So I read this article in the newspaper this morning
And I just wanted to do a quick blog about it because I am full of pride and support for this amazing lady. Not just because she is incredibly strong but because I know her story – I know it because I have lived it.
Whilst I am not going to give you a full biography of my life with psoriasis, I will give you the bare bones of it.
I have suffered with psoriasis since I was 3yrs old. All through both primary and secondary school I was teased relentlessly by certain individuals who told me that I was ugly, that I had “the lurgy” etc. They told other kids not to hang around with me or they would catch it too.
My teenage years were the worst. I hated school. I had very few friends, I had absolutely no self confidence or self belief. Puberty made my psoriasis even worse and much of my hair fell out. I hid my skin under long sleeve blouses and tights that itched the hell out of me but were better than having my skin on show.
All through this time I was back and forth to the hospital, trying every possible treatment under the sun. Dozens of different steroid creams, soaking in coal tar baths, being smothered in emollients and wrapped in bandages. I couldn’t wait to leave school at 16 so I went to college instead. Unfortunately things weren’t much better there.
When it came to the world of work I was lucky to be able to get good employment, but one employer made my life very difficult. When my skin got so bad due to the stress of working there and I was hospitalised with life-threatening erythrodermic psoriasis, I was “let go”.
In my early 20s my skin started to improve a little and so I changed – I had a small circle of friends, I became outwardly confident to make up for the fact that inside I was still nervous about rejection.
My tale has a happy ending though. When I was 23 I met my now-husband. Granted my skin was mostly under control at the time, but there have been times when I have been suffering badly with it, particularly during my pregnancies when it is not possible to take drugs to keep it under control. But my husband is amazing – he has only ever seen ME and not my skin. To the point that he only really notices if it has flared up because of the way that it affects me – the itching, the slight depression that accompanies it worsening.
So now, 2015 and I am a happily married mum of two – which during my teenage years felt like something I would never achieve. I am still taking strong chemotherapy drugs which – touch wood – are working well to keep my skin under control. I can’t remember the last time I felt the necessity to cover my face with a scarf or my arms with a cardigan.
And whilst I am nowhere near as brave and strong as this beautiful lady is, I can honestly say that I am over hiding away. The important people love me no matter how my skin looks.
So I applaud this amazing lady for being so confident, so strong and so inspiring. She proves that true beauty is a whole lot more than what is on the outside.
If you would like further information on psoriasis then I can highly recommend that you check out https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis
Thanks for reading