Communications (Mar/Apr, 1998)

Help by "Letting go"
from Jennifer

Hello Ed. I really like your website!! I too suffer from this disease, but I am getting better every day. Mine was brought on with major stress and drug use as a teenager. The drug use has stopped, I am getting better with stress, and my skin is clearing up (just on my knees and elbows). I believe for me the major cause for the disease staying is not being able to "let go" of past issues. I have been starting to do this, and I see an improvement!

Have a great day and always keep your head and spirits high. -Jennifer


Ed's Reply: Had I the resources and wherewithal, I'd broadcast your poignant, short e-mail to every derm in the country—with a half dozen that I know by name at the top of the list. A lot of our stress is associated with guilt. If not by us, then by others, including our doctors. "Well, Ed, you're paying the price now, aren't you!" ... "You should'a thought of this before you did that." ... "Did you think you could get away with that forever?" ... "You made your bed, now sleep in it...."

As I wend my way into my golden years (ha ha) and the ailments start to pile up, I hear this explicitly or implicitly more and more. We bring it on ourselves, of course, by continually asking the docs "Why is [this or that] happening to me now?" They are probably trying to answer us as realistically as possible, but it's mostly useless knowledge they impart. What are we supposed to do about it—now?

I've decided that guilt is a very selfish feeling, only worthy of a fleeting thought. Every day I am reminded of this by seeing someone I know, or learning about someone, who suffers like I do but did not commit all the sins I committed. Rather selfish of me to have a reason and not them, isn't it?

Thanks for sharing with us, Jennifer. -Ed

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