Have You Gotten Past Your Body Stigma?
Psoriasis can certainly be a hard disease to accept. When I was first diagnosed, I went through an anger stage. So angry that this would be a life long disease.
I was angry that there was no cure, angry because I did not have anyone to talk to. I was angry because the more time went on, the more psoriasis spread throughout my whole body.
Psoriasis turns its ugly head
At my worse, I was 80% covered in plaque psoriasis. I hated the way my body looked. Every look in the mirror, I found myself disgusted with my skin and what I saw. Then, of course, there is the weight gain that comes with taking different medications. My body was suddenly not my own.
It's enough to drive anyone to be angry. It sure had me in its ugly little grip. I hated psoriasis with every fiber within me. Now that concept has changed.
The mental toll of psoriasis
I bet as you are reading my words, you are thinking how can such a painful and angry-ridden concept about psoriasis be changed? Of course, there are still times when the condition creeps into my head. However, for my own peace of mind, I have to push that thought aside.
See, I knew my place when my psoriasis started. I explained that in the first paragraph. What I did not yet share is how bad I let the anger get to me. This anger, these feelings, took me down a road of depression that I never want to revisit. Yes, I even contemplated ending it all. That is how bad it got for me.
Faced with stigma
I let depression run wild. I even told my husband, who I had only been married to for a year, that I would give him a divorce if he wanted out. With not knowing how bad psoriasis would get, I just felt like he didn't want to stay with someone who looked like me. Thankfully, he did not do that.
I give him all the credit in the world for turning my mind into what has now become a true blessing in my life. It only started with him telling me he wasn't going anywhere for a couple of months. Then, one day, I finally decided that if I had to live with psoriasis, I might as well try to help someone else who has it. It was then that the whole issue of body stigma became front and center.
The benefit of community
I have felt for so long that my body is ugly. You see, today I do not let my plaque psoriasis sores get to me. I have found and made friends with other people that also live with this visible condition. It is with the acceptance of other psoriasis patients that I no longer feel that my body is an ugly thing. They understand.
My psoriasis community can pick me up on days that I find myself worrying again. How many of you have met other people with psoriasis? I am telling you that it will not only blow your mind being around others with psoriasis but change your life.
Find your purpose
For me, I truly feel like my psoriasis has a purpose now. In helping and talking to others who have psoriasis, I believe I have found my true calling in life. If I didn't have my plaques, I couldn't relate to or help others. If you're still looking for acceptance and rising above, I get it. It took me a while to get there.
My advice would be to look into a support group. Being around others with psoriasis can make all the difference. One person went so far as to put an ad in the paper looking for others with psoriasis. Out of that, grew the National Psoriasis Foundation. Acceptance of who you are with psoriasis will lead to a better life. It sure did for me.
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