Everybody has days where they could take on the world to achieve what they wish and other days feel like they are fighting a losing battle before anything has happened. For me, psoriasis is very much a rollercoaster ride – I have experienced more than I could ever have imagined throughout my journey with psoriasis. There have been times where I have been at my most vulnerable and in comparison times where I felt like I could rule the world.
I remember the very first day I began talking about living with psoriasis and how much better I felt. I shared my angers and got rid of many of my negative feelings. I had so much positive feedback and so many caring messages that I went from living in a lonely world to finally being on the path to being understood. Over the last year, my family and some of my friends have been through some very tough times, and it is very easy to get caught up in what is going wrong and how difficult things can be but what is much harder is to take a step back to appreciate all that you have.
As a teenager I used to cover up so much that I had no skin on show. I felt anxious, low and had no confidence. However, it was different today...
Today was the day I finally realised just how far my journey with my psoriasis has come. As a teenager I used to cover up so much that I had no skin on show. I felt anxious, low and had no confidence. However, it was different today when I woke up, got dressed and made plans to go out and do some shopping. I got in the car and looked in the mirror and saw a number of red patches across my face looking back at me and my first instinct was I needed to run back inside and make sure my face was covered up as much as possible. But taking a minute to think, I then realised just how wrong I was. I had no reason whatsoever to make sure my psoriasis was covered up – if I needed a slouchy day with no make up, so be it – so that was the decision and off out I went! For the first time I didn’t worry, think about my psoriasis or get anxious. I just enjoyed being out and about.
When I got home I had some time to myself and that’s what triggered this piece of writing. I have waited a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin and now at the age of 23 I’m finally starting to let go of the worry and enjoy what I want to do. It is very hard to take the plunge and display psoriasis to the world. The worry about staring, unpleasant comments and being embarrassed is often overwhelming but I feel now if that’s how other people deal with it, it is their problem, not mine.
Having psoriasis is something that is completely out of my control – it isn’t a choice. But after 16 years of a long hard battle, I can honestly say I am proud of myself. I didn’t choose to have psoriasis but what I can control is looking after my skin, having treatment and enjoying all other aspects that life has to offer. Creating a positive mindset is the key to being a psoriasis warrior, so my tips for being positive are:
- Share your experiences – social media offers many ways to interact with others living with psoriasis and their advice is great
- Be confident – even when I think people are staring or talking about my psoriasis I can be completely wrong
- If you feel like your treatment isn’t working – book an appointment with your doctor and research if there are any alternatives
- Seek help – if you feel like you are suffering, research different types of support or try different types of therapy such as counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy. These therapies can help you with rethinking situations.
This content is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
UK/IE MAT-03222. Date of Prep: May 2016