I’ve gotten a lot of interest in my comment about finding treatments that have helped my sweating. There are a lot of things I’ve done, and I’ve helped my sweating problem 80%. But it’s not cured completely, and it’s still triggered at stressful moments.
I could tell you everything I’ve done, but as I’m still in the process I’m going to wait a little while. For now I want to write this post because there’s some really amazing things that I’ve learned in the process of understanding my body and my Hyperhidrosis. I have felt so hopeless in my life, and have felt as though I can’t live my dreams. I know how each and every one of you with this condition feel. Before I say anything, I want you all to know I have suffered from excessive sweating from primarily my hands, feet and armpits. However I sweat everywhere else on my body at times. And when I say sweat, I mean beading, dripping, soaking sweat. My condition isn’t minute, it’s extensive.
Having said that, I have to say that my sweating has been probably the one thing that has motivated me TO live my dreams, to make things happen despite it. I look back on my life and see what amazing things have happened because it was so hard for me to live life normally. I love who I am today because of it.
Here are 13 things I want EVERY Hyperhidrosis sufferer to remember:
- Life can be lived no matter what problems you have. I missed out on a lot of life because I thought my sweating kept me from doing things I wanted. But my sweating problem motivated me to work a thousand times harder for the things I did want because it came easy to everyone else. (Note, don’t get hard work mixed up with stress. The reason my HH is so much better is because I made a point to decrease my stress while working hard). I wanted to get a degree, so I did it. I suffered a lot of humiliation, many difficult moments, and drips on homework assignments, but I did it. I wanted to travel, so I went to 47 U.S. States, Canada, Mexico and I traveled across Europe. I felt inadequate, and afraid of the intimacy that people show in other cultures, and I had a few small embarrassing moments, but I did it. I wanted a great job, so I went and found one. Now I attend meetings, meet new people, design amazing products, and yes I struggle quite a bit almost every day! But it motivates me more.
- There is no shortcut to fixing a health problem. Every health problem is your body talking to you, trying to get your attention to solve a problem. There is no quick fix once your body has manifested sweating. Sweating is almost always a symptom of an underlying problem that needs to be resolved! It can be anything from lymes disease, to hypoglycemia to cancer or glandular exhaustion. If you are overweight, that’s another sign that there is something deeper that needs resolving. At some point I hope to write more on the subject.
- If you have a bad moment, let yourself feel the effects of it. I can’t emphasize this enough. In the american society, and most likely others, we are taught that it’s not okay to feel our feelings. When something bad happens, we often feel embarrassed or sad or angry for a moment. But then we drown it with anything we know how. Food, drugs, exercise, medication or just pushing the feeling down until we don’t feel it anymore are common ways of coping. About six months ago, I went in to visit my professor from college. Another professor that used to trigger my symptoms on purpose showed up at the same time! He intentionally made me blush, and I could feel the heat and sweat all over my body. I said something awkward in my panic, and made an excuse to leave while he laughed at me. All my old feelings of feeling out of control of my body and not being able to heal my disorder came back. Having recently been told to start feeling my emotions instead of burying them, I went into the bathroom into a stall and just let myself bawl. I cried for a good fifteen minutes! Then I wiped my eyes, came out of the stall with a makeup stained face and went to walk the five minutes to my car. I have never once since then thought of that situation with embarrassment or shame, because I felt my feelings when they came. I validated them, I honored them and let myself feel them. I’ve seen that professor many times since then and have not had that kind of response around him to this day. Once you become more in tune with your feelings, accepting them and letting yourself feel them on the spot, the less you’ll sweat. I guarantee it. Sweat is triggered by both physical and emotional aspects. If you don’t have emotional triggers because you take care of them as they come, this will help your sweat to not be triggered.
- Life is not what you think it is. One thing that sweating taught me is that some dreams arent as great as we think they are. Being an excessive sweater made me look at things differently in life, because lets face it—It’s hard to become certain things with this problem. I couldn’t follow in my mom’s footsteps because of my excessive sweating. And now, 6 years later I’m thanking my sweat every day. I would have been married young to someone who doesn’t understand me and I’d have 6 kids. I would have had those kids before I found myself, and lived my own dreams. I was given the opportunity to make a different choice, and now I have a bachelors degree, I’ve lived my dream of traveling across Europe, I have a great paying job and I have had the opportunity to create great relationships without having to touch people all the time. It can be done… I proved it. When I was 16 and I discovered my hands were sweating, all I could think about was boys, and how I wanted to cure this problem so I could be worthwhile to boys. Sweating gave me the opportunity to appreciate MYSELF, because I couldn’t just find appreciation elsewhere. Sweating made me recognize that I can be worthwhile without all the things the world says makes me worthwhile. I found beauty in small things. I learned to love doing things alone, and finding people that accepted me.
