Very recently I was diagnosed with Blepharitis, nothing life-threatening, just a pain in my backside!
It basically means that due to blocked up glands around my eyelashes, my eyelids and under eyes can swell up at the drop of a hat, making me look like I’ve been punched in the face. Blepharitis flare ups can feel like someone’s poured sand into your eyes, yep, it’s not pretty. It can last for hours or days. After some experimentation with Omega-3, coconut oil, tea tree oil, hot compresses, eye massages and baby shampoo, I’m still in the process of figuring out just how to control it. But as of yet there’s no real scientific cure, it’s a chronic thing. [Cue the face palm moment].
No more makeup
Now anyone who knows me, will know that I love wearing eye makeup, pretty much on a daily basis. With my newly acquired Blepharitis however, these days it’s risky to even think about attempting a winged eyeliner look, let alone actually doing it! When I say the slightest thing can irritate my eyes and set me off, I am not kidding. So, over the past few weeks, I’ve essentially been going makeup-free, rigidly following a daily eye cleansing routine, but I’ve still been getting flare ups pretty frequently. #Gutted
My restriction on wearing makeup is annoying, but hey ho, I can deal with it. Honestly the worst thing is that the more flare ups I’ve had, the more I’ve felt myself slowing deteriorating in terms of my bullet-proof, better-to-get-on-with-things-than-to-dwell, positive attitude. For most of this year, I’ve felt so in tune with myself, so mentally strong, but since I’ve had Blepharitis, I’ve started to become so moody and irritable, snapping at those closest to me. And I really don’t like this version of myself. The girl with the swollen eyes is an absolute cow!
So today I sat down and asked myself, why do I turn into such a Debbie Downer whenever my eyes are puffed up?
Partly I know it’s because I can’t control it; I have no idea what’s triggering my frequent flare ups. My GP is useless and I haven’t worked out how to manage it yet, so that’s super frustrating. Not to mention, no one I know has heard of Blepharitis before, so most of the time due to lack of knowledge, they’ll tell me that I’m being dramatic and I should just go to sleep, when I wake up I’ll be fine. FYI, doesn’t quite work like that. But for the most part these things just annoy me, they don’t have the power to affect my overall mindset. There’s more to it than that.
It’s an ego thing
Forget the makeup, I realised that whenever my eyes don’t look the way they usually do and the shape of my eyelids is altered, it changes my entire face. Or should I say, it changes my perception of my entire face. And that really gets me down. I avoid looking in mirrors and I avoid making eye contact with people, because I feel so insecure. Yep me, the most self-assured person in the world.
But the fact that so much of my self-esteem is tied to my looks is an interesting one for me, because I’ve never thought of myself as being superficial. I didn’t think I cared so much about my physical appearance, when in actuality, I do.
When my eyes are itchy and swollen, I feel bleh, I don’t feel attractive, I become a shrunken version of myself. I definitely don’t like myself as much, I don’t believe in myself as much either, I essentially become worthless. And that’s what sparks my negative attitude. All I want to do is crawl into a ball and hide from the world. I feel like Superman when he’s been hit with a heavy dose of kryptonite. I completely lose my confidence. So, whenever anyone tries to interact with me or Heaven forbid, they try to help, I lash out like a possessed banshee!
But it shouldn’t be that way
My body is nothing more than a vessel, right? It’s a host for my soul within this temporary existence that we call life. I won’t be taking it with me when I die, so why am I placing so much value in it? We don’t earn our looks from hard work, it’s a luck of the draw, so why be so proud of them? Why am I allowing my looks to make me feel so entitled? From realising that I place so much importance on the way my eyes look, I also realised that my skin, my hair, my figure, my clothing, they can all influence whether I’m in a good or bad mood. But none of that actually amounts to anything Sharan! You know this!
“Pretty” and “ugly” are just socially constructed terms that we assign to divide ourselves, why do we allow them to have so much power over us? Because they feed our egos. Most of the time we give these kinds of terms power without even realising it, we’ve been conditioned from birth, through the media and from society to compare ourselves against one another and to tear ourselves down if we don’t quite measure up to the beauty ideals that the world tells us we have to adhere to. It’s all a load of hogswash!
I personally believe that God resides in us all in the form of our souls. God is perfect and if God is within us, that makes us perfect too. Which also means that our worth is priceless, regardless of whatever our outer shell may look like. We just forget this and fall victim to our egos when we start fixating on our eyes, our noses, our lips…whatever! Self-esteem only feeds into our egos, we need to go beyond that and instead measure our worth based on our highest level of consciousness: our souls, which epitomise perfection.
The bigger picture
Plus, when all is said and done, are we really so hard done by? I’m speaking to myself here, because while Blepharitis can be quite uncomfortable, it’s mainly a cosmetic illness. It’s not contagious and it’s unlikely to ever affect my vision. So, from now on whenever I’m feeling particularly sorry for myself or whenever I’m allowing negative thoughts to consume me, I’m going to start reminding myself that some people don’t even have eyes, so to have swollen eyes and occasionally lose some eyelashes isn’t really that bad in the big scheme of things.
I should count my blessings and be thankful for what I have, rather than wasting time and energy fixating on what I deem to be my problem areas.
Moral of the story is: we shouldn’t place so much value in our looks, they’re futile and insignificant, instead let’s look inwards more, because when we do, we’ll see that we’re actually perfect…we have been all along. 😊