Part of the human experience is pain. We come into this world by a woman going through one of the most painful, yet beautiful experiences that life has to offer.
We fall on our bottoms and our faces when we’re learning to walk. We skin our knees when we topple over while learning how to ride a bike. We get growing pains as we go through puberty. Broken bones, and bruises from sports. And don’t even get me started on period cramps. Ouch.
Another part of the human experience is emotional pain. Loss is one of those painful emotions we have to endure. When we lose our favorite toy when we’re young, it hurts like hell. It feels like the world is crashing down on us.
As we get older, the losses become more profound, and unfortunately sometimes more frequent. The death of a pet, a breakup, a divorce, or the loss of a loved one all hurt like hell and leave our souls feeling raw and vulnerable. The world really does feel like it’s crashing down on us then.
When mental illness comes into factor, anxiety, depression, and paranoia are also painful emotions some of us have to endure.
Anxiety over job security, school, and finances bring mental strife. Depression takes hold on some, and it doesn’t ever seem to want to let go. Paranoia keeps some of us constantly looking over a proverbial (or literal) shoulder.
It’s hard. Being a human trying to exist in a world filled with pain and suffering is difficult, but luckily when there is pain, there is always joy. But what happens when that sometimes pain is constant and that joy becomes few and far between?
I’m young. I’m not even in my mid-20s yet, but I’ve experienced enough pain to last me for several lifetimes. And it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. I have a chronic skin condition called Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). This condition causes boils to appear on the inner thighs, armpits, under the breasts, and more. They swell up (sometimes to the size of a golf ball or bigger), they pop, leave an open wound, and when they finally close, they leave dark scars.
It brings tears to my mother’s eyes when she sees what I endure on a daily basis. My disease would make a grown man cry. Everything hurts all the time. It’s embarrassing. It’s difficult. There are nights where I just sit on my bed crying to God to take away my pain so I can get a few hours of broken sleep. It’s wound care at 3 in the morning with a sock in my mouth so I don’t scream from the pain. It’s staying home and sitting still when I’d kill to be out and about with my friends. It’s shame, sometimes.
But even through that, I am making it my personal mission to bring awareness to this horrific disease, share my stories, my troubles, my triumphs, and hopefully help someone who is laying in bed crying right now from the physical and emotional distress that this disease causes.
You are not alone. You are not ugly, you are not ruined, you are not disgusting. You are not your pain, and you are not your scars.
I sometimes grieve for a life (and nice skin) that I’ve never gotten to have because of HS, but I know that what it took from me, I will receive back tenfold. Better days are coming for me, and for anyone else who’s suffering with chronic pain. We will prevail.
If you or anyone you know is, or may be suffering from Hidradenitis Suppurativa, please reach out to your primary care physician, a dermatologist for help, or visit the website No BS About HS for more information.