lends herself to anger easily so this is a big thing for me.

I know where it all stems from and I’m trying. I am doing nakey mirror time, I’m brain dumping thoughts and feelings, all the good, all the bad.

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It’s so weird for me to talk this way with you all because I normally feel like I’m pretty upbeat and want to shower you all with love and hope and positivity. But realistically, I’ve been hiding behind that mask for a while. I need you all to know that even the happiest of us, those who are in deep with their body image journey who are supposed to be at peace, still struggle.

It’s a journey full of hills and valleys, and mountains and woods. I’m a little lost in the woods right now, but I’m making my way through because I refuse to be stuck in the darkness of negativity.

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