My heart goes out to this very special reader...

Last night, I was just finishing up a blog post when I noticed a new comment pop up. I checked it out real quick and what did I read, but a comment I just couldn't turn away from. And that comment is from Kyle:

I know what it is like to have allergies, from food to dust to grass and things like that.

I suffer from asthma, eczema and a salicylate sensitivity, just for a start.

Yet I also cop heaps from my stepfather for not working or being lazy, and things like that.

I am now 27 and have had this abuse since I was a child. My stepfather is a hard working however alcoholic, authoritarian bully, and still is to this day at 52.

Not to mention peer pressure to smoke and drink, in particular I have had horrible reactions from marijuana, surely a bad response from chemicals inside, and even cigarettes and alcoohol are, at best, something which will not help get me better, and at worst making me get worse triggers.

It is not like I can just get any job and blend in with any croud, like many and himself.

I feel like I am slowly dying with the anxiety and depression I get. I lakc self-esteem and confidence because I cannot get the necessary help anywhere and share it openly with others. They should have some places where people like myself can gather so we can blend in with each other.

Best wishes to all out there. This from a food allergy sufferer living in Tasmania, a place where they hardly accommodate people with allergies in work and life

My answer:

Dear Kyle,

I can honestly say at this point that I’ve never seen such a raw, exposed and honest comment on my blog. I thank you SO much for opening up. And I couldn’t be happier to know that I gave somebody the platform to do so. It truly warms my heart through and through. This is exactly why this blog came to fruition - because I couldn’t find anybody else out there! My hunny and I thought, “How wonderful would it be to have a platform where everybody with allergies could help each other out?”

Now, while your comment has made me feel all of those awesome things, my empathy for you is vast and it saddens me to hear how dark some of your moments have gotten due to your stepfather. Just remember this - the problem is your stepfather, not you. He’s not opening himself up to your world so that he can see inside and try to understand. He’s just not trying. I’ll be honest here and say I can understand how cold something like this can feel from a family member and it’s colder than most people realize. While the target wasn’t my allergies (I didn’t have them then), it still never good. It was quite the opposite.

It can be tough over here in the states finding good doctors, so I can only imagine how it is in other countries… I hope that you can find some of the other great blogs which will give you your own little online community of your own. I’ve actually got a bunch of online allergy friends now :-) It’s AWESOME. Check the bottom right hand corner of my site for the most recent blogs I’ve started to follow. The internet is a great tool. The ointment I buy for my eczema is actually purchased online as well! Also, you’ll find other fellow allergy sufferers in the comments on this blog. They’re out there - I promise!

I too, have suffered from depression and anxiety as my allergies have developed. Actually, I tweeted this last night:

Developing the allergies out of nowhere turned my world upside down and took away all of my pretty clothes, my make-up, my hair products and my razors. I could go on and on, but this isn't about me right now.

Please stay strong and try to remember that you can figure this out somehow. In my experience, it takes a lot of discipline, a lot of making people aware of my allergies, and trying to figure out new ways to enjoy life. It sucks… but I believe that if we think hard enough and give it some time… we can figure it out and be happy.

And Kyle, if you have any questions you’d like me to put out there, I’d be happy to do just that!

Most Sincerely, The Allergista