The worst part about all of this isn't even my skin. It is by far my eyes, which are constantly in pain from being so dry and inflamed. Between my eyes and my skin and constantly feeling fatigued and barely able to function unless I consistently get 9 hours of sleep each night, I often feel like I am physically chained to my current location. While I love to travel, missing any of my health rituals makes me feel so much worse. Days trips are usually fine but any anything beyond that is a serious challenge.
Last summer, flying back from Alaska was probably the worse I ever felt in my entire life and I truly mean that. Earlier on the day of my flight, I had hiked extensively for hours so by the time my plane was set to depart I was already pretty exhausted. But of course I can never sleep on planes. Maybe if I had had a neck pillow and an eyes mask and over-the-ear headphones things would have been different. My flight ended up being delayed for 2 hours while we sat on the plane, then a few hours later, we had a 5 hour layover in Chicago. At this point I had come down with a tremendous cold (being so prone to illness - another sign of my poor health). I wanted nothing more than to take a later flight out and instead get a hotel and sleep even though our next flight was only 2 hours in length. But my group pressed on. The flight from Chicago to Baltimore was one of the worst experiences of my life. I literally felt like death having been awake for close to 36 hours with a monster cold, and unlike most people I don't simply feel tired. Tired for me is a state of extreme adrenal exhaustion, one in which I am scarcely able to cognitively function. When most people feel tired, their eyes feel a little drier as well. For me, everything is magnified because the fatigue is so great and my eyes are already so predisposed to being dry. The itching,burning, throbbing, and dryness becomes nearly unbearable. There is something that is very much wrong with me. It is clearly visible in my face riddled with cystic acne, in the dark circles under my eyes, and in my eyes themselves that are bloodshot and constantly red and inflamed. I just look sick.
So what I am trying to say from the above example is that I need to sleep and rest my eyes at regular intervals, which means never being too far from my bed, despite having a strong sense of wanderlust and more recently a very real fear of missing out (FOMO). So many people I graduated with are studying or working abroad this summer and I've realized that I don't want those kinds of meaningful international experiences to be absent from my own life. I only have a few years before my twenties end, and that realization alone has ignited a kind of panic in me, amplifying any impulse and desire to travel. Time is the only luxury. It doesn't matter how much money you have if you don't have your health, and, in turn, the time, to realize your dreams. I am fascinated by the idea of personal transformation but it is a concept that increasingly feels unattainable and that's what terrifies me the most. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to visit Japan but thinking about where I'm at now, and the 15 hour flight, and everything that would be needed to get from point A to B is incredibly daunting. I am terrified, but also equally enthralled, at the idea of venturing half away around the world and perhaps on my own as well. Knowing how much work would be involved, how much I would have to do to regain my health, and how amazing an existential experience like traveling alone would be is strangely motivating. The goal seems so impossible that it makes me want it all the more. Plus, to be perfectly honest, I would have no one else to travel with.
Acne has dictated my entire adult life. It has caused me to avoid social interactions and lose friends but it has also sent me on a journey towards better health. In doing so, in lingering longer in my safety net and delaying major life milestones, I have saved more money. I have the means to travel, which I suspect most other people my age do not as their financial responsibilities are very different from mine. What I don't yet have is the time or wellbeing and mental outlook to venture forth. I want to stay positive and I try to do so but the sheer physical misery and negative thinking is sometimes overwhelming. Some people are very fortunate to clear their skin and take control of their lives through diet and exercise and supplements alone but I do not think I am one of them. At 26 years old, I think I need to very seriously start considering detoxication protocols, things like liver cleanses and temporarily candida diets. I am seeing a functional medicine practitioner on the 29th of May and am very hopeful that that, along with any resulting blood tests, food allergy tests, etc. will shed greater insight into my condition.
Edited by StillHolding, 28 March 2015 - 09:29 AM.
Current Skincare Regimen
Sircuit X-Trap+ Cleanser
Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion, AM
Murad Acne Treatment Concealer
Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Cleanser
Aura Cacia Grapeseed Oil (as a moisturizer)
Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion (as a spot treatment)
Monthly Chemical Peels (Salicylic and Glycolic Acid Based)
Supplements: Real Food Multi-Vitamin, Nordic Naturals Fish Oil, Vitamin D (5,000 IU daily), Vitamin C.
Diet: Modified Paleo Regimen (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, organic and non-GMO wherever possible, but still consuming GF grains).
Symptoms: Cystic acne, mild rosacea, dry eye syndrome, mild blepharitis, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, brain fog, social anxiety).
Status as of 03/27/2015: Nothing is helping. Seeing a functional medicine practitioner 05/29/2015.