I don’t remember the day psoriasis changed my life and I went from “he’s cool” to “he’s kind of weird”.
I think it was around grade 3 or 4. That’s not to say that’s when my journey with psoriasis started – I can’t remember ever not having this disease- but I guess it was better hidden up until that point.
But around that grade the invitations stopped and the smirks began. Conversations got quiet when I passed by. Sometimes the other kids stared.
I get that school can be awkward and tough for anyone, but I felt like a freak.
What started in elementary only intensified during high school. The sly smirks became open torment. I had to deal with bullies that would get physical with me on a regular basis.
Not everyone in school treated me this way, but most of the kids that weren’t trying to build up their reputation by tearing mine down mostly just avoided me.
You see, psoriasis is a “socially transmitted” disease.
What I mean by that is one of the first victims of this disease is your social standing. Only other social outcasts are ok being seen hanging out with the red, flaky kid.
I said before I don’t remember the day I became “weird” in other peoples eyes. There was another turning point I can’t quite remember: the day I began to believe the taunts and changed how I saw myself.
I fought back against the teasing and bullying at first. But, in time, I began to see myself as a loser and a freak. I gave up. I stopped putting myself out there and did my best to become invisible.
It’s lonely being invisible. And it’s heartbreaking to look in the mirror and see yourself as a freak. Add the maddening itch and pain to the mix and it’s easy to lose hope.
My story came close to ending in suicide. More than once too. I think I am not the only guy that’s dealt with psoriasis that’s felt that way.
Now I am not a professional of any sort – medical, psychological or otherwise. But I want anyone from team P that has happened upon this post to know that for me, life has gotten better. A whole lot better, honestly.
If you’re reading this today and you are dealing with psoriasis I want you to know there is hope. You’re not a freak. You deserve to have a great life and you can have it.
Fight to believe that. Believe in yourself and your worth.
Peace to you all.
Mr Healthy Scratch