A woman is scared and nervous; the same woman is smiling with her eyes closed

How My Psoriasis Taught Me To Like Me For Me

It seems to be inherently contradictory that psoriasis, which once covered my face and most of my body, could have anything to do with me liking myself. I won't lie though, it was not an easy journey and it has been arduous.

When I was first diagnosed with psoriasis, I acquired a new level of self-loathing. My skin was covered in plaques from head to toe. There was hardly a spot on my body where there was not a plaque. I was experiencing high levels of pain and was not in a very good space.

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People started to stare at my psoriasis

I do believe that this was one of the most lonely times in my life. I had never even considered that people would look at me and judge me by my psoriasis, but boy oh boy did they.

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Everywhere I went people looked at me. But no longer to tell me that I had striking green eyes, or that they liked my summer dress, swaying in the wind. No more spontaneous smiles, and start-up conversations, it all just fell away. Sadly it was replaced with something I had never experienced before. What seemed like sheer disgust and repulsion for those around me, from some people whom I knew and others whom I had never met.

Hiding my skin away

The thing is though, that I had also started feeling this way about myself. I judged myself so harshly trying to hide every part of my skin, that was covered and shy of slipping into a full body suit that was not going to happen. I had started to isolate myself, heavens knows I could not go out looking like I did. I wish that I knew then, what I knew now.

This led to me rarely leaving my house, staying in when I should have been out living my life, and not caring what people thought. How could I when I cared so much and judged myself so harshly? My skin was in a dreary state, to say the least. I had somehow forgotten who I was without psoriasis and more importantly, I had forgotten how to like myself just for who I was. Always giving in to negative self-talk and sadness.

Treating myself with more kindness

A dear friend of mine who also has psoriasis was part of a cabaret show and I looked at photos of her smiling and laughing so actually living. Living despite her psoriasis, a life that seemed so full from where I was sitting, something I dreamed of. I think this made me realize how far I had slid down the slope of self-loathing.

With much realization, I concluded that I would need to treat myself with more kindness and start to speak to myself kindly. I would need to start liking myself with psoriasis just as it was. For others not to judge me, it would need to start with me not judging myself and learning to like me for me, psoriasis and all.

I am still me

Turns out that I was still that same person underneath it all. I was just so busy coping and dealing with my psoriasis that I had forgotten who I was despite it. It did not (and it still does not) determine who I am. My psoriasis showed me that who I was, was so much more than this condition that had taken over my life. And so little by little I found the balance between what role psoriasis played in my life, and who I was.

Always remember to be kind to yourself. You are who you are and that is beautiful. Love who you are first and the rest will follow suit.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The PlaquePsoriasis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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