Traveling while going through Topical Steroid Withdrawal can seem impossible. With the constant flaking, inflamed red, purple and sometimes gray skin (why…why would you be gray?!?), incessant itching, and chronic insomnia, why would anyone want to leave the house? Not to mention looking in the mirror and not recognizing yourself! It’s already a struggle to leave the house in your home state, but to go to another state or country and meet new people? That’s a lot to ask of a TSW sufferer. So why combat all these obstacles just to travel? If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that I struggle with being still. Sometimes I do need to just sat down and stay put, but I also gain a lot from traveling, experiencing new cultures, and visiting friends.
As you know, I'm going through topical steroid withdrawal...again. The benefit of going through it a second time is that I know what to expect. The drawback of going through it a second time is that it's not the same as the first time, which is a blessing and a curse. Month 5 has proven to be the curse. TSW has been throwing me some curve balls and really making my life a pain. Despite it all, I have a plan of action moving forward, and I'm staying positive, because I know healing is possible, and healing is coming. Watch below for the detailed update and to learn more about staph infection, adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, and candida overgrowth...I have a lot going on this month.
For the fourth month in a row I’ve waited until the very last minute to write my post for the month. Even though I usually know what I’m going to post about well in advance, I continue to procrastinate, because I keep picking these topics that hit very close to home and force me to examine, critique, and better myself. Yay! So much fun…that’s sarcasm if you didn’t catch it. A few nights ago I procrastinated by making an epic playlist of my favorite R&B songs from the 90s and 2000s. You should definitely listen because I have amazing taste in music and this playlist is nostalgic af: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6IMgR9w03EQRDNoP7ZA2Qr?si=qeCJvcbFSs-EkyHzuKkCsA
Welp, that’s enough avoiding the hard truths for now. You want to know what it’s like being an independent, high functioning, chronically ill person, and I’m going to tell you, but first let me give a brief history for context.
On May 29th I turned 30 years old and Just Du Pree The Blog turned four years old. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I launched this blog, but I’m still here, writing and sharing my truth. These past four years have been a major period of transformation and growth; this blog being a huge part of that process. Even still, as I approached 30 I battled with many thoughts of inadequacy and fell down the trap of comparing myself to others.
On April 1st, the year of our Lord 2019, I stopped using my eczema medication. In the last few updates I talked about how the medication wasn't working as well, and I wasn't sure what I needed to do. Well after getting a stronger prescription and upping the applications per day, I still wasn't getting favorable results. It's always been my goal to heal naturally and eliminate the use of steroids, so now I'm back on track to reaching that goal.
Y’all…I wrote and produced a solo cabaret. As I type these words I’m still kind of in shock that I pulled it off. I’ve wanted to produce my own show since I moved home in 2015, but I’ve been too afraid. However, if you’ve been following my blog for a while you already know that my motto is “do it afraid,” and honey, I did it terrified!
It's the second Monday of the month which means it's time for another blog post! I had planned to share how transitioning to an alkaline vegan lifestyle is going, but I'm currently producing my first solo show ever and it's taking up all of my time. However, it's 100% related to the blog, because I'll be sharing details about my eczema journey and dealing with various insecurities. If you've been following me for a while you know my motto is "do it afraid," and believe me, producing a solo show for the first time is scary! I'm doing so many things I've never done before, but I'm so excited to perform and share my story.
Well friends, it's been two and a half years since I've done a Dr. Aron Method Update. Like I said in my last post, I wasn't updating, because I felt very stagnant in my healing process. 2018 taught me that I have to be deliberate with my thoughts and actions, and that's exactly what I'm doing in 2019. I've been sticking to an alkaline vegan diet, and I talk about it all in the vlog below. Is my eczema gone? No. Has it improved? Yes. Do I plan to continue? Or course! My mantra for this year is "my healing is being manifested," and I believe that with my whole heart. Check out the vlog for more!
2019 is the year of Leveling Up. As cliche as that might sound, 2018 taught me that when you’re not operating in the fullness that God called you to operate in, you’ll never reach the potential you know you have, and the only way to reach that potential is to…Level Up.
Despite professional successes and being seemingly productive, I felt really stagnant in my growth as an artist and a human being last year. For starters, I wrote one blog post in 2018. One. In that post I detailed my struggle with anxiety attacks and frustrations with my health. It makes sense that it was the only post I was able to complete, because that anxiety was rooted in an unwillingness to change in order to grow and move forward. Understanding that I was my own worst enemy last year was a hard pill to swallow, because on the surface it seemed like I was doing everything right. But going through the motions and actually changing are two completely different things. What do I mean by that? Let’s start with my health.
There was a time when I thought people who had anxiety attacks were crazy...then I started having them. Today was my day off. I had lofty plans of how productive I was going to be, but after showering and getting ready I couldn’t make it out the door. While looking in the mirror attempting to make myself presentable, my neck was itching uncontrollably. After about five minutes of intermittent scratching I let out a squeal of frustration and began hitting the wall to relieve some stress. Next thing I knew tears were running down my cheeks and I was struggling to get adequate air through my lungs. I attempted to pull it together multiple times, thinking about all of the things I needed to do: take grandma to the nursing home to see grandpa, cook, clean, taxes (I actually wrote this in April - bear with me), write, workout; this never-ending to do list amplifying the anxiety rather than helping me move forward with the rest of my day. So I did what any self-sufficient 28 year old would do…I called my mom.
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 topical steroid withdrawal, life lessons I've learned along the way and occasionally the thoughts of an awkward Black girl (no Issa Rae). I'm also 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!