Living with Psoriasis: Is There Joy In Having A Chronic Illness?
Last updated: November 2019
I have had psoriasis for 55 years and psoriatic arthritis for 35 years. I have never known what it was like to have clear skin, but I do remember what it was like before psoriatic arthritis. Believe it or not, I have found some joy in having this disease.
I don’t like the fact that I can’t do what I did years ago, but I have done things that have changed my life forever because of my disease. I never used to travel, but now I get to travel and advocate for a cause that is near and dear to me. I never had a lot of friends because of my illness. But the sicker I became the truest friends entered my circle. My life is full right now. All the mean people are on the back burner in my life for now.
Finding joy with psoriasis: The little things
The one thing that has changed for me, because of my illness, is now I get to work from home. I was kind of down about this at first. I come from the corporate world and didn’t want to give that up. I liked socializing, happy hours, power suits, free pop and coffee, and office raffles. But on the other hand, I get to plan my day as I chose too and not feel rushed. This also gave me the opportunity to rest whenever I felt like it. When I started having major brain fog, it gave me the privilege of just sitting and figuring out what I was doing. It relieved me from the panic of self-consciousness and the hope that no one realizes I don’t remember what we were talking about.
I used to take everything for granted, but now there are days that I can’t get out of bed. Instead of focusing on my pain I put that energy elsewhere. I write letters to family that I don’t talk to often, check emails or read a book. Being in pain slows us down but allows us to take the time to do things that don’t take much energy. This truly brings me joy.
Taking care of my psoriasis self
I used to eat and drink whatever I liked. This illness has caused me to focus on eating better and trying to take care of myself. My goal is to do what I can for myself. I have no control over my psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, but I can control if I want to exercise and eat right.
As I’ve got older and had to reflect back on my life; I know that I won’t be here forever. My disease has helped me to realize how precious life is. I can’t change what is going on with my body, but I can have a positive attitude toward remaining present in the moment.
I get by with a little help from my (psoriasis) friends
I have been a caregiver to my 85-year-old parents for a while, so everyone thinks I am the strong one. This brings me a sense of calmness and a sense of purpose. I also have to remember that I need others to help me too. One thing I reflect on is how it feels to help others, so now I see how others feel when they help me. More joy.
My biggest joy in having a chronic illness is being an advocate for my disease and being a champion for others. I realized years ago that I was not alone in this journey and have plenty of people in my circle. It’s amazing how people interact with each other and take the time to get to know everyone in their community. I am blogging about my illness to help others who are just like me. Joy, joy, joy!!
Find your joy
Remember, we didn’t ask to be ill. Keep your head up and don’t blame yourself. Of course, we will have bad days, just don’t let them hang around for too long. Keep looking for things that bring you peace and joy. Yes, my illness has taken a lot from me, but I will always remember that this disease has brought me much joy too.
What are your joys from your illness?
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?