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The Moment I Realized I Need to Fully Accept My Rosacea

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I think one of the hardest things about living with a chronic health condition has to be the fact that it is, well, chronic. It’s likely not going to go away…Ever.

Sure, there are good days, even full-on glorious remission times. But the tough reality is that a chronic health condition is a life-long companion. I found myself thinking yesterday, which happened to be a really serene rosacea day for me, “Gee, you know, if my rosacea could be like this all of the time, I wouldn’t mind having it. It would be almost like a healthy life, like not having it at all.”

And, then I froze in my mental ruminations.

I understood then that the only reason I was fine with having rosacea in that moment was because I felt like it wasn’t there at all. Expecting or wanting each and every day to be like that is just not realistic. That’s not what living with rosacea, a chronic health condition, is going to be like. No, it’s more likely to be like living with a mood ring as a face, where every stressor and trigger is announced to the world. Setting myself up to expect such a high standard of serene activity every day will only lead to severe disappointment. I knew then I needed to focus more on acceptance.

This morning, I’m getting the opportunity.

I woke up to what I call “heat activity.” It’s not a true flare-up, but there is some pink and red blotchiness in the “heat zone” of my face (cheekbones and smile lines) that probably came on as a result of getting too warm during my sleep for too long. Or it came on “just because.” I was asleep, so it’s hard to know for sure.

In any case, this is part of the reality of living with rosacea. It’s going to do these things. It’s going to be less than cooperative sometimes, act out, and be less than perfect in waves throughout the course my life. And, accepting those aspects is truly accepting my chronic health condition.

Normally, I’d let heat activity like this dictate to me, tell me that I’m going to have a bad day right from the start. But, today I’m going to try something new. I’m going to decide that it’s all right to have some heat activity. It’s all right that my skin is less than picture perfect. I’m going to decide to have a good day. After all, I’m not in a hot, burning, stinging, painful, rosacea flare-up. Now, that’s a genuinely bad day.

This is just living with rosacea.

This is hopefully the start of true acceptance.

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Thinkstock Image By: John Howard

Originally published: March 31, 2017
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