Rinse, Repeat, and Restart
Last updated: October 2023
Do you ever feel like you wake up in a replay of the day before? That's how I felt for a long time when my hives started. It felt like a constant repetition of the previous day; the only difference was where the hives flared each moment.
Family and friends don't fully understand
While trying to navigate my body's changes and the stress of chronic hives, I was also guiding my family and friends. While they are very supportive, and I couldn't have gotten through the last year without their care, I felt like I was repeatedly talking in circles. I began to feel hopeless and that no one would ever truly understand the pressure and stress I was experiencing.
Constantly fielding questions
Questions or comments my family or friends would say to me daily included:
- "Are you allergic to anything?"
- "What did the doctor say?"
- "Do you think it's your thyroid?"
- "Have they tested you for ___?"
- "Did you eat something that set off the hives?"
- "How are you feeling?"
- "You should see another doctor who knows more about this."
- "They need to figure out what is wrong with you."
The list could go on and on about the same questions or comments I have received since December 2021, the first day my hives appeared. This is not to say that I haven't welcomed the care and concern, but sometimes, answering the questions can be even more draining.
And as much as I want to vent and let out frustration from an idiopathic disease, I found it almost better to keep it to myself.
The importance of a chronic hives community
That's why community is so important. You don't have to worry about someone not understanding your feelings or how you could have a better day even though the hives are still there. You won't need to explain how it's a "good day" because the hives were contained rather than spread throughout your entire body.
I have a community to share these types of things with with people who understand what I mean. "Rinse, repeat, and restart" isn't an issue when I'm connected to this community.
I can still be myself despite my hives
Do I still get questions from work colleagues and new people I meet? Of course. It would be hard to ignore someone with hives on their face or showing from under their clothes.
But, at the very least, I don't have to go into the full deep dive of why they are there or how long they've lasted. I can continue being me. The me that I want to be underneath the flare-up of red spots.
I can't stress enough how lucky I am to have family and friends who support me on this journey. But, I also am so grateful for the chronic hives community to lean on and listen to when they feel the same. I can turn to this community for suggestions, ideas, and even comparisons of symptoms.
Have you found support within the hives community?
And the best thing is that I can put it out there without feeling like I have to explain myself further. The cycle of "rinse, repeat, and restart" has been broken, and I am extremely grateful for that.
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