- 13 years old
- Murray, Utah
- 31 years old
- Salt Lake City, Utah
This is my photo from 8th grade. 8th grade was tough for me, especially because of something that was happening, totally out of my control. During this year, I started to have excessively sweaty hands. That might not sound like a big deal, but my hands weren’t clammy, they were actually dripping wet with sweat every day, and it had nothing to do with temperature. I could be freezing cold and my hands were soaked with sweat. It was insanely embarrassing and emotionally painful. I did everything I could to hide it from family and friends. The condition got worse when my armpits became part of the problem. I had “pit stains” on a daily basis, no matter if I was hot or cold. I would wear layers of clothes to hide it. I was convinced that I was the grossest person alive, and I was also convinced that I would never date or have a normal relationship. I still had friends, and from the outside I probably seemed normal to people. But inside I was non-stop suffering and terrified that someone would find out my secret. I lived every day believing that I was disgusting and weird, and I built emotional walls to keep anyone from getting close to me. As my parents became more aware, we did everything we could to try and stop the sweating. Unfortunately, no amount of prescription strength antiperspirant or any other remedies helped. Finally, when I was 18 we met with a specialist who informed us that I had a medical conditional called hyperhidrosis, and that there was a surgical procedure that would stop the sweating from my hands and armpits. I had the surgery, and it worked! The surgery was a major turning point in my life. I was finally able to see myself as normal, and realized that hiding a problem wasn’t the best way to get help with it.
Today, I still deal with hyperhidrosis, but it’s manageable. The problems from my teenage years are still real, but are a very distant memory. After spending my teenage years feeling so insecure and self-concerned, I do my best to be the opposite in my adult life. I enjoy getting ready and picking a cute outfit, but once I leave the house I stop worrying about what I look like. No matter what I’m wearing, I decide to feel confident about it, and I don’t make excuses for my outfit or my looks. Having confidence and feeling good about myself gives me a freedom that I didn’t once have. The less I worry about what I look like, the happier I am!