Difficult situations are sometimes the ones that teach you the most about yourself and about life. No, I would not choose to have psoriasis, but I have encountered pieces of wisdom as a result of this experience, which I consider my silver linings.
The first lesson is acceptance. To not get stuck in a sea of despair and to take balanced action toward healing, I first had to accept my psoriasis. Yes, this is a lesson I am still learning, but I find that leaning into acceptance allows me to move more quickly into self-compassion and calm decision-making.
I figure if I am going to have to deal with the disease anyway, there’s no room for hating myself and denying my experience in the process. By acknowledging what is happening, I can then make thoughtful choices about how to move forward.
The second lesson is impermanence. This might come as a surprise given that psoriasis is not curable. However, I find that my lived experience is constantly changing. Some days are itchier than others. My coverage with lesions will ebb and flow, and healing comes in waves.
When I am particularly frustrated by a physical symptom of psoriasis, I remind myself that things are always changing. It very well might stay this way, but it very well might not — and that’s worth staying hopeful for.
The third lesson is universality. When I finally started exploring the online psoriasis community and autoimmune community more broadly, I became more acutely aware that my experience with psoriasis wasn’t singular. Illness and struggle are parts of human life, and it is better to know that what’s happening to me is shared.
There is nothing wrong with me as an individual. I am not an anomaly. I am one person having a very human experience.
The fourth lesson has to do with contentment and also gratitude. Happiness is not an achieved state, nor is it something that I can wait to feel until after my psoriasis is gone. That time is not coming, at least not anytime soon.
I also can’t feel sorry for myself all of the time. That won’t help my body heal, nor does it honor all of the things that are beautiful and good in my life. Even with psoriasis, I can and need to find ways to experience contentment. Finding things that bring me joy and indulging in them gives me the mental relief I need to stay committed to this healing journey.
MyPsoriasisTeam columnists discuss psoriasis from a specific point of view. Columnists’ articles don’t reflect the opinions of MyPsoriasisTeam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. MyPsoriasisTeam content isn’t intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.