- Develop your spirituality. I know that a common response to this is UGH. Seriously? What does that have to do with my sweating? Well… Everything. Two wonderful ways of thinking I’ve come across is Abraham Hicks and the book Radical Forgiveness. This way of thinking can dramatically change your state of mind, the experiences you have and how fulfilled you feel in life. Despite hyperhidrosis. If you go into all of your experiences with the mindset that everything happens for your own growth, and that your sweat is a perfect opportunity to become an incredible and amazing individual, nothing can stop you from living greater dreams than you ever imagined.
- What is YOUR sweat trying to teach you? Is it teaching me that I’m afraid of intimacy? Is it teaching me that I can make things happen for myself despite having a difficult challenge? Is it teaching me that I need to find my worth in other ways than the conventional “perfection”? Is it teaching me that I need to be a more unique and incredible example of living life to its fullest? Is it teaching me to be more loving and compassionate to others? Is it teaching me that I need to remember that my sweat doesn’t really take over my whole life like I think it does?
- Don’t become hardened by your circumstances. Use them as an opportunity to become more loving and grow even more. We have two choices with facing challenges: Become closed, angry, victimized and hard hearted from the hand we’ve been dealt, or take responsibility for it and become more open, loving and compassionate towards ourselves and others. I’ve experienced responding both ways, and let me tell you I would much rather create amazing experiences out of my struggles than be a victim of them.
- Use your challenges to grow, not become stagnant. Again, you have two choices. The more difficult the challenge, the more activation energy you will have to fly high. People who have not had many challenges often do not find motivation to be exceptional. You have a significant opportunity to make this challenge work for you. Pretending it’s not there in your desire to be perfect isn’t going to help you become the best you can be.
- Just because one dream doesn’t come true, doesn’t mean the next one that does isn’t better. I’m telling you, sometimes life gives you better things than you could ever dream up. I believe in dreaming, and continuing to dream. But don’t throw away things that could be even better for you. Start feeling that unlimited love that is there for you and think of everything in your life as something that is there to teach you and help you become more great. Find that satisfying love for the experiences that are thrown at you.
- You are still a person, even if you don’t think you are. Just because this is the challenge you are faced with, doesn’t mean you’re too different to find understanding from and connection with others. You are not some kind of alien, you are a person. There are understanding people, and people who are afraid of their own differences. Seek out the understanding people, and realize that those that are afraid of being different are usually judgemental because they have secrets of their own. Be an understanding person for someone else.
- Don’t be ashamed forever. I get that Hyperhidrosis is shameful, and embarrassing and downright scary at times. I hate it. But I have found the less I am ashamed of my disorder, the less I sweat. No wonder some people just grow out of this disorder. While it fits, it fits. Wear it proudly until its just too small for you. Nothing lasts forever, and life’s not going to wait.
- Stress exacerbates sweat. Stress exacerbates everything you don’t want actually. Start making small changes in your life today to help your body relax and go into healing mode. Can you possibly work less hours? Can you find a job that requires less stress? (Remember I’m not discounting that fact that it is incredibly difficult to even FIND a job with this disorder, but I do not believe we must be limited by it). Are you getting enough sleep at night? Find ways to relax and enjoy life more. Maybe that’s something your sweat has been trying to tell you all a long.
- Accept the fact that you have Hyperhidrosis. I spent way too long hoping I wouldn’t have to tell anyone I had this condition because I would just find the cure and it would be gone. Now, many years later I am finding that Hyperhidrosis has been a large part of defining the amazing person I’ve become. I am more satisfied with the goals I achieve knowing how much I overcame to get there. Hyperhidrosis is part of me now, and I’m much less ashamed of it. People often ask me now how I live such a healthy lifestyle, how I can be so committed to taking care of myself and how I’ve learned to say no when life gets overwhelming. Well, because I developed a condition that made me rethink my entire life, world and environment. It became my daily teacher that led me to find joy in the small things. The worlds idea of perfect isn’t enticing anymore, rather the daily joys and wonders of life.
Just remember that Hyperhidrosis doesn’t define you as a person, it helps you to make the choices and decisions to define yourself the way you want to be defined. You have within you the power to an absolutely incredible and amazing individual, so don’t feel limited by this condition. Use it to your advantage. You never have to be a victim of life, no matter how much it tries to control you. You have a great opportunity, so take advantage of it!