My Good Side (2019)

For the past few months I’ve been struggling with periorificial dermatitis, which is a skin condition that’s basically the hideous bastard of eczema and acne. It has been absolutely beating the shit out of my confidence. During a bad flare-up in February, I looked at myself in the mirror and I just burst into tears. I didn’t think I was this vain, that my self-confidence was so easily shaken, but… Here we are.

While I was whining to @hannahdub_ois about this, she said “make some art about it!” And my initial reaction was like, uh, fuck no, I’m not letting the world see me like this. But then I thought… why not? I thought about my writing, how it addresses mental illness head-on, how that kind of vulnerability doesn’t scare me. What’s the difference?

I’ve been going through some shit lately (admittedly, I am nearly constantly going through some shit) and I haven’t felt like myself, or empowered. I have felt small. Terrified. Weak. Vulnerable. …But vulnerability doesn’t scare me. Why should it now?

I tend to see the left side of my face as being my “good side.” But periorificial dermatitis is indiscriminate to the sides of my face, and has shown me that— as HARD as it is for me to believe this 99% of the time— my good side is not on my face. It’s in my ~soul~ (yes I’m aware I’m being corny). My good side is the side that is brave, that is bold, that is unafraid to be honest. My good side comes out when I value myself and don’t get consumed by anxiety. My good side is my artistic side. My good side is the side that recognizes that I exist in a flesh prison which will eventually rot away and cease to exist, and what I look like in the meantime does not matter. This is my good side, blemishes and all. 💥