I am socially awkward and prefer to keep to myself. I somehow feel threatened when it comes to socializing, kind of like I will be judged in a negative manner. My social skills are pretty much non-existent, it’s a wonder how I have friends, especially those I met during my undergraduate studies. And also, socializing comes with hand shaking when meeting new people. I have always disliked shaking hands with people because I hate the idea of transferring germs between hands and also because people are bound to ask one of two questions: “Why are your hands so cold and soft?” And “Why are your hands wet?”
At times, no matter how much I try to wipe them, they don’t get dry. Sometimes I will explain, other times I will apologize before shaking hands about what they are about to experience and this sometimes thwarts the questions sure to arise. I have decided to buy a pair of fingerless gloves to wear in social settings. That way, no one has to feel the sweaty palms when they shake my hands unless I soak my gloves which has happened before with my exercise gloves. But in this case, I am sure it is better than the sweaty hands, plus I could just pass it off as a water accident and forget about it.
I have lived with hyperhidrosis for pretty much all of my life and I always have to find ways around it. I try not to let it limit my life though I have let it do a great job of it in the past such as passing up on sports because I felt I would be unsuccessful in anything sports related due to wet hands and feet. It is always a constant battle trying to accommodate my condition into a social setting. Somehow, there is always something that will remind me of the limitations I face due to my condition though I figure now, that some of these limitations are really self-imposed, arising from a low self-esteem and self-stigma, always anticipating what the other person encountering my condition must be thinking and feeling about it. It is a constant battle of give and take within me, a battle I am tired of fighting.
However, I am still undecided about seeking treatment because I am not sure of the side-effects, whether I will be among the few that get completely healed or now suffer something else. Also, I dread having to reconstruct my identity. It is currently built around my condition. But without the condition which has been with me since birth, who am I? Also, none of the other physicians I have seen since my pediatrician have been able to give the same diagnosis, most simply stating, you only sweat because you are anxious. Whenever I hear this, I don’t even bother to further the conversation, I see no point. I move on to something else and I am currently not looking into treatments. I am not mentally prepared for that life changing treatment.
To be continued…