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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dara

Dear the fickle, the vain, anyone that gives a crap what they look like, anyone that doesn’t give a

They say put your best foot forward, or is it– your best picture forward? The reality is , our best foot is often ugly. And you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Who are you #unfiltered? Like, who are you really? Are your outsides gleaming while your insides are cold, black, and shriveling? My outsides look blistered and scabbed, because of a reaction to a pre-cancer/cancer topical skin treatment and a couple of biopsies. But my insides feel rejuvenated, refreshed,and empowered because I know I am proactively moving towards a solution. This is me doing whatever it takes to clear my mind and body of toxicity and ick. This is the face of self-care and perseverance. This is me keeping my s.h.i.F.t (Shamelessly, Hopeful, Inspired and Full of Truth) together. I know, I know, we are not supposed to post pictures of this reality.. We are supposed to broadcast perfection and pleasantry to pretend like our sh*t doesn’t stink.

I grew up playing tennis in South Florida. I put sunblock on my skin everyday despite my best efforts to defy my mother, “Daaaara, did you put your sunblock on?” Me, “It is 3 in the afternoon. The sun is not out. Fine, fine, I will.” Any weekend I didn’t have a tennis tournament, I went to the beach to even out my sock tan lines in pursuit of the elusive Coppertone tan!

My skin challenges are a combination of nature and nurture. I was born fair-skinned and I lived close to the equator and roasted in the sunny South Florida sun. How I got the sun damage does not matter. What matters is what I do about it!

Whether I choose an aggressive treatment or not, the damage is already underneath, attached to my skin cells. The treatment has brought it to light like the pandemic has done to so many of our lives.

What is blistering for you? Yes, many have suffered physical, emotional, financial, relational, and professional hardships as a result of COVID and the pandemic. But, wasn’t some of the writing already on the wall? People who were financially struggling before COVID were hit with hardship. If you and your partner were rocky in 2019, then 2020 was a make or break year for you. If you battled with being overweight, isolation and confinement did not help. You get the picture. The pandemic magnified things that were already existing!

Whether a pandemic or any life event slaps you in the face (literally for me) and throws you around, it is not how you got knocked down but, it is how you get up. I don’t need to spew a bunch of Rocky cliches on making lemonade out of lemons, but I can share what I have learned:

There are blessings in this pandemic. It is our responsibility to pause long enough to see them.

You can’t compare your insides to anyone else's outsides. Your middle ground does not equate to anyone else’s finish.

If chaos and drama were going on during the pandemic chances are they were already going on before the pandemic

The pandemic magnified the ick!

We can learn a lesson about our integrity as a result of the pandemic. How we show up to take care of ourselves and handle challenges NOW is how we can expect things to be TOMORROW.

Now more than ever it is time for us to live a life free from shame and regret. NO more shoulding on ourselves or pretending to be anyone other than exactly who we are!

Just like the spots on my face, we will all heal. I won’t be sunbathing anymore, but it does not mean I won’t enjoy the fresh air and vitamin D. We will all be cautiously optimistic as we move forward with vigilance and wisdom.

What lessons have you learned from the pandemic? What are you taking forward and what are you leaving behind?


Your no bull-shiFt, advice giving, shame-abolishing, health advocating, Mom, Psychologist and wife,

Dr. Dara

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