When I Feel The Strongest in My Skin
Being strong comes in all shapes and sizes, but what does that mean for someone living with psoriasis or CU?
Have you ever watched those strongman competitions on TV where these massive human beings compete by lifting or pulling unimaginable objects with pure strength? It is quite impressive! But competitive athletes aren't the only ones who can show strength. Strength comes in all shapes and sizes. Take those who live with psoriasis or chronic urticaria (CU), for example. Although they may not look like the competitive strongmen on TV, they are exemplifying strength when pushing and persevering through their skin disease.
In recognition of World Psoriasis Day and Urticaria day, we wanted to take this opportunity to empower those with skin conditions by sharing some first-hand experiences from our writers. The stories show a time when they exemplified strength and pushed through the tough aspects of their disease. Through this, we hope you will become inspired by their moments of strength, and derive your own motivation from them.
Before we dive in, we want to make something clear: masking how you feel is not showing strength. Showing strength is refusing to let your skin get the better of you and fighting for more, which we hope is what you walk away feeling after reading their stories.
Turning a bad day into a good day
Skin diseases can make your day go from good, to bad, to REALLY bad. Take Arna’s graduation story when her CU showed up unexpectedly:
“I was finally going to receive my diploma – in front of hundreds of people – with hives on my face. The first thing I did when I noticed them [hives] in the mirror that morning was what most people would do: I panicked. My thoughts began to race about what people would say or think, and how my day was ruined. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed and stay there forever.”
Despite Arna’s feelings, she still decided to go, and was glad she did:
"I was relieved that I made myself get up that morning and just get on with it. Experiences are still important even if they’re not perfect. There’s no reason to hide from your life."
Don’t get discouraged!
One of our best stories about staying positive comes from Melissa. She recalls a day at the public pool where she was asked to leave after a lifeguard spotted her psoriasis:
"I was crushed, devastated and deeply misunderstood. I understood his fear and sense of responsibility, but in one sweeping moment I had been reduced to my psoriasis. I explained the disease that I had and although he was vaguely familiar with psoriasis he was still not convinced that the disease was nonthreatening. I put on my sandals, collected my towel and left in utter sadness."
It wasn’t until a few years after that experience that Melissa was able to turn that day into a learning experience:
"Thinking about that day doesn’t discourage me, but instead reminds me to be compassionate and understanding towards all people I encounter. My painful childhood memories are experiences from which I derive confidence because I know that I can overcome the challenges of living with my disease."
How have you found strength from your skin condition? How has it propelled you to ask for more? If you feel you’re not on the right track and need some guidance, we want to remind you to stay persistent. Keep having productive conversations with your doctor about treatment. And, if you have questions on how to talk to your doctor, check out our discussion guide, or feel free to ask Alia, our Facebook chatbot, available 24/7 (Click here for psoriasis and here for urticaria).