Things to Stop Feeling Guilty For
Last updated: November 2019
Psoriasis is visible on the skin. Yes, I know you know. This leads to lots of uncomfortable, and let's face it, negative thoughts. These thoughts can be exhausting, expressing and at times overwhelming.
Worries consume you like whether someone will say something as you are brushing flakes off a chair or someone asking you about your skin when you're trying to go about your daily life (yes, I'm thinking of you old lady in the post office queue).
When you blend the psychological challenges of living with psoriasis with the unhelpful societal expectations of the 21st century, I think we have a blend for unhappiness and guilt. The good news is, it's not just us that are struggling. What we need to heal is the same for a lot of people. Let's explore some of the things we need to do to stop feeling guilty and invest in the time we need to restore and grow.
Acknowledge your emotions that psoriasis brings on
We all have them and interestingly enough, if we stop thinking about some emotions being 'good' and some emotions being 'bad', then they can be beneficial. Try using feelings as information. If I am angry, I ask myself why. Recently, I did an exercise and it told me I wasn't really angry about what I had read, but that I was jealous that the writer had such clarity. I don't believe I get jealous, so this was a sucker punch in the gut for me. It helped me move past my anger and direct my self-development so I can get more clarity on my own opinions and beliefs.
Frustrated and angry about having psoriasis? That's totally understandable. Have you asked yourself why? Is it the loss of control? Do you feel like you are being punished? Ask your emotions questions instead of letting them control you. You hold the opportunity into the path forward so choose to listen and embrace your feelings. Journaling can be a great tool to help with this.
Crying can actually be good for you. If you're a man, listen up, it doesn't make you less manly. If you're a woman, it doesn't immediately mark you as a hysterical female. Lets all just let those pent up emotions out so we can deal with them. Sometimes emotions are bigger than we are so we need to let them out.
Even with psoriasis, take up more space
This may sound ridiculous, but I always try to solve everything myself. I don't want to demand other people's time if I know I can get it done. Even if it means being in pain, increasing my stress levels and aggravating my skin from physical wear and tear.
Try this. Imagine a small circle around yourself. Now fit in it. Your arms tucked in, shoulders hunched and you might need to bend a little to fit in your imaginary circle. How do you feel? You don't have to name the feelings, just acknowledge them. Now make the circle a little bigger. Unfurl a little. Acknowledge how you feel. Now make the circle large, stand tall, stretch your arms out in the abundant space you have and try to fill the entire circle. How do you feel?
I learned this practice in a public speaking class. It changed the way I looked at myself. No one can be who they are meant to be when they are small. You can only flourish when you are open. You not taking up space doesn't benefit anyone. Give your gifts space to shine (even if your not sure what they are yet).
Create healthy boundaries
In the world, we live in we are terrible at boundaries. The most significant boundary issues I had in my twenties, was the use of my time. Can you relate?
I worked hard to get my work done, but when my boss learned I had completed my part of the project, they asked me to help out someone else who was struggling to get finished in time. What did I say? Yes. I should have had clear boundaries around my time. I now have time boundaries. I do not work after 3:30 PM because once I pick up my kids, it's family time. I will work for free but only for causes I truly believe in.
These boundaries help me get enough rest. Resting helps protect my energy levels, my stress levels and the chance of catching an infection. There are boundaries for several areas in our lives where we need to decide what we are willing and not willing to accept.
Other areas worth considering are friendships and relationships. How much are you willing to give without receiving support back? Then there's personal space. Not just how close someone is but how much alone time you might need in a day.
Don't feel guilty asking for help
This one can be hard! I didn't get this down until I acknowledged I had been suffering from depression for months and had hunkered down in my pit of sadness. Me not being the real me was not helping my husband. The status of my mental health was certainly not helping my kids and it was not helping my friends.
Asking for help means people finally understood what they could do to make things better again. Asking for help meant we prioritized access to a therapist who changed my life. Asking for help means that now, post-depression, I have a more fulfilling life than I did before the depression set in. Asking my GP for help finally got me the diagnosis and support I needed to get myself back together. Do people resent me when I ask for help? No one.
Do you make your family and friends feel guilty when they ask for time or space? No, you don't! Remember that when you feel the guilt set in. You are a better person for you and others when you prioritize yourself.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?