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Why Fight Too Hard?
by Roger D.

Background:  She’s Happier Not Fighting P (February, 2001) and Happy Non-Fighter Fights Back (March, 2001) both by Courtney J.

Hi Ed:  Courtney J.'s letters really hit home for me, because they articulated one aspect of my own "battle" with P that I have never really touched on in letters here or even in conversation with my wife, who has to suffer through most of my tirades on many subjects.

I, too, chose not to continue any really sustained effort to overcome my P. I did a lot of research on the condition early on and knew from the onset that it was basically a war I could not win.  Therefore, I decided that I would undergo less stress by treating only as was really essential and learning to live with the situation than I would by launching an all-out assault on the condition and then having to face the ultimate failure.

As you know, I also decided not to let my condition dominate my life or lifestyle. I adopted the P T-shirts [T-shirts for Coping] and continued my camp activities[Nudist Flaker]. I know I'm not always the most pleasant person to look at, but anyone repulsed by my condition has three other points of the compass to face, and the freedom to do so. Their turning away does not offend me. It is far less painful than their staring.

I truly believe my relatively relaxed attitude about my P, and finding a setting in which it is not what defines me as a person, have helped slow its advance by keeping my stress levels down.

I am not an exhibitionistic, in-your-face type person, but when confronted by the ignorant, obnoxious and/or profane, I do not back up or apologize. They have to take me as I am, or go away, because I will not.

At the same time, being open about my condition has also led to some great opportunities to educate, and that's a good thing.

I think there is no really good way to wrap up this discussion, so I'll just stop here and thank you, Ed, for giving us a place to talk, learn, and vent. -Roger D.


Ed’s Response: And I’m rather glad there’s no good way to wrap up this discussion, Roger ... because every time you contribute to it my spirits improve.  Your sense of self is contagiously healthy and, while I may not be ready to join you at camp, I am working on some vicarious scenarios involving myself with assorted comedic outcomes....

Choosing not to fight P too hard is — you’re right — not a popular tack, but I think it surely is a legitimate one.  My current derm, whom I think very highly of, tried aggressively to move me into ever-more complicated or dangerous regimens and, in retrospect, I’m glad all those didn’t work out when they were originally proposed (though the reasons were not good).  Since then I have tried them all (because I’ve cleaned up my lifestyle and lowered a number of collateral risks).  But I would be a different person today if I hadn’t lived non-aggressively with my P for all those years.

Your statement that you “do not back up or apologize...” reminded me of another letter we’re graced with here, and I think it only appropriate that I conclude by giving you the last word (for now)——

Readers, please go to:  Banker Poses No Challenge to Our Nudist Friend. -Ed

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