Reasons Why Sometimes I Hide My Disease
People without psoriasis ask me all the time why do I choose to cover up my skin, which is usually followed by what they would do if they had my disease. Most say they would show their spots to the world without regrets. The truth is no one knows what they would truly do unless they are faced with the obstacle. Although my friends believe they are being encouraging, I find the proclamation a bit annoying.
Pool party test
This past summer one of my friends who knows about my psoriasis invited me to a pool party. When they initially asked me I told them I was having a psoriasis flare at the moment, but in a few weeks I would be starting a new treatment and if it was effective I would be down for pool parties later in the summer. They said ok, cool, and advised they would follow up with me in a couple of weeks.
Well a couple of weeks arrived, and my friend asked me again would I attend a pool party with them. Unfortunately, the treatment I started was not working, therefore my spots were still present and I wasn't comfortable with attending the event, which is what I expressed to my friend. My friend, who does not have psoriasis, went on to say that I need to find more confidence within myself. Although those may seem like encouraging words, I didn't find any inspiration from them.
It actually made me realize how close minded we are when it comes to other people's struggles and feelings. Based upon our own thoughts and ideas we tend to put concepts in a box and are unable to see things from a different view. For my friend, his view of confidence was for me to put on a swimsuit and to flaunt around in people I don't know, and since I refused to do this I obviously lacked some sort of self-esteem and confidence within myself. In my opinion, confidence is WAY more than his simple idea. I've revealed myself in ways that didn't require showing skin, allow me to explain...
My journey, not theirs
I've had psoriasis for almost my entire life and it wasn't until 5 years ago I finally found the courage to tell my story. No one knows how much it took for me to reveal something that had once been so hurtful to me. After revealing my journey with this disease I finally found the courage to actually show pictures online of my body with my condition. I had had friends and family members who knew me for all my life who had never seen my body or knew the extent of the severity of my disease. I've shared very intimate details on what it's like to live with this psoriasis.
I say all of that to say this... While before 5 years ago the fear and stigma of what people would think of my skin made me hide my psoriasis, that is not so much the case now. Lack of confidence is not the reason why I chose to sometimes not show my skin. Living with such a visible disease such as psoriasis comes with a lot of stigma believed by others, a few which include that you might be contagious, have poison ivy, or bed bug bites. I have had people walk up to me and say rude things regarding my disease. I have had friends with psoriasis confine in me and shares times where they were discriminated against at pools and spas because people thought their psoriasis was something you could catch.
The truth is at times the reason why I choose to cover my psoriasis is because I don't want to deal with the ignorance of people, the stares, and the rude comments. Sometimes I just want to go out without having the responsibility of being a walking billboard for psoriasis. I don't want to risk being hurt emotionally by some stupid person who doesn't have any tact, empathy, or compassion for someone who appears to be different from them. Today I don't cover because I lack confidence, I have no issue talking about my disease and sharing my story with others, but sometimes I simply don't feel like being bothered by the ignorance of others who aren't familiar with the condition, and I feel like that's my right.
Do you anxiously anticipate a psoriasis relapse?