"I may have psoriasis but it doesn't have me!"

I saw a comment today whilst I was scanning Twitter. It said “I may have psoriasis, but it doesn’t have me.”
Couldn’t help but feel a bit emotionally attached to this comment. For so long you think that psoriasis is a deformation of your person and that you are restricted because you have it.

I recently went on holiday with some girls. One of which was my wonderful and supportive sister, and two of which had no idea I had psoriasis. Nice enough girls, they just didn’t know anything about my condition. Why would they!

So I’m living in Thailand now, which is a pretty hot place. Still wear long sleeves and just suffer in silence, unless there is air conditioning then there is no problem!

The point – we went on holiday for a long weekend and it was by the beach and we were doing tourist things…basically it wasn’t really appropriate to wear a cardigan and leggings under a waterfall. So, it came down to the fact that I had to wear a swimming costume…the biggest no no for me. I wanted to have a good time and have great memories of the holiday, not sit at the side and watch others enjoy themselves whilst I don’t want to purely because of psoriasis.

I thought “to hell with it! I’m on holiday and I want to have fun. Stares or no stares I’m going to go for it. I never have to see these people again and those I’m with wouldn’t judge me.” This is a big thing for me, I honestly cannot remember the last time I had my arms and back on show in public, nor my legs. But there I was…delayering! It felt horrendous at the time, but I thought I can just run for it and then I’ll be submerged in the water and no one can see anyway. So I did, with some encouragement from my sister, and it was great! It felt amazing to just let go of the fear that people will see my psoriasis and notice that I am different from them.

However, once you go in you have to come out and that was the hardest part. I managed to do so but I did rush to get my clothes back on and be covered again; back into the comfort zone. The great part about going into the waterfall is that the water is the best for your skin, it makes it feel smooth and soft which in turn helps your psoriasis. I noticed the next day that my skin wasn’t “flaky” or “rough” as much as it normally is. Due to the water or due to the sun touching these rare parts of my skin, or both; it felt great and it made me smile from ear to ear.

The next day was another challenge for me though; an all-day snorkelling trip. Aka: water, swimsuits, strangers, bear skin and people with the ability to see clearly under the water = nightmare. So there I went to the boat half wishing to turn around and just go back to the hotel. Being in the water for half hour or so is okay. Being in the water and in a costume ALL day is not something I would ever want to do. But there I went, plodding onto the boat.

Step One: pray the boat has to turn around and the day is cancelled.
Step Two: realise that isn’t going to happen and come to terms with having to show skin again. 
Step Three: try to think of genius ways to still be covered in the water.
Step Four: stop over thinking it, sit down, relax, enjoy the magnificent views and just get on with it.

So, I got into my swimming costume and just went for it, and I loved it!! Minus drowning a few times from the shoddy snorkels it was amazing!! Seeing as I’ve never actually gone snorkelling, for me it was really enjoyable. It’s always been one of those “no you go ahead I’m just going to sit here in the sun decked head to toe in clothes” as we’ve been on a beach and you venture in from land. This time the sole purpose of the trip was to go snorkelling so it was unavoidable. I got to see the fish, see some islands and have some fun all out side of my comfort zone.

The point of this essay (if you’re still with me) was to show that sometimes having psoriasis is an absolute hindrance to our lives. We don’t want to do certain things as it means exposure. We don’t want to go certain places, like into the sea, because it means showing off skin you don’t want to.

I really loved my weekend, a weekend that wasn’t probably anything special to the others as they’ve been there before or been into waterfalls before or have gone snorkelling before. For me, it was a complete and utter weekend of firsts and overcoming some of my biggest challenges and fears. I spent the whole weekend showing of my skin - skin that barely sees the light of day.

The weekend showed me how much I have avoided due to my psoriasis. I never go swimming when others can see me. I hate not wearing long sleeves and often get panicky when I don’t. I’ve never been snorkelling and never just sat around in a swimming costume. All stuff that others just do without thinking about it, they just go and get on with it. I over think everything, can’t wear that because it shows this, can’t do that because it can’t wear this. But, I did it, I did all of it over the weekend and I regret none of it. My skin loved it and more importantly I loved it. It felt great to just stick your middle finger up at your psoriasis and enjoy yourself without worrying or being self-conscious.

