This is the first in a series of articles by Johnny Palmer of AbsRightNow.com. He talks about how his skin condition turned his life into bouts of depression, nothingness and how he has used this unfortunate illness to his advantage and how it has changed the way he lives for the better.
The ever increasing science of psychoneuroimmunology is finding out more and more about our brain and how it helps or hinders us in life.
We are also discovering how most dis-ease thought to be externally motivated is intrinsically internal.
There are numerous theories and case studies, but I have no interest in that – I want to know how it will effect ME.
In fact I have actually had the first hand experience of being able to look back and see how my own brain has helped guide me through depression, learn lessons, become a better person and then move on.
When I was born I was diagnosed with Eczema, or at least the doctors thought it was that. Ever since and up until just recently I have been plagued with chronic skin problems – which you might not define a “monster” illness, however the effects skin conditions can have are devestating.
Before you start thinking about how it is only a skin problem and I should be thankful I didn’t have cancer – yes I was very thankful it was only a skin condition, but I am a very proud person and being covered in an unsightly rash that appears on your face, arms, legs, chest and makes your skin look like sandpaper isn’t exactly enjoyable.
Especially not for an 18 year old guy who wants to go snowboarding with his friends, party, talk to pretty girls and enjoy life.
When you feel like you are ugly, you turn ugly.
When you feel like everyone is looking at you and talking about you, you hide.
This is exactly what I did.
I suspected I was allergic to something but no matter how many tests I had done no matter how many Doctor visits I racked up on my account, nobody had an answer.
They said it was Eczema and it will go away as you get older, but it might stay with you for life.
Am I supposed to walk around with head to toe clothes and then move to India so I can cover my face too without looking out of place until I die?
The night was the worst time though.
Before getting into bed at night I would already be worried about waking up in the morning covered in dry, red, oozing skin, sheets smelling awful and looking like Freddy Kruger.
I would have a chamomile tea before bed, listen to soothing music and try to relax as much as possible. Even my lovely girlfriend would rub my back or chest to help relax me – which it did.
Sometimes I would fade off to sleep, sometimes I wouldn’t, but no matter what, I would wake up in the morning looking like the Devil had scorned me.
Some days I would be so bad I couldn’t go to work, at the times when I actually had a job – often my skin was so bad I couldn’t even bear to leave my bedroom and lived at my mums house.
Some days it wouldn’t be so bad and I would get a burst of confidence and make plans for the week, only to wake up the next morning to have to cancel them because I didn’t want to have to see my friends when I looked like a monster, let alone go to a job interview, appointment or a fun event.
I had specific things I couldn’t do such as:
- Couldn’t stay at anyone’s house
- Couldn’t have anyone sleep in my bed or room
- Could never sleep in a car or tent
- Had to make plans on the day depending on if I had an outburst or not
This was the start of my depression.
I realized that there are starving people in the world, people with AIDS, diabetes, cancer and physically disabled, but I felt like those people were lucky because they still looked normal.
What do you do when you are stuck in your own prison of a mind and you can’t escape?
What do you do when you fool yourself into thinking everyone is laughing at you and you can’t go out into the outside world?
Do you sit in your bedroom and get really good at math, build websites, learn a language, build models or try to invent a new product?
In hindsight I should have done at least a couple of those, but I – did – nothing.
My mom said that one day she asked me to hang out the washing and I stood at the washing line for 35 minutes looking out over the hill our house faced.
Nothing wrong with sight seeing, but I was truly stuck in my own prison, and I didn’t even realize it.
Life seemed worthless if I was going to look like a freak the whole time.
Did you ever feel like that?
To be continued … the next part of this series will be up soon!
About The Author
Johnny Palmer runs absrightnow.com a website specially devoted to teaching you how to get abs and the best way to lose belly fat. Johnny has come from a wildly unhealthy lifestyle and out of shape to having a lean, ripped body and overcoming every obstacle that has been seemingly placed in his way as a test.