So I’ve rewritten this post like a hundred times. Thanks to The Zen RN, I found the courage to talk about suicide, depression, anxiety, and life. And I think talking about suicide is one of the hardest topics. And to add severe allergies on top of it is seriously something I cannot even grasp to overcome. Not saying I’ve overcome it, but most people who start the journey with allergies are more prone to depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. I don’t know if speaking up and asking for help really helps since I’ve done all that, and it seems like no one is ever willing to help or can’t. But here is a little glimpse of things that can lead you to those thoughts and how people around you can make it worse. And how to find it within yourself to alleviate the pain and struggle.
1. You get to watch your family hurt you
Last year, I moved in with my family because most of my roommates didn’t care; I was allergic to smokers (2nd and 3rd hand). I had to move in with my family, and let’s say the movies definitely lied to me. I thought my brother would understand, but he didn’t stop smoking. I lost my job, reduced my food intake to account for the nickel I was getting from him. I became allergic to my clothes, needed to wash my clothes from by hand, added to my sensitivity, and now cannot handle everyday life with outside smokers, had nerve pains, chronic fatigue on the verge of being bedridden. Even all this, my family still says he wasn’t trying to kill me.
2. Having to prove how sick you are
I really think my brother wouldn’t have stopped smoking even if I was dead. Unlike most allergies, mine takes a while to get me really sick, but when I am sick, it takes ages to get better. It causes me severe anxiety leading to severe panic attacks, chronic pains, and chronic fatigue. He would say there is no research anywhere. He also ignores ever doing any of this and never apologized or even made it better. Sometimes you get tired of yourself getting sick and just want it to stop, and having no one around to stand up for you seriously made it a living hell. On top of everything, I need to prove how sick I was.
3. The horrid comments
- No one wants to live with you (told when I was having anaphylaxis due to a house I moved to which lied about smoking, I could have lived with my sister, but it didn’t matter if it would have saved my life)
- You make me feel bad (then stops talking to you)
- It’s all in your head (God I wish, I used to disregard my allergies when someone said this, and it would make me even sicker)
4. Your relationship with your body
Through all of this, I didn’t have a good relationship with my body. It caused me so much pain, and no one seemed to care enough about it, so why should I. In my earlier years, I would cheat and pass out day in and day out when I was depressed, a terrible way to self-harm because I was damaging myself.
5. Your relationship with food
So I have food anxiety; sometimes, introducing foods in my diet isn’t pleasant. I think this food allergy has made food not enjoyable. Since I’ve had anaphylaxis, my food anxiety has shot through the roof, and I need to figure out if I am reacting to the food or just anxiety.
6. Your relationship with people
Due to the last almost 2 years of being around people who are harming me, I have developed terrible social anxiety. It isn’t easy to socialize in your twenties when you are allergic to smokers. Not a lot of people would not smoke and wash if they are around smokers to be with you. Also, people don’t seem to care if they cannot see the reaction. I get incredibly chronic pains, and they seem to happen hours later. So they cannot be accountable for their actions.
7. Your relationship with products and clothes
As a person of color who is allergic to products, let’s say you will not be represented. We seem to be overlooked on almost everything unless it’s popular or we get angry enough. I recently found out that there were nickel tested products, but as always, they are no foundations for my skin color, and no companies care’s enough to expand it, and there isn’t any for my hair texture even the curly products dry my hair out. Having less nickel in your products can expand your food intake (this is my theory if you react systemically). I guess we don’t get that privilege.
Also, most companies aren’t very transparent, and nickel free doesn’t always mean nickel-free.
8. Trying to keep a job in the midst of all of your allergies
Due to my move from my family’s house. I had to start from scratch and find a new job. There are days I am in so much pain, and I still need to go to work even If I am in an environment that has a lot of smokers or even when someone who is lying to me I have no control over that, no matter what I still need to work. Sometimes I need to call someone in my lunch break for a pep talk. But oh, the struggle is real.
9. Finding the will to live again
These days are better than most, but I cannot say I’ve overcome the dark times. I also know if all these things are happening to you that no one is equipped to handle all these things, defend themselves, and watch people harm you. You are better off looking for spaces that are safe for you.
- I removed myself from people who would rather watch me sick than listen to me.
- I was very vocal about my allergy
- Keep people who are trying to help you even if it’s hard
In all, getting help is all by luck, I think because allergies are so misinformed and most people will not give up things for you.
But mentally give yourself time. Any thoughts are up for debate, even the dark ones. Question them. Also, shift your thinking of what life will be like with solutions. Sometimes the only victory you’ll have that day is you didn’t give up. Some days it will be, you didn’t itch. Surround yourself with people who won’t put you down for your allergies. Also, stop judging your allergies there, neither good nor bad; they just are.
Join a facebook group with people just like you.
Lastly, refuse to wear your allergy as an apology to anyone else or yourself. You and others are required to live life according to your allergies. And don’t be around people who make you feel like you are hard to love.