...And still doing brilliantly. In fact it feels like with each reduction my skin gets better and better. I feel fizzy with excitement! I don't want to jinx it by speaking too soon. This journey has been too long and, at times, disappointing to really get my hopes up. But I can see improvements every day and I'm down to just one little methotrexate pill per week!
I was browsing over my old pictures that I took right at the beginning of my journey, when I was still basically on steroids. I can't believe it's the same girl in those pictures - both physically and mentally.
Physically, I can't believe I lived for so long with skin so bad, and just accepted the non-committal and uncaring 'solutions' from ambivalent doctors. Yes, I've suffered a lot these past 4 years, but I took control and I look (and feel) so much better for it. I never thought I would have the skin I have now.
Like pretty much everyone, I was so scared of starting TSW, I think I went through all the stages of grief. Denial - surely this can't be happening to me? It seems so scary and so serious and I only ever did what the doctor told me to. Anger - god, the anger. I've never been so angry in my life than I used to be in the derm's office. I wanted to shake some sense into pretty much every doctor I saw. Bargaining - taking oral steroids that the doctors pushed on me after 1 week, just out of desperation for relief. Depression - obsessively scrolling through the facebook groups, reading every blog I could find, not leaving my room, cutting contact with people who weren't my TSW online friends, crying in the bath...you name it. BUT finally, acceptance. It took me a long time to fully accept and to shed the anger and depression - I don't think they ever really leave you but they sit on the back burner eventually. I've made my peace with TSW and I'm grateful for the life lessons it has taught me so far.
This is a pretty long and emotional post but I feel that (hopefully) coming to the end of something which has been so horrific, but at the same time so transforming, is worth the extra words.
I plan to post some pictures of my skin soon which I haven't done in a long time. I hope everyone is doing well and that this post gives you all some hope :)
I still receive emails from time to time from fellow TSW'ers and I'm always happy to help/chat, so if you feel like you need a TSW friend (mine have been so helpful!) just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org