After I was diagnosed with psoriasis, it took me nearly 2 years to meet someone who was able to open up to me about their own chronic skin condition. That person would later become my girlfriend.
Before I met her, battling psoriasis felt like a lonely struggle. Sure, I knew I wasn’t the only person in the world who faced the challenges that came with it, but to find a significant other who could empathize with me enhanced our connection.
My girlfriend was in third grade when she began seeing a dermatologist. Prior to meeting her doctor, she struggled with intense inflammation in her elbow crease, behind her knees, and on her neck and face.
The itching led to peeling to the point to where she would begin bleeding. She was insecure about her skin until she met with a dermatologist who prescribed her ointment, cream, and a special face wash for her sensitive itchiness.
My psoriasis mostly affected areas covered by my clothing, but from time to time I’d have it on my face. She was dealing with something that seemed even tougher to deal with than my condition.
Nonetheless, we both face extremely harsh skin inflammation in the winter. After meeting her, instead of going through it alone and feeling like I need to cover up the red spots all over my body, I felt comfortable in my own skin.
I actually met a woman who accepted me for all my flaws and insecurities -- my psoriasis being one of the biggest ones of all. I accept hers, and she accepts mine. Now that we live together, we both have a safe space to feel extremely comfortable in our own bodies.
Not everyone who deals with psoriasis will have the luck of meeting a partner who deals with something similar, so I consider myself extremely lucky and blessed.
Watching YouTube videos, reading articles, and knowing that other people were going through what I went through wasn’t enough. It took a real connection with a genuine soul for me to completely overcome my self-consciousness and prevent it from stopping me.
To anyone out there seeking reassurance or acceptance, I highly recommend being more open and honest about it with the ones you love. The more you share, the more likely you are to find someone to relate to. It helps you get out of the mindset that you’re dealing with it alone.
The truth is, you aren’t alone. There's someone out there who needs -- and wants -- to hear your story and will care about what you’re going through.
Photo Credit: anyaberkut via Getty Images