Fighting a Battle Within

By: Ashley Bajet

Imagine being a middle school student again. You’re walking down the halls, rushing to your next class in fear of being late, because that was actually something we cared about back then. But something is off. It isn’t your normal day at school. Everyone you pass by in the hallway is looking at you, some with a face of shock they make minimal effort to hide, some glancing at you in the corner of their eyes as their heads shy away from direct direction of your face. Of course you’re not comfortable, not being able to walk down a single hallway without worrying about what people see and how they react. That was me. Well, to be more specific, that was me during a bad period of my life, a very unstable miserable period. During middle school, my doctor prescribed medicine for my acne, and somehow the pharmacy ended up giving me medicine for skin cancer, which caused a reaction of black scabby spots covering most if not all the surface of my face with a few bonus patches on my body — I know what you’re thinking: how could a license professional screw up so badly? That though may have crossed my mind a few times too.

By: thekidscomic

Pimples suck. Dark circles suck too, and don’t even get me started about ashy skin. These skin imperfections are everyday every-person problems, but it remains only a small portion of mine. Born with eczema, rashes and irritations came along with the skin problems everyone else deals with. And we all know how your skin can affect your self-esteem. If a new volcano-like pimple erupts from out of nowhere on your face, you’re likely not feeling so hot that day. Now imagine all that, with black blotches. Like I said, it wasn’t the best time in my life. My self-esteem slowly dwindled down from the already-low level it was at. My mother’s continuous supportive stream of “oh my goodness, just look at the condition of your skin” surprisingly wasn’t helping either.

Shortly after, a trip to the doctor followed by newly prescribed medicine help cleared the dark patches, leaving minuscule scars, helped. But my peaceful hiatus was short-lived, following my sophomore year. I was walking the short distance home from school after a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee in the freshly Autumn weather, when my skin started feeling itchy; it was an foreign sensation to me, almost like my blood was boiling on the inside of my skin. I proceeded to look down and found red bumps covering the mass of my legs. Confused and dazed, I quickly hurried home, and showered and changed out of the clothes I had been wearing. Initially, I had thought it was due to an allergic reaction, but after repeatedly occurrences of the dreaded sensation and hives, I noticed a pattern. The cold. It would only appear whenever I had been exposed to cold weather for a period of time. After obsessive researching on the internet and yet another trip to the doctor, the cause of my strange skin condition was revealed. I am allergic to the cold. I have been diagnosed with cold urticaria. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “No way, come on. Get real.” I don’t blame you. Allergic to the cold. Who had ever heard of such a thing? I get the same reaction when revealing my unusual secret to anyone, so such disbelieve no longer fazes me. I’ll even provide an article for those who continue to fight against the cold hard truth — pun not intended.

Now you know. I have eczema, encountered medicine for skin cancer, and I am allergic to the cold, a case that only happens in 1–3% of urticaria cases. I repeat, 1–3%. Basically, my skin is telling me that I just can’t win. This makes it harder to complain about that one pimple you just can’t get rid of, doesn’t it? Because of these complications, having self-confidence and self-esteem is obviously hard. Before I knew it, liking myself and feeling confident around others became a problem. Lacking confidence all the time, it wasn’t surprising an inferior complex came to existence. The inferior complex that haunts my conscious and unconscious mind, something I will go on to further explain in my IRE, and how it weaved its way into my writing.

Like what you read? Give Jasmine Yap a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.