couple holding hands

Holding hands when you have hyperhidrosis can be horribly embarrassing.
(Image Credit: Aaron Blanco Tejedor)

I went to a writing seminar yesterday. The goal was to learn how to become unstuck and stay on course when writing. I’ve been in a blogging rut lately, but I’m sure you’ve already noticed I haven’t been posting for awhile. While I had the best of intentions to complete each post in the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, it just didn’t happen. For me, it became more about quantity than quality of posts, something I never wish to do with my writing. I know you appreciate a frequency of posts, I really do. But let’s be honest. Sometimes life gets in the way. Life already has enough could’ves, should’ves, and would’ves, so I’m not going to feel bad and apologize for another something that I should’ve done. But I digress.

The Dreaded ‘Let’s Join Hands’

This writing workshop was helpful, but the way it started out was horrible for me personally. The leader brought another attendee up to the front to explain the first exercise. They were standing and facing each other, so I immediately started thinking,

Dear God, if they join hands and start talking I am going to freak out.

So what did they do? Joined hands! The leader asked us all to get up and as a meet and greet join hands with others and say, “I am _____. I recognize the writer in you, and I recognize the writer in me.” Really? Couldn’t we just skip that part, stay seated in our personal space, and tell people about ourselves? I couldn’t even remember what we were supposed to say after she explained it. I had to do this exchange with probably 8 people or so, and they had to repeat it back to me, so it was at least 20 seconds of having to extend my dripping hands into theirs. Oh, the agony.

I thought briefly about trying to excuse myself from this meet and greet, or using the excuse that I have a cold and shouldn’t make hand contact. But if I were just to excuse myself, what if it looked like I was trying to be above the interaction? Would the other workshop attendees think, Who does she think she is, refusing to participate?

But if they only knew what it’s like to be inside my body.

Social Triggers for Hyperhidrosis

By the time we were done, I was sweating basically all over because the exchange was such a trigger. I’m really trying to work on my inner monologue in situations like these, but it’s damn near impossible to calm myself down once I know I’m being put on the spot like I was.

It’s situations exactly like this that make me want to NOT attend events because I don’t know what will happen.

Yes, life is unpredictable, but when you put yourself out there in the first place as a sweater, it’s even more unpredictable and nerve-wracking. I could have done completely without this interaction. I really could have. After I sat back down, I was trying to do some deep breathing to calm down. Does anyone else have the problem after a trigger situation of becoming absolutely freezing afterward? As my sweat was evaporating, it was making me cold. It’s like I have two different thermostats in my body.

Wiping Away The Sweat

After the introductions were over, the leader asked what kind of writing we all did. I used this an opportunity to talk about my blog and how I was raising awareness about hyperhidrosis, a condition that is under-recognized and under-treated. This helped me feel better after my mortifying hand-holding encounters. A friend who came with me to the workshop said he noticed at least two people wipe off their hands after they let go of mine. I’m glad I didn’t see that. That would have put me over the edge and probably made me cry.

I can’t help that I sweat, but you can help from being so obvious about drying yourself off after you touch me.

Welcome to my world. I deal with this every single day of my life. It’s hard work.

It was mortifying yesterday. Today, I feel more angry about it.

Do I have to over-analyze every situation to make sure I can go to it beforehand? Or should I email the instructors ahead of time and ask if there will be any hand holding involved, and if so, exactly what time will that occur so that I can show up after it’s over? Oh, wait. If I show up after it’s over, then that would make me late to the event. And being late makes me sweat, so I guess that won’t work, either. Super.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle