Lessons for my high school self

I’ve had HH for almost 28 years now and I think I’ve learned a thing
or two. If I were to travel to the past and meet up with my high
school self, I would share what I have learned.

I approach my high school self. I am in the band room, my second home.
I know that at this point in my life I was slowly starting to tell my
closest friends and teachers about HH. I had a love for playing the
flute, but struggled with my hot, sweaty hands. I also had
difficulties in school, taking tests and writing essays with paper and
pen.

“You inspire me because you are brave. You have talked about HH openly
with your closest friends. You give me hope that people are accepting
and understanding. I hope that you continue to share your stories
about HH with those closest to you.”

I know that once I hit college, I started hiding my HH again. I barely
told anyone about it until my junior or senior year. I can only
think of 5 people I told in college- none were teachers. I think
telling people about it and talking openly, even with a few people, is
so helpful and a real coping mechanism.

“People aren’t paying attention to you and your HH as much as you
think. You may feel that your sweat is obvious and feel anxious about
it, but chances are other people really have no idea and can’t tell.”

People with HH are amazing at hiding it even though it might not feel
like it. I went through college and grad school without any teachers
knowing I had it. I just took a deep breath and did what needed to be done.
Easier said than done, but I’ve learned to at least try to stop worrying about
what people think.

“Don’t give up and follow your passions.”

I didn’t let HH hold me back. I found ways to modify the activities I
loved or talked to someone about it for advice. I have played the flute
for 19 years. All I needed was a fan, a hugely absorbent towel, great
musician friends, and sometimes a tub of cold water to stand in.
I’ve learned to make do with what I have.

“Although it might sound cliche, I promise that it does get better.”

Since graduating high school, I’ve had 10 more years of experience with
HH. I’ve learned different coping techniques, tried new treatments, and
helped the HH community grow. I know there is help and support out there
and have seen it first hand.

I am proud of my journey with HH and am happy that I have learned with it
and from it. I know that I can’t really share what I have learned with my high
school self, but I can share it with you.

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3 thoughts on “Lessons for my high school self

  1. It was so weird reading this because I feel like it’s me. I am in high school and play the flute in my marching band. I’m always hanging out in the band room and never tell anyone about HH. Even my friends. Sometimes accidents happen and they’ll ask me why my hands are wet and I try and come up with an excuse cause I dunno how they would react. I’m scared. Sometimes I feel like they know. And I absolutely hate writing essays especially since it gets so hot here (in Arizona). Thanks for writing such an awesome blog!

  2. Hi I think I’d posted earlier but I don’t think it worked so I’ll try again.
    Anyway, looking at this blog was incredible cause it is me right now. I am a senior in high school and play flute in my band-marching band. I also play guitar and love the band room, and hate HH. I can’t tell any of my friends about it, and try and hide it. One time we were at a dance and my hand accidently brushed up against my friends and she got disgusted and said we and I didn’t know what to do but she forgot about it. I didn’t. I’m scared how they would react and I don’t tell them. Maybe they already know but I doubt it. Whenever they are high-diving or shaking hands or we are in class writing an essay, I feel so gross and alone. I’m glad you seem to be making something positive out of it though 🙂

    • Hi Sarena! Thank you for both of your comments! They both worked, I just had to approve them and didn’t have time right away. I loved reading your comments and it seems like we have a lot in common! It is so scary to tell people about HH. One of the first people I told about my HH was my band teacher in high school. She noticed it first and then I just came out and explained everything. After she knew, I felt such a relief. I didn’t have to try hiding it in front of her anymore and she was also understanding if I was having any difficulty playing my instrument because of my hands. She was one of my biggest supports during high school. I trusted her to keep it a secret and she never treated me any differently. Music is and was such a big part of my life. I think telling my band teacher was a good decision on my part. Afterwards, I went through band feeling comfortable and feeling like I had someone to confide in. Good luck with everything and stay in touch!

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