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. 😊
15 thoughts on “The One Where Little Miss Confident Becomes Insecure”
I think the moral of the story is excellent and a learning experience which Blepharitis has given you. So maybe after it is under control you’ll look back and smile.
I hope so, until then I’ll just continue experimenting with different solutions and try to keep a smile on my face 😀
Thoughtful, insightful post.
Thanks for stopping by 😀
It’s so beautiful how you openly spoke about your insecurities but then followed it with a positive thought that we are all perfect the way God made us. It was nice to see how you were able to have that outlook even though it was hard for you to get in that place mentally with Blepharitis. I wouldn’t say it’s an illness for you though, since I believe it made you into a much stronger individual. Rather than being “sick” with it, it gives off that strength you deserve. Sometimes, we need these wake up calls to be grateful that though it could be worse, it isn’t and it can be managed at least a little. Sending so many hugs your way!
I have this condition and try to control it with the warm compresses and twice daily cleaning with q-tips and purified water. When I do wear eye make up I use Ecco Bella mascara. For the itchiness I use refresh clear gel.
Ah thanks for the mascara tip Steph, I’ll definitely look that up as I’m really missing my eye makeup!
I have Blepharitis, and I completely understand your frustration! I also have a rare genetic eye disorder and severe Dry Eye Syndrome, so I rarely wear make-up anyway. I find that Blephasol lotion helps soothe the Blepharitis symptoms. You can buy it online or in your local pharmacy. Unfortunately when it comes to eyes, our GPs simply don’t have the training or the knowledge. I gave up visiting my doctor with eye problems years ago and worked out a way to manage the condition myself. I also visit the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital once or twice a year for a check-up. They can’t do any more for me either. I have reached a point where there is no available treatment for any of my eye conditions aside from those I already use. It sucks! But I can still see, just about, so I keep going. Well done you for sorting out your issues and finding a way to move on 🙂
Thank you so much for your comment. I completely agree, I’ve given up going to my GP as he doesn’t do much apart from tell me I need to maintain good eyelid hygiene. Glad to hear that Blephasol is working for you, I’ll definitely look into it. I’ve found that tea tree oil is really soothing when I’m having a flare up, whereas coconut oil has the complete opposite effect! It really is trial and error, I’ve read so many online chats and what works for one person rarely seems to work for another. Annoying but I guess it’s a process that’ll be worth it in the end. 😀
You have my sympathies – I have suffered from blepharitis for nearly 20 years – ever since being woken up in the middle of the nights regularly by my baby daughter. At times it was so bad when I woke up at working time that I had to take days off work because I literally couldn’t open my eyes. I tried eye drops but they had little effect. Weirdly, working in Bangladesh for many years half cured my eye problem as seemingly moisturising them in humid air all the time made things a lot better. The last six years back in the UK haven’t seen a return to the agony days but I do still have to be careful. I’ve trained myself to not open my eyes when waking up in the morning, but keep them closed, rub them, gradually open – then I can save myself the ‘pins stabbing into the eyeballs ‘feel you probably know so well. Not sure I have any advice but – it SHOULD get better and normal life will return even if you have to take precautions.
Ah I can completely relate Ken, I had to take a couple of days off work recently because my eyes were glued shut! Interesting about the humidity in Bangladesh though, I went to Japan a few months ago where it was quite hot, but my eyes were swollen for most of the trip. Maybe it was a different type of humidity. I know that my skin always clears up a lot when I go to India due to the humidity, maybe I need to consider moving countries! Glad to hear that you’re managing it well now though, it’s definitely all about creating a routine that works for you. 🙂
Yes I would think Japan will be different. Humidity isn’t just about heat of course but about the ‘wetness’ in the air – I think it is this aspect which matters as it moisturises the eyes. India and Bangladesh are perfect for it!
I felt the same when I started experiencing hair loss, my hair is my ‘one beauty’ and I used to receive compliments about it all the time. With the thinning of my hair (even though it was noticeable only to me) I felt a distinct teenagey feeling, the feelings of insecurity from when I was younger all came rushing back. I learnt that I needed to readjust the way I thought of myself and that I can’t take anything for granted! I don’t believe I’m superficial though, I just need to understand myself from a different perspective 🙂
I recently got Blepharitis and it’s been horrible! I absolutely hate it. Not only does it hurt, but it makes me depressed when it flares up. I have no idea why I suddenly got this condition, but I’m still trying to accept it. It’s really difficult for me, but reading your post made me feel better. Nobody I know has heard of Blepharitis and they can’t relate, making me feel really alone. Your post made me feel a little less alone and a little more normal. I appreciate you! If you have any tips and tricks regarding managing your flare ups, feel free to share 🙂
I’m so glad my post lifted your spirits a bit Katie! For me, a heat compress and tea tree water really helped. And also blinking exercises a few times a day to drain the fluid out of my eyelids. I also started taking high strength Omega 3 supplements everyday as they’re supposed to help with inflammation. I had a few months where it was really bad, I couldn’t even touch my eyes or blink too hard. No one around me could relate, so I completely understand how you’re feeling. It’s extremely frustrating and can really get you down! But touch wood, I haven’t had any big flare ups for a while now, so there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sending lots of positive energy your way. You will get through this ❤