Why Me? The Gift of Psoriasis...
Psoriasis is all-consuming. Living with a visible skin condition will have a person think, wonder, and even scream the word "why." My foundation, my mother, instilled the will to create positives out of any circumstance. She taught me to always make the sweetest lemonade out of lemons.
This is what made managing mild psoriasis flares for several years quite liveable. That said, experiencing major flares that left me in pain, hair loss, and plaques all over my body, it began to become increasingly difficult to understand why I had to experience this.
Getting existential on my psoriasis journey
I often thought of a quote from Mother Teresa "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."
On the internal quest to understand it all, I sought to find more information about others living with psoriasis. I wanted to start by finding others who looked like me as an African American woman. A community that could help me get to a place of understanding.
This was important to me because I wanted people I could relate to and feel see in. Surprisingly, I could not find much in the realm of that type of specific support. Then I decided to do what I had been taught for years, make the lemonade.
It was time to make lemonade from sour lemons
Not finding what I needed to make things extremely clear, I recognized a need and decided if I couldn't find it, I would make it. Because of this need, I founded the online Instagram and Facebook group Sistas with Psoriasis.
Starting the group, I had no intention of growing a huge following, only the purpose of connecting with others like me. As the pages and the group began to grow, and as I started to connect with more women like myself, I knew there was more that I could do to make an impact beyond this group.
Things had begun to make sense to me. I immediately connected with the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF).
Changing my psoriasis "why"
Connecting with the NPF elevated my knowledge of my condition on an entirely different level. I was also met with unmatched support. I had become an Advocate & Mentor with NPF. I became a part of this organization, and to represent psoriasis as a woman of color means so much to me.
This lemonade was lovely. In my spirit, I could feel I was living within my purpose. Psoriasis connected me to the gift of serving others by listening, advocating, and using my voice.
I understand my personal "why" doesn't change how difficult it can be daily. Today, however, my heart has become incredibly full in knowing that I can and have made a difference for others. Instead of saying, "why me," I can say, "why not me."
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