Posted by: eczemancipated | January 7, 2013

An Uphill Battle? Yeah Right!

Most of us newcomers to Red Skin Syndrome  study the forum posts hosted by ITSAN.org  like it was a holy book. I remember my first month, I read like a years worth of posts hoping to find answers to questions only our upper classmates can answer in proverb, asking how to cope and what to expect. But not much can really prepare us for the daunting emotional journey on the road to recuperation, you just have to figure out what works for you within the limits of everyone’s tips and experience.

At first I thought that it was just going to be a couple of months of healing. With only progressive improvements. So I hunkered down with my caregivers and readied myself. By month 5, I experienced a ‘break’ and looked as if I had never been sick. Prematurely I thought I was totally over the mountain and through the woods. Emotionally I was also starting to feel quite a bit better than I had in the summer and thought the worst must be over. In fact, until now, none of the flares (though terrible) had seemed as unbearable as the early months. 

After successfully traversing the swamp and mire, up the mountain and over, I began to descend. Finally I made it through the woods to my first glimpse of the pilgrimage ahead. Expectations banked on spotting a plush green valley to mark the end of my journey shattered as my heart sank.

“NO! It isnt’ true!” Acknowledging in disbelief “…like every senior RSS counselor warns.”

Ahead the sunny skies I had rested hope upon, to my chagrin, met the barren desert earth with a glimmer as if it were the golden reward for the victorious climb. The weather under so blue a sky is to bring sand storms, threat of wild predators and dried up watering holes. I found myself slack jawed, slapped in the face by the hope of a fertile valley still so far off in the imperceptible distance. My senses filled with anger and sorrow, exhausted I whispered “…they were right.” 

In deep thought my mind raced through the posts of the previous “8-11 month seniors” and how they had spoke of the woe of the second flare.  I had thought I might be different. I heard the depth of my bellow cut off by the thundering cries of vultures encircling overhead. Their song waned as it echoed through the arid canyons in my path, daring me to stop. But their melancholy chant jolted me from  spinning mind and so I continued, gripped by the horror of reality and my solemn sojourn ahead. Wincing I moved forward,  “too far to turn back”.

Soberingly I beg a blessing and add my thanks for at least having the ability to plant yet another flag of defeat to mark the road behind. And so I advance in this maze of Red Skin Syndrome.

Whoever said this was an uphill battle? Instead I must descend into the egregious labyrinth beneath the shadow of mountains to wander through an unknown terrain of which stories of successful contenders have only been whispered. 

Welcome to the beginning of month 9.


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