How Psoriasis Can Make You Stronger

I have had psoriasis for 50 plus years. I have lost count of the number of years I spent crying because I had this disease. I got it when I was 5 years old and never knew anyone else who had it. It took me years to start loving myself and loving who I am with this disease.

Finding perspective and a positive attitude

It may seem like a bizarre concept to some people, the notion that a disease can make you stronger, but it did. It all turned out to be just a matter of perspective and a positive attitude. I have heard that a life without adversity, is a life that hasn’t been lived. It takes strength, courage, and determination to keep going in the hardest of times.

One of my favorite inspirational quotes is:

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it" – Maya Angelou

Psoriasis doesn’t have to be a setback. It has been a roadmap to a journey that wasn’t planned for me or you, but it has certainly taken us on a journey. Sometimes the prettiest scenery can be seen on an unexpected detour. Battling psoriasis is not fun and it can be an emotional rollercoaster and that’s ok. The key is not to stay down when you get knocked down.

Learning to self-reflect

I wallowed in self-pity for years. I hid from the world. I had to learn how to be positive, how to take better care of myself, and I meditate, which has been a great support system to help me in tough times. Yes, it sounds easier said than done, but each individual in life will have their own set of struggles. Some people will struggle with their weight, physical disabilities, learning disorders and various other things that can feel like a disadvantage. You have to stop looking at yourself like you’re at a disadvantage in life. Change the way you look at yourself and you’ll change the way others see you. Don’t react to ugliness and you’ll disarm anyone being negative to you. Loving yourself and knowing you are beautiful no matter what is the first step towards success.

I was teased and bullied a lot in school. I have learned that teasing usually stems from their own hurt, pain, and feelings of inadequacy. When I started sticking up for yourself, growing a thick skin and overcoming any negativity thrown my way, I grew stronger. If we are never challenged, never feel pain and never overcome; then how can we truly celebrate the victories of life?

Ugly rocks are transformed into beautiful, exquisite stones under intense heat and stressful conditions. It’s the same concept with our immune system. Our immune systems are exposed to germs and certain illnesses like colds which develop a stronger immunity as we grow older. This is how our immune system is built and through these sicknesses, it can gain the strength it needs to heal in most cases. Your character is the same when it’s tested.

There is nothing to be ashamed of

The bottom line is, there will always be people in this world that want to tear down, be mean and hurt you because they are hurting. Love yourself, don’t take it personally, find activities that build your strengths and avoid bitterness and self-pity. Your psoriasis doesn’t have to define you but it’s a part of who you are. This is your story, share it; there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Love the skin that you’re in.

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