I’m sharing my personal skin condition story, thoughts, and feelings in partnership with Promius Pharma as a paid spokesperson. The story, thoughts, and opinions below are expressly my own. Promius Pharma is not responsible for any other content on this site.
If you could choose three words to describe how you felt when you were first diagnosed with psoriasis, what would those words be? I’m sure the word “thankful” would never make the list.
It can be strange to associate thankfulness with a painful and stigmatized skin condition like psoriasis. Just eight years ago, I was unable to recognize or acknowledge any sort of goodness from my condition. Quite frankly, there was a period in my life where I felt distressed about how to manage my psoriasis. However, since my skin condition is unpredictable, and I have no choice but to live with it, I’m forced. It forces me to try to find positive aspects and accept who I am. As I have matured and come to terms with my health, I am able to find the blessing in what once felt like a burden. I realized that My Skin Matters! Here are eight reasons why I am thankful for my psoriasis.
1. It has made me more compassionate
Having psoriasis humbles me. It makes me realize there is more to life than physical looks. It forces me to examine my inside beauty because some days the outside feels so ugly. Not only does psoriasis compel me to have compassion for myself, it also drives me to have compassion for others. I feel for all those dealing with challenges but especially for those dealing with chronic conditions.
2. It has taught me to release shame
I once lived with shame because of my condition. I did not want to talk about it, and I was embarrassed and afraid of rejection. However, joining a support group made me realize I was not alone. There are eight million people in the United States currently dealing with this condition. Psoriasis taught me there are more people in this world who will love me than there are people who will have hurtful and negative things to say. It has taught me a lesson that I can apply in all areas of my life: releasing shame is the first step to unconditional love for yourself.
3. It has taught me how to love myself despite the circumstances
Psoriasis is unpredictable. Treatments are unpredictable. If love for myself is dependent on the state of my skin, then ultimately my self-love is unpredictable and temporary. I have had to learn how to love myself exactly where I am. There was a time I would say, “If I could just get rid of my psoriasis I would love myself more…” When my psoriasis cleared up, I was still encountering issues with my self-esteem. That’s when I realized the love for myself had nothing to do with the status of my disease. Flared or clear, I am working on trying to love myself right where I am, as I am.
4. It has given me purpose
Psoriasis advocacy is the love of my life. I am at my happiest when I am doing it. Psoriasis has given me something to live for that is bigger than myself. I love the work I get to do within the psoriasis community and there is so much passion in what I do because this disease directly affects me.
5. It has taught me that situations are temporary
There is a popular motto people live by which is, “Nothing lasts forever.” Some could look at that statement as the glass being half full while others can look at it as the glass being half empty. My current battle with psoriasis is unstable. In some instances, my treatment is working wonderfully and I am psoriasis free, then the next thing you know I am flaring from head to toe. Psoriasis has taught me to enjoy and appreciate the great moments while I can and to remember the bad times I experience will not last forever. Regardless of the stage I am in, good or bad, these moments create a beautiful and eventful life.
6. It has taught me that I can be loved despite my imperfections
I remember growing up wondering if I would ever find love while being covered with psoriasis. There was a time when I believed romantic love was an unachievable goal; I really did not think a successful love life was possible for me. Then I met a person who loved me despite my flaws. Although we are no longer together, he helped me to understand that the idea that my psoriasis makes me unlovable is false. I can be loved, and I am loved by many.
7. It has connected me with great people
My psoriasis has connected me with great people in the area of advocacy. I once felt alone but support groups and advocacy work give me the encouragement I need to live despite my disease. Due to my patient research advocacy, I have also met some pivotal researchers and dermatologists; these relationships have given me the strength to advocate for myself with regard to medical care and treatment needs.
In terms of your psoriasis, what exactly are you thankful for?
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