Two weeks ago my parents were complaining that I had apparently been keeping this blog more or less a secret. Which was not unfair.
I have been writing more or less frequently for about three years now and became a regular columnist at the magazine GAAF! about two years ago. Not something to be ashamed of, certainly. But somehow it had not really occurred to me to share the content of my work with friends and family. Luckily, this was not difficult to remedy; a facebook post definitely sufficed.
And the responses were great! Comments were nice, some family members were shocked that eczema has such a big impact on my life and people that I don’t know that well came up to me in person to tell me that they recognise themselves in my stories. So much validation!
Because of these conversations I decided to go a step further. I had been thinking about rebranding for a while now and even have some plans for expansion. And most importantly, I had been looking for a new name that’s more on-topic. I have been gravitating towards eczema and mental health topics and I wanted the design and name to reflect that.
So I got to work. I consulted my oracle for a good name, dove into the world of hosting and got myself an almost-perfect domain. This means that I stopped using Tumblr as my hosting service, although I will still be active there.
So without further ado, I present my new site: scratchthat.blog
It’s not a sexy or trending topic, but for me it is a big one. Apart form having red and inflamed skin, which is what most people notice the first time they see me, my eczema penetrates my life in many more ways than can be seen on the surface. And I think it is time to talk about it, even if it only means I can let of some steam.
My greatest annoyances?
- Leaving dead skin everywhere. It’s so embarrassing!
- Everyone has some well intended advice which is almost always utterly useless.
- Scratching, creams, painful skin, sleepless nights… it can be very exhausting.
- Pillow fights are a no-no 😦
- Neither are sleepovers, unless you are determined to pay the price.
- Blood stains on the bed linen and on my favourite shirts.
- Scratching all the time and annoying others with the noise. I’m sorry, guys!
- Hardly being able to use any cosmetics. Say goodbye to smokey eyes and hello to dead-looking hair!
- Moisturizing, moisturizing, moisturizing and… well.. moisturizing. Fucking exhausting.
This is why I’ve written several posts about how the past few months my eczema has been kicking my butt and my struggles to kick back. I hope they are entertaining. If not, they will at least give you a nice peek into my daily struggles.
This post was also published in Gaaf!, society magazine of the VMCE.
My name is Hanne Kause and I prefer describing myself as an outgoing, wild camping and rock climbing treehugger, who is passionate about singing and dancing and loves playing the five chords she knows on her guitar and ukulele next to a fire. But actually I am a mathematician gone biomedical engineering stuck in a PhD.
I am an absolute sucker for Sherlock, Dr Who, David Mitchell, Harry Potter, Bastille and other British Products (including some of my dearest friends ;)). And when left alone with headphones and my music collection I’ll probably listen to Royksopp, Olafur Arnalds, Massive Attack, Kyteman Orchestra or one of Tim Minchins rare but fun rants.
Of course this all sounds great. You’d almost think I am a perfect person. Don’t worry, there are downsides! Apart from the fact that my emotions can go everywhere in quick outbursts (so much fun but sometimes difficult to be around) I have major allergy issues (not so much fun and sometimes not even really manageable). Luckily most of these stresses can be stroked away by a loving hand.
No, seriously, caressing my skin actually really quickly improves my eczema and will decimate the effect of allergies on my body. No wonder I am most happy in any form of cuddle puddle!
Picture by Abel Planting.
Well, this is embarrassing. Apparently I decided to start writing a blog. It is intended mainly for personal development. I just want a place to order my thoughts. A place to go to if I have forgotten to breathe and am extremely stressed. Or a place to dump my frustrations when the sadness of politics and nature have taken the better of me.
And who knows… maybe this will die a sad and quick death, maybe I will be writing here for years but nobody ever reads it. And maybe… well, we’ll see.
In any case, I challenge myself to make it a place where I will not paint the sky (much) more blue than it is. You’ll find the beauty, the pain and the reality.
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