How Lava Yourself rose from a dark place with Topical Steroid Withdrawal
I can’t believe it as I am even typing this, but ASHLEY POLING LAVA YOURSELF, LLC is officially OPEN for business selling luxurious, chunky, knitted, chenille BLANKETS and raw-cut healing crystal EARRINGS!!
Life can get hard, and we can all use some extra love. So I created a brand around loving yourself infused with my love of Geology. Life needs to start with self-care, which, as you know, comes in many forms. When you are healthy, happy and present in your life, you are truly an unstoppable force of love and light.
This business originated from my time being a health and fitness coach, but has evolved so much. I am so grateful for that opportunity to open my world up to being a small business owner. However, that was all put on pause when I learned that after decades of applying prescribed topical steroids to my skin for my eczema (a metabolic, autoimmune disorder) randomly stopped working and sent me into withdrawal. I had no idea by blindly accepting the application of steroids to my skin would lead to poisoning of not just my skin but my entire body. Steroids are the “cure” to skin rashes, right? WRONG!!!
I learned the hard way that getting to the root cause of my issues is the best method. I no longer had eczema. I had steroid induced eczema, which led to steroid induced asthma and more allergies overtime. My skin was so thinned, infections were easily infiltrating my body, and an angry red rash kept growing and growing, which progressed my journey from over the counter cortisone to betamethasone to triamcinolone to the most potent class of steroid, clobetasol propionate. And over the years, I had steroid inhalers, prescribed prednisone, and even steroid injections. I blindly kept accepting the poison to the point my body was so poisoned, it finally had enough!
I stopped all forms of steroids on July 6, 2019.
I had already begun to enter into withdrawal. At the times, I was a mom to a 2 year old and a 5 year old, I had no idea what to expect next. I had no idea that even my will to live was going to be tested.
My skin was addicted to steroids. It was thinned, nerves were shut down, capillaries were closed off in all three layers of my skin, steroids infiltrated my bloodstream, my body was now in a heightened immune response trying to purge the excess and artificial cortisol, my lymphatic system was severely clogged (trillions of cells trapped), my liver was/is overworked, my adrenals no longer need to created cortisol so they shut down altering my H-P-A response affecting all my hormones. You get the point now of where I am at after 27 years of trusting a prescribed "quick fix".
TSW for me is red skin syndrome (RSS) with a breakdown of my skin with it literally shedding off of me, oozing lymphatic fluid, hot to the touch, nerve pain to the extreme, skin's inability to ward of antigens making me highly susceptible to bacterial and viral infections (hospitalized for MRSA and eczema herpeticum), pain is an understatement, itchiness to the extreme, cracked-open-bleeding skin, swelling, hair falling out/baldness, adrenal fatigue with insomnia, loss of collagen and elastin (elephant skin), and the body is unable to regulate core body temperature ALL AT FREAKING ONCE!
Dermatologists were of no help to me. In fact, they wanted to inject/wrap me in “hospital grade” steroids. They would not listen and belittled me as I was already so vulnerable and fragile. I learned to get really good at saying NO, and I learned that it wasn’t my job to educate those unwilling to listen to me. I learned how to be a strong advocate for me. I poured hours of my time into researching my body, detoxing, and steroids. There are published medical papers on the dangers of steroids dating back to the 1980s. This is information that doctors either don’t know or don’t care to share the entire picture with you about the poison they are prescribing to you to put on your body for two weeks twice a day, which, by the way, is the window of time it takes for steroids to enter your blood stream and potentially start the addiction cycle.
In my darkest moments, the only reason I chose to get up off the couch with just a cotton sheet wrapped around me was for my children and my husband. I truly know now why someone suffering so terribly would choose to end it all. I was lifted out of this darkness by my will to live, and the unwavering support of my husband. He pushed me to seek therapy and alternative therapies to heal.
How did I heal my body? There are a few main points to address when answering this question. I came to realize healing required more than physical healing. I needed to heal my mind and my soul since those three are deeply connected to one another. Time is ultimate healer. I also required a healthy lifestyle of clean eating and exercising when I could, researching how to body works and how to support detox and healing, the topical steroid withdrawal community (yes, there is a large group on FB, which is growing daily ranging from infants through adolescents to adults and the elderly), an energy healer, a functional medicine doctor, intravenous vitamin therapies (specifically vitamin C and ozone), mental health therapist, naturopathic doctor specializing in female hormones, therapeutic massages, a supportive group of family and friends, God and many angels, mediation with crystals (coming soon to my website) and journaling, knitting, and prioritizing so much self-love and self-care.
Knitting entered into my healing journey when I truly needed an outlet to distract me from the pain, and distract me from the intense itching as my nervous system learns to work again. I wanted to create something that was soft in my hands. At my worst, no one could touch me, and I could not bear to have anything touching my body. So I found a material that was wonderfully soft, tolerable to my skin, yet 100% machine-washable. When I made my first blanket for my daughter, a gift to her for being to brave and helpful as I struggled to show up for her and her brother, I filled it with affirmations of love and gratitude. This led to Christmas presents of knitted, chunky, chenille blankets filled with many loving affirmations. Then with a little nudge from two beautiful Earth angels, I started a hobby making blankets that helped me to heal while sharing love with others.
This is why it is so important to love yourself FIRST! If you don’t take the time to ask the hard questions, be your own advocate, do your own research, and heal your mind, body, and soul, then you are not able to be present in your own life and in your family’s life. Lava Yourself is blankets and earrings and so much more. I want you to wrap yourself in your cozy blanket to remind yourself that you are truly loved, and I want you to admire your reflection showing off those beautiful earrings complementing how gorgeous you truly are. Please pause and look at your blanket and earrings as a reminder take the time to love yourself in every possible way and spread that love with others.
Choose love. Lava Yourself.