I officially quit steroids on September 16th and today marks 1 month! Let me just say that it has been the toughest 30 days of my life. I cannot tell you how many times the thought of throwing in the towel to take the easy route of consuming oral steroids crossed my mind. TSW is physically AND psychologically draining. During the first 3 days of withdrawal, I became intensely depressed. I was offered an amazing internship to work at a global company this semester but had to give up the opportunity to treat this. I also had to drop the remainder of my college classes because of my present situation. This really means I’m forced to take a semester off and will have to delay graduation.
When I first approached my faculty advisor to drop my classes, the first thing she said was, “You don’t look like your usual self, are you OK?” I burst into tears. I’ve known her for 4 years and she knows exactly what type of person I am. Extroverted. I’m basically living like a hermit and for an indefinite amount of time.
I was initially extremely pissed at the fact that my plans to intern this semester, finish the remainder of college classes in the spring and graduate in June had been turned upside down. During the first few days of withdrawal, I felt incredibly lonely. What the heck did I do to deserve this? A lot of self pity since my life now revolved around flare ups and random itch attacks.
On the 13th day, I noticed the rashes spreading to different areas of my body. It was initially just my face but now my arms, neck and upper chest were covered in itchy, red, oozing rashes. I was in denial and couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I would also cry every time I applied moisturizer.
My mother has been extremely supportive but would tell me to step it up and stop crying every time she saw. (It doesn’t help my already swollen eyes!) The turning point was when she heard me sob uncontrollably in the shower for the 314890 time and witnessed me shiver like a drug addict after showering. When I got out, I apologized for crying. Her eyes welled up and she told me that it hasn’t been easy on her since she can’t do anything in her power to stop this and the only thing she can do is watch me suffer.
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect. My mind was initially clouded with negative thoughts (sometimes depressing and suicidal thoughts) but whenever I read the messages on the ITSAN forum it makes me feel extremely inspired. I see veterans going at it for 12, 16, 24 months and also newbs starting out like me.
And as cliché as it sounds, everything happens for a reason. Maybe the internship wasn’t meant to be. Maybe this is a personal test. TSW ain’t easy to overcome but no one said life was easy.
In short, I thank everyone here for inspiring and motivating me to continue on this journey. I’m sure we’ll all overcome this at some point!