Friday, July 12, 2013

What if they saw you sweat?

A recent blog post by writer Donald Miller, What if the Temptation to Be Impressive Keeps Us From Connecting? got me thinking. Mr. Miller, author of the Storyline Blog, writes about how he is bored by people who portray themselves as perfect. I believe there's an important lesson here for people with hyperhidrosis and social anxiety. Often when we're so busy trying to hide our sweat, we are unable to connect with others. We may also lose the ability to discern who is a true friend who is worthy of your time and love. (And when I say "worthy," I'm talking about someone's integrity, morals, and originality--not their social standing or wealth.)

In high school, I lived in fear of classmates discovering my hyperhidrosis. I avoided activities where I might need to hold or shake others' hands. At religious services, I would leave for the bathroom in the middle of each service to avoid exchanging the sign of peace. When I won an award for excellence in my sport (surprise, was swimming!), I refused to attend the ceremony to accept the trophy because I would need to shake hands. All of this kept me apart from others, alone in a crowd. And it was all because I was afraid I would be made fun of because of my sweat.

My fear of being teased was valid--I had been teased because of my sweat--but I was not able to think this through at the time. If someone is making fun of me because of my sweat, what does it say about them? Now I know that mean people are often hurting on the inside. Ostracizing others is a way to boost yourself at others' expense. Ultimately, the cruelty hurts all involved. People who are at peace with themselves naturally feel compassionate towards others. They are the people you want to know. They are the people who are capable of healthy friendships. They are the people who will accept you for who you are, even if you sweat like a football player eating jalapeno peppers in a sweat lodge. When I think about my high school classmates, I believe there were some who would have been excellent friends who I did not connect with because I was too busy hiding.

Therefore, being honest about your hyperhidrosis will weed out people who lack the compassion and self-love to be a true friend. I'm not saying that you need to tell everyone all the time. But there are some times and places where it's better to be honest. If someone rejects you, yes, of course, it will hurt. But ultimately, the loss is theirs.



Hyperhidrosis Wilmslow said...

Finally, I got what I was looking for. Don’t have enough words to thank you that you choose this particular topic to write about. Feeling really satisfied after reading.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly me! I used to go to a private school and we would have mass once a week. I would always ask the teacher if I could use the restroom right during the sign of peace. I also am a swimmer. I like swimming because nobody can tell that you are sweating. I also play the flute and when I play during my concerts my hands sweat and I feel like everybody sees. I know exactly how you feel!

Anonymous said...

I have had HH since i was born and its really ruining my life'am 17 now, i have been really depressed, stressed and cant socialize (actually i have never dated leave alone the fact that i have never spoken upclose with a girl except thru sms). sometimes i feel depressed and have suicidal thoughts since HH has ruined my social life...i even got bullied atimes when i was in high make matters worse i dont have access to treatment and my parents think am making this up (i sweat on my palm, scalp,butt, feet,armpits and thigh...sometimes even my whole face

teri said...

Finally i found a just a recent blog about hyperhidrosis... I will bookmark this page and read this. I am still experiencing hyperhidrosis and I wouldnt deny that it greatly affected my life, my relationship and my self confidence. I manage to be strong given at the age of 22. I even thought about getting a suicide before, during those younger years when I was feeling so helpless, when no one understand. Just remembering those days, it breaks my heart and i can cry instantly. Until now, i'm wondering how to permanently remove this abnormalities in me. Those 22 years were a wasted life and tough days... I wish to have the remaining 25 years to be a fulfilling one with the pleasure of having none of those nightmares anymore..

I just hope this blog updates, seeing that the last post was July ago.

Jayson Brown said...

One of my friend having hyperhydrosis problem since his childhood, he visited to many doctors to cure about this but still did not get any luck on it, what is exact cure for Hyperhydrosis.

John said...

I used to be teased all the time for sweating all the time so I can relate. This website has more on story.