Two hands pushing away psoriasis to make room for the whole person.

Are You More Than Your Psoriasis?

Interviewing people with psoriasis about dating during a special on my podcast earlier this year, one thing became clear. It's important to know that we are more than our psoriasis.

I know this can seem extraordinarily hard. Hear this, we were complete before we had psoriasis and we are still complete now.

How do we do recognize that we are more than psoriasis?

We have things to talk about that are not our skin, joints, doctors' appointments, and blood tests. We have things we are interested in and excited about.

More on this topic

Don't we?

Can you list 20 hobbies you enjoy?

I recently read a book that asked me to list 20 things I enjoy doing - the aim was to help me pick a few things to do each week to feed my creative mind. I sat with writer's block.

  • Cooking
  • Shopping
  • Watching films

I was way off. Why? The last time I chose a film just for myself was The Best Exotic Marigold hotel in 2011. I chuckled. I then asked my husband what he thought I liked doing. He joked cleaning, and then I murdered him with my eyes.

Finding the right hobbies and activities

So I googled other people's interests. You know you are way adrift when your googling other people's interests to help you write your own. After reading other peoples lists on the internet, I added:

  • Eating pie (all kinds but the best ones come with custard)
  • Eating custard
  • Sex
  • Massages
  • Bike rides to a local pub with friends
  • Going for a run
  • Reading feminist poetry

Then I got honest with myself and the depths of my self-neglect. I went back to the ages of 18-21 and thought further about my hobbies. My list began to take real shape.

  • Rock climbing
  • Open water kayaking
  • Kayac polo
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Netball
  • Planning routes to explore and then actually doing them
  • Reading travel brochures and fantasising about the places I would go when I was wealthy
  • Dancing until the sun rise fuelled only by sugary drinks and pure music love
  • Skimming rocks at the local estuary
  • Trying new foods even if the thought made me want to sink into the ground
  • Trying out new makeup looks to see if it was more fun going out dressed as someone else.

When did I lose sight of my hobbies?

For me, it was a combination of adulting - the process of shedding fun things for grown-up things like staying late at work (which I have since learned is a stupid thing to do on a routine basis) and dropping hobbies because of my psoriasis.

Lots of my activities involved wearing swimwear, shedding layers, and being 'out there'. During flares, I would stop doing things, and then for whatever reason, I didn't pick them back up again. Probably because I found a comfier place hiding at home in jumpers.

How about you? What are your interests? Have you dropped anything you used to enjoy that you should pick back up again?

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