This is My Story

Elsie B
I can't think of a time where this condition did not affect me in some way. I've had it for as long as I can remember. My mother said that when I was young she would reach back to touch my feet when she was driving the car to check I was okay and wonder what she had grabbed that was so wet. It was my sweaty little toddler feet. For a short time in primary school I would pretend I had superpowers and show the other kids that I could leave wet handprints on the desks after barely putting my hands down. Then someone pointed out that it was gross and yucky, and that's when the shame began. When I was a teenager I would agonise over the fact that I couldn't hold a future partners hand and I was scared to touch my friends in case they would notice. I also wore lots of baggy clothing to hide the sweat stains from my armpits, which I would obsessively check on throughout the day. I've had people tell me it's awful, off-putting, disgusting, and uncomfortable when they've accidentally touched me. Going to university and meeting new people where handshakes are expected as well as job interviews have been incredibly challenging for me to cope with. I'm a very physically reserved person now as an adult, and I truly believe it is because I was very scared that people would be disgusted by my sweating. Recently I've started being more forthcoming about it and speaking openly, and I've found a few other people around me who also suffer. I think it's time for myself and others to let go of the shame that surrounds this condition. Especially as it is not something we can control.