Today I left the house with no hat and no hoody. Usually when my skin is flared up like this I stay inside, or I hide if I have to be out in public, but today I didn't feel like hiding. I've been in rehearsal for A Christmas Carol for the past week and almost every day I've been the hooded figure swaddled in a scarf and hat. The skin on my face has been really improving, but last week before rehearsal started I dealt with a bad flare that I'm still coming down from. I even broke out in my armpits, which has NEVER happened before. It could be that I traveled back to the east coast and my body is adjusting, or that I started eating more fruit and my body can't handle the sugar, or that I tried moisturizing with sesame seed oil and my body is not happy about it, or it's just a random flare, because I'm going through Topical Steroid Withdrawal. I don't know and I'm not going to stress over it.
When this process first started, I rarely left the house without powder or at least some concealer under my eyes, mascara, and filling in my eyebrows. Now, going through Moisture Withdrawal, I leave the house ashy, flaky and eyebrow-less. I used to feel like I had to hide what was going on with me, because in my mind I wasn't supposed to look the way that I did. I was so worried about what people would think about my skin if they could really see what was going on. It's easy for me to be open on the blog, because I have the buffer of the Internet, and I'm explaining what's going on with me in detail. Now I understand that this is what my skin is supposed to look like right now. My body is going through an intense healing process after 20-plus years of filling it with toxins and steroids. It's actually amazing to think about how the body heals itself when we allow it to. So now I am more focused on aiding my body with the healing process, and that does not include suffocating my highly sensitive skin in toxic makeup and moisturizers.
Don't get me wrong, I am still self-conscious about my skin, but each day I leave the house without hiding and come back home in one piece, I realize how silly my insecurities are, and I take one step closer to truly not caring what other people think and being comfortable in my skin. Although this process has and is changing me, I am still the same Lauren who cracks jokes and likes to have fun. I can still meet people, make friends, and be personable. It's not like people treat me like a leper because of the way I look, although sometimes they do stare😑. And a lot of times, usually in the health food store, people recognize that I have eczema, and we end up bonding over dealing with crazy skin. I've had to learn that this is me right now and I accept what my body is going through. My body is doing its best to heal and I will aid it in every way possible. Whatever you're going through right now, I hope you accept and love yourself through the process. Much love and until next time.
I'm Lauren, aka Just Du Pree, and I want to thank you for reading. This is a space where I share my very personal journey healing from eczema and topical steroid withdrawal (among other things), life lessons I've learned along the way, and occasionally the thoughts of an awkward Black girl (no Issa Rae). I'm a performer and filmmaker, so if you feel so inclined, pop over here to see what goes on in my mind on the regular. If you like what you see, you can stay up to date with my work here. Much love, friends!