Leaving Home

Hyperhidrosis does not just affect my ability to wear certain clothes but it has made me fearful of leaving my house alone.

I had originally planned to drop off my road bike at the shop to get it fixed. My boyfriend was going to come with me. The plans changed and he had to attend to something else. If I didn’t have an event the next week that required my bike, I would have avoided going to the shop all together until I could go with someone.

He left, and it quickly settled in that I would have to go to the shop alone. I started to think about “what if I have trouble getting the bike on the rack”, “what if when I get there, I’m sweating and people can see me drenched in sweat”, “what if they ask me a question I don't know and I look dumb"? "I can't do this alone!".

It's this fear of people finding out I'm a fraud. It's this fear of finding out I am as dumb as I think I am. It's a belief that I can't do anything because when I try to I fail. It's the mindset I gained as a young child when I tried to write in school and couldn't get a good grip on the pencil so I'd go flying across the room. It was when I put on the new pair of sandals my mom bought and I kept slipping out of them. It was when I tried to take a test but drench my scantron. It was these moments where I brushed off my struggle as weakness, less than and jumped to believing I was incapable. It's the uncertainty in not knowing HOW to navigate these situations that I sold myself short. I convinced myself I was over reacting.

Now as an adult, I experience this doubt and anxiety around leaving the house alone out of fear of these things happening and not knowing how to navigate the situation. Hyperhidrosis is a 24/7 job. I don't know when it will happen, where, or for how long. It can be exhausting trying to micromanage ever situation. For a short period of time, with the company of someone else I can lean on that other person to distract me from those doubts.

It kind of sounds like I am avoiding how it makes me feel. By avoiding it, I can move on and do what I am expected to do, because I am a grown ass adult! I kept battling myself with these thoughts that day: “Kristen you are fine, you can do it on your own" versus a stronger voice inside my head convincing me not to go. I would somehow convince myself that my bike didn't need anything fixed and it was perfectly fine. It sounds ridiculous right?

At this point, my hands, face, feet, legs, torso were literally dripping sweat uncontrollably. I thought maybe I can take my pill and it’ll go away! Even though I knew it doesn't start to work until an hour or two after taking it.

My anxiety and hesitation to leave my house came to a close after an hour of trying to acknowledge what I was feeling and why I was feeling that way. I knew that things don't always go as planned and I would have to take a little longer to get ready to go out because I now needed more reinforcements to hide my sweat. It's about finding comfort in my uncomfortable situation.

I have days where I am dry. It is days like this where I have to depend on a pill to make me functional where I feel my weakest. In these moments I have to tell myself "I'm a big brave dog" (Chuckie from Rugrats reference). I prepare for the worse and hope for the best!

Living with Hyperhidrosis is so much more than finding treatment. It's about reprogramming my body and my mind to believe I am capable.