A couple of weeks ago, I got home to find I had no hot water. The storms we had caused the tank's thermostat to trip, and I was without hot water overnight. It was fixed in less than 24 hours of the discovery. So thankful!
It's imperative I have a shower twice a day - in the morning to remove the skin that's grown overnight and during the day. The longer I leave it, the more sore it gets - cracks and peeling and a general discomfort. Ichthyosis can be inconvenient when I'm inconvenienced!
I went to my friend Nicole's house to shower, she lives close by. Lifesaver! Poor Adam braved a cold shower.
So this is me, the morning I had no hot water, before I'd put my face on - or taken the previous night's face off? I did put pre-shower paraffin on so I am much less dry than when I just wake up, it helps with the face washing. The steam in the shower combined with the paraffin softens my skin. Gosh my hair is messy!
I don't do anything or let anyone see me before a morning shower. I'm a bit miserable, a bit mucky eyed and longing to freshen up.
I Facebooked about overcoming the embarrassment of being seen first thing in the morning when I stayed in hostels overseas:
I don't usually let anyone see me before I have had a morning shower.
You see, I don't wake up looking like the photos I post here, or how you see me in person. I must put my face on to greet the world - or more realistically, take my overnight face off. Ichthyosis means the skin renews a lot overnight and I wake up with a very scaly, very hard to move face. Maybe like Botox meets facial peel. Hideous.
So it's been a big feat for me to forgo some of that privacy these past six weeks - staying in hostels and with other people. And it hasn't been so bad. I still don't look at people in the eye before I have had a shower but I can manage to go out of my room into the bathroom past people.
I believe that is the first photo I've ever put on the Internet where I don't look and feel my best. Hurrah for a supportive community giving me the confidence to do this!
When I put that photo up on Facebook and Instagram the day after the hot water went out, I asked my community to share a photo of themselves without their face on. And they did, showing their natural beauty, their vulnerable side. Solidarity.
And also, just to make this post doubly full of self consciousness, here's a video I did - lipsynching to a Darren Hayes song - for Eden. She's had a really tough time lately and she's asked for people to take part in her international lipsynching competition - to bring some laughter her (and our) way. This is the most embarrassing thing I've done on the Internet. Look away now.