Psoriasis 101 Continued: Prioritizing Mental Health
Maybe like me, losing friends is a constant worry for you ever since you got sick. Maybe you feel like you're no longer present in their lives like you used to, and that you isolate yourself too much.
I'm here to remind you that the people you lose due to your illness are not your people to begin with. If they were, they would understand that you already spend so much energy trying to exist.
The importance of caring for mental health
A few weeks ago, I shared my thoughts on the importance of protecting mental health. It’s important to remember to take care of your mind just as much as you would take care of your body, and it’s not as hard to do as you might think.
As a continuation of that article, I'd like to share a few more thoughts about not just protecting, but prioritizing our mental health.
I'm not feeling well
I find it difficult to talk to people when I'm flaring up. Not only because I'm busy trying to itch my skin off, but my hands and fingers would hurt so much that even lifting my phone up is too painful to do.
So I'd spend my day in bed, mindlessly scrolling through social media, sharing cat videos and saving my spoons.
I'm too exhausted to talk to you
The full-blown chronic illness experience is incomplete without extreme fatigue which sucks the energy out of you like a dementor. You experience so much exhaustion that twiddling your fingers to answer a text becomes an almost impossible task to accomplish.
If I left you unanswered and you see me posting memes and sharing Instagram stories, please don’t take it personally. It's not that I don't value you or our friendship, it's just that engaging in conversations requires so much effort and energy.
Never apologize for prioritizing yourself
Lately, I realized that it is healthy to take mental breaks from time to time. Yes, even if it means not responding to your friends for a few days, or even weeks if necessary. There is still time, so take as much time as you need. The messages will always be there, the opportunities will always be there, your people will always be there. The world will always wait for you until you feel okay again.
So, no. I'm not going to apologize for not replying because I was flaring up. I won't feel bad for choosing to put myself first. I won't say sorry for choosing to be at peace, and for making my mental health my top priority.
Thank you for patiently waiting, but I'm not sorry. I used to be, but not anymore.
Do you have a story you'd like to share about mental health and psoriasis? Have you prioritized your mental health lately?
Where on your body does psoriasis bother you the most?