We talked to eczema patient advocate Ashley Lora about what it means to live in joy with an inflammatory skin condition.
It was a privilege to have Ashley on set with us for #VisibleUnstoppable—her energy and warmth lift people up. She is a skilled facilitator, speaker, and organizer, and we really admire the way she advocates for the eczema community.
We don't often see depictions of people with eczema experiencing joy. Why is that?
I think there’s an assumption that individuals living with eczema are suffering all of the time. That we can’t be happy AND have eczema at the same time. That’s why the past few years I have tried to publicly showcase my journey with eczema. Sure, I have not-so-good days, but the majority of days, I’m managing my eczema to the extent that I can still have an enjoyable, content lifestyle.
Why is it radical and important to show eczema joy?
It’s important that we start changing the narrative around our moods with eczema. That we stop seeing it as an entity that only brings us pain, when in fact, eczema has brought so much beauty in my life. We must portray that you can be happy and live a content life even while living with eczema. There are plenty of people in beautiful relationships, raising families, thriving in their careers, and more, all while living with eczema. This is what we get to see.
What steps can we take to bring more joy into our lives?
There are plenty of steps we
can take to bring more joy into our lives. I began intentionally bringing joy into my life when I learned that:
1.) I was not alone in this journey,
2.) There are resources that exist to help us better manage our eczema, and
3.) That we can in fact live a content life even while living with eczema.
Joy was a byproduct of me finally accepting that I have a chronic condition, so maybe adding acceptance to that list!