I know, this is not the average selfie picture, but for so long this is something I have been wanting to do. I will never forget the day I took this picture. I had recently moved to a new city, and my skin disease was flaring up. I had just hopped out of the shower, and when I looked at myself in the mirror; I did not recognize the person looking back. I stared at myself with a blank expression, I felt hopeless, and I could not believe this was I. My eyes were filling up with tears, and all I could say was “I don’t know what to do”.
I was diagnosed with Psoriasis at the age of four, and at that age I was not aware of what Psoriasis was. It wasn’t until I was twelve years old that I had my first bad experience with my skin disease. I was in school having lunch with my some of my classmates, and one of the girls noticed the psoriasis I had on my arms. She yelled from across the table “ew what is that?”, and everybody that was sitting near me focused their attention on me, and I quietly responded “nothing” she looked at me with disgust and said “ew it looks like you have warts”. I will never forget how embarrassed and humiliated I felt. All the kids sitting around me looked at me in disgust. I was left speechless. My blood felt like it was boiling from the embarrassment, and at that very moment my life changed. I felt like what I had was a curse. As soon as I got home that evening I locked myself in my room crying, wishing I had a way out of my disease, but I didn’t. I remember how uncomfortable I felt in my skin after that experience. I would sit in class trying to hide my arms underneath the table, I would get nervous if I saw some of the kids looking at me funny, and I would try my best to never attract any attention. It was torture. Until one day a cold front came by, and I remember how comfortable I felt wearing a sweater, and from that moment on I never wanted to show my skin again.
I learned that Psoriasis is more than just a skin disease. It is something that affects you mentally, physically, and can cause depression, as it did to me. For many years I struggled with my Psoriasis because I was treated and looked at differently. After being humiliated and embarrassed for what I had, I never wanted to go to school nor be around people. Growing up I had numerous insecurities, so I would cover my skin by wearing long sleeves, sweaters, and long pants. I would spend my summers indoors, trying my best to avoid pools, beaches, water parks, or anything that involved showing my skin in public. I spent six years going to school with long sleeve shirts, and long pants trying my best to avoid reliving that terrible situation. I was miserable. I took the one thing that made me different from others, and I hid because I was ashamed of it. However, I would never change a thing from the past because everything I went through made me who I am today, and I love who I am. My skin disease no longer defines me or controls me. I control it. I've learned to embrace my skin, and love it because imperfections are beautiful, and this is part of who I am. I no longer hide and pretend, and I will never allow another person or society define what beauty is. I have made the choice to love myself, and to be content with who I am as an individual despite my flaws. Living in a world where everybody wants to look perfect, I don't want to be anybody but myself.
This is currently where I am today with my skin, and whether it is in good or bad conditions, I am content. I want to show people that being different is a good thing, and imperfections make you beautiful. You should never be ashamed of who you are or what you have.
P.S I have not been using any fancy medications for a while now. I have controlled it by simply moisturizing, watching my nutrition, working out, and controlling my stress. Thank you for reading :)