Several years ago, I developed a horrible case of rosacea. “Triggers” for this embarrassing skin condition that causes reddening of the face and a change in facial skin texture include humidity, heat, spicy foods ,exercise, and alcohol. Since I live in the Gulf Coast region of Texas where all of these are the norm, my situation quickly aggravated. My skin turned deep red/purple at outdoor events, during a Cajun or Tex-Mex dinner, or after the first drink with friends. It was so embarrassing! I tried countless moisturizers, skin products, and makeup lines that cost hundreds of dollars only to burn my skin after one or two uses and be discarded. My face itched and burned all of the time and the prescription creams did little to assuage that. I became so ashamed of my appearance that I ducked cameras at gatherings to avoid being the glowing beet in the shot. I spent many hours and days online searching for cures, some of which I ordered with temporary favorable results, only to go back to the medically predicted worsening of this “permanent condition”.
“Coincidentally” I was in a very stressful place in my personal life. I was several years into my first and only marriage, doing my best to be a good wife and step-parent to children from his first two marriages, a couple of whom were troubled by the high-conflict divorce of their parents. Things didn’t settle much over time, and I did not know how to bring any peace to my life. I did not have any family support as my adopted parents had passed years before. I’d put my career on hold to help with the children and go to college, and I was also seeking counseling for childhood sexual trauma I’d masked with alcohol and drugs prior to marriage, but I wasn’t seeing much result there either. Despite my best efforts, I felt my American Dream disintegrating, but I was determined not to become a divorce statistic. We kept trying and trying…and my face grew red, then redder, then redder. I was in so focused on trying to get my life together I didn’t realize the correlation between this and my rosacea until years later.
Our inevitable divorce came, but he had to ask. I guess I was never going to admit defeat! Heck, I carried that grief and anger and disappointment and frustration for years too, just as I’d become so proficient at doing with every other unresolved emotion. Then one day a physical injury led me to a holistic practitioner. That led me into a shamanic healing path and two trips to Peru to work with plant medicine (soon to be three, if you’d like to come along) to begin feeling and healing all the emotions I’d stuffed. My rosacea began to subside. My tension and high blood pressure began returning to normal. I began to energetically feel the layers of broken dreams and expectations fall away as I discovered and reclaimed parts of my core self.
If you or someone you love suffers with rosacea, my heart is with you! It is an embarrassing, frustrating experience. It is also your body talking to you. I pushed on…until I didn’t anymore. All illness is the body’s way of talking to us and asking us to listen to what it wants to show us about the true state of our being. Emotions create illness and disease when they aren’t allowed to flow and process through our bodies. It is a profound truth I never realized until I stopped treating the symptoms and started truly healing.
This is me last year after just hiking up a steep hill in the hot, humid jungle of Peru! Is my face pink? Yes. Is it purple? No. I look like most normal people might after exercising. That’s something I’d really given up on a few years ago.
Is rosacea incurable? I no longer believe anything is incurable. Our body is a Divine being created as an extension of, and in the image of Creator. The body knows its ‘normal’ state and is striving to get there, one regenerating cell at a time, in every moment. Stuffing our emotions, denying our stress, pushing through the pain despite our body’s signals (red face, back or chst pain, etc) is what creates illness and disease. I have now experienced and fully believe that the sooner and more frequently we step out of our busy routines and into the quiet to allow our truth to emerge and learn to honor our truth and love ourselves exactly as we are, the healthier we get!
Much love and Light to you,
Sheryl Sitts, MPA, BA, Speaker, and Holistic Practitioner