I’m not saying that if you do these things then you will instantly overcome your issues. I just wanted to write to whoever is out there reading this and tell them that baby steps are key. Just know that at the time something may seem like a mountain to conquer but once you do you really do feel amazing. I’m not racing to spend time out of my comfort zone again, that weekend was more than enough to keep me going for a while but I am hoping that those of you out there who have been in the same position as me (not doing things because you feel self-conscious) strive to give somewhat ordinary things ago.


Good luck and enjoy yourselves in whatever you do!! Try to not let psoriasis overcome your life and “have you” backed into a corner. 

Comments

  1. I just loved your story. I'm sure that all of us go though this one time or another in our lives. I have been 80% covered my whole life with psoriasis, so you can best believe I wore long sleeves in 100 degree weather everyday. I did what you did, I just took baby steps, and it worked. I don't cover up anymore, but when I see people staring it gives me the courage to educate them about this disease and to teach them that yes I may have psoriasis, but it doesn't have me. Keep up the good work!! Come by and visit me at www.psoriasisnetworksupport.com, and "like" my page.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am extremely proud of you - the courage you needed to 'expose' yourself meant more than anyone will realise unless they are in the same situation as you. I am so glad you are allowing yourself the experiences you are having and standing up to this condition so that it doesn't dominate your life.

    I do wish the time difference between us hadn't led me to reading this at work - I have tears of pride and I am sure everyone will be wondering why!!

    Love you xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi,
    My name is Laurent and I'm french.
    In 2005, I had been a problem of skin and it was very bad !
    I found a natural treatment and his name is : Aloe Vera

    Had you try this plant ?

    I drunk a lot of aloe vera juice more than 90 ml per day

    May be, this plant will help you too !

    See you

    Take care

    Laurent, the french guy

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Laurent,
    I have never tried drinking aloe vera juice.
    It is something that I would want to try to see if it makes a difference as I know that the plant itself is good for your skin.
    Thank you for your advice.
    All the best.
    Kara, the english girl :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good for you. I took my son to the swimming baths and put my psoriasis on full display yesterday. It did feel wierd and I did get some looks but d'you know what, at least my son got to go swimming - I was so proud of myself.
    My skin is much better than it was a few weeks ago as I have been exploring the mind body connection - check out my blog for more info http://abundantattraction.siterubix.com/39

    ReplyDelete
  6. “I may have psoriasis but it doesn’t have me!”—This is such an encouraging line, Kara. I must agree that suffering from that kind of skin condition is not easy. However, it should not bring you down. Others often think that it’s contagious. But in reality, it’s not. I’m so glad to find this enlightening post of yours.

    Meghan @AuroraDX.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. When I read this story I realized just how similar it was to my psoriasis.

    For over 10 years, I had large, thick and scaly excoriated plaques on my neck, ears, trunk and limbs. My life was pretty much a living hell.

    I was so desperate that I tried tar preparation, tropical steroids and anthralin. I was also given light therapy but nothing really worked permanently and the eczema always came back.

    I knew that there had to be another way. I searched long and hard and finally came across some simple natural remedies that finally made my embarrassing and frustrating psoriasi disappear for good...to the amazement of my doctor.

    In fact, you might want to check out this article, it really helped me a lot:

    http://www.journalofnaturalhealth.com/psoriasis

    Hope it helps anyone reading this!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the great article.

    It's information like this that really makes a difference for psoriasis sufferers.

    As for myself, I managed to overcome my psoriasis after 10 years with natural remedies like this:

    http://www.journalofnaturalhealth.com/psoriasis-relief


    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi. I want discuss that, homeopathy treatment is best for psoriasis problems, as it has no side effects. At livehomeo we will recommend you the best homeopathic experts for psoriasis and other skin disorders. For more details visit: https://www.livehomeo.com/treatments/psoriasis-problems-overcome-tips/

    ReplyDelete

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