For a lot of my friends, they hadn’t heard the word psoriasis prior to meeting me, I was the first person in their life to bring light to the disease. I’ve battled with psoriasis since early childhood and I had friends that I had known for over a decade who had never seen my disease. At that time due to the unruly plaques on my face and hands that couldn’t be hidden by clothes, most of my friends knew I had something, but didn’t know exactly what. Many who had seen it for the first time looked at my skin with a puzzled face but never had the courage to ask, and I never had the courage to share. Eventually, my secrecy of the disease became a way of life my friends understood and accepted. They became accustomed to adjusting things for me so I could be comfortable, and if I did something weird like wear long sleeves to a pool party, they knew not to question it.
I have a great support system of understanding friends. All my close friends have attempted to learn more about my disease and support me in any way possible. Check out the different ways I feel loved through my friend’s support of my journey with psoriasis. Maybe this can be used as a tool to provide to your loved ones on how to support you. After you read this, list the ways your friends support your life with psoriasis.
They donate to the cause
I’ve been the committee chairperson for the Team NPF (National Psoriasis Foundation) Walk since 2013. Thus far the walk has raised over 100k. I’ve raised over $2,000 myself which was only possible through the support of my friends and family who have donated. It makes me feel so loved when they donate because there are so many other causes they could allocate money to, but because of my passion for this work, they support me anyway, even if psoriasis doesn’t directly affect them.
They show up to events
This year here in Atlanta, Ga the National Psoriasis Foundation has a bowl-a-thon to help raise money for the disease called “Strike Out Psoriasis.” Each participate needed to have a team of 6. Four of my friends not only registered but came out and played on my team. None of my friends have psoriasis but they loved me enough to show support.
They volunteer in the name of psoriasis
Some of my friends can’t donate financially, but they have no issue with donating their time. Every year the walk here in Atlanta starts early, like around 9 or 10AM, which means we have to arrive hours earlier to help with setup. I’ve asked my friends to come as early as 6AM and they showed up, not without complaint of the early call time though, lol.
They accommodate my needs
My friends are aware of my insecurities when it comes to showing my disease to strangers. They understand why I cover up in the summertime or pass on a day at the spa when I’m having a flare. One time a good friend of mine asked me to be in her wedding. Without mentioning my psoriasis she told me she wanted me to share her special day and be as comfortable as possible and I could buy a jacket, cover-up, or whatever else I needed to feel my best.
They defend those with skin conditions
There was an incident in a Facebook group that I’m in, where a meme was posted of a girl who looked as though something was wrong with her skin. I think it was a bad tattoo that was giving the skin on her arm an odd effect, but there was a gentleman who commented saying how bad her skin looked and how it looked like she had eczema. I can’t remember exactly how the conversation went, but I remember my friends informing him of how ignorant and insensitive he sounded. One friend even referred to my work in the psoriasis community.
They share remedies
Ok, so sometimes a suggestion from a friend can be a little annoying, only because it’s usually a misinformed recommendation. As bothersome as it can be at times, it makes me realize they are only suggesting because they truly love me and want to see me healed, its not of malicious intent. I usually explain to them why or why not the suggestion works which allows me to further educate, or I simply say “thank you” and let it go.